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    3 Days to Kill Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray Fox

    May 13 2014 01:55 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    In 3 Days to Kill, director McG and writer Luc Besson attempt to pull off an espionage thriller counterbalanced with a lighter domestic touch. It’s a foolhardy enterprise for the most part, however, since the intrusions into domesticity aren’t so much delightful as they are an irritant, and the movie’s tone is such a mélange that the thrills don’t land with the impact they should and the slight laughs aren’t really worth the effort. Star Kevin Costner is further compromised by a wrong-headed plot device that will exasperate even the most loyal viewers. Besson’s Taken-lite story milks what it can with its Paris locations and good actors struggling with mangled material.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Fox
    • Distributed By: N/A
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
    • Rating: Not Rated, PG-13
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 57 Min./2 Hr. 02 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet
    • Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region: A
    • Release Date: 05/20/2014
    • MSRP: $39.99

    The Production Rating: 2.5/5

    After botching a job rubbing out an international terrorist (Richard Sammel) in Paris, CIA enforcer Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) learns that his dizziness which came on during his mission was caused by a terminal illness which is giving him no longer than five months to live. He’d like to spend his remaining months attempting to rebuild strained family relations with his wife (Connie Nielsen) and teen daughter (Hailee Steinfeld), but when an enigmatic CIA agent (Amber Heard) offers him a possible treatment which would extend his life indefinitely if he’ll continue with the mission he loused up, Ethan agrees. The problem is that his wife is leaving town for the weekend and entrusts their lying, manipulative daughter to his care, so Ethan’s focus is going to be divided between the desire to make good for his daughter’s sake and his need for that cure which will only be completely forthcoming if he succeeds in his mission.

    The domestic half of the story (as scripted by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak) as the father struggles to make up for years of neglect while off on missions by teaching his daughter how to ride a bike or showing her how to dance are ham-fisted and lack resonance. There’s a running gag that occasionally works when the daughter’s distinctive ring tone installed on her father’s phone interrupts various vicious espionage duties at the worst possible moments, but because the daughter is rebelliously deceitful and whiny, one loses any sympathy he might have felt for her, and a couple of scenes where the father wipes out thugs at a club or at a party who are about to hurt her don’t have the same awe-inspiring impact Liam Neeson brought to his kickass maneuvers against his daughter’s abductors in Taken (also co-written by Luc Besson). The plotting of the search for “The Wolf” gets overly convoluted with the script doing a poor job connecting to dots between various hooligans Ethan deals with and their relationship to his prey. There are a couple of excellent high speed chases through Paris and one lovely moment when Ethan on the bicycle his daughter doesn’t want zips around the beautiful City of Lights, but subplots dealing with a group of squatters who have infiltrated Ethan’s apartment or his wife’s irksome tantrum when she realizes he’s still working and not retired (never even getting the explanation about the possible life-saving drugs which await him) add a couple of more strikes against the film’s effectiveness made even worse when Ethan’s debilitating dizziness always seems to strike at the worst possible moments.

    Kevin Costner handles the rough action of the role quite effectively, and one gets the sense he is trying to make up for some lost time and is much sicker than he appears on the surface. Hailee Steinfeld exasperates as much as she impresses as the bratty teenager more interested in striking back than in trying to understand her father’s predicament (not helped, of course, because everything's being kept secret from her). Connie Nielsen has a smaller role in the story than the other principal players, but she does her usual solid job. In attempting to be this potentially dangerous woman of mystery named Vivi, Amber Heard is rather ridiculous in a succession of outrageous wigs, tight latex clothes, and phony posturing. The film’s most entertaining supporting turn is given by Marc Andréoni who plays a mob limo driver who is continually under Ethan’s thumb and whom he turns to for domestic advice.

    Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film’s 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio is presented in a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. It’s a gorgeous transfer showing off Paris in all its grandeur with outstanding sharpness, tons of detail especially in the faces of all the actors, and solid, sensible color depth with natural skin tones displayed throughout. Black levels are outstanding, and contrast is consistently maintained. The film has been divided into 24 chapters for both the theatrical and extended editions.

    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix is mostly marvelous. There are plenty of split effects (gunshots, passing traffic) delivered through the action scenes of the movie, and Guillaume Roussel’s background score gets a generous spread through the entire soundstage. Most impressive is the way sound effects are used to indicate the onset of Ethan’s debilitating brain symptoms which waver and increase as he is seized by its power over him and giving the LFE channel an unusual amount of bass reverberation to really put the viewer in the protagonist’s shoes.

    Special Features: 2.5/5

    Theatrical/Extended Versions of the Film (1:57:02, 2:02:18, HD): the viewer can choose either version from the menu. The extended version was utilized for this review.

    The Making of 3 Days to Kill (9:55, HD): director McG and stars Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Kevin Costner, and Connie Nielsen sing praises for one another in this puff piece/behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production.

    McG’s Method (4:39, HD): the director talks about what he wanted to bring to the film while several members of the cast and crew praise his work ethic and availability during production.

    Covert Operation (5:08, HD) former CIA operative and now the film’s technical advisor Bill Baer talks about his life in the CIA and its devastating effects on having a family life at the same time.

    Theatrical Trailer (2:25, HD)

    Promo Trailers: Out of the Furnace, Robocop, Oculus, Brick Mansions.

    DVD/Ultraviolet: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.

    Overall Rating: 2.5/5

    3 Days to Kill might have been a more effective thriller with some tightening of the script, some rethinking of certain domestic scenes, and the elimination of a couple of characters. The Blu-ray disc, however, is wonderful to watch and listen to, so fans of the stars, the director, or the writer may want to consider a rental.

    Reviewed by: Matt Hough
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    1 Comments

    Photo
    Adam Gregorich
    May 14 2014 10:07 AM

    I like the director and Kevin Costner so I think I will gamble on picking this one up.