May 272018
 

Red Sparrow is a mixed bag of a movie that excels on Jennifer Lawrence’s brave performance and some beautiful photography from both director Francis Lawrence and the cinematographer, but the film is bogged down by thinly written characters and a sometimes half-baked story and script.

 

 

Red Sparrow
(2018)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama
Fox | R – 140 min. – $19.99 | May 22, 2018

Date Published: 05/27/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Writer(s): Jason Matthews (novel); Justin Haythe (screenplay)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeremy Irons
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.0/5


Plot Synopsis: Dominika Egorova (JENNIFER LAWRENCE) is many things: A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future finding herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. She emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent (JOEL EDGERTON) who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.

Quick Hit Review: It’s been several days now since watching Red Sparrow and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. Jennifer Lawrence has proven herself to be a very talented young actress even when the material doesn’t help (although she did appear to be on the indifferent side in the X-Men movies) and here, she delivers a very intense performance for sure, but some of it is offset with a poor Russian accent and a plot that is gets bogged down, even tedious for the first hour or so and thin character development, particularly on the part of the character Nate Nash, played by Joel Edgerton whose character is just one of being kind of a good guy, whose only flaw is perhaps being too loyal and/or too naïve.

On the plus side, the script might’ve not been very polished, the direction by Francis Lawrence, re-teaming with Jennifer Lawrence following The Hunger Games, under the lens of cinematographer Jo Willems was beautiful. There was some fine camera work done and did make for a gorgeous looking movie at times, even in the setting of a cold and dank Russia (the production was mostly filmed in Hungary).

Again, I can’t say this was a bad movie. There are plenty of elements to like, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s intense and brave performance, though leading up to its release and the studio seeing a soft opening, it would seem Lawrence’s first fully nude scene was highlighted, which was a shame. Still, this is probably worthy of a rental as there are some things to appreciate.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.25/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a code for the Digital HD copy and DVD copy. There is a good amount of features included here including 78-minutes worth of featurettes.

A New Cold War: Origination & Adaptation (12:42; HD) looks at how the filmmakers went about adapting the original novel and just how popular it was right from when it was published and then how the writer went about adapting. Includes some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.

Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast (15:21; HD) is about putting together the cast and what drew them to their respective roles.

Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity (13:23; HD) examines the look and tone of the story and on the costumes.

Heart of the Tempest: On Location (10:56; HD) – This featurette focuses on the production design and location shooting.

Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballet & Stunts (12:12; HD) is a featurette on the stunt work done on the film, including the ballet sequence with the choreography and Lawrence’s training.

A Puzzle of Need: Post Production (14:08; HD) takes a close look at the editing and scoring of the film.

Audio Commentary – Director Francis Lawrence provides a compelling and very informative track breaking down the origins of the film, working with Jennifer Lawrence again and just other tid-bits about the production.

Deleted Scenes (12:20; HD) – 10 scenes failed to make the cut (or were trimmed down) and comes with optional commentary with Francis Lawrence as he explains the scene and why it was ultimately removed.

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Fox lets Red Sparrow go onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. This is a good looking movie to begin with and the picture here is sharp throughout, but especially on close-up shots while colors are more toned down in keeping with the cold Russian environment and just the all-around darker tone of the story where a woman is beaten relentlessly in one sequence.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


The movie comes with a strong and effective DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (seriously, why doesn’t Fox just provide the Atmos track available on the 4K UHD) and although the action is light, the depth is pretty damn good, from the torture scene where you can hear the water splashing all around you, and dialogue levels come through with nice clarity.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, Red Sparrow is a mixed bag of a movie that excels on Jennifer Lawrence’s brave performance and some beautiful photography from both director Francis Lawrence and the cinematographer, but the film is bogged down by thinly written characters and a sometimes half-baked story and script. Even with that, it’s still worth a rental.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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