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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Adrian Grunberg
Cast:
Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Bob Gunton, Sofía Sisniega, Kevin Hernandez, Scott Cohen
Writing Credits:
Mel Gibson, Adrian Grunberg, Stacy Perskie

Tagline:
The odds are against him. So is everyone else.

Synopsis:
Academy Award Winner Mel Gibson steals the show - and anything else he can get his hands on - in this explosive, nonstop thrill ride packed with equal parts action and attitude! A career criminal (Gibson) pulls off the heist of a lifetime, but his getaway plans go south of the border when a high-speed car chase lands him in a hard-core Mexican prison community known as "El Pueblito." Now, in order to survive, he'll have to fend off corrupt cops, take down ruthless druglords ... and team up with a streetwise ten-year-old who has a few secrets of his own!

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 7/17/2012

Bonus:
• “Get the Gringo: A Look Inside” Featurette
• “On Set: The Car Chase” Featurette
• “On Set: The Showdown” Featurette
• “On Set: The Raid” Featurette
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy
• Digital Copy


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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


Get The Gringo [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 26, 2012)

While I don’t know if Mel Gibson will ever bring his career back on track after all his controversies, he continues to plug away and act in new movies – albeit with ever-decreasing financial returns. 2010’s Edge of Darkness only managed a mediocre $43 million, but that easily beat 2011’s The Beaver; despite the presence of Gibson and Jodie Gibson, that one didn’t even manage to make a million bucks.

A return to action-comedy, one might’ve thought 2012’s Get the Gringo could’ve found an audience for Gibson, who co-wrote the flick, but it didn’t get the chance. Gringo skipped US exhibition altogether and went straight to video. That’s not the mark of shame it used to be, as plenty of big stars’ movies now move right to DVD/Blu-ray/pay-per-view, but it still looks like a bad sign in this case; it can’t be good that Gibson’s recent flicks have reached increasingly small audiences.

Still, Gibson’s presence was enough of a draw to land the Blu-ray in my player and prompt a review. “Driver” (Gibson) and a partner commit a major heist and go on the run from the law. This leaves the partner dead – and Driver with a choice. In an attempt to stay free, he busts through a wall between the US and Mexico.

This doesn’t help his cause, as it simply means that Mexican authorities are the ones to apprehend him. He winds up in a rough prison called “El Pueblito”, where he uses his wits and skills to adjust – and bonds with a 10-year-old local called “Kid” (Kevin Hernandez).

At its start, Gringo feels like it’ll be an edgy comedy, with a semi-Tarantino take on the topic. Sure, it’s bloody and ugly, but even the violence gets played for laughs, and it doesn’t seem coincidental that our first glimpse of Driver shows him in a clown outfit.

Both the character and the film grow darker as they go, and that would be fine – if these choices worked. Unfortunately, Gringo lacks much cohesion and turns into more and more of a mess as it proceeds.

The biggest problem stems from all the plot complications. At its heart, the movie addresses Driver’s growth and how he bonds with Kid and the boy’s mother (Dolores Heredia). While those elements tend to be predictable, at least they offer a logical focus. Throw in a few general complications related to Driver’s attempts to deal with/get out of prison and we’re set.

Unfortunately, Gringo sets its scopes broader than that and goes off the rails along the way. It focuses on so many different characters and issues that any semblance of a coherent narrative goes down the toilet along the way. By the time Driver finds himself on a mission to California, you might still sense some vestige of entertainment, but the entire story’s become so muddled that you probably won’t care.

Which is a shame, as Gringo had some potential to be an interesting character exploration. Again, the hardened loner who bonds with the street-wise kid doesn’t offer a particularly fresh theme, but it can work – and it does fine when the movie concentrates on it. The first act fares the best, as the time in which Driver matches with the Kid and gets the lay of the land goes by smoothly.

But then all those complications ensue and make a mess of things. These turn the film into such a morass that even at a brief 96 minutes, it feels long. I don’t think Gringo ends up as a bad movie, but it’s too scattered to turn into something consistently compelling.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Get the Gringo appears in an aspect ratio of approximately :1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The picture looked fine.

Sharpness was almost always strong. A few wide shots showed a smidgen of softness, but those were minor instances. 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, with an emphasis on an arid, yellow look to fit the Mexican setting. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine; they showed appropriate range. Blacks were dark and full, and shadows showed good range. This was a consistently strong presentation.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Gringo alsdo worked well. Various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with weapons fire and fights, 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+”.

A smattering of extras fleshes out the disc. Get the Gringo: A Look Inside goes for 18 minutes, one second and provides comments from co-writer/actor Mel Gibson, co-writer/director Adrian Grunberg, and co-writer/co-producer Stacy Perskie. “Look” examines the movie’s origins and development, story/character topics, Grunberg’s work as director, the main set, cast and performances, action, editing and other production details. Like most featurettes of this sort, “Look” lacks a lot of detail, but it’s still pretty good, as it offers enough useful material to make it worthwhile.

Under the banner of On Set, we find three featurettes: “The Car Chase” (3:38), “The Showdown” (4:10) and “The Raid” (3:43). In these, we see shots from the set that come without any commentary, though some film clips appear as well. I’d like a little information from the participants, but these give us some nice glimpses of the production anyway.

Next comes a Music Video for “El Corrido del Gringo”. It mostly mixes movie clips with lip-synch performance footage, though some band members offer a couple of quick attempts at acting along the way. The song does nothing for me, and the video bores.

The disc opens with ads for Bad-Ass, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Act of Valor. No trailer for Gringo appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy and a Digital Copy of Gringo. This gives you a movie-only version of the film, so don’t expect any extras.

Although it offers sporadic entertainment, Get the Gringo seems too erratic and unfocused to succeed for long. In particular, it becomes more scattered as it goes, so it delivers diminishing returns. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio but lacks many supplements. While I wouldn’t call this a bad movie, it’s not one that feels satisfying in the end.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.0625 Stars Number of Votes: 16
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