U Turn is not one of Oliver Stone’s strongest films, although it is one of my favorite of his (taking into consideration I’ve never been a big fan of his), but features a great cast and fantastic performances by Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez. The Blu-ray distributed by Twilight Time might be limited in features but the video and audio transfers might make it a worthwhile purchase, though as usual, it’s not a cheap release.
Genre(s): Drama, Crime, Thriller
Twilight Time | R – 124 min. – $29.95 | March 10, 2015
Director Oliver Stone’s U Turn, with a script by John Ridley based on his novel, is a trippy neo-noir — and yet another in Stone’s series of cinematic meditations on the American character. Not a pretty, but always a fascinating picture, with standout performances from the likes of Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Jennifer Lopez, Bo Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, and Claire Danes. The film was shot, in a dazzling variety of styles, by Robert Richardson (Django Unchained).
Quick Hit Review: Admittedly, Oliver Stone isn’t one of my favorite directors, and his career has been uneven, yet no doubt stylistically he’s one of the more interesting visceral filmmakers working today. U Turn is uneven but at the same time it’s personally one of my favorite films from Stone thanks in large part to a fantastic performance by Sean Penn who shares some great chemistry with Jennifer Lopez who, along with Out of Sight (released the following year), was a star (on screen) in the making.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5
The features are a bit limited. There is the usual 6-page essay booklet.
We get two Audio Commentaries: 1) Director Oliver Stone, originally recorded for a previous release and 2) a new track with Producer/Production Executive Mike Medavoy (from Phoenix Pictures) and Film Historian, and Twilight Time regular, Nick Redman. Neither track is especially engrossing but they are informative with the second one taking a more academic vibe providing background on the film’s history and the difficulties between Stone and Penn.
Also included is an Introduction (2:47; SD) by Stone and the Theatrical Trailer (2:34; HD).
VIDEO – 4.5/5
U Turn arrives onto Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time presented in the film’s original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Oliver Stone movies were made for Blu-ray and HD, especially for a film as oversaturated as this one was. Colors are blown out to the extreme, showcasing the hot American southwest while detail levels are good for Stone’s style. It appears to be a clean transfer, free of aliasing, pixilation and dust marks and scratches.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc includes a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track which has good depth and in a film with a wide range. The dialogue levels are strong but the most dynamic element of this lossless track is the score by Ennio Morricone (Disclosure, Bulworth), as well as the music in the soundtrack, and there are no discernible hisses or other ailments present.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, U Turn is not one of Oliver Stone’s strongest films, although it is one of my favorite of his (taking into consideration I’ve never been a big fan of his), but features a great cast and fantastic performances by Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez. The Blu-ray distributed by Twilight Time might be limited in features but the video and audio transfers might make it a worthwhile purchase, though as usual, it’s not a cheap release with a $30 SRP.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.