Sofia (UK - BD RB)
Marcus wonders just how much Slater, Sutherland and Spall got paid to do this
Field Agent Robert Diggs (Christian Slater) walked away from his career in the FBI for one reason: to escape the memories of his wife's death for which he blames himself. However, when an unknown vigilante begins killing high-priority terrorists from America's Most Wanted list, the FBI and CIA request he take on the case, and with the U.S. Ambassador's (Donald Sutherland) persuasion, Diggs finally agrees.
While tracking down the killer, Diggs finds himself drawn to a sensuous belly dancer named Ursula. As Diggs' personal life heats up, his progress with the case runs cold. His frustration mounts as the killer continues to successfully assassinate the terrorists. Little does Diggs know that he is sleeping with the enemy.
And the strongest contender for the worst film of 2012 has arrived. This Eastern European production has bagged itself some stars and while Donald Sutherland, Christian Slater and Timothy Spall all deliver enough to get out unscathed by the film, there’s no escaping just how bad this flick is.
Female lead Elika Portnoy(who plays three and a bit roles here by the way) isn’t a great actress. I don’t know whether it’s a language barrier thing (it doesn’t seem to be) but her performance is so clunky and frankly poor it’s impossible to buy into the illusion this film is trying to create. It doesn’t help that the plot is so trodden in you can see where everything is leading all of the time, or that the dialogue is so heavy handed it’s painful to watch as the actors try to sell it as half way believable. This is a thriller yet nothing is thrilling. Everything just moves along and the story just doesn’t engage on any level.
The movie might be terrible but this Blu-ray has a bright and beautiful digital image throughout. Colours are natural in the largely overcast locations, edges are good and sharp and detail is impressive.
Some of the neon lighting here glows off of the screen in ways that rival much higher budget projects but even with such a strong video presentation there’s no escaping the low budget filmmaking on show here.
The Bulgarian music in the film sits in the rear speakers while the dialogue sits strong and central in the fronts. There’s not a great deal in the way of ambience however. There are cars driving by and what not but nothing that widens the soundfield too much. The biggest highlight is the raw power of the track in a few instances. In the one explosive scene towards the end of the film, everything comes together for quite a grand moment but for the majority of the film it's just crisp clear dialogue with adequate score to back it up.
The ‘Behind the Scenes’ (20:14 HD) is the making of and Christian Slater’s best argument about how good the film is that it’s set in Sofia, the city the film is based in. The big name actors all have an air of politeness towards the project rather than a genuine like of the film and that’s sort of amusing to watch but this is a pretty straight forward making of really.
Sofia was awful and the three big names here do nothing to elevate that fact. With that said, the A/V is pretty great, especially the visuals but even that silver lining is not enough to distract from the big dark cloud this movie is on the 2012 list of Blu-ray releases.
* Note: The above 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 15 years and over
Release Date: 3rd September 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Extras: Behind the Scnes
Easter Egg: No
Director: Isaac Florentine
Cast: Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, Timothy Spall. Elika Portnoy
Genre: Drama and Thriller
Length: 91 minutes
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