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Johnny Martin
Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow
Writing Credits:
Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger

A homicide detective teams up with a criminal profiler to catch a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the children's game Hangman.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 2/27/2018

• “Insight from a Hollywood Legend” Featurette
• “In Their Own Words” Featurette
• Previews


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


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Hangman [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 19, 2018)

Al Pacino takes the lead for 2017’s Hangman, a violent thriller. A former FBI agent, criminal profiler Will Ruiney (Karl Urban) returns to his hometown after the death of his wife and tries to rebuild his life.

Ruiney discovers the corpse of a hanged woman with a large “O” carved into her chest. He also finds his badge number scratched into the area, along with that of retired homicide detective Ray Archer (Pacino). Ruiney brings Archer back to work with him on the case.

I can’t deny it: I lost much of my professional respect for Pacino years ago. I can’t pinpoint when he first favored loud bluster over actual acting – 1983’s Scarface? – but over the last few decades, too many of his performances leaned toward yelled lines and broad hamminess.

Though he suffers from a failed attempt at a Southern accent, Pacino actually tones down his act for Hangman and provides a fairly low-key piece of work. Whatever flaws I find in the film, Pacino doesn’t cause them.

That said, I do find flaws in Hangmam - oodles and boodles of them. Take the script – please!

Oof – what a clumsy, stilted piece of work. Hangman comes packed with one-dimensional characters, ridiculous situations and more stretches of reality than one can fathom.

Next to nothing about Hangman makes sense. The movie creates one dopey circumstance after another and expects us to swallow these without question.

Hangman starts mired in stupidity and gets worse as it goes. At the beginning, Ruiney agrees to allow reporter Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) to tail him as part of an article – and she continues to do so even while the serial killer investigation intensifies.

This makes no sense at all, but it allows for a third character – a female character, solely to add some variety – to come along for the ride. Police Captain Lisa Watson (Sarah Shahi) periodically warns Davies to keep secret everything she sees, and that’s supposed to make her continued presence logical.

It doesn’t. Like so much of Hangman, this part of the story lacks any form of realism and feels like the plot contrivance it is.

Many other parts of Hangman’s clunky, awkward script suffer as well, and director Johnny Martin can’t do anything to elevate the material. I won’t say he makes the terrible screenplay worse, but Martin tends toward a cheap TV movie feel that means the film remains obvious and cheesy.

Despite desperate attempts at drama, Hangman never brings us the slightest sliver of tension. It feels consistently bland, without any thrills or real momentum.

I maintain a basic interest in the serial killer genre, but Hangman offers an unsatisfying entry. Preposterous and relentlessly stupid, it becomes a terrible movie.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Hangman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked pretty positive.

Sharpness seemed good. Only a little softness appeared in wider shots, so the movie usually appeared tight and concise.

Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t cause distractions, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to pop up in this clean transfer.

Orange and teal? Orange and teal! Hangman used these hues to almost a comic extreme. As tedious as that was, the colors seemed accurately reproduced within the stylistic choices.

Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows were well-depicted and smooth. No obvious concerns marred this solid transfer.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Hangman worked fairly well, and various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. These 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. This left us with a “B” soundtrack.

Two featurettes flesh out the disc. Insight from a Hollywood Legend goes for six minutes, 35 seconds and offers an interview with actor Al Pacino.

Pacino discusses what appealed to him about the script and aspects of the production. Pacino fails to give us much information that feels substantial.

In Their Own Words lasts 14 minutes, five seconds and features Pacino, producer Arnold Rifkin, director Johnny Martin, and actors Karl Urban, Sarah Shahi and Brittany Snow. “Words” looks at story/characters, cast and performances, and Martin’s impact on the shoot. Like “Legend”, “Words” offers a fluffy, superficial piece.

The disc opens with ads for 24 Hours to Live, Bullethead, Blood Money, Shot Caller and Acts of Vengeance. No trailer for Hangman appears here.

From its opening scene until the end credits roll, Hangman offers a truly terrible piece of work. Even with some good actors, the movie fails to find a groove, so it becomes a ridiculous, clumsy tale with no tension or drama. The Blu-ray delivers generally solid picture and audio but it skimps on supplements. This might not be the worst serial killer movie I’ve seen but it’s in the running.

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