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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Martin Campbell
Cast:
Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, Shawn Roberts, David Aaron Baker, Jay O. Sanders
Writing Credits:
William Monahan, Andrew Bovell, Troy Kennedy-Martin (television series)

Tagline:
Some Secrets Take Us To The Edge.

Synopsis:
The bullet that killed his daughter was meant for Boston cop Thomas Craven. That's what police brass and Craven himself think, but that's not what the investigation finds. Clue after clue and witness after witness, the search leads him into a shadowy realm where money and political intrigue intersect. If Craven wasn't a target before, he - and anyone linked to his inquiry - now is. Mel Gibson stars in his first screen lead in eight years, making Craven's grief palpable and his quest for payback stone-cold and relentless. Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) directs from a screenplay co-written by The Departed's William Monahan. Gibson is back, taking us to the edge ... and into the sinister darkness.

Box Office:
Budget
$60 million.
Opening Weekend
$17.214 million on 3066 screens.
Domestic Gross
$43.290 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $35.98
Release Date: 5/11/2010

Bonus:
• Nine “Focus Points”
• Four Deleted and Alternate Scenes
• Digital Copy/Standard DVD


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.


Edge Of Darkness [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 10, 2010)

After his drunken, anti-Semitic arrest a few years back, Mel Gibson has maintained a pretty low cinematic profile. He directed Apocalypto in 2006 but hadn’t starred in a movie since the summer of 2002!

Gibson finally returned to the screen with early 2010’s Edge of Darkness. Boston cop Thomas Craven’s (Gibson) adult daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) returns home to visit. She quickly shows signs of a mysterious, severe illness, but before Craven can rush her to the hospital, an unknown assailant guns her down in their doorway.

All involved believe that this bullet was meant for Craven. A hard-bitten sort, Craven suppresses his emotions and embarks on an investigation of the slaying. As this progresses, he learns secrets involved in a case that doesn’t follow the expected motive.

Director Martin Campbell resuscitated the Bond franchise twice and he knows his way around a good action thriller. Unfortunately, he can’t bring any life to the plodding Edge. After a good start, it quickly turns slow and dull.

That opening act has a lot going for it. Emma’s death certainly comes as a shock, and Gibson excels in his portrayal of a quiet man’s grief. Gibson lends a real poignancy to his role, partially due to the understated nature of the character. We really feel his pain, and Campbell uses semi-hallucinatory flashbacks to four-year-old Emma in a touching way; those let us feel Craven’s loss to an even greater degree.

Alas, that strong opening soon goes down the tubes, as Edge quickly becomes a dreary and uninteresting thriller. A decidedly unthrilling thriller, unfortunately, as the tale fails to take flight. Sporadic attempts at action don’t excite or stimulate; instead, they simply seem like half-hearted stabs at bringing a corpse to life.

A lot of the problem stems from the muddled nature of the plot. At its heart, it tells a simple 70s-style story of illicit corporate hijinks, but Edge isn’t content to keep things concise. Instead, it buries us under lots of meandering complications. Perhaps the filmmakers think these lend suspend or drama, but they don’t. These sequences just confuse us and make us more detached from the drama.

The movie also errs when it leaves Craven’s viewpoint. If it stayed with his POV and focused on his investigation, it could’ve become a more compelling “man on a mission” tale. Instead, it flits over to various conspirators too frequently, and those extremely expository moments just slow down an already draggy film.

Gibson does offer a fairly good performance, but he can’t keep us interested in this meandering affair. Edge of Darkness starts well and has potential, but it lacks the momentum and drama to involve the viewer.


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

Edge of Darkness appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the transfer looked great.

At all times, the film boasted solid clarity. Only the slightest smidgen of softness ever appeared, as the flick provided crisp, precise images. 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 action thrillers of this sort, Edge went with a chilly palette. It tended toward the usual cold blues along with subdued tans and earth tones. Within the film’s production design, the hues fared well. Blacks were dark and full, while shadows demonstrated nice clarity and smoothness. I felt quite pleased with this presentation.

Though not as good, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Edge worked fine. Various vehicular elements and gunfire offered the most active use of the spectrum. Much of the film remained fairly stationary, though, so it didn’t get the usual bevy of big set pieces typical of action flicks. Nonetheless, the spectrum created a good sense of place, and different segments added to the immersive nature of the track. Nothing especially memorable appeared, but the soundscape fleshed out the room well.

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. Due to an absence of vivid sequences, the track wasn’t bold enough for a high grade, but it seemed worthy of a “B”.

When we check out the disc’s extras, we go to nine Focus Points featurettes. These fill a total of 30 minutes, 52 seconds and include “Mel’s Back” (4:00), “Making a Ghost Character Real” (3:32), “Scoring the Edge of Darkness” (2:29), “Revising the Edge of Darkness Mini-Series” (2:32), “Adapting the Edge of Darkness Mini-Series” (3:33), “Thomas Craven’s War of Attrition” (4:51), “Boston as a Character” (2:57), “Director Profile: Martin Campbell” (3:21) and “Edge of Your Seat” (2:37). Across these, we hear from director Martin Campbell, producer Graham King, editor Stuart Baird, writer William Monahan, director of photography Phil Meheux, composer Howard Shore, and actors Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Shawn Roberts, and Bojana Novakovic. The “Focus Points” look at the original mini-series and its move to the big screen, cast, characters and performances, shooting in Boston, music, stunts and action, and Campbell’s work on the project.

At times, the “Focus Points” can seem a bit fluffy, especially when it praises various participants. However, most of the “Points” offer good information, and I especially like the info about the original mini-series; those tidbits provide interesting facts. Despite some puffy bits, most of the “Points” give us nice details and remain informative.

Four Deleted and Alternate Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 23 seconds. These offer a police discussion of Craven’s possible enemies, an alternate introduction to Jedburgh, more of Craven’s post-mortem “chats” with Emma, and another threat from Craven to Bennett. Edge already drags, so I’m glad these got the boot; they would’ve slowed it even more.

A second disc offers two elements. For one, it provides a standard DVD version of the film. Note that this doesn’t simply duplicate the DVD you can buy on its own; it’s a more barebones affair. However, it allows fans without Blu-ray capabilities a way to watch the movie until they do take the Blu plunge.

The second platter also includes a digital copy of Edge. This allows you to slap the flick on a computer or portable gizmo. And there you have it!

After almost eight years, Mel Gibson returned to the big screen with Edge of Darkness. I’d like to refer to this as a triumphant return, but the slow, dull movie turns into a disappointment. It has some good moments, but these are too infrequent. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals, good audio and average supplements. Edge presents a decidedly mediocre thriller.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8888 Stars Number of Votes: 54
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