Go (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 20, 2009 by Dennis Amith
“With the 10th anniversary of this popular dark comedy, ‘GO’ receives its High Definition transfer. For the most part, contents are exactly the same as its DVD counterpart but the picture is much more vibrant and full of detail, while the lossless audio definitely enhances many of the action sequences of the film. This Blu-ray release is the definitive version of ‘Go’ and worth the double dip!”
DURATION: 115 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH and French
COMPANY: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Directed by Doug Liman
Written by John August
Produced by Matt Freeman, Mickey Liddell, Paul Rosenberg
Co-Produced by John August, Paddy Cullen
Music by BT, Moby
Director of Photography: Doug Liman
Edited by Stephen Mirrione
Casting by Joseph Middleton
Production Design by Thomas P. Wilkins
Art Direction by Rebecca Young
Set Decoration by Fontaine Beauchamp Hebb
Costume Design by Genevieve Tyrrell
Katie Holmes as Claire Montgomery
Saraph Polley as Ronna Martin
Desmond Askew as Simon Baines
Nathan Bexton as Mannie
Robert Peters as Switterman
Scott Wolf as Adam
Jay Mohr as Zack
Timothy Olyphant as Todd Gaines
William Ficthner as Burk
Taye Diggs as Marcus
Breckin Meyer as Tiny
James Duval as Singh
Ronna needs to make some extra cash. Simon wants to escape to Vegas for the weekend. Adam and Zack want to stay out of trouble. But it’s not just another night in the life of these unusual characters. They’re about to embark on a wild ride that won’t end until the sun comes up.
In 1999, the dark comedy film known as “Go” was released in theaters and for the most part, was a well-received film and compared to Quentin Tarentino’s 1994 film “Pulp Fiction”.
“Go” was directed and filmed by Doug Liman (“Swingers”, “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”) and a screenplay written by John August (“Charlies Angels” films, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride”). Also, featuring music by electronic pioneers BT and Moby.
The film revolves around a group of young adults working at a supermarket. Simon Baines (Desmond Askew) wants to get Christmas day off and go to Vegas with his friends, meanwhile Ronna Martin (Sarah Polley) needs quick cash because she is being evicted from her apartment.
“GO” is broken up into three main stories based on Ronna Martin, Simon Baines and Adam & his boyfriend Zack who are soap opera stars but having been busted with drugs, are now helping the police capture their drug supplier.
Here is a spoiler-less summary of each story:
I. Ronna’s Story
Ronna is being evicted from her apartment and because she needs the money, she takes her co-worker Simon’s offer to work his shift at the supermarket. While working his shift, two guys named Adam and Zack look for Simon in hopes to getting some ecstasy. Knowing how much these guys will pay (or anyone will pay) for drugs, Ronna comes up with an idea. How about going to Simon’s supplier and since Simon is gone, selling drugs for a quick profit at the big Christmas Eve rave party.
Ronna is joined by her friends Claire (Katie Holmes) and Mannie (Nathan Bexton) and come up with an idea to get drugs from the drug dealer Todd Gaines (Timothy Olyphant). But Todd is suspicious of Ronna’s request because she wants enough drugs which by law constitutes as drug trafficking. Reluctant to sell her the drugs, he offers it to her at a high price. So, Ronna comes up with an idea…how about giving her the drugs, she’ll pay him back right after she makes the sale and in return, she will leave her friend Claire with him as collateral.
So, as Ronna then goes to meet Adam and Zack to make the deal but Mannie ends up taking some of the pills and is all drugged out. But as she goes to make the deal, she is unaware that Adam and Zack are there with an undercover officer to bust her for drug trafficking.
II. Simon’s Story
Simon joins his friends Marcus (Taye Diggs), Tiny (Breckin Meyer) and Singh (James Duval) in Vegas. While at the casino, Marcus warns Tiny and Singh to not go overboard with the shrimp buffet, they do and now are bedridden with diarrhea. So, Simon and Marcus go out and have some fun at the casino.
After a good number of adventures in Las Vegas, Simon and Marcus go to get a lap dance. They are warned not to touch the women. Unfortunately, Simon does and ends up getting in deep trouble and gets beat up by the bouncer, Victor Jr. Marcus tries to help and gets beaten up and in self-defense, Simon shoots Victor Jr.
Simon and Marcus know they are in deep trouble and quickly get their friends and know they must leave Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Victor’s father wants revenge and will do whatever it takes to get back at the man who shot his son. Both Victor’s go after Simon and friends.
III. Adam & Zack’s Story
Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) are two soap stars and gay loves who were busted by the authorities for drug possession, but they are now working on a deal with Burke (William Fichtner) in order to have their drug possession charges dropped. After both men meet Burke in hopes to bust Simon, they realize that Burke and his wife are wanting the two to work with them and sell Confederated Products.
Meanwhile, Adam and Zack confess their sins and that both of them are cheating each other by being with their makeup artist Jimmy. So, the two want revenge on Jimmy by going to a Christmas rave and confronting him.
After confronting Jimmy, they try to leave the Christmas rave and end up running into a woman with their car and possibly killing her.
Now the two are in anguish of what they should do with the body.
The first three stories are tied together but showcasing each person’s wild day that they are having on Christmas Eve. It’s important to note that much more happens in each storyline which I didn’t go into but nevertheless, each story is filled with dark humor.
The conclusion is the fourth final story as we get to see what has happened to Ronna and Simon after their own personal storyline.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“GO” gets its High Definition treatment with a 1080p transfer (2:40:1 aspect ratio) and again, Sony does a great job with its transfer. From Simon’s sweaty skin as he comes out of the trunk, the dirt and grime on the cars, the vibrant colors of the outdoor scenes. For the most part, you see detail from the clothing down to the car seats. Flesh tones are natural and for the most part, “Go” looks great on Blu-ray.
There is grain from the film and no signs of over-DNR and no compression artifacts from what I have seen. Blacks are very deep blacks and for the most part, “Go” is a colorful film.
As for audio, the film is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 in English, English SDH and French. For the most part, the film is a dialogue and music driven film. Dialogue is clear and understandable and for the most part, the film is front channel driven. It’s when you get to the second story featuring Simon and that is where a lot of the action scenes are heard. From the gunshots to the grinding of metal when cars crash into each other or scrape on the side of the brick walls, the sound comes alive from your surrounds.
As mentioned, the film is also music driven, so you can hear BT’s music being utilized through the front and surround channels throughout the film. May it be the rave scene in the first and third story or the action scenes in the second story, music plays a prominent part in the film.
Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH and French.
“GO” features the following special features in Standard Definition (note: these are the same special features from the original DVD release):
- Commentary by Director Doug Liman and Editor Stephen Mirrione – An informative commentary with the two men with insight of the film and what they enjoyed about certain scenes. Some of the improvised lines from some of the talent, to filming in Las Vegas and how certain people who weren’t familiar with the Las Vegas scene started to enjoy it. Overall, a fun and enjoyable commentary.
- Making-Of Featurette – (6:20) The original 1999 making-of featurette. Featuring Director Doug Liman and various cast with the behind-the-scenes making of “Go”.
- 14 Deleted Scenes – (25:26) 14 deleted scenes (with the time stamps). Included are: Simon and Ronna Outside, Ronna and the Beer, Mannie on Drugs, Gaines Pulls a Gun on Claire, Singh and Tiny Ad Lib, Simon and NRA, Porno and Kid, Vic and Dinosaurs, Elevator, Burke and Girlfriends, Sandra, Gun Play, Hunt for Keys and Simon Gets Punched,
- 3 Music Videos – Three music videos: “New” by No Doubt, “Magic Carpet Ride” by Philip Steir and “Steal My Sunshine” by Len.
- Trailers – Trailers for upcoming films on Blu-ray from Sony Picture Home Entertainment.
- BD Live Enabled – This Blu-ray release is BD Live enabled.
I was definitely the first in line when the original film came out on DVD and its hard to believe that it has been ten years since the release of the film, here we are today with a Blu-ray release.
“GO” is an enjoyable dark comedy that is not grotesque or even uber-violent if compared to “Pulp Fiction” but it is a film that some may classify as a stoner film to just an all out adventure with three enjoyable ensemble storylines. In fact, the film does have its share of drug references and its share of sexual scenes.
For the most part, the characters are all fun to watch and each storyline was just fun to watch in their own way. Despite William Fichtner and Katie Holmes getting the top billing for the film, their role in the film is quite short, nor are they the main characters. Also, as each storyline do focus on a few individuals, its the actual melding of all the characters and their friends and the adventure they go through and also their crazy antics, that makes “Go” so much fun to watch. And ten years later, the film still manages to make me laugh and is enjoyable now as it was back in 1999.
As for the Blu-ray release, for the most part, the Blu-ray release has the same special features. There is nothing new added but the fact that the film is featured in 1080p High Definition and features and English, Portuguese and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack.
Other than that, I recommend this film for those who have never seen the film before. But is the film worth the double dip? It all comes down to if you want this film in 1080p and want it with the lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack.
But overall, this is the definitive version of “Go” and definitely recommended for those who enjoyed the film and want it on High Definition.
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