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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Elizabeth Banks
Cast:
Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinski
Writing Credits:
Elizabeth Banks

Synopsis:
When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie's Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

Box Office:
Budget
$48,000,000.
Opening Weekend
$8,351,109 on 3452 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$17,803,077.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Mandarin Dolby 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Portuguese Audio Descriptive Service
Castillian DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Portuguese
Spanish
Castillian
Cantonese
Indonesian
Korean
Malay
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Thai
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Portuguese
Spanish
Castillian
Korean
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Thai

Runtime:
118 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 3/10/2020

Bonus:
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Stronger Together” Featurette
• “Elizabeth Banks: As BoSSley” Featurette
• “Warriors on Set” Featurette
• “Tailored for Danger” Featurette
• Music Video
• Trailer & Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Charlie's Angels [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 25, 2020)

Back in 1976, its mix of sexy ladies and crime-solving action made Charlie’s Angels a hit TV series and a pop culture sensation. After the show left the air in 1981, the franchise remained dormant until 2000’s cinematic reboot, a success that brought the Angels to a new generation.

Though 2003’s sequel film did almost as well at the box office as its predecessor, the series once again went quiet until 2011’s disastrous TV reboot. Due to abysmal ratings, this series got canceled after only four episodes aired.

Despite this checkered history, Sony launched another reboot in 2019, this time via another big-screen effort. Alas, it fared no better than the 2011 TV series, as 2019’s Charlie’s Angels bombed at the box office.

Will the 2019 film’s commercial failure portend the end of the series? Probably not, though maybe it should, as the new Angels shows a major disconnect between the ethos of the original series, the 2000 movie and present-day standards.

Run by Charles Townsend, the Townsend Agency operates teams of female agents worldwide, and it refers to them as “Angels”. Each squad works under the tutelage of supervisors all known simply as “Bosley”.

When the original Bosley (Patrick Stewart) retires, a new Bosley (Elizabeth Banks) takes his place, and she shepherds a team that includes Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart) and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska). They find out that the employees under tech magnate Alexander Brock (Sam Claflin) might be up to no good.

When these technicians invent “Calisto”, a miraculous energy-generating device, engineer Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott) discovers that its qualities can induce potentially fatal side effects. She attempts to notify Brock of this defect but finds herself cut off by other staff.

As it happens, nefarious parties want to market Calisto as an untraceable way to commit assassinations, and they go in search of the highest bidder. With Elena as a new recruit, Angels Sabina and Jane attempt to track down the device and stop these plans.

Got that? Good, now throw my plot synopsis out the window, as none of what I said makes one iota of difference.

Film nerds love to trot out references to MacGuffins, story devices that motivate action but remain inherently meaningless. Calisto belongs in the MacGuffin Hall of Fame, as it provides one of the least compelling plot-movers in cinematic history.

That said, maybe Calisto itself doesn’t become any more useless than other MacGuffins, but I find it problematic because it connects to a poorly-told narrative. When I watched Angels theatrically, about halfway through the film, I asked my friend if the movie actually had a story.

She couldn’t find a real plot here either, so she responded in the negative. Oh, Angels comes with story-like elements, but it mish-mashes them into such an incoherent soup that only confusion results.

Which seems bizarre, as the basic narrative really remains simple at its core. Bad guys have deadly device and good guys want to stop them – bingo bango, sugar in the gas tank. That’s worked for umpteen Bond movies and it seems like a serviceable arc.

So why can’t Banks make it work? In addition to her role as Bosley, Banks both wrote and directed Angels, a fact that puts its failure firmly at her feet.

Banks came into Angels with one feature-length directorial credit: 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2. Why did Sony think the director of a light comedy would seem appropriate for a big action extravaganza like this?

I don’t know, but Banks proves wholly insufficient to meet the franchise’s particular needs. Circa 2019, the Angels series finds itself in a tough spot, as the current social climate won’t really allow it to follow the paths its successful predecessors took.

The 1970s series’ emphasis on the “jiggle factor” clearly won’t play today. The campy comedy of the 2000 movie stands a better chance, but even though it went tongue in cheek, I think it’d be tough to pull off its objectified nature.

In the “MeToo” era, a light romp about sexy female agents becomes more difficult to achieve, and the 2019 film takes itself way too seriously. Oh, it comes with some comedy, but it rarely feels willing to poke fun at itself, and that becomes a crucial flaw.

No, the 2019 Angels doesn’t need to self-mock to the degree of the 2000 film, but face it: the franchise offers so much ludicrous material that a light approach fares best. The 2019 film feels like it wants to compete with more straightforward action flicks, and it doesn’t work.

Not to pile on, but Banks really seems like the wrong choice to lead the movie. She shows no connection at all to the action scenes, which uniformly come across as poorly shot and generally incoherent.

Lots of battles occur, but it’s damned hard to tell what’s happening in any of them. Banks can’t stage these with the needed urgency or thrills, so they turn into confusing and dull exercises.

Except maybe for Stewart, none of the actors rise to the occasion either. Angels comes light on star power, and none of our leads compensate with good performances.

Wherever Stewart’s talents lie, they’re not in the comedic realm. Sabina should be the wildest, funniest Angel, and the script hands Stewart a mix of potentially amusing lines, but her tone-deaf delivery crushes any potential.

As for Balinska and Scott… well, they’re pretty. Neither seems awful in their roles, but neither does much with the parts, either. They provide lackluster stabs at their underwritten characters and that’s about it.

Back in 2000, that Angels managed to make the series work for a new audience. 2019’s film can’t generate the same kind of charm, so it ends up as a confusing, dull, and witless experience.

Footnote: Elena’s training shows up at the start of the end credits, and we get another tag scene midway through those credits. Nothing else appears after that.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus C-

Charlie’s Angels appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a high-quality presentation.

Sharpness worked well at all times. Virtually no softness materialized, so the image felt well-defined and precise.

I noticed no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. The image also lacked any signs of source defects, so it stayed clean.

In terms of palette, Angels opted for a standard mix of teal and amber. Though these hues didn’t light up the screen, they made sense for the material and came through as well-rendered.

Blacks seemed dense and dark, whereas shadows looked smooth and clear. I thought the image satisfied.

The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack offered a strong affair as well. As expected, the movie’s action-oriented scenes fared best, as they used gunfire, aircraft, vehicles and explosions to fill the room in a compelling manner.

The film’s pulsing score used the spectrum well, too, and quieter effects suited the story. These created a nice sense of place and acted to involve the viewer.

Audio quality satisfied, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music seemed full and rich, with crisp highs and deep bass.

Effects followed suit and created dynamic material, as the various components showed fine range and impact. The movie used the audio well so this became a solid track.

Four featurettes appear, and Stronger Together runs seven minutes, 33 seconds. It brings notes from writer/director/actor Elizabeth Banks, producer Max Handelman, makeup department head Melanie Hughes-Weaver and actors Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska.

“Stronger” looks at story and characters, cast and performances. This becomes a fluffy program without much substance.

Elizabeth Banks: as BoSSley goes for five minutes, 17 seconds and offers info from Banks, Balinska, Scott, Stewart, production designer Aaron Haye, producer Doug Belgrad and actor Noah Centineo.

The show offers thoughts about what Banks brings to the table for the film. It becomes another puff piece.

Next comes Warriors on Set: Angels in Action, a five-minute, 55-second reel with Banks, Balinska, Scott, Centineo, Stewart, 2nd unit director Markos Rounthwaite, and stunt coordinator Florian Hotz.

As implied by the title, we learn about stunts and action here. Though it provides more nutritional value than the prior two clips, “Set” still leans toward happy talk.

Tailored for Danger: Styling the Angels spans six minutes, 17 seconds and involves Banks, Balinska, Hughes-Weaver, hair department head Camille Friend and costume designer Kym Barrett.

Here we cover costumes, hair and makeup. It turns into another mix of insights and praise.

Five Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, 15 seconds. These mix minor character expansions – mainly related to Elena – and a bit of exposition. They fail to add anything of significance.

A Gag Reel goes for two minutes, 44 seconds and shows the usual goofs and giggles. Don’t expect anything more from it.

Finally, we get a music video for “Don’t Call Me an Angel” by Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. The video uses the singers as Angels. That gives it an interesting flavor, though the video fails to use the theme as well as it could.

The disc opens with ads for Jumanji: The Next Level, Bad Boys For Life, Men In Black: International, Spider-Man: Far From Home and Little Women (2019). No trailer for Angels appears here.

Whatever charms the franchise holds fail to make the screen via 2019’s Charlie’s Angels reboot. Devoid of the qualities this series needs to succeed, the new movie becomes a flat, incoherent disaster. The Blu-ray brings excellent picture and audio but supplements lack much substance. The 2019 Angels delivers a failed attempt at a new start to the property.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main