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Blu Ray Reviews

Rental Review: Broken City (2013)



Broken City is a film directed by Allen Hughes famous for the Book of Eli (2010). Broken City stars quite the cast which includes Mark Wahlberg as Billy Taggart, Russell Crowe as Mayor Hostetler, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Cathleen Hostletler and Jeffrey Wright as Carl Fairbanks.

The plot basically resides around Mark Wahlberg’s character Billy Taggart who is an ex cop turned private detective. Taggart is hired by Mayor Hostetler played by Russell Crowe to follow the Mayor’s wife Cathleen Hostletler (Catherine Zeta Jones). The Mayor suspects that his wife is having an affair with someone and it is up to Billy Taggart to investigate the Mayor’s request.

Broken City as the title suggests plays on the concept that the city of New York is somewhat corrupt and the system of law and order is broken. Justice doesn’t really prevail and those who are bad and know how to work the system such as Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) can practically get away with murder. The emphasis on the degradation of the law is placed in the opening scenes as one man is freed of his crimes due to the State of New York “not providing a convincing case”. Mayor Hostetler is repeatedly painted as a criminal and shown that he is throughout the film through his actions with Taggart (Mark Wahlberg). We are shown the extent of the corruption through Taggart’s role as a private detective as we witness just what he uncover’s about the Mayor.

I can’t discuss much more of the plot without spoiling it but I found it to be interesting enough for me to pay attention to the film. The actors I think have been very well cast, particularly Mark Wahlberg who seems to suit these type of action oriented roles. Catherine Zeta Jones was a bit of a let down as she was barely on screen throughout the film, particularly towards the end. Catherine’s character didn’t really need much more time though as her part in the film didn’t warrant any need for more. Russell Crowe as the corrupt Mayor was an interesting choice, though his accent made him a little bit difficult to understand. But by the end of the film I really liked the acting between Wahlberg and Crowe and the way they interacted and spoke so overall the acting in this movie was nothing really great or spectacular but it was good.

The directing of this movie was enjoyable. But I would mention though that in the trailers they make this movie look to be some type of action oriented movie. A type of movie you would expect car chases, hand to hand fights and shooting. That it is not. It does have those moments but it’s not a film I would describe as an action film. It’s more of a thriller with large dramatic moments and action in between to carry the story forward. I do like this better than a strait action film as you gain a better understanding of the characters.  I haven’t seen much of Allen Hughes’ work but I have seen the book of Eli and I thought this film was better done. The film had a good flow to it and was very easy to understand. It’s not the type of movie that would leave people guessing, that might be good or bad depending on what you like though.

Where the movie does fall down from my point of view though is in its story. While I do like a good political thriller/action movie, this movie has some good moments but nothing great. While there is a lot of room for characters to be developed such as Wahlberg’s Taggart character they never really move to any point of change. While at the end there is some type of realisation that what was done was right I was never really sure the character’s reached that point. Wahlberg’s character for the beginning part of the film was built up as someone in love, yet discards his girlfriend quite easily out of jealousy. While towards the end aims for seeking redemption for his character, yet there wasn’t really any of this type of thing sought after by him in early parts. There are some questioning character build decisions I think that may have been missed in this movie that could have made it much better to watch. While the character’s were good, none of them stood out beyond anything two dimensional.

Overall I thought the movie did have interesting elements to it. It did have a great cast, an interesting story and plot twists throughout to keep the audience interested. It wasn’t really an action film, but does have its action moments. It focused heavily on its title theme of “Broken City” and what is done to fix such types of broken situations. It’s movie that’s good to watch, doesn’t really have any stand out moments, but doesn’t really have any bad ones either. I liked it by the end and was satisfied I just wish it had more great points to mention.

6.5 out of 10

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  1. Petey Oneto

    July 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I’ve been meaning to check out this film. At least it’s okay.

    • Bryan Weatherall

      July 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      yeah, it’s worth a watch i think

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Blu Ray Reviews

What Men Want Blu-Ray Review



What Men Want Blu-Ray Review

What Men Want is a film which comes directed by Adam Shankman who some may know as the director of Rock Of Ages (2011) or Bedtime Stories (2008). The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Josh Brener and Aldis Hodge.

What Men Want is a film about a female executive named Ali, who works in a sports agency. She’s quite good at her job, but often finds that the males around her keep beating her out for a promotion. But all of this changes when she gets bumped on the head one night after seeing a psychic and gains the power to read men’s minds. The film is a sort of remake of What Women Want (2000) although, it has genders reversed this time with a female main character hearing men’s thoughts rather than a male character hearing women’s thoughts.

I had seen this film release in the cinema not long ago and did not get the chance to see it. Actually it disappeared from cinemas around me so fast, I never got the chance to get out there and watch it. Although, at the time, I must admit it wasn’t my highest priority as it didn’t really look like something I’d want to see. But now that it’s out on Blu-Ray, I got the chance to take a look.

I must say, that this film did surprise me. I thought it was actually rather funny and much better directed and written than I was expecting. Each of the actors were rather pleasant and I enjoyed Taraji P. Henson’s performance in the film quite a bit. The tone of the film is rather light and nothing at all is really done with any seriousness. Somehow Adam Shankman did manage to make something pretty entertaining. Now watching this at the cinema probably isn’t worth it, but renting it or buying it on whim to see it at home just might be. Especially if you really just want a comedy to watch this weekend.

The Blu-Ray disc actually comes with quite a bit of special features. To be honest much more was there than I expected, with many of the special features containing quite a bit of content within them. The special features do take a while to get through, which is good as there’s a lot of content there.

Special Features include

  • Commentary with director Adam Shankman
  • Deleted and extended scenes with introduction by director Adam Shankman
  • Gag reel with introduction by director Adam Shankman
  • The Dream Team
  • Flipping the narrative What do men want?
  • Poker Night
  • Ali + Athletes
  • Sister spills the tea informercial

If you were a fan of this film, the special features on the disc would be rather good to have. But if you didn’t see it at the cinemas and you want to see a comedy film this week, What Men Want isn’t the worse choice you could make and it could be worth taking a look at.

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Blu Ray Reviews

Instant Family Blu-Ray Review



Instant Family was a film which I really enjoyed back when I saw it at the cinema during its initial release. Back then I said “Instant Family is a very good comedy/drama film about a young couple starting to become parents. The character development for the parents, but also for the kids, especially Lizzy is very good and I did feel for the characters by the end of the film. As both a comedy and a drama it works well and Sean Anders did a great job directing this one. The actors in this are excellent, with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne delivering good performances, but Isabela Moner was very impressive in this film. Definitely go and see this one if you’re looking for a comedy this week or a family drama.” If you would like to read my full review for the film you can find it here.

Instant Family is a film which comes directed by Sean Anders who some may know as the director of Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) or Daddy’s Home (2015). The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz, Julianna Gamiz and Octavia Spencer.

The Blu-Ray of the film actually does come with quite a few good extras to watch. More than actually I expected for a film of this genre. Mainly I was just expecting to see maybe a few deleted scenes or some funny moments, but we got a lot more than that.

What I like about the special features included on this Blu-Ray, was some of the extra care from the director. For example the deleted scenes all have an introduction from the director before them explaining the scene a little and why it was cut. This is so much better than some Blu-Ray’s I see, which simply included a bunch of deleted scenes as a viewer watching them you have no idea what the context or idea for them were.

The Instant Family Blu-Ray special features include:

  • Commentary by Director/Writer Sean Anders and Writer John Morris
  • Mr. And Mrs. Fix It
  • Kid Power
  • I Need Some Support
  • Order In the Court
  • The Families Behind The Fair
  • Crew Inspiration
  • The Anders Family
  • Gag Reel
  • Isabela Moner Ïll Stay” promotional music video
  • On set proposal
  • Deleted and Extended scenes

For me this was more than enough extras. Mr. And Mrs Fix It and Kid Power provided some nice insights into the film and I particularly liked all the insights into the casting process. I would have never known that Isabela Moner auditioned for this film via a Skype call. I thought this was all done in person! I also enjoyed watching the music video and the deleted and extended scenes were great to see.

Apart from the special features, I did like listening to the music on the Blu-Ray disc menu. It reminded me a lot of the music in The Sims.

Overall I enjoyed revisiting Instant Family at home this week and if you enjoyed the film as much as I did, then I’m happy to recommend taking a look at this Blu-Ray release.

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Blu Ray Reviews

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray Review



Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray Review - Review copy provided by Universal

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom Blu-Ray Review

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is now out on Blu-Ray and comes packed full of special features and extras for fans of the film to watch and enjoy. But should you add this Blu-ray to you current film collection?

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is a film which comes directed by J.A. Bayona who some may know as the director of A Monster Calls (2016). The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Isabella Sermon and Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom is the latest film to be released in the Jurassic Park franchise and the second in recent years.

You can read my review in full for the film right here.

Since getting Jurassic World on Blu-Ray last week, I’ve now watched the film around 6 times in total. I have come to really enjoy this movie. It’s got a lot of charm to it and it’s quite a nice experience. Although the cinema is probably the best place to enjoy this film. it still holds up pretty well on the home release. I also felt that the sound on this Blu-ray for this film was good as I didn’t find myself having to put the volume up and down constantly in between the loud and quiet scenes as much as I do in other films I’ve watched on Blu-ray.



Apart from the main feature film, it does come packed with quite a few extras. All of them I really enjoyed watching and they provide a good insight into the behind a scenes making of the film. There are good videos in there featuring both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard where we see them take part in activities around the set and provide comments about different things in the film. There’s also some interesting pieces from Chris Pratt (Chis Pratt’s Jurassic Journals) where he goes around the set and chats to some non-famous people about the work they do on the film. It’s interesting to learn about all the different occupations one encounters on the film set and all the different things people do in the world.

Here’s a list of all of the special features on this Blu-ray:

  • On set with Chris and Bryce
  • The Kingdom evolves
  • Return to Hawaii
  • Island Action
  • Aboard the Arcadia
  • Birth of the Indoraptor
  • Start the bidding
  • Death by Dino
  • Monsters in a mansion
  • Rooftop showdown
  • Malcolm’s return
  • VFX evolved
  • Fallen Kingdom: The conversation
  • A song for the kingdom
  • Chris Pratt’s Jurassic Journals

Individually all of these reveal some very interesting things about the film. My favourite special features were Rooftop Showdown which went through how the final rooftop scenes were filmed and mentioned about the almost western style to those scenes, secondly the Monsters in a mansion feature explained about the angle they were going for by having all the dinosaurs moved to a single home. The VFX feature is also a great one and it’s interesting to see how everything visually was made. Overall the special features here on the disc are pretty decent and don’t feel like they were just thrown in there like on some other Blu-ray releases. There seems to be at least some thinking behind what went into this disc.

Where I think possibly some people might be a little let down with is with the audio commentary. There is no audio commentary at all on this particular release which is a real shame as I would have liked to have a watch of the film with the director or either Chris Pratt or Bryce Dallas Howard. For fans of films, audio commentaries sometimes do provide quite a bit of insight into the different scenes or what the director thought of certain moments that special feature segments don’t really cover. So that’s the only thing holding back this Blu-Ray release at the moment.

Overall this is a decent film to add to your current Blu-ray collection. If you liked the film at the cinema or are a fan of the franchise, it’s worth picking this one up if you’re keen. It does come packed with a lot of special features and much more than I was expecting. In the list I’ve written above, each of those features were quite interesting to see and provided a lot of insights into the behind the scenes action of the film. They also heavily feature both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in quite a few of them and those two are both interesting people to watch, which made watching it all through rather enjoyable. It doesn’t have any audio commentary, but other than that, I’m happy to recommend Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom for you future collection.

You can find copies of Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom On Blu-Ray on Amazon AU right here.

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