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ANCHOR BAY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Kimble Rendall
Cast:
Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel, Chris Betts, Sharni Vinson, Simon Edds, Miranda Deakin, Julian McMahon
Writing Credits:
Shayne Armstrong (additional writing), Duncan Kennedy (additional writing), John Kim, Shane Krause (additional writing), Justin Monjo (additional writing), Russell Mulcahy

Tagline:
Cleanup on aisle 7.

Synopsis:
When a monstrous freak tsunami hits a sleepy beach community, a group of survivors from different walks of life find themselves trapped inside a submerged grocery store. As they try to escape to safety, they soon discover that there is a predator among them more deadly than the threat of drowning - vicious great white sharks lurking in the water, starved for fresh meat. As the bloodthirsty sharks begin to pick the survivors off one by one, the group realizes that they must work together to find a way out without being eaten alive.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 9/18/2012

Bonus:
• Storyboard Gallery
• Previews
• DVD Copy
• 3D Blu-ray Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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


Bait [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 99, 2012)

I feel like I spend a lot of time reviewing movies about killer fish these days. So far in 2012, we’ve gotten the long-awaited Blu-ray release of 1975’s Jaws along with modern flicks such as Shark Night, Jersey Shore Shark Attack and Piranha 3DD.

Throw Bait onto the pile as well! In a prologue, we see a shark attack and kill Rory (Richard Brancatisano), best pal of fellow beach lifeguard Josh (Xavier Samuel) and brother of Tina (Sharni Vinson), Josh’s fiancée. This sends Josh into depression and away from Tina, as their engagement ends. He winds up as a supermarket clerk, which is where we find him a year later.

An earthquake triggers a tsunami that floods the supermarket – all during a robbery attempt led by a baddie named Doyle (Julian McMahon). The disaster leaves survivors trapped in the store – with an unwanted guest, as a Great White manages to swim into the location. We watch the humans’ efforts to survive their imprisonment with the predator.

If nothing else, Bait gets some credit for its attempts to do something different. Granted, all films of this sort need a gimmick. Each one inevitably gets compared to Jaws, so it becomes more important that something like Bait ensures that it doesn’t come across as just a remake of the 1975 classic. To be sure, Bait does that; it may involve a killer shark, but it doesn’t have any other notable similarities with Jaws.

Of course, it doesn’t remotely compare with the genius that we got 37 years ago, but as killer fish movies go, Bait turns into one of the better ones. Granted, that’s faint praise; when the mediocre Jaws 2 stands as arguably the best of that class, you know the bar is set low.

But these days, I’m happy with something that’s not just a silly, campy romp ala the two Piranha movies. Bait actually attempts a fairly realistic tone and doesn’t simply indulge in over the top shenanigans. Yeah, the film opts for some graphic gore intended to get a cheap reaction – and the expected Dr. Tongue style 3D effects - but it doesn’t go for constant action and/or comedy.

That means the shark scenes work better when they occur. Other movies of this sort seem to think that “more is more”: if they assault the viewer with non-stop mayhem, we’ll be more entertained. However, the opposite is true, as films of this sort work better with more deliberate pacing.

I don’t want to overdo my praise, as Bait isn’t what I’d call a great – or even very good – movie. It lacks interesting characterizations, so it becomes tough to care much for the participants; even when we see Josh and Tina reunited, it doesn’t much matter to us. The actors seem forgettable and bring little to their roles. Effects look cheesy, and those goofy 3D elements do cause distractions.

Still, Bait remains surprisingly watchable. Its mix of effective pacing and an unusual plot twist make it one of the better films in its genre. It’s not Jaws - and it’s not even close – but it’s still fairly enjoyable.


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

Bait appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The picture looked fine overall but wasn’t consistently great.

Sharpness was almost always strong, though effects shots tended to create problems. This meant occasional elements looked somewhat soft and fuzzy. However, the majority of the movie looked accurate and concise. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like most modern action flicks, this one opted for stylized hues; teal and amber dominated. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine; they showed appropriate range. Blacks were dark and full, but shadows were occasionally a bit heavy; they weren’t terribly opaque, but they could’ve been clearer. All this added up to a good but not great image.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Bait worked well. Various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with water and terror, and a few other sequences used the various channels in a satisfying way. The action scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, and music made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. All of this added up to a “B+”.

In terms of extras, we find a Storyboard Gallery. This delivers 68 screens with three or four drawings per screen. I’m not a huge fan of storyboards, but at least this collection proves to be more extensive than most.

The disc opens with ads for Jersey Shore Shark Attack, High School and Demoted. No trailer for Bait shows up here.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Bait. This presents a retail release with the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Note that the Blu-ray offers both 2D and 3D versions of the film on the same disc. Because I lack the necessary TV and player to view 3D, I couldn’t discuss it, but I wanted to mention its presence here.

While it won’t make anyone forget Jaws, Bait delivers a more than decent take on the killer fish genre. Despite a few drawbacks, it comes with effective pacing and an interesting story twist, both of which help keep us involved for its 93 minutes. The Blu-ray presents erratic but usually solid picture and effective audio; unfortunately, it lacks notable supplements. Even without substantial bonus materials, this turns into a nice presentation for a moderately enjoyable flick.

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