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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Ric Roman Waugh
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal
Writing Credits:
Ric Roman Waugh, Justin Haythe

Synopsis:
A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son, who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 112 min
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 6/11/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Ric Roman Waugh and Editor Jonathan Chibnall
• “Privileged Information” Documentary
• 4 Deleted Scenes
• Trailer & Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Snitch [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 27, 2021)

20 years ago, Dwayne Johnson – then credited as “The Rock” after his pro wrestling character – made his feature film debut with 2001’s The Mummy Returns. This launched his slow and steady climb to his current position as arguably the world’s biggest movie star.

Along the way, Johnson – who eventually abandoned “The Rock” as a credit – made a lot of pictures that would seem beneath his star status now. In this category comes a thriller from 2013 called Snitch.

Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron) agrees to receive a package of drugs, and this lands him in jail. As Jason stares down a decade in prison, his estranged father John Matthews (Johnson) barters to alter this sentence.

As part of a deal, John agrees to go undercover in the drug world and relate information to the DEA. Inevitably, this places John in a mix of dangerous circumstances as he works to hold up his end of the bargain and gain his son’s freedom.

My opening allusion to Snitch as the kind of “stepping stone” film Johnson needed to make as he worked his way up through the ranks probably came across as snottier than intended. I don’t mean to disparage flicks like Snitch as automatically inferior.

That said, everything about Snitch smacks of a project that could never hope to attract an actual “A”-list actor. It comes with a certain level of anonymity that greets many action thrillers and it seems unlikely to elevate the genre.

First sign of this: the fact Johnson plays “John Matthews”. Why do the heroes in generic action flicks always have generic American names?

This seems especially odd given Johnson’s non-Caucasian background. Couldn’t they find a name less bland and Middle American than “John Matthews” for him?

Okay, I recognize the irony that I’m complaining that “John Matthews” seems too generic for a guy called “Dwayne Johnson” to play, as our star’s real name doesn’t actually sound exotic. Still, it feels like this sort of movie always comes with a lack of creativity in terms of monikers, so the existence of “John Matthews” doesn’t inspire confidence.

Director Ric Roman Waugh came from the world of stunts before he graduated to director with 2001’s In the Shadows. Waugh hasn’t directed a ton of flicks – 2020’s Greenland became only his sixth – and he has yet to show any real kind of affinity for that part of the filmmaking process.

His third directorial effort, Snitch tends to feel as generic as its lead character’s name. Waugh presents events in a workmanlike manner that never seems bad but also that never becomes memorable or impactful.

It doesn’t help that we can easily assume the path a flick like Snitch will take. Thrillers of this sort are a dime a dozen so Snitch needs to find an angle to allow it to stand out from the crowd.

It can’t, and the movie’s slow pace doesn’t help. Snitch takes its own sweet time as it involves John in the underworld of drug dealers, and this becomes an impediment.

On one hand, I do appreciate a film that doesn’t rush through events. However, Snitch can plod as it meanders toward its narrative goals.

We do get a pretty solid cast here. In addition to Johnson, we find folks like Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Michael K. Williams, Melina Kanakaredes, Barry Pepper, David Harbour and Benjamin Bratt.

Do any of them offer memorable performances? No, but they lend credibility to the project.

Ultimately, nothing about Snitch flops or becomes problematic. However, the film simply lacks anything to make it an impressive tale, as it seems relentlessly meh.


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

Snitch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a satisfying presentation.

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 thrillers, this one opted for stylized hues, with an emphasis on a muted form of teal and amber. 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 fine image.

The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Snitch also 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 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. Music also 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”.

The set comes with some extras, and these launch via an audio commentary from co-writer/director Ric Roman Waugh and editor Jonathan Chibnall. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the real-life tale that inspired the film and story/characters, cast and performances, music, stunts and action, photography and editing, sets and locations, and related domains.

While we get a decent look at Snitch, the participants devote too much time to discussions of how realistic they attempted to make the film. A little of this self-praise goes a long way, so even though we find a reasonable amount of production information, the end product feels lackluster.

Called Privileged Information, we get a three-part documentary that goes for a total of 49 minutes, 37 seconds. It offers notes from Waugh, Chibnall, producers Jonathan King and Matt Jackson, and actors Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Nadine Valezquez, Susan Sarandon, Melina Kanakaredes, Rafi Gavron, Benjamin Bratt and Michael K. Williams.

The segments examine Waugh’s genre goals, casting and characters, sets and locations, stunts and action, editing, the source story and its path to the screen, and some themes. We get a decent array of notes, but a lot of happy talk comes along for the ride, so we find less substance than we’d expect from such a long program.

Four Deleted Scenes span a total of five minutes, 35 seconds. We find “Only You” (1:07), “Just An Accident” (1:31), “Wasting My Life” (1:16) and “The Bigger Picture” (1:41).

The first two offer some minor character expansions, while the other two add some exposition. Since Snitch already runs too long, none would’ve helped the film.

The disc opens with ads for Now You See Me, Alex Cross, Warm Bodies and The Cold Light of Day. We also find the trailer for Snitch.

As crime-related thrillers go, Snitch seems pretty generic and unmemorable. It tells its tale in a passable manner but never threatens to become anything vivid or creative. The Blu-ray brings solid picture and audio along with a mix of supplements. Snitch gives us a watchable but mediocre project.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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