Blood Out (UK - BD RB)
Marcus watches Luke Goss put the cat among the pigeons with this Blu-ray...
When cop Michael Savion’s (Luke 'Bros' Goss) little brother is killed in a gang related murder and the department dealing with the case don’t seem to be doing much about it, the detective takes matters into his own hands and does his own bit of undercover to get the justice his brother deserves.
Blood Out wants to be a dark modern crime drama but honestly with cheap visuals, ropey acting and the feeling all the actors involved are playing at being macho badass, it fails every step of the way. The story of renegade cop trying to work his way in with his brother’s killers is 80s gold and the gang related stuff feels distinctly 90s but even with the HD visuals nothing about this feels 2011 and the film ends up just being an echo of what it's trying to emulate.
Luke Goss doesn’t do much wrong (beyond the ropey accent) and opts for the squinting, long pauses and smoking cigarettes in cool ways approach to being the badass. The big boss (Tamer Hassan) is about as cliché as they come with the crazy private life full of dominatrix right hand women (including AnnaLynne McCord – who’s actually quite good at what she does) and stereotypical gang types who drop the F-bomb as much as possible to sound menacing. Oh and the less said about Val Kilmer’s limited role in this movie the better. Honestly it’s so purposely over the top it’s hard to remember the last good film he did.
As for Jason Hewitt’s direction, it’s all a bit typical. Slow mo fights with a shaky cam don't do much to hide the unconvincing choreography (though the sound effects do add the required oomph to sell Goss’s skills) and the lighting makes the digital photography feel far too glossy for a grungy gang related drama. Blood Out just feels cheap across the board. Everything from acting to action, it’s all unconvincing and too melodramatic for its own good. It feels like kids playing mobsters - a result I’m pretty sure wasn’t what was desired.
Despite the always obvious low budget nature of project (and I mean low budget 'cheap' as opposed to low budget 'stylish') this is pretty much a perfect transfer. The digital looking movie is full of vibrant colours, fantastic detail and super deep blacks that makes for an image that truly pops in HD. Close ups on Goss’s face show all his wrinkles perfectly and every fleck of stubble looks fantastic. Clothing textures look realistic and even the darkest of scenes have something impressive to offer.
The first third of the movie has washed out colours, serving up quite a hazy approach to image but as the film travels on, colours really begin to take over and skin tones go from creamy to a warm pink in all the right ways. On top of that the transfer is beautifully clean without one speck of grain. Lighting glows very well and shadows always remain solid lifting the image slightly above its low budget roots when they are framed well. Generally speaking Blood Out would look like a perfect HD image if its only contenders were TV movies. Unfortunately despite its stunningly clean visuals it never looks all that filmic and if anything the fine transfer highlights the low budget rather than creates the dark tone the story is trying to convince us of.
The first thing to register on the pretty strong DTS-HD Master Audio track are the gunshots. They are packed with some serious power in the film’s early shoot out and kicks Blood Out off to a good start. Dialogue is consistently clear and crisp (though sometimes out of sync) and sound effects also ring true. The soundtrack however is a little thin for my tastes. The heavy on the swears hip hop tracks hit hard in the rear speakers but somehow they feel like the bass isn’t quite selling the beats. Again all of this is something that gives away the low budget of this project and while the audio track here is adequate it never really quite feels polished enough to make this feel like a well made film.
No extras at all not even a ‘When Will I be Famous’ music video.
Blood Out might have been a good film if it were made in the 80s and had Jean Claude Van Damme in it but unfortunately it was made this year with someone from Bros in it (I know, I know he’s been in some good films as well but I can’t let it go alright). Technically this Blu-ray looks about as perfect as low budget filmmaking gets (even if its cheapness is always apparent) and it has also got some pretty good (though yet again rather cheap sounding) audio. Unsurprisingly there are no extras here but it’s doubtful they’d be all that good if there were any so we’ll count that as a bonus.
* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 26th September 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jason Hewitt
Cast: Luke Goss, Vinny Jones, Val Kilmer, AnnaLynne McCord
Genre: Crime and Drama
Length: 88 minutes
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