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HTF DVD REVIEW: Civic Duty



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#1 of 1 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted December 23 2007 - 01:28 PM




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CIVIC DUTY

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Studio: 20th Century Fox
Original Release: 2006
Run Time: 94 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced
Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio Formats:
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Rating: R

    Posted Image Posted Image





  • Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW

    Film Rating: Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


    Starring: Peter Krause (Terry Allen), Kari Matchett (Marla Allen), Richard Schiff (Tom Hilary, FBI), & Khaled Abol Naga (Gabe Hassan)

    Written by: Andrew Joiner
    Directed by: Jeff Renfroe



    The war on terror just came home.


    This movie focuses on Terry Allen’s life and what results from the situations he is presented with. Terry, a newly fired accountant, returns home and discovers that he has been graced with a new neighbour. After a few strange glances Terry becomes convinced that the odd behaviour exhibited by their new neighbour is the result of him being a Terrorist. Fuelled by the recent terrorist attacks, discussion on CNN, speeches from George Bush and the recently found time on his hands Terry decides to take matters into his own hands and prove to the FBI, his wife and the world Gabe ‘s true nature and in turn rescue the United States from another attack.

    You’d have to be brain dead to miss the connections to modern paranoid/delusional society that is being made. This movie goes to great lengths to show the results that can be accomplished from extreme paranoia, fear and ultimately boredom. This movie while egregiously time stamped brings up issues which will be relevant for many years to come. Sadly, with all the potential this movie had the storyline fails to live up to the Thriller/Drama genre it resides in. The characters are weak, and even with some decent acting by Krause the audience is forced to really care less about the characters.

    Posted ImageVIDEO QUALITY: 2.5/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Overall, the picture just seemed to lack the flare of a modern release. Throughout the movie the picture is reminiscent of an average quality TV movie. While it is obvious that significant effort was made in obtaining the correct angles and framing, the overall video quality is poor and takes away from the storyline. Furthermore, the style of using the focus like a spot light (only having the center object/character being clear at all times) leaves the background images faded and increases the effect of poor picture quality. It is likely that if more effort was put into this release, many issues could have been avoided.


    Posted ImageAUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Luckily where this movie lacks in video it attempts to make up for in its audio presentation. The use of the full 5.1 channels is apparent and effective. Each channel is used independently and come together to form a cohesive audio experience. A variety of sound effects, audio cues and higher than expected dialogue quality were what brought me back to this movie. That being said, there were many scenes where dialogue volume was out of place (either too loud when it should have been quiet or vice versa) and it took away from the action in the scene. These scenes were even more apparent given the proper volume of the majority of the movie. I would have also liked to hear a little more depth from the sub channel which was non-existent for the majority of the movie. The stereo track lacked depth and really presented a completely different movie experience and I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, the lack of alternate language tracks, or anything other than the Dolby 5.1 or stereo tracks really solidifies this title in the bargain bin.

    TACTILE FUN!! Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
    TACTILE TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: OFF

    Sadly, nothing to get excited about over here.


    Posted ImageSPECIAL FEATURES: Posted Image/5

    This picture has only one special feature. There is an original trailer on the DVD menu. The trailer in itself does get you interested in the movie, but having this available on a DVD seems pointless since you’ve already bought the disk. Sadly, there was no director’s commentary, or any other feature that could have added the depth that this story required. With the brilliant premise presented I would have expected at least a behind the scenes discussion with the writer to discuss his inspiration but sadly the audience has not been graced with that gift. The movie does start with 4 full trailers for different Fox files either coming to video soon or already available.


    IN THE END...

    In summary, this movie really just didn’t cut it for me as a modern release. The premise was fantastic but it did not deliver on what it promised. The audio probably countered the poor video to make this an average release for the basic movie viewer.

    Special thanks to guest writer Michael Furii for organizing this review.

    Michael Osadciw
    December 23, 2007.

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