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Jessy Terrero
50 Cent, Val Kilmer, Malik Barnhardt, John Larroquette, Paul Calderon, Mark Famiglietti, Hassan Johnson
Writing Credits:
50 Cent

One Gun. Many Lives Lost.

In the face of rising crime rates and gun violence, the Detroit Police launches a full-scale war against gun runners. With the cooperation of the Feds they target a criminal named Rich (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and his arms operation. When a gun exchange goes bad and Rich’s old friend Angel (Val Kilmer), steps up big time and saves his life, they form a bond that makes his supplier and lover, Gabriella (AnnaLynne McCord) paranoid. But there is a snitch in the group and Gabriella’s biggest deal goes bad only to have an even bigger secret revealed, one that rocks Rich to his core.

Box Office:
$10 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 82 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 1/4/2011

• Trailer


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.


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Gun [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 10, 2011)

Though plenty of rap artists moved smoothly to the big screen, the path taken by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson seems more problematic. He debuted essentially as himself in 2005’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’; clearly modeled after the successful 8 Mile, Tryin’ flopped and Jackson’s movie career hasn’t gone much of anywhere since then.

But he keeps tryin’, and 2010’s Gun becomes his latest attempt to turn himself into a movie icon. A gang led by Rich Taylor (Jackson) incites a panic at a nightclub and shoots the fleeing patrons. They do so to eliminate competitors for their gun-running business, but they take down innocent victims as well, a fact that adds pressure to the police to do more about rising violent crime.

This leads to intervention from Detectives Rogers (James Remar) and Jenkins (Paul Calderon). We follow the actions of Taylor’s gang, an area that also involves the integration of old pal Angel (Val Kilmer) after his release from prison.

Back when I reviewed Tryin’, I noted my extreme dislike of Jackson. My view has softened over the last five years, mostly because 50 Cent has become much less of a public presence. His career hasn’t tanked since then, but he’s clearly faded as a major star. It’s more difficult to generate active animosity toward someone who’s not seen much anymore.

A look back over Jackson’s career since Tryin’ shows that unlike most rappers-turned-actors, he’s not done much to diversify his cinematic portfolio. Oh, he’s gone for a couple of atypical roles; he played a soldier in Home of the Brave and a detective (!) in Streets of Blood.

However, Jackson usually stays close to thug roles, so he remains in familiar territory here. As an actor, I will admit he’s shown some growth since 2005. He seemed stiff and wooden in Tryin’, whereas in Gun… well, he’s still pretty flat, but he shows a bit more life and personality.

Not that the role allows for much range. Jackson wrote the film’s script himself, and the screenplay clearly displays its roots as the product of an inexperienced writer – an inexperienced writer who apparently has never seen anything other than cop/gangster flicks, as well. The plot, characters and situations of Gun never amount to anything more than a compendium of Stuff We’ve Seen Before. The film doesn’t leave a cliché unturned, as it churns out one predictable moment after another.

To add insult to injury, Jackson’s lack of skill as a writer makes these clichés even more offensive due to their stiffness. Jackson packs the script with clunky exposition and trite dialogue. Even if we tolerate the tired nature of the story and characters, the bland, choppy manner in which the movie progresses kills it.

All of this adds up to a slooooow screening. Gun clocks in at less than 82 minutes, but it feels like a much, much longer film. At times it seems like nothing happens; even when various plot events happen, the movie comes across like it’s permanently stuck in neutral.

Not that anyone involved does much to elevate the material. Actually, Remar seems game and attempts to bring a little life to his caricatured role as the grizzled veteran cop, but all the other actors appear to regard this as the paycheck film it is.

Which leads to this thought: what the heck happened to Val Kilmer? Granted, he’s been porky for a while, but I can’t recall another film in which he looks quite this bloated. I also can’t think of another “matinee idol” sort who aged this poorly; Kilmer’s almost the same age as George Clooney – his follow-up as Batman in the 90s – but only one of those actors can play hot leading men, and it ain’t Kilmer. If he ever wanted to be called “Brandoesque”, he got his wish, but just because he’s mirrored Marlon’s middle-aged descent into fatness.

Kilmer’s increasing girth aside, Gun offers a thoroughly forgettable film. It couldn’t be more banal and tedious if it tried, and all its attempts to deliver heat and drama fall utterly flat. It’s both overcooked and underbaked at the same time, which is pretty tough to do – and not a good thing.

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

Gun appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This was an up and down transfer, but it usually looked good.

Sharpness was the least consistent aspect of the image. Though most of the flick looked accurate and concise, exceptions occurred. The movie could seem strangely smeared at times, especially during shots with movement.

Close-ups on AnnaLynne McCord appeared oddly smooth as well, as though she received a nice digital touch-up that no one else earned. This created an odd effect that made the 23-year-old actor look like she was much older. She came across like a middle-aged woman who’d had a lot of plastic surgery, not an attractive woman in her early twenties.

Despite those problems, I felt the majority of the movie offered nice clarity. No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws failed to become a factor here.

In terms of palette, Gun went with a desaturated look. That made sense given the movie’s dark subject matter and its winter setting; it was logical for the film to take on a cold tone. This made it tough to comment on colors, though, as the flick was so monochromatic. Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed decent to good delineation. Overall, the image looked fine, though the issues with sharpness led me to a “B-“ grade.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Gun, I thought it was active but inconsistent. To be sure, the movie offered a lot of material from all five channels. Given the film’s title, you’d certainly expect a fair amount of gunfire, and you get it. The score also made use of the side and surround channels.

Unfortunately, the soundfield tended to seem busy and without great specificity. At times, surround material appeared illogical, as elements cropped up there that probably would’ve made more sense in the front. In addition, some incorrect localization popped up, such as when a ringing cell phone came from the left even though the character stood on the right. These inconsistencies weren’t a terrible distraction, but the mix failed to deliver a smooth, natural soundscape.

Audio quality was fine, though a bit too loud. Range felt lacking, as so much of the mix was high in volume that the quieter moments became tough to hear. Still, speech was reasonably crisp and natural, and effects showed decent punch. Music was also clear and full. Though I never thought this was a bad track, it came with too many flaws for a grade above a “B-“.

In terms of extras, we find the movie’s trailer - and that’s it. We don’t even get any additional previews!

Not that I particularly mind, as I can’t say that I wanted to spend more time with Gun than necessary. The movie takes a mix of potentially exciting subjects and renders them dull to a nearly unimaginable degree. The Blu-ray comes with erratic but usually good picture and audio; as noted, it lacks supplements. It also lacks any compelling reason for me to recommend it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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