HTF REVIEW: 16 Blocks

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    16 Blocks




    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 2006
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 102 Minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Enhanced Widescreen
    Audio: DD 5.1
    Color/B&W: Color
    Languages: English & French
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
    Genre: Action/Drama/Thriller
    MSRP: $28.98
    Package: Single disc/Keepcase





    The Feature:
    Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, an NYPD detective who has entered his twilight years. In absolutely terrible physical condition and cynical beyond comprehension, his seemingly simple mission is to escort Eddie Bunker (played by Mos Def), a petty crook who is expected to testify in front of a grand jury. It would seem as though the mission is rather mundane as the entire distance to be traveled is a mere16 blocks. Things however, don't quite go exactly as planned when Jack's backup, homicide detective Frank Nugent (played by David Morse) shows an intriguing interest in preventing Eddie from testifying.

    There's plenty of action including a Speed-like moment with a city bus. The production takes advantage of New York's Chinatown (as well as downtown Toronto), aiding in the hectic foot chases that take place throughout the film. The film was directed by Richard Donner, while the script was penned by Richard Wenk. There's no question that one needs to suspend their disbelief if there's any chance of enjoying this as an unbelievable amount happens in 16 Blocks.

    The Feature: 3.5/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Video:
    Warner does a nice job here with this 2.35:1 – enhanced for widescreen transfer. Solid colors – nicely saturated, accurate skin tones and excellent contrast all help to make this a very pleasing video experience.

    Image definition is reasonably sharp and there is a reasonable amount of depth and texture to the film. There is little to no film grain to speak of. Authoring seems to have been handled well as compression errors as well as edge enhancement were non existent. Also absent is the glossy appearance we associate with many of these newer releases.

    Video: 4/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Audio:
    Encoded with a DD 5.1 soundtrack, this does a pretty good job at keeping the viewer immersed in the non-stop action that takes place throughout the course of the film. The track is perfectly clean and free of any hiss or other noisy distractions. Dialogue was always crystal clear and intelligible and never lost throughout the various foot-chases or other action packed sequences.

    There is a fair amount of punch to the track. Gunshots sound pretty good as do a few of the crashes that take place throughout and the soundstage is satisfactorily wide. Surrounds are employed tactfully with a few enveloping effects to help keep the viewer engrossed. LFE is also used on occasion to help with the lower end of things.

    Audio: 4/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Special Features:
    The disc is complemented by a couple of decent special features. Upon insertion of the disc, we’re given the option through seamless branching of selecting the Theatrical Version or a version with an Alternate Ending. While the theatrical version runs 1:41:35, the alternate version runs 1:40:40. The rest of the features look like this:

    The first feature sports a number of Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Richard Donner and Richard Wenk. Here, a number of scenes are included and are introduced by Donner and Wenk as they set up and discuss each of them. They appear together before each scene as well as a picture-in-picture like format. Interesting, particularly as we learn why these were excised. The pair interact well with each other and do their best at injecting some humor into the feature. Duration: 19:51 minutes.

    Next up is the Alternate Ending which can be viewed as a stand-alone if one wishes. Duration: 6:38 minutes.

    Finally, the Theatrical Trailer appears and is in perfect condition. Duration: 2:18 minutes.

    Special Features: 4/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    **Special Features rated for the quality of supplements, not the quantity**




    Final Thoughts:
    While we’ve seen this before, in Clint Eastwood's 1977 film, The Gauntlet and Fleisher’s, The Narrow Margin (1952), truth be told, this version is not an improvement. It's all pretty mediocre stuff but in terms of mindless entertainment, 16 Blocks comes complete with a solid presentation, which should serve your Friday night’s viewing needs reasonably well.

    Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (not an average)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]





    Release Date: June 13th, 2006
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Phew!

    I bought this blindly merely based on the interesting premise
    of the film.

    I'm glad that it will be a worthwhile purchase.

    Thanks for the review, Herb! You have been on a roll lately!
     
  3. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    It's not a bad movie, I put in on par with Donner's Lethal Weapon flicks
     
  4. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    This is out already? Damn. It won't be long before A - budget movies are out on DVD the same day as the theatrical release.
     
  5. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the review, Herb. I know a friend of mine is a big Bruce fan that wanted to see this one. I will probably check it out too since Bruce is also good in cop movies.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I really meant to catch this one in theaters, and I just never got around to it, so I'm looking forward to it on DVD. A blind purchase for me. I like Willis in this kind of film.
     
  7. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Thanks very much for the review. I saw this in the theater a few months back and thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely a mindless popcorn flick, but highly entertaining to say the least. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again.
     
  8. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    Just watched the movie for the first time on DVD - I found it enjoyable, for the most part. Most interesting to me was the various ways they spun the cliches around in interesting directions. It was more mature than I was expecting, and more sober.

    Also, the alternate ending is an improvement. Definately choose that option when you watch the film. It isn't a light-and-day difference in quality, but it is a more logical, less gimmicky ending. My eyes actual rolled a few times during the default ending.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Just finished watching this film.

    It's not often I regret a blind purchase -- but this is one I do!

    What a dull piece of dreck this film was. If I could describe it
    in on sentance it would be: Bruce Willis meets Jar Jar Binks.

    Anyone that has seen the film will probably understand that joke.

    I was not entertained in the least!
     
  10. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Ouch! Guess I won't be picking this up until it hits the cheap bins at Walmart. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Pity the folks who opt for the $40 HD DVD/DVD combo!
     
  12. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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  13. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Now THAT'S funny. lol I nearly spilled my coffee from laughing so hard at that. Regardless, I still enjoyed this one a great deal. I chalked it up as nothing more than a really good popcorn flick which definitely kept me on the edge of my seat in the theater. It's no cinematic masterpiece, but when I left at the end of the film, I was definitely entertained.
     
  14. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this movie in the theaters. It was mildly entertaining, but not worth a purchase. However, I saw the box yesterday and saw that the DVD has an alternate ending. I really don't feel like renting this movie. Can someone put the alternate ending in a spoiler tag. I think I can guess what it is, but would like confirmation.
     
  15. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The alternate ending:

    Frank lets Willis go, apparently deciding out of nowhere to be an honest cop. Willis gets shot at the courthouse and dies, but the tape recorder keeps playing the incriminating evidence. The ADA runs up, grabs it and runs into the jury room. Jar Jar sets up his cake shop and says he realizes what happened when Willis' sister comes to see him instead of Willis himself.

    It doesn't work, at all.
     
  16. Sten F

    Sten F Second Unit

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    Just found out Region 3 will be a 2-Disc DTS set.
     
  17. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Well this film was heavily influenced by "The Gauntlet" but that was a better film. This was an OK Movie, but who told Mos Def to go with that whiney annoying voice? He's been great in other things but gets annoying realy quick here. Overall nothing really special we've seen this all before. Also the Studio made them go with a Happier ending.
     
  18. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    According to Donner's remarks on the disc, the theatrical ending was also the scripted ending; they decided to try out the alternate one on the fly. That would explain why it doesn't really fit with the rest of the movie.
     
  19. Mark Silver

    Mark Silver Stunt Coordinator

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    I was exactly right in my guess of the alternate ending. Glad they didn't go with it.
     

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