Mar 112017
 

Man Down does shine light on the important subject of PTSD for returning soldiers and as commendable as that is, it’s unfortunate the screenplay does it little justice but I will say Shia LaBeouf’s performance is amazing and it does feature a respectable supporting cast.

 

 

Man Down
(2017)

Genre(s): Drama, War
Lionsgate | R – 90 min. – $24.99 | March 7, 2017

Date Published: 03/11/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Dito Montiel
Writer(s): Adam G. Simon (story), Adam G. Simon and Dito Montiel (screenplay)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara, Clifton Collins Jr.
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Note: This review contains SPOILERS.

Plot Synopsis: Man Down centers on U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer (SHIA LABEOUF) and takes place in the past, present and future during his tough training, aided by best friend Devin Roberts (JAI COURTNEY); showing the perfect family with wife Natalie (KATE MARA) and son Johnathan (CHARLIE SHOTWELL); shipping off to battle in Afghanistan where he and his fellow soldiers become involved in a gun battle; back on base where he meets with military counselor Peyton (GARY OLDMAN) where he lays out the events; and finally back home to an apparent dystopian-riddled America searching for his family along with homeless man Charles (CLIFTON COLLINS JR.) whom Gabriel believes knows where they are.

Quick Hit Review: I don’t think there’s any doubt Shia LaBeouf is a talented actor and by god, he does give one hell of a performance, showcasing how his talents were utterly wasted in the Transformers films. But despite an earnest performance, and some fine ones with a respectable supporting cast that includes Gary Oldman — who clearly had one day of filming as he’s stuck behind a desk for the entire film — and yet the story is a bit too predictable (I saw the “twist” coming from minute one and honestly, it’s usually easy to pull one over on me).

It was a bit hard knowing how to even rate the film as it does tell a forgotten or untold story of military officers coming home dealing with a variety of issues, mainly PTSD. I think it is a story that should be told more, unfortunately I didn’t feel Adam G. Simon’s screenplay, co-scripted by director Dito Montiel, does it justice as at times it was a bit too overwrought and yet at the same time, not exactly as emotionally draining as it could or should have been. As I said, once you know the “twist”, it comes down to when it is ultimately revealed and it just didn’t have the impact the filmmakers probably intended.

In the end, Man Down is hardly terrible and at the very least does shed light on an important issue generally ignored by the public and, especially, politicians (just look at the state of the VA which still is in disarray). It is, however, a shame the film was hamstrung by a bad script though propelled with Shia LaBeouf’s intense performance.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Unfortunately the only feature included is an Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Dito Montiel and Military Consultant Nick Jones Jr.

PreviewsHacksaw Ridge, Imperium, U.S. Indianapolis: Men of Courage, Criminal, Hell or High Water

 


VIDEO – 3.5/5


Man Down comes to Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and an AVC-encoded 1080p high-definition transfer. At first, I was impressed with the video as it did offer crisp and clear detail throughout, however I did tend to notice numerous instances of banding from the opening to other scenes where color transition, even in the background, were hardly smooth. One or two instances is forgivable, more than that and it does become distracting.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track isn’t anything amazing but it is effective enough. Probably 85% of the movie is dialogue driven and on that, the levels do sound crisp and clear but the depth really shows off during the war sequences, especially a key scene as explosions go off and gunfire is exchanged between soldiers and terrorists.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Man Down does shine light on the important subject of PTSD for returning soldiers and as commendable as that is, it’s unfortunate the screenplay does it little justice but I will say Shia LaBeouf’s performance is amazing and it does feature a respectable supporting cast even if they aren’t exactly utilized, most notably Gary Oldman. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers flawed video but good audio transfers while bonus material is limited.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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