Shoot ‘Em Up (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
April 7, 2010 by Dennis Amith
Pulse pounding action from beginning to end! Prepare yourself for a wild ride with guns, bullets and carrots galore! Definitely one of the coolest Blu-ray’s to demonstrate awesome picture quality and lossless audio! Video and audiophiles will love this release!
Image courtesy of © MMVII New Line Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Shoot ‘Em Up
DURATION: 86 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 Widescreen), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: New Line Home Entertainment
RATED: R (Pervasive Strong Bloody Violence, Sexuality and Some Language)
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2008
Written and Directed by Michael Davis
Executive Producer: Cale Boyter, Douglas Curtis, Toby Emmerich
Producer: Rick Benattar, Susan Montford, Don Murphy
Associate Producer: Jeff Katz
Music by Paul Haslinger
Cinematography by Peter Pau
Edited by Peter Amundson
Casting by Deirdre Bowen
Production Design by Gary Frutkoff
Art Direction by Patrick Banister
Set Decoration by Carolyn “Cal” Loucks
Costume Design by Denise Cronenberg
Clive Owen as Smith
Paul Giamatti as Hertz
Monica Bellucci as Donna Quintano
Stephen McHattie as Hammerson
Greg Bryk as Lone Man
Daniel Pilon as Senator Rutledge
Sidney Mende-Gibson, Lucas Mende-Gibson, Kaylyn Yellowlees as Baby Oliver
Ramona Pringle as Baby’s Mother
A gritty, fast-paced action thriller, Shoot Em Up kicks into high gear with a memorable opening scene and never relents. Clive Owen stars as Mr. Smith, a mysterious loner who teams up with an unlikely ally (Monica Belluci) to protect a newborn baby from a determined criminal (Paul Giamatti) who hunts them throughout the bowels of the city.
Action-packed, adrenaline driven and all-out action is what you can expect from “Shoot ‘Em Up”, a 2007 film directed by Michael Davis.
Sure, Davis wrote the 1994 video game based stinker “Double Dragon” but he did rebound with “Eight Days a Week” in 1997. A decade later, Davis has crafted a film that is not only mindless action but it’s the kind of action that is plenty of fun, never boring and on Blu-ray, it’s a title that sports awesome picture quality and lossless audio.
Davis teams up with well-known martial arts cinematographer Peter Pau (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “The Promise”, “Perhaps Love”, “The Forbidden Kingdom”) and composer Paul Haslinger (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”, “Death Race”).
“Shoot ‘Em Up” is an action comedy about a drifter named Mr. Smith (played by Clive Owen, “Sin City”, “The Boys Are Back”, “The International”) who is waiting for his bus ride but sees a pregnant woman running away. Next thing you know, a gun wielding man is after her. At first, Smith wants nothing to do with it but decides last minute to help her out.
As the woman tries to defend herself with a gun, the man is about to kill her but the carrot chomping Mr. Smith quickly acts by stabbing the man with a carrot. All of a sudden, the woman is giving birth and at the same time, more men have arrived with guns ablazing and Mr. Smith shows his excellent marksmanship and gun skills and takes many of them out and eventually helping the woman give birth to a baby boy.
We then see the man who is calling all the shots, a man named Hertz (played by Paul Giamatti, “Sideways”, “Cinderella Man”, “Duplicity”) who doesn’t seem too scared of Mr. Smith. Smith knows he is in a bind without a weapon and thus he tries to get the woman and baby to safety but unfortunately the mother is killed. Smith must decide to leave or take the baby with him and he decides to help the baby.
And next thing you know, Smith becomes a major target as everyone seems to be after the baby for some reason and will do anything to kill it.
Smith goes to the only person he knows to take care of the baby for a day while he tries to find out who the men chasing the baby are. The woman is a prostitute named Donna (played by Monica Bellucci, “The Passion of Christ”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “The Matrix Reloaded”) who has no interest in helping Mr. Smith at all.
As Smith leaves, it appears that the men who are after the baby are always a step behind in finding it. But this time, they have traced Smith and the baby at the whorehouse and immediately Hertz starts to scare and torture Donna for information on Mr. Smith (which she knows nothing). Fortunately, Smith is able to rescue her in time but now, Mr. Smith, Donna and the baby are on the run from Hertz and his men who will do whatever it takes to kill him and the baby.
Will Smith find out why the baby is a target? Will he be able to protect both the baby and Donna?
“Shoot ‘Em Up” looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio), the film tends to be saturated with focus on a few colors as you can see blues, greens, blacks, orange and reds being the primary colors of the film. You literally can see the detail and the hair stubble, the skin pores and the grime on Mr. Smith, you can see the overall grittiness of the city and for the most part, detail is captured quite well on Blu-ray.
Blacks are nice and deep, I see no artifacts, DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) or any problems with the picture quality. This is literally perfection when it comes to PQ for a film on Blu-ray and “Shoot ‘Em Up” looks absolutely fantastic.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Shoot ‘Em Up” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and what an incredible lossless soundtrack this film is presented with. For one thing, this is an action film that just doesn’t show signs of any long moments of inactivity. There is just action throughout with maybe a brief segment of dialogue and then more action. And the keyword to describe this 7.1 lossless soundtrack is “immersive”. Gunshots, bullets whizzing, car crashing, you name it…you hear it all around you. From sound effects, footsteps, the music, the baby crying, there is just a feeling of sound that envelops your soundscape and for audiophiles, you will more than likely gush with this soundtrack.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH and Spanish.
“Shoot ‘Em Up” features the following special features presented in 1080p and 1080i High Definition, 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 5.1 DTS and 2.0 Stereo DTS. Subtitles in English SDH, Spanish on selected features only. Included are the following features:
- Enhanced Visual Commentary – While watching the film, you will see a picture-in-picture box with video featuring commentary by cinematographer Peter Pau and the film crew discussing the making of the film.
- Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Michael Davis – Director Michael Davis gives an in-depth commentary on the making of “Shoot ‘Em Up” and his inspiration from John Woo and setting up the various scenes and giving the viewer insight on what Davis wanted to accomplish in the making of the film.
- Ballet of Bullets: The Making of SHOOT ‘EM UP – (52:51) Featuring the making of “Shoot ‘Em Up” and interviews with director Michael Davis who talks about his inspiration from a John Woo film and interviews with the talent and film crew. Learning about the guns, the use of the baby and creation of an artificial baby and more.
- Writer/Director Michael Davis’ Original Animatics with Optional Commentary – (22:23) 16 animatics are featured. Michael Davis created the animation for the purpose in getting the film made and instrumental in getting Clive Owen to do the role. How Michael Davis created the frames and used his iMovie to create the animatics.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director Michael Davis – (8:05) A total of nine deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary.
- Theatrical Trailer – (2:10) The original theatrical trailer.
- Addictive TV Remix Trailer – (2:37) The TV remix trailer edited to go along with electronic music.
- Red Band Trailer – (1:54) The red band (for mature audiences) trailer for “Shoot ‘Em Up”.
What an enjoyable ride has “Shoot ‘Em Up” turned out to be.
In some way, the film could have gone the “Leon the Professional” direction but instead of being a drama, “Shoot ‘Em Up” ends up being an action comedy as the film showcases Mr. Smith taking out dozens of people with his quick gun skills and excellent marksmanship. He loves chomping on carrots, loves his guns and shows sign of being quite an intelligent man. We don’t know his background, but we know that he kicks major butt!
And the film is pretty much representative of the fact that Mr. Smith is just the epitome of a man who can kick some serious tail. Your eyes are literally glued to the screen as there is a sense of choreography when Smith shoots his enemies but you add the sexy Monica Belluci and these two literally set off sparks in the film. One of the most hilarious and sexiest moments of the film are when Smith and Donna are making love and as he is doing his thing, he is taking on the bad guys while having sex, while Donna is enjoying every minute of it.
Another hilarious scene features a mother spanking her child. Mr. Smith not liking the mother punishing her child in that manner, starts spanking the mother and telling her if she likes how that feels.
And there are many of these enjoyable and fun moments of the film but at the same time, the film has its sense of B-movie gore as we see carrots gouging a man’s head through the eye socket to body part dismemberments throughout the film.
The film is a violent, action-packed film but all its violence and humor just works for this film and definitely enhances the enjoyment of it. Granted, I’m sure there are some people who may balk about how the baby is put through many violent situations throughout the film but this is an action comedy with farfetched situations. There is no realism, this is all crazy entertainment that resembles the experience of playing a one player action/adventure video game shooter and instead of you controlling the character and picking people out, Mr. Smith does that for you.
As mentioned, the Blu-ray sports awesome picture quality and lossless audio. I was very impressed by this Blu-ray release and the fact that you can find it for a pretty good price these days is great.
Overall, if you are looking for an action film full of non-stop action and humor with less focus on the drama, then definitely check out “Shoot ‘Em Up”. Definitely a Blu-ray worthy of being in your collection if you are interested in an action comedy film with mindless violence! Prepare yourself for one wild and crazy ride with “Shoot ‘Em Up”. A film that is definitely recommended!
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