HTF UMD REVIEW: Hostage (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by David Galindo, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    [c]Hostage (UMD)
    Region 1 • R • Subtitles: English • Available Now

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    Wow! This is an excellent movie, with an excellent UMD presentation...it doesn’t get much better then that!

    Thoughts on the Movie

    Hostage is a movie that never settles for average. Even the opening credits are original, and I thought to myself…they don’t make credits like this anymore.

    Bruce Willis plays Jeff Tally, who is an expert hostage negotiator but later trades that in for a Chief of Police job at a smaller city. Soon, there is another hostage situation underway in his district, and after scoping out the situation, hands over the authority to the county sheriff’s office.

    And that’s all you really need to know. The way the movie progresses is absolutely tense, and it’s not so much that the movie has a lot of twists, but that the people in the movie can act erratically because there is so much at stake. When there’s a twist, it’s usually due to human error or action, which is so much better than the movie “revealing” something to the audience that it knew all along. Both the movie and the viewer are on the same page, figuring things out as they go along. And that, folks, is the key to a great thriller.

    Willis is one of the best male action heroes working. He can turn into an everyday Joe, then quickly grapple any impossible situation and try to take control. In this movie, he knows exactly what he needs to do, but not sure how to get there. And as the movie progresses, options start to thin out and become limited.

    This whole movie had me pretty tense, and I realized this movie was going to be pretty ruthless from the first thirty minutes. Man, what an excellent film.

    If I had to describe what kind of film it was, I’d say it was a lot like Panic Room, but tons better. Another movie I saw recently was Saw (hah), which shares some of the same themes (a man, given a choice of saving one life out of two, tries to save both). That movie was depressing, moronic, and almost insulting at how stupid the movie thinks the audience is with the ending twist. Hostage, on the other hand, is exciting, tense, and never cheats the audience. It’s an absolutely fantastic movie.


    Video Quality

    Hostage is in a 2.35 ratio, and most of the movie takes place at night. It certainly looks great, although the cinematography doesn’t allow for many bright colors until near the end, which is just fine. The picture is very sharp, and everything is nice and bright when it needs to be. The black levels are good, but not perfect…but this is definitely a fine transfer.

    4/5
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    Audio Quality

    If I had one problem with the Hostage UMD, it’s that the audio is a bit too soft. When the action heats up, the movie gets very loud and sounds great. The PSP needs to be turned up all the way to hear some of the dialogue, though. The bonus features are a bit soft as well.

    But, when you crank up the volume and choose the UMD volume to +2, it’s great. Very good audio quality overall.

    4/5
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    Extras

    Hostage is now the perfect example of what a UMD should be. We get quite a bit of extras!

    First up, the menus look fantastic. They match the movie really well, look very sleek and cool, and the scene selection is clever. I have to say that these are the sleekest looking menus I’ve seen yet. We also get a chapter title insert in the UMD case.

    Next up are four extra feature choices, some with submenus. The first one is Taking Hostage Behind the Scenes (12:47), which gives a pretty good look at what the cast and crew thought about the film and the production process. It left me feeling pretty satisfied at the end.

    Next is an Extended Scenes submenu. (Note: the scene titles contain some spoilers, so I shortened some of them in this review). We get Gun in Mouth (1:17) which gives a bit more detail to Talley and his daughter. Next is a Mars (:48) extended scene towards the end of the movie.

    Finally, we have a Deleted Scenes submenu. Jacking Cars (:57) introduces the three young men and develops some background behind Mars. Meeting Flores (1:12) is a small exchange between Flores and Talley. Flores Checks out the Trucks (:50) is self explanatory, as is Mars Won’t Go (:41). The long titled Tommy Won’t Leave the House Without His Sister (:47) is accurately described, and Mars vs. the FBI (:21) is a small extension to the action.

    The last menu is Sneak Peeks of Dark Water, Sin City and From Dusk Till Dawn, which were forced trailers in the beginning anyways (damn!). So, overall, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with this UMD. Fantastic job.

    4.5/5
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    Overall…

    Whew! This movie is, for me, certainly worth watching again, and the extra features and sleek menus are icing on a delicious cake. If you liked movies such as Panic Room and The Negotiator, then you should definitely check this out. If you liked Saw, maybe you should watch this movie and see why I hated Saw so much. This is a truly thrilling movie.

    4/5
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  2. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    David, get yourself a pair of Headbanger Earsubs you'll be amazed at the sounds your missing. Extremely worth the $29.95.
    I bought the DVD and Dumped it to Memory stick, I'm still torn on committing to Buying UMD's
     
  3. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I understand Dave. I was a huge mem stick guy until I saw UMDs in action.

    And thanks for the recommendation, Ill definitely check it out!
     
  4. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    There's no Doubt UMD's are gorgeous on the PSP but it's tough to justify spending $20 or more on them, walmart's Pricing on Some, in the $13 to $14 dollar range is better but they need to get to minus $10
     
  5. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    You can get some at Sams Club for about $12.

    Those seem really reasonable, but yeah, $25 is just too much. Especially Sonys $30 new releases, yuck.
     

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