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Assassins Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted August 07 2011 - 10:45 AM

Robert Rath (Stallone) is the best hit man around, but the code and sense of duty once part of his deadly career are lost in a post-Cold War world of freelance guns. He wants out. Miguel Bain (Bandaras), a driven killer who knows how to claim the top spot of his shadowy profession is contracted to eliminate Roth while Electra (Moore) turns up the heat when caught in between. What counts in this world isn’t making the first move, but surviving the last!

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ASSASSINS

Release Date: August 16, 2011 Distributor: Warner Bros. Packaging/Materials: keepcase, no insert Year: 1995 U.S. Rating: R Canadian Rating: 14A Running Time: 133 minutes THE FEATURE Video 1080p 1.78:1 AUDIO English DTS 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Digital French, Spanish, Castellano, Deutch, Italiano, Portugues SUBTITLES English SDH, French, Spanish, Deutch, Italiano, Castellano, Portugues, Dansk, Suomi, Norsk, Svenske The Feature: 4/5 I admit I’m a sucker for a good action movie that keeps me on the edge of my seat for a good two hours. Just having watched Assassins for the first time, my hunger for shoot ‘em up and fast driving entertainment has been temporarily satisfied. With the dizzying selection of new first-rate Blu-ray disc titles now available and with so little time in this busy little world of ours, why pick a 16 year old catalogue title that few will remember in history? Stallone. Bandaras. These two actors clash on screen with their differing personalities thus making their characters in Assassins come to life. Stallone is retiring assassin Robert Ruth. He’s the best hit man around, but with the past on his shoulders and some recent shady events during a recent contract - he wants out. His character is melancholic, tired, and human. We can see there is a good man in Ruth despite his profession and a desire to leave the life as an assassin. Only to ruin his last contract, Miguel Bain takes his “mark”. He’s a spazzy, unfocussed and unpredictable assassin, younger but no less precise than Ruth. As another contract is assigned, the targets are the traders with a computer software genius, and the genius herself. But she’ll narrowly escape the sniping of Bain with the help of Ruth, and two of them continue on a tense act of survival until the final moments of the film. Stallone and Bandaras are excellent in this film and the story is good enough to follow along logically. The characters are written well, although I think Julianne Moore could have done better with her character as she didn’t quite fit the role of a loner, independent software genius who lives on the go. Instead she comes across as a slightly immature 20-something cat lady, and that’s partly fault of the script. Despite this, the movie is tense in a fun sort of way rather than having tension in gut-wrenching ways – this isn’t that sort of movie. Co –written by the Wachowski brothers and directed by Richard Donner, this film is more than a guilty pleasure, it’s on my recent list of favourites! Video Quality: 4/5 Viewed on a calibrated Panasonic TC-P55VT30 plasma, the 1.85:1 image has been reformatted to 1.78:1. As a catalogue title, this could be sourced from and old source used for the 1997 DVD release, or it could have received a new HD transfer for the new BD and DVD release. I didn’t see typical artefacts of old transfers and any instances of artificial edge enhancement. A little bit of grain is kept intact sustaining the feeling of film. Skin tones remain natural, skies remain blue, grass is green…overall a pleasing image from start to finish without over saturation or playing around with the colour palette for exaggerated artistic intent. No compression artefacts are noticed and the image is clean and glossy throughout. Detail is excellent in close up shots and black level is good. There are some cases where it appears a bit higher than what I’d expect, but of course that’s my expectations and not reality… This is an appreciative upgrade from DVD resolution! Audio Quality: 4/5 The DTS 5.1 HD-Master Audio encode is excellent from beginning to end. Mark Mancia’s score is excellent, dynamic, and spread among all four main channels. Dialogue and many sound effects are anchored firmly in the center with very few scenes collapsing to it alone. Effects sound full, detailed, and unstressed and the action scenes come alive with all channels. One of my favourite scenes is the taxi getaway chase with Bandaras and Stallone. The sounds of the city streets, passing cars, and police are active throughout. The independent .1 LFE has a lot of its own information to support the main channels and will further the warmth and full body characteristic of this soundtrack. The only minor downside is that there is a bit of background hiss that appears just once in a while and is noticeable when playing the film back at reference level. Special Features: 0/5 A 16:9 SD theatrical trailer is all that you’ll find on here. I believe the original DVD had cast and crew notes in form of text. In the end... With a well done HD video transfer, a very good lossless DTS 5.1 soundtrack, Assassins is a hit of good fun that only the pickiest people would pass on. And with the film listing for less than $15, I’d say give it a try. Meow! Mike Osadciw 11.08.07

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#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted August 07 2011 - 11:01 AM

Thanks Michael.  I've always enjoyed this.  Its totally a check yourself out fun movie.  Living in the Pacific Northwest I also appriciate that a lot of it was filmed on location in Seattle.  So may Seattle based movies are filmed in Vancouver BC with a few second unit Space Needle shots, this was the real deal.  I will be upgrading my DVD.


Nice display BTW!



#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Brisby

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Posted August 07 2011 - 02:50 PM

This movie contains one of my favorite Antonio Banderas swearing moments on film. "Sheet! Fahk! MOTHERFAHKKER! Sheet! fahk!" :D

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   AlexS2

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Posted August 07 2011 - 07:33 PM

As an anecdote, IIRC the script was actually drastically truncated from the original Wachowski Brothers screenplay