HTF REVIEW: "Training Day" - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    Training Day

    "To protect the sheep you gotta
    catch the wolf"

    Holy Cow! Wow!
    When was the last time you saw a movie that
    kept you riveted to the screen wondering what
    was going to happen next? I have just the movie
    for you.
    The alarm clock hits 5:00am. It's the first
    day of an important new job for Rookie Cop
    Jack Hoyt (Etahn Hawke). He's nervous. Role
    call is in a few mere hours and he wants to
    make a good impression. It has been his dream
    to become a Police officer, and this is the big
    day.
    He gets sidetracked. The phone rings. A voice
    tells him not to show up for role call, but to
    meet at a local coffee shop. Within the hour,
    Officer Hoyt is sitting across from Alonzo Harris
    (Denzel Washington), an unconventional rogue
    undercover veteran. For the next 24 hours, Harris
    takes Hoyt on the challenge of his life.
    Departing from the normal "good guy" role that
    he is so well known for, Denzel Washington plays
    perhaps the most memorable role of his career as
    a charismatic detective who seems to have everyone
    under his thumb.
    From start to finish, this movie is a well written,
    well directed and incredibly well acted thriller.
    I have never sat and watched a film anticipating
    what is going to happen next as the plot gets deeper
    and more twisted by every passing moment.
    How is the transfer?
    It sort of gets repetitious in my reviews to
    praise Warner Brothers on their transfers. However,
    I have to be honest, Warner is putting out some
    of the best transfers today. The anamorphic (2.35:1)
    widescreen transfer is absolutely flawless.
    Even more impressive is the 5.1 Dolby Digital
    soundtrack. This is an extremely active mix that
    takes you into the roughest neighborhoods and puts
    you smack in the middle of it all. The speakers
    become the streets. Voices of gangmembers alarmingly
    emanate from each channel. In the rear you hear
    traffic go by or a plane fly overhead. There is
    never a moment that mix doesn't remind you that there
    is a street world surrounding you.
    Special Features
    A feature-length commentary is provided by
    Director Antoine Fuqua. I listened to the first
    20 minutes of the documentary which moves slowly
    through each scene. We learn that the coffee shop
    scene was actually the first day of shooting, and
    that all the actors and crew were very nervous that
    day. Antoine also talks about the game of chess that
    this movie so skillfully plays, and the importance of
    building the story layer by layer.
    "This is the story of a guy who is twisted",
    exclaims actor Denzel Washington at the start of
    The Making of Training Day. This 15-minute
    HBO documentary talks about the authenticity of
    the film. Written by David Ayer, a white kid that
    grew up in the toughest area of L.A., the film
    takes you into the grittiest parts of the city.
    Many of the film's street scenes are shown from
    behind-the-scenes as the cast talks about how much
    they pushed each other to get this film done right.
    There are a total of 5 Alternate Scenes that
    are basically extensions of scenes already in place.
    4 of these scenes are all street scenes that include
    Denzel taunting the women walking the streets, asking
    Ethan about his ethnic background, and reminiscing about
    "back in the day". All of these cuts don't add anything
    substantial to the film. The fifth deleted scene, however,
    gives us more insight into what Smiley was supposed to do
    after shooting Hoyte in the bathtub. The scene actually
    evokes more sympathy for the Smiley character.
    For a totally different twist to the story,
    check out the added Alternate Ending of the
    film that has Officer Hoyte meeting up with the three
    wise men of the Department. Though it could easily
    have worked well as substitute for the original
    ending, it perhaps says too much.
    There are two music videos included from Nelly
    and Pharoahe Monch.
    There is the standard cast and crew bios included
    as well as the film's Theatrical Trailer.
    Final Thoughts
    There is no doubt that Training Day is
    going to be a film that will be talked about for
    the next few months. With its release on DVD, people
    will be talking about how entertaining this film is.
    It's not a big action movie, but yet, one of those movies
    that allows you to kick back, take your mind off the world,
    and watch something that will thoroughly surprise and
    entertain you.
    Worth a purchase sight unseen!
    Release Date: March 19, 2002
     
  2. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    When I saw this film at the theatre I was very impressed with it, I put my order down for the disc back when it was announced. The only downer for me was towards the end of the film it just seemed to run on auto-pilot a little but it is still a highly recommended film, and it seems as though Warner have given us another great release with a great transfer, audio and a nice batch of extra's.
     
  3. Joe Solek

    Joe Solek Agent

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    Ron, I saw this film in the theater and I was awe struck by Denzel's performance. I don't think I have ever seen such an evil character portrayed so well as in this movie. Can't wait for the release.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    If Denzel Washington doesn't at least get nominated for his performance, then something is wrong. I'm very much looking forward to this DVD next month.
     
  5. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    Have not seen this film but I am now looking forward to it. Ron hasen't steered me wrong yet.
     
  6. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Ron, please put a spoiler warning in your review of the deleted scenes...I have not seen the film yet and am anxiously awaiting it, and in your review you blatantly saywhen smiley shoots hoyt in the tub
    so immediately I know the fate of a character.

    Glad to hear it is a great disc, but really wish there was a spoiler there.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Sean,

    When somebody is going to discuss the deleted scenes on a dvd it would seem like a good idea for a person that never seen the film to skip over that section of the review. The same applies to alternative endings. Read those sections of the review at your own risk!

    Crawdaddy
     
  8. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    Then what is the point of the spoiler tag at all?

    I guess some people can do no wrong.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  10. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    but the spoiler tag was created for a reason.

    If Ron had said a scene near the end where x event happens, such as someone coming to the apartment, instead of someone doing something else to another character, then I would have no problem.

    I know when to shy away. There was no reference to spoiler material at all, and there should have been. Simple as that.

    How about when the Others is reviewed (READ THE SPOILER AT YOUR OWN RISK)we dont put a spoiler tag and say thatNicole Kidman and the kids are really the ghosts the whole time
    Just trying to make a point.
     
  11. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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  12. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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  13. BobG

    BobG Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the theatrical trailer included on the disk?
     
  14. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Sorry to be the nay-sayer of the thread...but I really didn't like this movie. I saw it theatrical and thought it was unbalanced in regards to the "rogue-cop" plot.

    He wasn't a rogue cop, he was a criminal...talk about mis-promotion for the film. He didn't teach Hoyt anything, nor in hindsight, did I think he was trying to teach him anyway. The film is called training day...training day for what...? There was no moral ambiguity to Alonzo, he was a bad guy, plain and simple. It's not like a war film, where you learn that soldiers have to make decisions that result in life and death. All that Hoyt learned from Alonzo was to not be a criminal, unless he wanted to end up dead. That is why I had a problem with the film...it started out as a training day for Hoyt, but progressively turned into impossible event after impossible event. Sorry for the rant.
    I did like Denzel's performance, and thought that it was the only thing redeamable in the film...but hey, that's just me.

    Glad to see you liked it Ron, I'm sure this'll please many.
     
  15. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] Yup, gotta agree, that was a very enthusiastic and well done review, Ron. I have heard only good things about Denzel's performance in this film, and it is nice to know that Warner has done another top notch Audio/Video job. I think that Warner does the best transfers out there when they try.
    Ron, would you say that the video quality is on par with 'Driven' ?
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    A few things....
    First of all, I did not ruin anything.
    Anyone that has seen the movie -- particularly
    the scene with Smiley and the bathtub -- knows
    that I did not ruin anything for anyone.
    The transfer is right up there with DRIVEN
    and EXIT WOUNDS, two of Warner's top transfers,
    though we are sort of talking apples vs. oranges. This
    is not a COLORFUL movie like the other two. Colors do
    not explode off the screen.
    The Theatrical Trailer is included. Thought
    I had mentioned that in the review. If not, I apologize
    and I'll add that spec.
    Again, I want to mention that although this film
    isn't a high-budget overblown action movie, it does
    succeed at being the most entertaining film I have
    seen on DVD this year so far. It will be a DVD that
    members will be discovering and talking about amongst
    each other. I think it is Denzel Washington's most
    memorable role of his career.
    I am so glad you guys liked the review. It
    has now become harder to write these reviews
    as I get an average of 10 new titles a week
    have to spend every bit of spare time watching
    these films. This is time I don't have. Although
    I only get to watch a fraction of what I receive,
    I try to pick things that I know the membership will
    be most interested in hearing about.
    Thanks for the support, guys.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  18. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I am looking forward to revisiting Training Day since after my first viewing, I was underwhelmed to say the least.
    I thought it was a very average film, with a very typical, by the numbers Denzel Washington performance, meaning it was good, but IMO, not one of his best. Ethan Hawke was as good as Denzel, if not better. A slightly overrated film, but still a decent one. I recommend, as always, renting first.
    I agree that Denzels best work was in Malcolm X, followed very closely by his Academy Award winning performance as Trip in Glory. His next film, John Q, looks interesting.
    Also, Ron's review really didn't spoil anything, so rest easy fellas.[​IMG]
     
  19. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Hell yeah! I loved this movie when I saw it in theaters. This is gonna be a disc I pick up for sure. Denzel was fantastic.
     
  20. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the reply, Ron.
    Glad to hear it is up there with 'Driven' and 'Exit Wounds' as far as video quality. That's just what I was hoping for from Warner. [​IMG]
     

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