Freelancers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was usually a pretty strong presentation.
Sharpness was virtually immaculate. Even the widest shots looked well-defined and distinctive, without jaggies or shimmering. I noticed no edge haloes, and the movie lacked print flaws.
Like most modern dramas of this sort, Freelancers opted for a stylized palette. It varied from chilly blues to desaturated tans; a few warmer scenes emerged, but those were rare. Within the film’s production design, these looked fine, and blacks seemed dark and tight. Shadows occasionally seemed a little dense, but those scenes usually came across reasonably well. This was a solid “B+” image.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked nicely as well. The soundfield opened up best during action scenes, as those used guns and vehicles to create a lively setting. Other sequences delivered a nice sense of place and environment.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while music was bright and clear. Effects also appeared accurate and dynamic, with good impact across the board. Though the soundfield wasn’t quite involving enough for “A”-level consideration, this was still a strong mix.
The Blu-ray comes with a decent set of extras. We launch with an audio commentary from director Jessy Terrero and actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and editing, sets and locations, cast and performances, stunts and action, and a few other areas.
Like the movie itself, this is a dull, uninteresting piece. Lots of dead air occurs, and Terrero sets a world record for utterances of the phrase “sort of”. It appears nothing happened during the shoot – things only “sort of” happened. If you listen to the track, you’ll learn a little about the shoot, but not enough to make it worthwhile – it’s not even “sort of” worthwhile.
11 Deleted Scenes run a total of 18 minutes, 35 seconds. The most prominent element comes from an “Alternate Opening” (5:41); this actually show material found in the final film, but it shows up much later in the completed product. The editing choice to place the material elsewhere makes sense, as the information has more of an impact when we’ve gotten to know the characters.
As for the other 10 scenes, much of the added material focuses on Malo’s descent into drug use and depravity. We get enough of this in the final film, so these sequences provide nothing useful.
Next comes a featurette called Behind the Scenes. It runs 14 minutes, 30 seconds and includes notes from Terrero, Jackson, producer Randall Emmett, writer L. Philippe Casseus, and actors Forest Whitaker, Ryan O’Nan, Anabelle Acosta, Malcolm Goodwin, and Beau Garrett. The program covers story and characters, cast and performances, and a few other topics. This essentially just gives us happy talk and doesn’t do much to dig into the details; it’s pretty forgettable.
Extended Interviews with Cast and Crew occupy a total of 33 minutes, 20 seconds. We hear from Terrero, Jackson, Whitaker, Goodwin, O’Nan, Garrett, Acosta, Emmett and Casseus. These are the same sessions used in the featurette, and they focus on similar subjects. They’re a little more expansive but still not especially interesting; they remain fairly bland EPK noodlings that tell us everything/everyone’s great and not much else.
The disc opens with ads for The Hunger Games, Haywire, Man on a Ledge and Reservoir Dogs. These show up under Also from Lionsgate and we get the trailer for Freelancers, too.
If you want a fresh, lively cop drama, avoid Freelancers. It sticks with the usual clichés and lacks even basic substance to maintain the viewer. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio along with some mediocre supplements. Don’t let the well-known actors in the cast attract you; Freelancers is a weak film that should stay on the shelf.