Arsenal (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 12, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Arsenal” is a film that makes for a decent popcorn action flick, where one doesn’t need to think too deeply about the plot or its characters. A film where you can see Adrian Grenier as an action hero, Nicolas Cage as a psychotic kingpin and John Cusack as an emo guy with contacts to the underground. If that interests you, then “Arsenal” is worth checking out.
FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: 92 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Lionsgate Premiere
RATED: R (Brutal Bloody Violence, Language Throughout and Drug Use)
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2017
Directed by Steven C. Miller
Written by Jason Mosberg
Produced by George Furia
Co-Producer: Anthony Callie, Timothy C. Sullivan
Executive Producer: Barry Brooker, Ted Fox, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Marc Goldberg, Robert Jones, Corey Large, Vance Owen, Steven Saxton, Kirk Shaw, Mark Stewart, Stan Wertlieb
Associate Producer: Arnaud Lannic
Music by Ryan Franks, Scott Nickoley
Cinematography by Brandon Cox
Edited by Vincent Tabaillon
Production Design by Niko Vilaivongs
Art Direction by Aaron Bautista
Set Decoration by Kami Laprade
Costume Design by Rachel Stringfellow
Nicolas Cage as Eddie King
John Cusack as Sal
Adrian Grenier as JP
Johnathon Schaech as Mikey
Lydia Hull as Lizzie
Abbie Gayle as Alexis
Heather Johansen as Kristy
William Mark McCullough as Luca
Kelton DuMont as Young JP
Zachary Legendre as Young Mikey
Family loyalty is tested when a successful businessman must rescue his deadbeat brother from the vicious mobster holding him hostage.
From Steven C. Miller (“Marauders”, “The Aggression Scale”, “Silent Night” and “Extraction”) comes his 2017 thriller “Arsenal” (a.k.a. “Southern Fury”).
Written by Jason Mosberg, the film stars Nicolas Cage (“Leaving Las Vegas”, “National Treasure”, “Moonstruck”), John Cusack (“Say Anything”, “Being John Malkovich”, “2012”), Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Drive Me Crazy”), Johnathon Schaech (“Legends of Tomorrow”, “That Thing You Do!”, “Prom Night”) and Lydia Hull (“Escape Plan”, “Marauders”, “Heist”).
The film begins with an introduction to Mikey and his younger brother JP when they were younger. Mikey was hard on his younger brother but life changed when their guardian shot himself in the head, leaving Mikey to work for the town gangster, Eddie King (portrayed by Nicolas Cage).
Fastforward 23-years later and JP Lindel (portrayed by Adrian Grenier) is a successful businessman, while his older brother, ex-Marine Mikey (portrayed by Johnathon Schaech) is back in town, messing around with drugs, divorced and broke.
JP wants to take care of Mikey and help him walk on the straight and narrow.
Mikey borrows ten grand from JP which he was supposed to use to pay off his bills and pay for his daughter’s braces but JP’s buddy Sal (portrayed by John Cusack) tells JP that Mikey used the money to purchase drugs in order to flip it, become a drug dealer to make more money.
But things don’t go well for Mikey as the town’s main gangster, Eddie King sends thugs to Mikey’s home to steal the drugs and warn him for intruding on his turf.
An angry Mikey goes to confront Eddie King but with Eddie telling Mikey that he owes him money and knows that his younger brother JP is successful, both should work together.
The following morning, JP receives a call that if he doesn’t raise $350,000, Mikey will be dead. So, the kidnappers are demanding hostage money or else Mikey dies. And to make things worse, Mikey’s daughter Alexis may be missing.
Now JP and his friend Sal, must do all they can to find Mikey.
“Arsenal” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). The film features great detail on closeups and retains its grain. For the most part, picture quality for the film is very good.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Arsenal” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue and music is crystal clear. Action sequences utilize the surround channels quite well, with a lot of fighting, crowbar clanging, glass smashed up and the occasional gun shots.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.
“Arsenal” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with director Steven C. Miller and actor Johnathon Schaech.
- Building an Arsenal – (9:47) Interviews with the director Steven C. Miller and the crew about working on “Arsenal”.
- Extended Cast/Crew Interviews – Featuring the longer extended interviews with Adrian Grenier, Johnathon Schaech, Lydia Hull, director Steven C. Miller and Brandon Cox.
- Trailer Gallery
“Arsenal” comes with a slipcover and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.
“Arsenal” is a film about a younger brother named JP wanting to help out the big brother Mikey who gets into a lot of trouble and also treated him like crap when they were younger.
So, now JP, who has worked his butt to become a successful businessman, may have to throw everything he earned and risk to save his brother, because the town’s kingpin has kidnapped Mikey and is holding him ransom.
Unfortunately, the story makes you want to scratch your head and wonder… Why is JP willing to risk it all? Especially for a brother who treated him like crap.
At first, I thought this was an ’80s period film and probably would have made this film work since Nicolas Cage is wearing a prosthetic nose and has a hairstyle and clothing that made him seem that this film was set in the ’80s. Meanwhile, Jon Cusack is trying to be the emo guy wearing his hoodie and dress in all black, trying to help JP find his brother through his underground connections.
But for JP, who seemed like a meek child in the beginning of the film, it’s one thing to be successful but to be Mr. Bravado and willing to take on the kingpin and risk his life and his family’s life for his f’d up brother? A family/business man who has appeared to channel “Die Hard” character, John McClane or simply becomes Marvel Comics character, The Punisher, dodging bullets and killing people with so much precision.
And what about consequences? With quite a few people dying in this film, the film resolves itself with too happy of an ending.
It’s one thing for Lionsgate of wanting popcorn action films, films shot with a low-budget and done within two week. Everything is rushed and it’s the kind of schedule that director Steven C. Miller has had to work with. The fact that everyone came to work and got this film made in time is great, but this is a film in which the script needed to be tweaked, especially its ending.
Picture quality for the Blu-ray looks good but it’s one thing to have watched John Woo slow motion action scenes, which work. Steven C. Miller slow motion scenes were overdone. While the the lossless soundtrack was good and features good use of the surround channels. And you also get an audio commentary and two featurettes.
Lately, it seems that Lionsgate have been utilizing Adrian Grenier as the next up and coming action star and Nicolas Cage in more antagonist roles (as they have done with Bruce Willis in recent films). And it appears we may see more of John Cusack as well.
But it kind of sucks that the film promotes these three men, when Johnathon Schaech is the actor you will see the most throughout the film, along with Grenier, but yet he doesn’t get any top billing at all.
Overall, “Arsenal” is a film that makes for a decent popcorn action flick, where one doesn’t need to think too deeply about the plot or its characters. A film where you can see Adrian Grenier as an action hero, Nicolas Cage as a psychotic kingpin and John Cusack as an emo guy with contacts to the underground. If that interests you, then “Arsenal” is worth checking out.
J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.
For Product Reviews:
For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.
Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.
J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”