Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

DVD & Blu-ray Deals

Sale!
  • Today's Best Blu-ray Deals See the latest Blu-ray deals & price drops See The Best Deals

  • Search Reviews


    #

    DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

    • The Expendables 3 Blu-ray Review
      Today, 03:12 PM
      There was a golden opportunity in Patrick Hughes’ The Expendables 3 where the filmmakers could have stayed true to what had worked before and then expanded t... Read More
    • Tammy (Extended Cut) Blu-ray Review
      Today, 01:01 PM
      Melissa McCarthy's skyrocketing popularity thanks to standout performances in box office hits Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Identity Thief landed her enough clo... Read More
    • 22 Jump Street Blu-ray Review
      Yesterday, 08:01 PM
      22 Jump Street, the sequel to the highly successful and very funny 21 Jump Street, comes to Blu-ray in a typically excellent transfer from Sony. It also... Read More
    • Birdman of Alcatraz Blu-ray Review
      Yesterday, 02:41 PM
      Director John Frankenheimer had a memorable 1962: during the year he helmed three highly engaging and very different film dramas: All Fall Down, The Manchuri... Read More

    Hardware Reviews


    - - - - -

    Killing Season Blu-Ray Review


    Aug 17 2013 06:32 AM | mattCR in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    You may have missed it - most audiences did - but Robert Deniro already has one action movie under his belt for 2013. Deniro and John Travolta go Mano-a-Mano in "Killing Season", a film sometimes known by it's alternate title "I Need to Make a Boat Payment." John Travolta plays a thick accented foreigner who seeks some vengance. It's a bit hard to really figure out what nationality Travolta is, as his comically thick accent changes randomly throughout the production, making me think maybe he's actually a guy pretending to be another guy who is really just.. I give up. At a running time of 9 hours, 14 minutes.. wait, a running time of 1:30 minutes that will feel like 9+ hours, the Killing Season will have a place in my collection with the likes of Manos: Hands of Fate.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Anchor Bay
    • Distributed By: N/A
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
    • Subtitles: English
    • Rating: R
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray
    • Case Type:
    • Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
    • Region:
    • Release Date: 8/20/2013
    • MSRP: $19.99

    The Production Rating: 1/5

    It's hard to really describe the efforts of The Killing Season because it never truly commits to any storyline - and the one it tries to lay out simply doesn't make very much sense.

    We begin in the middle of a war, where men are lined up and assassinated.. Robert Deniro is a younger man, serving in the Bosnian War (throw out ages and timelines..)

    Posted Image

    We then move on, flash forward.. but we are unsure of how far we flash forward and at a certain point, you just stop caring. Suddenly, John Travolta comes into town, apparently hunting down those who were involved in the slaughter of those he knew in the war.

    Posted Image

    The plot should be straight forward but it meanders with dialogue that is just outright toxic and you have to wonder how either Deniro or Travolta got through scenes without laughing maniacally. That said, the picture above of Travolta provides you with one of the best games you can play with this film... Travolta's unique facial hair style seems to change lengths completely at random throughout the film, sometimes short and trim, sometimes a big scraggly, making scene jumps a hoot.

    You get the feeling that "The Killing Season" was meant by the director to be a "serious look at the horrors of war", but for everyone else involved, this had to be a film to make a boat payment, because the efforts put forward here are like watching someone sleepwalk through a table read in costume.

    Video Rating: 2.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Video values of this are surprisingly good. Provided here in 1080P AVC @ 21.7Mbps, this is not one of the richest video feeds you will see on a BD. That said, it's passable.. for as much as you can watch of it. While it appears to be filmed in digital, the lighting of this film is off.. it is sometimes quite bright, at other times murky.. dark without real reason or a situation that merits it.

    Posted Image


    (John Travolta this time in the short hair..)




    There is one other thing important to mention: this was filmed in 2.39:1, and is being presented on Blu in 1.78. I have no idea what was cropped or lost, but the fact that it was done means that you won't see it as it was intended.. which may not improve the film as a matter of general quality, but still should be considered.

    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    Audio is presented in TrueHD 5.1, and does the film justice. You can hear every sloppy word in John Travolta's Russian (Serbian? Croatian?) accent, and the film make very little use of a wide sound field.

    Special Features: 0.5/5

    Special Features are:

    Trailer: Stuck in Love

    Trailer: The Killing Season Original Theatrical Trailer

    Trailer: Upside Down

    Trailer: The IceMan

    Trailer: What Masie Knew

    Behind the Scenes Featurette (2:24, MPEG2 DVD Video, AC3 Stereo) - this is a very, very short plug for the film which explains it's about the horror of the Bosnian conflict. If the film itself was this clear about where Travolta's character comes from, it might have helped.

    Overall Rating: 1/5

    If I could give this a zero, I probably would - but seeing as our rating system doesn't provide that, a one will have to do. The Killing Season ranks as one of the worst films I've sat through. From bad accents to a some fairly violent scenes that add absolutely nothing to a film that aims to portray the horrors of war.

    Posted Image

    I can only hope that Deniro made a boat payment.

    Reviewed by: MattCR
    Support HTF when you buy this title:



    2 Comments

    Photo
    Michael Elliott
    Aug 18 2013 08:18 AM

    I came very close to ordering this via Amazon Prime last night after reading your review.  I'll hold off for the cheaper Redbox rental but I'm really dying to see this thing. 

    Photo
    Michael Elliott
    Aug 25 2013 04:58 PM

    As a fan of DeNiro and Travolta the two of them kept me somewhat entertained throughout this film.  However, this sort of entertainment gave way around the forty-minute mark when the screenplay resorted to:

     

    Travolta tortures DeNiro.

    DeNiro escapes.

    DeNiro tortures Travolta.

    Travolta escapes.

    Travolta tortures DeNiro.

    DeNiro escapes.

    DeNiro tortures Travolta.

    Travolta escapes.

     

    You get the point.  The screenplay here is without question one of the worst I've seen in a very long time and I wonder if the two stars signed on before the thing was even complete because it seems like one of them would have asked questions or at least changed some of the bad dialogue.  Both actors are decent but they still are just going through the motions.  Travolta's beard changes as Matt said but so does his accent.  At one point in the film DeNiro starts with a Southern accent ala CAPE FEAR but it too goes away without much thought. 

     

    Thankfully it's just 80-minutes without the end credits.

     

    I'd go * 1/2 on this but it's certainly among the worst films I've seen from either actor.