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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Justin Kurzel
Cast:
Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Writing Credits:
Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper & Bill Collage

Synopsis:
When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.

Box Office:
Budget
$125 million.
Opening Weekend
$10,278,225 on 2970 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$54,647,948.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Urdu Dolby 5.1
Hindi Dolby 5.1
Tamil Dolby 5.1
Telugu Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Quebecois
Portuguese
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Tamil
Telugu
Hindi
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish

Runtime: 115 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 3/21/2017
Bonus:
• “Take the Pledge” Featurettes
• “Conversations with Justin Kurzel” Featurette
• “Deleted Scenes Conversation” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Gallery
• Trailers and Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Assassin's Creed [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 21, 2017)

Whenever I review a movie based on a video game, I feel the compulsion to note the problematic history of that genre. Every time I look at the topic, I wonder when Hollywood will finally produce a major hit that stems from the gaming universe.

2016’s Assassin’s Creed dodn’t break this streak – and it didn’t even come close. Despite a budget of $125 million and a prime holiday season release date, the movie failed to find much of an audience. Faced with brutal reviews, Creed sputtered to a flat $54 million in the US, and overseas results weren’t much better.

Even with all of those negatives, hope springs eternal, so I gave Creed a look. Convicted of murder, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) gets sentenced to death. However, the powerful Abstergo Foundation manages to falsify his demise so they can use him for their own purposes.

Abstergo leader Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) explains that Callum descends from members of the “Assassin’s Creed”, an ancient group tasked with the protection of a mysterious relic called the “Apple of Eden”. An opposition organization called the Templars attempts to locate the Apple so they can utilize its powers to control humanity.

Matters complicate from there, as Callum becomes part of the battle to protect the Apple. Along with scientist Sophia Rikkin, Callum fights to save humanity.

Or something like that. With its era-spanning narrative and various gimmicks, Creed comes with a messy premise that the film never manages to explore very well.

Really, I suspect if one entered the film without prior perusal of a plot overview, Creed won’t make a whole lot of sense. Story synopses boil down the main points but that doesn’t mean these come across with clarity as the film actually rolls.

Make no mistake: Creed brings us a vague, fuzzy narrative. The movie flits between modern-day material and segments in 15th century Spain with little apparent logic or integration. Sure, it all intends to come together, but it doesn’t, and the frequent shifts in era/characters turn the plot into a less than coherent slog.

Beyond the movie’s flaccid storytelling and its impression as a third-rate Matrix-style tale, Creed simply fails to deliver any excitement. It throws lots of action at us, but these scenes come across as overstylized and unimaginative, without impact or zing.

Creed does enjoy an overqualified cast. In addition to Fassbender, Cotillard and Irons, we find solid actors like Michael K. Williams, Brendan Gleeson and Charlotte Rampling.

That’s a lot of talent, and not a good performance among the bunch. They all seem to understand they find themselves in a problematic situation, so they appear vaguely embarrassed to be involved.

I can’t blame them. With a muddled story, lackluster action and little creative energy, Assassin’s Creed becomes a flawed, limp attempt at an adventure movie.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Assassin’s Creed appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Overall definition looked positive. A few effects shots came across as slightly soft, a factor I thought may have reflected an attempt to make these elements look more “organic”, but those remained minor and the vast majority of the flick seemed concise. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.

When I examined the film’s palette, I saw a lot of the standard teal and orange. These tones looked fine, as the image brought them out in an appropriate manner. Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots displayed nice delineation. The movie offered the expected high-quality visual experience.

Assassin’s Creed came with a solid DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, as the mix opened up the movie’s many action scenes in a lively manner. Various battle elements swarmed around the room and created a compelling, involving sense of the action.

Quieter sequences worked fine as well. These used the different channels to place in various situations with smoothness and aplomb. Music also provided nice stereo imaging.

Audio quality seemed good. Effects appeared full and dynamic, with positive low-end response. Music was bold and rich, while speech seemed natural and concise. The soundtrack added zest to the film.

As we shift to extras, we open with a collection of featurettes under Take the Pledge. This compilation fills a total of 41 minutes, five seconds as it provides comments from producers Patrick Crowley, Jean-Julien Baronnet and Frank Marshall, Ubisoft Head of Content Aymar Azaizia, director Justin Kurzel, stunt coordinator Ben Cooke, stunt performers Damien Walters and Ben Wright, costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, armorer Tim Wildgoose, location manager Nick Oliver, brand manager Carsten Myhill, creative director Jean Guesdon, slackline performers Jaan Roose, Jan Kaeding and Tauri Vasehaar, and actors Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Ariane Labed, Michelle H. Lin, Michael K. Williams, and Callum Turner.

“Pledge” examines the property’s path to the screen, story/characters, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets, costumes, weapons and visual design, and locations. Parts of “Pledge” feel fluffy/promotional, but the pieces offer a reasonable amount of information. They give us enough substance to merit a look.

Conversations with Justin Kurzel runs 20 minutes, 22 seconds and involves the director as he chats with other production personnel. These include composer Jed Kurzel, editor Christopher Tellefsen, visual effects supervisor Ged Wright and writer Michael Lesslie.

The “Conversations” discuss music, editing, visual effects and script/story/characters. Each of these digs into its subject matter fairly well, so they add useful information.

In a similar vein, we get the 22-minute, 23-second Deleted Scenes Conversation. It provides notes from Justin Kurzel and Christopher Tellefsen as they show us cut footage and relate details about the material. Most of this follows an expunged character named Lara, and we get some interesting thoughts about the unused footage.

10 Deleted Scenes take up a total of 15 minutes, 44 seconds. This area largely shows the same clips found in “Conversation”, except we see the sequences without interruption, so we don’t get the redundancy I feared. Even though “Conversation” shows up before them in the menu, though, it probably makes sense to view the scenes on their own first.

As for the quality of the scenes, the footage with Lara adds minor intrigue, but her presence in the film wouldn’t have improved it. The remaining footage contributes a bit more exposition and detail but also wouldn’t bring out any improvements in the final product.

Even the “Alternate Ending” feels uncompelling. Still, it’s good to see these clips, and the combination of “Conversation” and the package of deleted scenes works well.

A Gallery splits into three domains. We examine images connected to “Concept Art” (14 stills), “Costumes and Weapons” (36) and “Unit Photography” (47). All provide some nice elements, but the package of costumes/weapons fare best because they let us see details of the artistry involved.

The disc opens with an ad for Logan. Sneak Peek adds promos for Vikings Season 4 Volume 2, Legion Season 1, and Morgan. We also get two trailers for Creed.

A second disc presents a DVD Copy of Creed. It includes “Take the Pledge”, the gallery and the trailers but lacks the other extras.

Any hopes that Assassin’s Creed would launch a cinematic franchise seem stillborn, as the movie flopped commercially. I can’t mourn its instantaneous death, as the film offers a dull, meandering affair that wastes the ample talent involved. The Blu-ray brings us very positive picture and audio as well as a mostly engaging set of supplements. Creed offers yet another weak big-screen adaptation of a video game.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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