Jun 092018
 

This new incarnation of Death Wish actually wasn’t half bad and is in line with the 1974 original with Bruce Willis reminding you of his charisma when in a leading role (vs. slumming it with the several DTV crap) and as remakes go, was pretty entertaining if not tonally conflicting at times.

 

 

Death Wish
(2018)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Crime
Fox | R – 107 min. – $34.99 | June 5, 2018

Date Published: 06/09/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Eli Roth
Writer(s): Brian Garfield (novel); Joe Carnahan (screenplay)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Vince D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Kimberly Elise, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Trailers
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
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: 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 — 3.75/5


I’m not generally fond of remakes as the studios tend to remake films that don’t need it. Death Wish is one that I actually don’t mind since the 1974 original was good but also clearly a product of its time. While I do still like Charles Bronson’s machismo personality, this film kind of reminds you that Bruce Willis still has what it takes to carry a film after several supporting roles in crappy direct-to-video flicks.

The plot more or less is similar to the 1974 movie, though here they wisely made Paul Kersey (BRUCE WILLIS) a surgeon instead of an architect, probably because it was an obvious juxtapose Kersey saving lives, even one that of a cop killer early on, with him taking the lives of criminals in pursuit of finding his wife’s (ELISABETH SHUE) killer and put his college-bound daughter Jordan (CAMILA MORRONE) into a coma, thankfully they only intimated one of the thugs wanted to rape Jordan rather than going full-on with the act in the original.

The rest of the movie just finds Kersey committing vigilante justice, the city commentators debating whether or not he’s a good guy given the city of Chicago’s descent into becoming one of the highest murder rates in the United States. For the most part, I actually enjoyed this incarnation of Death Wish, with the downside being tonally inconsistent with earlier scenes being deadly serious and later getting a bit cartoonish, such as a bad guy getting the upper hand but Kersey is saved when a bowling ball falls of a shelf cracking over the bad guy’s head (really?).

Outside of the tonal aspects, Bruce Willis does well in the lead and the direction from Eli Roth, other than some truly gory scenes, is more constrained compared to Cabin Fever, Hostel and, especially, The Green Inferno and to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of his but this one is a lot more mainstream and does seem like an odd choice but does an alright job reviving the material. Although Joe Carnahan has sole credit for the script, based on my reading, there were no less than nine writers and little was leftover from Carnahan’s screenplay.

The supporting cast was fine though I was disappointed that Vincent D’Onofrio didn’t get a whole lot to do outside of some moral support as Kersey’s financially strapped brother; Elisabeth Shue is always nice to see even if her character is dead within 15-minutes or so; and Dean Norris fills out the detective investigating the vigilante murders. And as for the bad guys? Essentially cardboard cutouts.

All in all, Death Wish isn’t anything special and yet, still entertaining and a worthy remake to the original which is, as I said before, a clear product of its time and honestly, a little hard to watch today. This is worthy of a rental or, if found on sale, picking up.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside a redemption code for the Digital HD and the DVD Copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Eli Roth and Producer Roger Birnbaum is a solid track as Roth generally is a lively character in his own right and does tell stories from behind the scenes talking about the plot and putting the story in the present day. The pair work well off of one another with a few wisecracks.

Deleted Scenes (6:10; HD) – There are only four scenes here and as you might suspect, they were removed or cut down for pacing issues. There is optional commentary with Roth and Birnbaum.

Vengeance and Vision: Directing Death Wish (11:44; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette that includes interviews with Eli Roth, Bruce Willis and Roger Birnbaum discussing the production and character development.

Mancow Morning Show Extended Scenes (3:39; HD) and Sway in the Morning Extended Scene (2:51; HD) is footage, some of which used in the film. Obviously they got as much of the two shows talking about the killings as possible.

Last up is a fun Grindhouse Trailer (2:02; HD) and the regular Theatrical Trailer (2:25; HD).

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Fox releases Death Wish onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Picture quality was pretty good, detail relatively sharp while colors were stronger than I expected for the dark plot and skin tones did appear natural looking.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The movie includes your standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which was serviceable but not exactly in-depth outside of a few moments like the home invasion/attack or whenever gunfire erupts. Other than that, it is on the quieter side for an action-thriller, however dialogue levels at least came through with fine clarity.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


This new incarnation of Death Wish actually wasn’t half bad and is in line with the 1974 original with Bruce Willis reminding you of his charisma when in a leading role (versus slumming it with the several DTV crap) and as remakes go, was pretty entertaining if not tonally conflicting at times. This Blu-ray release from Fox has good video and audio transfers but the features could’ve been better.

 

 

 

 

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

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