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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
John Luessenhop
Cast:
Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, Zoe Saldana, Paul Walker, Chris Brown, Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, Steve Harris, T.I., Jay Hernandez
Writing Credits:
Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff

Tagline:
Who's Taking Who?

Synopsis:
This high-stakes action thriller stars Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy and Tip “T.I.” Harris. After pulling off a spectacular series of brilliantly planned bank robberies, a notorious team of professional criminals attempts one last heist, a once-in-a-lifetime job with a $25 million payoff. And all that stands in their way is a cop hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to solve the case and bring the Takers down. Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen costar in an adrenaline-rushed thrill ride packed with twists and turns.

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$20.512 million on 2206 screens.
Domestic Gross
$57.744 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 1/18/2011

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director John Luessenhop, Producers Will Packer and Jason Geter and Actor Tip “TI” Harris
• “Executing the Heist: The Making of Takers” Featurette
• “Take Action!” Featurette
• Music Promo
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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.


Takers [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 17, 2011)

A moderate box office surprise from late summer 2010, Takers focuses on a string of bank robberies. They execute these with perfect timing and rarely leave clues behind them.

A potential snarl develops when former associate Dalonte' “Ghost” Rivers (Tip “TI” Harris) gets out of prison and comes back to his partners with a new plan for a big take. He meets some resistance for a couple of reasons. For one, they only have five days to prep, so they can’t be as thorough as usual, and for another, they prefer to do one job a year to avoid concentrated attention on themselves.

Nonetheless, this gig is too lucrative to miss, so the gang agrees to go through with the heist. We follow the further adventures of the criminals as well as the police pursuit led by Jack Welles (Matt Dillon).

I like a silly action flick as much as the next guy, but I can only take a certain level of illogic, and Takers crossed my threshold pretty early. The escape plan for the initial heist relies on a police chopper than lands on a building’s roof. What if this didn’t happen? Seriously, didn’t the pilot think it was odd that a security guard waved him in for a landing? And why’d they blow up the chopper after they used it?

So little logic in so little time – all of that took place in the first 10 minutes or so! I can accept a fair amount of absurdity in movies, but they need to balance out those flaws elsewhere, and Takers fails to do so. If it came with some real slam-bang action and/or an interesting plot, I’d get past the idiocy.

Unfortunately, it flops on all accounts. The story never feels like anything more than a churned together rehash of better flicks like Heat, and the action pieces lack any real excitement or urgency. Oh, the filmmakers do their damnedest to make the scenes seem impressive, but this ends up as just a lot of wasted movement. The camerawork and cuts border on seizure-inducing, and the never-ceasing music becomes an annoyance as well.

All of this freneticism just accentuates how empty the movie really is. Sure, it attempts to throw in some family-related themes, but those go nowhere. The story itself feels like two separate films cobbled into one, as it fails to connect the heist and Welles’ pursuit in a satisfying manner. Instead, it just hops from one side to another without much to make the end result coherent.

Add to that a visual style that often makes the movie seem more like an ad for an expensive brand of liquor than an actual film and Takers is a dud. Despite its lack of originality, the flick could’ve at least delivered enough thrills to make it worthwhile. Instead, it just seems like a lot of noise without much to make an impact on the viewer.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Takers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, the transfer looked great.

At all times, the film boasted excellent clarity. Only the slightest smidgen of softness ever appeared, as 99 percent of the flick provided crisp, precise images. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Modern action flicks just love orange and teal, and these dominated Takers. Much of the movie used these hues; heck, they often showed up in the same shot! Some tans also materialized, so don’t expect any vaguely natural colors. Within the film’s production design, the hues fared fine; I wasn’t wild about the style choices, but they looked good for what they were. Blacks were dark and full, while shadows demonstrated nice clarity and smoothness. I felt quite pleased with this presentation.

Though not as good, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Takers worked well. Various vehicular elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with gunfire and chases, 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 few extras fill out the package. We find an audio commentary with director John Luessenhop, producers Will Packer and Jason Geter and actor Tip “TI” Harris. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and character issues, visual and photographic choices, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, and a few other areas.

Given his legal history, TI’s presence leads to some amusing comments about guns, such as “I will not be debating with TI the protocol of proper gun handling”. That’s the most enjoyment I got from this commentary, as the rest of it seems pretty banal. The participants throw in occasional filmmaking nuggets, but the track never becomes especially informtive. It gives us a passable overview and nothing more.

Two featurettes follow. Executing the Heist: The Making of Takers runs 11 minutes, 13 seconds and offers notes from Luessenhop, Harris, Packer, writers Peter Allen, Avery Duff and Gabriel Casseus, executive producer Glenn S. Gainor, and actors Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, Paul Walker, Jay Hernandez, and Michael Ealy. The show discusses the project’s origins and influences, story and characters, cast and performances, locations and photography.

Don’t expect anything meaningful here. “Heist” rushes through the film’s background and usually sticks with promotional fluff, so it doesn’t deliver much useful material. It’s also replete with spoilers, so skip it if you’ve not already seen the movie.

Take Action! goes for 10 minutes, eight seconds and included statements from Packer, Gainor, Luessenhop, Brown, Dillon, Harris, Hernandez, and Walker. The piece covers stunts and effects. Like “Heist”, we don’t learn much more than how great everyone involved was. It lacks much meaningful material.

Under Previews, we get ads for Faster, Animal Kingdom, The Tourist and Game of Death. A Music Promo for TI’s “Yeah Ya Know (Takers)” just combines the song with movie clips, so it’s not especially interesting. No trailer for Takers appears here.

How could a movie about a slick criminal gang and a police investigation be so dull? I don’t know, but Takers fails to ignite any excitement. It tells its story poorly and substitutes busy, stylized visuals for action. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals, very good audio and a mediocre set of supplements. I’d advise you to skip this loud, boring action flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.7619 Stars Number of Votes: 42
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