Blood Work is what I would call a minor blip for Clint Eastwood. It’s not bad and has a few good scenes, not to mention Eastwood himself is as good as usual, but the story never gains momentum. Even so, it goes by quickly enough and the supporting cast are all fun to watch. As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, the audio and video are more than adequate (and upgrades over the DVD) while the features, albeit forgettable, are good to have.
Genre(s): Thriller, Crime, Drama
Warner Bros. | R – 110 min. – $19.98 | June 5, 2012
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Writer(s): Michael Connelly (novel); Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Wanda De Jesus, Tina Lifford, Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh, Angelica Huston
Theatrical Release Date: August 9, 2002
Features: Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 32.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
Plot Outline: FBI profiler Terry McCaleb (CLINT EASTWOOD) almost always gets to the heart of a case. This time, that heart beats inside him. He’s a cardiac patient who received a murder victim’s heart. And the donor’s sister (WANDA DE JESUS) asks him to make good on his second chance by finding the killer.
Quick Hit Review: Blood Work, which is based on the novel by Michael Connelly (author another movie adaptation, The Lincoln Lawyer), was never a favorite of mine and one of Clint Eastwood’s weaker recent flicks, especially in the director’s chair… that is, until the releases Hereafter and J. Edgar. At its core, though, this is an old school Clint Eastwood movie. The characters are mostly one-dimensional but Eastwood’s screen presence more than makes up for the lack of development. The story itself, adapted by Brian Helgeland, isn’t the best but there’s enough twists to keep it chugging along.
Aside from Eastwood, the supporting cast is well done. Jeff Daniels plays the slightly off, but eager boat neighbor to McCaleb; Wanda De Jesus isn’t a household naming appearing in small roles in Robocop 2, The Insider and Ghosts of Mars but she’s effective enough for the part; while the others such as Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh and Anjelica Huston get a couple good scenes but doesn’t make an impression either way.
Even with the things working against Blood Work, the story is still good enough to keep one’s interest thanks in large part to Clint Eastwood’s everlasting on-screen presence. It’s certainly not one of the his best, just more or less middle of the road and the character himself isn’t all that different from characters like Dirty Harry and the numerous other clones that cropped up in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
All the features from the “Eastwood Collection” DVD release have been ported over.
Making Blood Work (18:08; SD) – This is your run-of-the-mill featurette that mixes footage from the movie with behind-the-scenes shots, along with interviews by the cast and crew, including Clint Eastwood who explains what drew him to the project.
A Conversation with Clint Eastwood, Wanda De Jesus and Paul Rodriguez (14:18; SD) – The trio of actors give interviews about the movie… en español (well, partially). Some might ask why when I ask, “Why not?” Yeah, I got nothing.
Also included is the Teaser Trailer (0:54; SD) and Theatrical Trailer (1:34; SD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Blood Work arrives on Blu-ray with a fine looking 1080p high-def transfer. The film is presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and features great detail level throughout with minimal amount of grain. I was also impressed that, although it is a relatively new film (only 10 years old), but it seems to be free of any artifacts, pixilation or dust marks. The color array is also well done with proper brightness during the daylight scenes and black levels which are stark during darker shots, though not too much, one can’t see what’s going on.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track offered isn’t the best sounding but it’s serviceable. Dialogue sounds fairly clear but when we do get into the more action-oriented scenes the lossless track is a bit of a letdown as things like gunfire or a crashing car sounds a tad flat rather than encompassing the room or even a little depth.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Blood Work is what I would call a minor blip for Clint Eastwood. It’s not bad and has a few good scenes, not to mention Eastwood himself is as good as usual, but the story never gains momentum. Even so, it goes by quickly enough and the supporting cast are all fun to watch. As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, the audio and video are more than adequate (and upgrades over the DVD) while the features, albeit forgettable, are good to have.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.