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Blu-ray Reviews

Jack Reacher Blu-ray Review

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#1 of 8 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted May 05 2013 - 04:43 PM

Jack Reacher Blu-ray Review

Based on Lee Child’s exciting character of the same name, adapted from the novel One Shot, Jack Reacher is a gripping old-school thriller anchored by a terrific performance from Tom Cruise, a foundation of brilliant filmmaking, and a hard-boiled, gritty feel that the big screen has been sorely missing.


Cover Art


Studio: Paramount

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/MPEG-2

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English 5.1 DD, English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 2 Hr. 10 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy, UltraViolet

Standard Amaray with Slipcover

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 05/07/2013

MSRP: $39.99




The Production Rating: 4/5

The prime suspect in the sniper deaths of 5 men and women along a public waterfront utters just two words in response to the district attorney’s offer for him to avoid the death penalty – Jack Reacher. That name belongs to mysterious man, a former military investigator and loner-personality filled with conversational brevity and a penchant for eliciting perplexed looks at his ‘few words’ style.  Employed by the attorney assigned to represent the accused, Reacher begins an investigation when the facts of the story don’t add up and turn after turn discovers that a deeper secret hides at the center of the case the city believes is open and shut.

Tom Cruise may not have seemed the likely candidate to embody Lee Child’s popular literary character on the big screen. At 5' 7", Cruise is a fair way from the hulking 6' 5" figure that Child describes, but Cruise carries himself as if he were that tall with a feisty, determined performance that insists a brutality that is more often hinted than demonstrated, and serves the story and film expertly.

Cruise is supported by Rosamund Pike as Helen, a skilled attorney with classic beauty and a hard nose for judicial fair-play. Her father is the District Attorney Rodin (Richard Jenkins) pushing for a confession in exchange for talking the death penalty off the table, a maneuver his daughter is uncomfortable with as she sees it is a strong-arm technique to close a case regardless of the accused’s guilt. The wonderfully talented actor Richard Jenkins plays the role of Rodin with David Oyelowo playing his lead prosecutor, Emerson, a man with little patience for Jack Reacher. Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn) turns in an unsettling performance as the mysterious Zec, pushing pawns around to serve his means, chief among them Charlie, his muscle played by Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard). Finally, Robert Duvall makes a relatively brief but important appearance as Cash, a shooting range owner.  

Christopher McQuarrie’s direction is taut. With great purpose and purity, McQuarrie captures the essence of the Reacher character and manages to never betrays him for the sake of expediency or a softer ending. Cruise – and the entire cast - excel under McQuarrie’s confident hand. The director marvels in a, dare I say, old-school filmmaking technique, allowing the spectacle and action of Jack Reacher to come not from sequences augmented by computer generated imagery, but from muscle and performances by leads that bristle with thrills. In fact, Jack Reacher exalts an absence of visual effects work (at least, any noticeable VFX) for its sequences. Chief among these sequences is the car chase involving Reacher’s pursuit in a stolen 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS of the suspects driving a slick Audi A6. It pits the muscular old school methods of Reacher against the brutal but modern ‘bad-guys’; a juxtaposition exemplar for the film’s core. McQuarrie, who won the Academy Award for his superb The Usual Suspects screenplay adapts author Lee Child’s One Shot more straight and narrow than his previous works may lead you to believe, but the non-nonsense feel of the Reacher character, at least for his cinematic introduction, require that very approach. And with this excellent grip on filmmaking and favor of character among the mystery and action, the prospects for his next film, Mission: Impossible 4, are exceedingly bright.

Jack Reacher is superbly entertaining. Gripping from the jump and what it may lack in in plot surprise it makes up for in masterful and bravura execution. And watching Cruise as a more mature actor is a treat here. Having seen his A Few Good Men again recently, where his character is cocky and slick, it stands as an appropriate contrast to the darker man he plays in Jack Reacher. Gritty and highly competent, the Reacher character’s expertise and fast-skills are matter of fact and even reluctant, versus the eager hero of roles he excelled at earlier in his career. This is a Tom Cruise I could watch again and again.



Video Rating: 5/5  3D Rating: NA

What a glorious image. Filmed on 35mm this high definition presentation (1080p) is replete with examples of amazing detail, superbly rich and perfectly saturated colors, excellent black levels with shadow details precise. I am struggling to see any issues in this image and award this a 5-star image without reservations.



Audio Rating: 5/5

As with the image, the sound quality of Jack Reacher is impressive. A pristine, precise, bold and throaty 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio delivers in every way. High caliber gun shots punch the subwoofer and echo through the surrounds, fist-fights are natural sounding rather than the product of a sound effect, the car chase sequence as riddled with a barrage of sounds throughout the speakers in an all-enveloping cacophony of sound. It’s all so brilliantly put together.



Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

The audio commentaries are standout as special features. Besides the positive commentary by director and star, the commentary track by McQuarrie’s composing partner (having worked with him on Way of the Gun and the upcoming M:I 4) is a treat for fans of film scores. The remaining special features clock in just shy of an hour and cover the interesting origins of the film (adapting One Shot), adopting realistic fighting styles, and the author discussing the ‘Reacher phenomenon.  
DVD Copy of the Film

Digital Copy of the Film

Commentary by Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie

Commentary by composer Joe Kraemer

When the Man Comes Around

You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons

The Reacher Phenomenon



Overall Rating: 4/5

With a relatively disappointing domestic box-office haul initial word from Paramount was that a sequel would not be coming. However, steady international box office receipts and the low price-tag of the film appears to have upped the odds of a sequel considerably. That’s welcome news. The Jack Reacher character is ripe for the cinema. Unflinching skills, commanding presence, mysterious background and an honorable code as guide, Jack Reacher – with a bevy of materials to draw from in Lee Child’s novels – has great potential to become a cinematic mainstay for the foreseeable future, at least if any future movies are made with a skilled a hand and as enjoyable a result as this first film. Highly Recommended!


Reviewed By: Neil Middlemiss


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#2 of 8 Malcolm R

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Posted May 05 2013 - 06:31 PM

I agree and think this was Cruise's best film in ages. But since it seems it was considered a worldwide disappointment at the box office ("only" about $217 million worldwide), I'm not sure we'll get to see any more of the Jack Reacher character on movie screens.


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#3 of 8 Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 06 2013 - 04:23 AM

Had the chance to screen this film months ahead of its December release

with 60 HTF members during our meet last year at the Paramount screening

theater.

 

For me, this film fell flat.  Didn't care for it at all --- even despite the fact there

is a cameo from the great Robert Duvall, who seems terribly out of place here.

 

Still, from the feedback I heard, many of the HTF members who saw the film

ended up enjoying it.  


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#4 of 8 Sam Posten

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Posted May 06 2013 - 05:10 AM

I was one who enjoyed it that day Ron, but I was concerned that audiences would find the opening sequence too real.  Doesn't seem like there has been any backlash at all tho!


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#5 of 8 mattCR

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Posted May 07 2013 - 04:28 PM

I was very lukewarm on this.  I thought the leaps from scene to scene just seemed too forced.   It's not bad, but it's not great.   I found the ending a real disappointment.

 

But I might give it a go if it comes to redbox and see if it warms to me.


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#6 of 8 Brett_M

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Posted May 13 2013 - 09:02 AM

I loved this flick.  I hope there are more.


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#7 of 8 Neil Middlemiss

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Posted June 09 2014 - 05:42 PM

Re-watching this (the first time since I wrote this review), I am struck by just how superb this film is. The direction is thoughtful and well-paced. Knowing that the writer/director of this film is pairing with Tom Cruise for the fifth Mission: Impossible film has me very excited for that film.


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#8 of 8 Keith Cobby

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Posted June 10 2014 - 01:32 PM

I saw this film on a flight, therefore not a very big screen, It had a few bright spots but overall I doubt I would watch it again. Coincidentally, I watched MI Ghost Protocol today (again) which I enjoyed. A big part of this is the superb cinematography including the IMAX footage.







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