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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Leitch
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba
Writing Credits:
Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce

Synopsis:
Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.

Box Office:
Budget:
$26 Million.
Opening Weekend
$60,038,950 on 4253 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$173,746,585.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby 7.1
Spanish Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 137 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 11/5/2019

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director David Leitch
• Alternate Opening
• Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
• “Johnson & Statham” Featurette
• “Progress of a Fight Scene” Featurette
• “Practical Action” Featurette
• “The Bad Guy” Featurette
• “The Sister” Featurette
• “Hobbs’ Family Tree” Featurette
• “The Matriarch” Featurette
• “New Friends” Featurette
• “Elevator Action” Featurette
• “Stunt Show and Tell” Featurette
• “Keeping It In the Family” Featurette
• “Blind Fury” Featurette
• “Love At First Bite” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 29, 2019)

Nearly 20 years after the initial film, the Fast and the Furious franchise continues to crank out new entries. While we wait for the ninth official entry in 2020, we can bide our time with a spin-off flick called Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

When a team of MI6 operatives attempts to recover a deadly virus called “Snowflake”, terrorists from “Eteon” led by Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) assault them. Agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) manages to escape with the virus in tow, however.

Because Eteon acts as such a powerful entity, they immediately manipulate the media and authorities to brand Hattie as a traitor who killed her MI6 team and stole the virus. This sends a mix of parties after her.

In the lead, American DSS Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) needs to pair with British mercenary – and Hattie’s brother – Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). During prior interactions, Luke and Deckard fought and came to hate each other, so they don’t feel happy to be stuck together.

However, in the interest of saving the world – again – they grudgingly agree to partner. Along with Hattie, they attempt to secure the virus and end the threat from the superpowered Brixton.

Take those three paragraphs of synopsis and toss them out the window, as they prove largely irrelevant. Not entirely, as some of the character relationships prove useful in a minor way, but as an actual plot, Shaw essentially lacks one.

In a perfect world, Hattie would acquire the “MacGuffin virus”, as the threat exists solely to motivate action. Lots and lots of action.

It’d be incorrect to state Shaw comes packed with non-stop fights and mayhem, but not by much. The movie devotes an awful lot of its running time to those kinds of scenes, with each one bigger and louder than the last.

And more absurd, too. While I wasn’t wild about 2010’s The Other Guys, I liked how it mocked action movie conventions related to the human damage inflicted by various stunts.

As Other Guys reminded us, car crashes and explosions can’t be easily shrugged off, but Shaw completely ignores any sense of reality. Even for a silly action movie, it prompts eye rolls when its characters go through extreme situations and walk away unscathed.

That said, no one goes into this movie with the expectation of realism, though I occasionally wonder how the franchise diverged from sanity to such a degree. After all, the original film offered a reasonably “reality-based” story of street racers, but along the way, it mutated into something much closer to the world of James Bond.

Shaw just acts as a continuation of that trend, and I think the insanity actually works better here than in the “regular” Furious movies due to the characters involved. It remains absurd to me that Dom, Letty and all the rest went from LA-based gearheads to their special agent globetrotting ways.

On the other hand, Hobbs – who came into the franchise with Fast Five - and Shaw – who cameoed in Fast & Furious 6 but who first played a prominent role in Furious 7 - feel better suited for this sort of material. Both entered the series after it started down the Path to Insanity, so we don’t feel the same disconnect with their more “normal” prior lives.

Not that this makes the action of Shaw any less ridiculous, of course, but the movie seems reasonably self-aware. I won’t say it winks at the audience, but it never takes itself terribly seriously, a tone that allows us to go with the nuttiness more easily.

Would it be nice if the film worked a little harder to develop characters and plot? Sure – basically it consists of action beats that occasionally pause for minor narrative moments, few of which really stick to the viewer.

Of course, Shaw attempts an underlying theme of friendship and family, but honestly, who cares? The movie focuses mainly on its wild action, and if you can accept the mania, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I did – for the most part, at least. The inherent stupidity occasionally became too much for me, but I was able to suspend disbelief long enough to go with the ride and have fun.

A nice cast helps, and Statham and Johnson show good chemistry together. They get stuck with trite bickering – most of which revolves around not-very-PC insults about masculinity – but the actors demonstrate enough spark to entertain.

Kirby blends with the pair well, and some cameos add to the fun. These include a few extremely famous actors, and in a movie that existed in the real world, they’d become a distraction.

Since Shaw lives in Fantasy Land, the cameos never take us out of the plot. How could they, when the movie doesn’t enjoy any form of actual plot?

I would like to see more of Elba, though. He grabs the screen whenever he appears but the film underuses him, which creates a minor disappointment.

At no point does Shaw threaten to become a great action film – or even a very good one. However, it throws enough wild mayhem at us to become an enjoyable diversion.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus B

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Sharpness worked fine, with virtually no softness on display. This meant the vast majority of the film was accurate and well-defined. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and the film lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

If you suspected Shaw would come with the modern standard teal and orange palette, you’ll get what you expected. I’d like to see action flicks dispense with those conceits, but given their restraints, they looked appropriate here, and the movie opted for other stylized hues – like heavy greens, purples or reds – at times as well.

Blacks came across nicely. Dark tones were deep and rich, without any muddiness or problems. In addition, low-light shots gave us smooth, clear visuals. All in all, this became a pleasing presentation.

I also felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Shaw. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these.

From the opening assault scene to road chases to gunfire to explosions to other action elements, the mix filled the speakers on a frequent basis. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.

Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end.

Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.

A slew of extras appear here, and we launch with an audio commentary from director David Leitch. He offers a running, screen-specific discussion of how he came to the project, music, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, visual design, various effects, editing/deleted scenes, story and characters, and connected domains.

Overall, Leitch provides a pretty good commentary. He touches on the expected array of topics and does so with enthusiasm. Semi-inevitably, we get some happy talk, but Leitch compensates with enough useful content to make the track worthwhile.

In addition to an Alternate Opening (10:14), we find 22 Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (34:29). With the “Opening”, we get nothing not found in the final flick.

Instead, the “Opening” introduces Hobbs and Shaw earlier, and it edits their adventures into the Brixton/Hattie fight. I prefer the more natural flow of the released movie’s choices.

As for that plethora of other additional footage, we get some extra comedy, some extra action and a little character material. Nothing momentous arrives, but some fun elements pop up along the way.

A slew of featurettes follow, and these begin with Johnson & Statham. This three-minute, 38-second clip includes comments from Leitch, co-writer Chris Morgan, producer Hiram Garcia, and actors Dwayne Johnson and Vanessa Kirby.

As expected, this one focuses on the lead actors. It tends toward praise for the pair.

Leitch comes to the fore in Progress of a Fight Scene, a four-minute, 57-second reel. He breaks down some of the movie’s action beats in this decent overview.

Up next we get Practical Action, a three-minute, 43-second program with Johnson, Leitch, Kirby, actor Idris Elba, 2nd unit director Greg Rementer, and 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Chris O’Hara.

As implied, this show covers stunts an fight choreography. Though brief, it comes with some good details.

The Bad Guy goes for two minutes and features Johnson, Elba, Morgan, Garcia, Kirby and actor Eddie Marsan. Anticipate a brief, fluffy look at Elba and his character.

In the same vein, The Sister fills three minutes, 58 seconds with comments from Kirby, Leitch, Johnson, Elba, Rementer, O’Hara, and actor Helen Mirren. This discussion of Kirby and her role offer more substance than “Bad Guy” but it still largely remains packed with praise.

After this comes Hobbs’ Family Tree, a three-minute, 20-second segment with Johnson, Leitch, Morgan, and actors Eliana Su’a, Cliff Curtis, Joe Anoai, John Tui, Joshua Mauga, and Lori Pelenise Tuisano.

Again, we find a featurette that puffs up supporting roles/actors. Yawn.

Lather, rinse with The Matriarch, a one-minute, 35-second clip that features Leitch, Mirren, Kirby, Morgan, Garcia, and actor Jason Statham. This brief snippet focuses on Mirren’s role and tells us little of substance.

New Friends goes for two minutes, one second and includes Johnson as he discusses the movie’s two notable cameos. No useful notes emerge, but some improv material adds value.

With Elevator Action, we discover a one-minute, 59-second segment that features Johnson, Garcia, O’Hara, and Leitch. This one purports to tell us about one action scene, but it offers little more than hype.

Next we find the three-minute, 41-second Stunt Show and Tell. Leitch gives us basics about the creation of various stunt/action elements. Though brief, if comes with a few useful insights.

Via Keeping It In the Family, we locate a five-minute, two-second reel with Johnson and Anoai as they discuss their friendship. Nothing memorable results.

Blind Fury spans one minute, 50 seconds and features Johnson as he tells a story about his pro wrestler grandfather. It’s short but fun.

After this we find Love At First Bite, a one-minute, 36-second featurette with Johnson. He chats about his bulldog Hobbs in this fluffy reel.

The disc opens with ads for Fast & Furious: Spy Racers and Universal Parks. No trailer for Shaw appears here.

An extension of the Fast & Furious universe, Hobbs & Shaw proves surprisingly entertaining. Largely due to a good cast and the chemistry between the leads, this turns into an engaging piece of absurd action. The Blu—ray boasts excellent picture and audio as well as a long roster of supplements. Honestly, I like this one better than any of the Fast & Furious flicks.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main