Jun 292016

All I can say is Precious Cargo isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other gems from Grindstone Entertainment yet by the same token, it pretty much met my already low standards. On the plus side, some of the action sequences were finely directed and I at least never found myself bored.



Precious Cargo

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 89 min. – $19.99 | June 28, 2018

Date Published: 06/29/2016 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Max Adams
Writer(s): Max Adams and Paul Seetachitt (written by)
Cast: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Bruce Willis, Claire Forlani, Daniel Bernhardt, Nick Loeb, Lydia Hull, John Brotherton, Tyler Jon Olson, Sammi Barber, Jenna Kelly
Featurette, Interviews, Trailer
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: 42.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 2.0/5

Grindstone Entertainment, a subsidiary production company, of Lionsgate is not the hallmark of quality entertainment. After several straight-to-videos (basically) releases I’ve come to fear these movies, the last I reviewed, Code of Honor, being the worst of the bunch. Now we get Precious Cargo and although it’s not quite as bad as the others, it’s still a half-hearted action-thriller with plenty comedic moments.

Jack (MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR) is a highly skilled thief who gets roped in by ex-lover Karen (CLAIRE FORLANI) to a heist after her own went south and now crime boss Eddie (BRUCE WILLIS) wants his cut. In order to pay, and make some money themselves, Karen, pregnant with his child, convinces Jack to take on the heist of an armored car. After we get the usual gathering of the crew sequence which includes a hotshot driver (NICK LOEB) and another body (JOHN BROTHERTON), along with sniper girl Logan (JENNA KELLY) who is a part of his regular crew on other jobs.

Problem for them is, Karen got the idea of the heist from Eddie before she betrayed him and now Eddie sends his own guys, things get even more complicated and once he kidnaps Karen, he forces Jack and company to pull off an even higher stakes heist worth $500 million in diamonds. There’s some messy trickery that happens as the filmmakers seemed to want to emulate the likes of The Italian Job or something.

The problem with Precious Cargo is, even though it’s a hair better than the other films from Grindstone, it’s pretty much what I thought it would be. The acting is subpar at best with Jenna Kelly giving a particularly terrible performance, although in fairness to her, the dialogue wasn’t well written; the casting of Mark-Paul Gosselaar was certainly an interesting choice but I have to wonder if the writers originally envisioned someone like Ryan Reynolds in the role in which case, Gosselaar could be considered not the poor man’s Reynolds but Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Reynolds, but for the type of role, I suppose Gosselaar holds his own all things considered; Claire Forlani doesn’t fare that well as a femme fatale-esque character but like the others, the script does her no favors; and finally Bruce Willis continues his further slide into the STV realm and more or less sleepwalks his way through as a bland and forgettable villain, indistinguishable from his other Grindstone Entertainment roles.

Precious Cargo was co-written and directed by Max Adams turning his 2008 short into a feature-length action-yarn and he’s apparently a Grindstone veteran at this point following writing turns on Heist and Extraction. Here, I can’t say the movie was terrible as some of the action scenes weren’t poorly filmed even if amongst the 1000+ bullets fired, maybe 5% hit their marks. Still, I at least can say I was neither bored nor angry, so guess that’s a plus…

In all seriousness, with a couple script re-writes I think it could’ve been a fun action-adventure-comedy comparative to After the Sunset and instead it’s another forgettable direct-to-video flick that will fade into the abyss amongst so many others that have come before.



This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Making Precious Cargo (14:37; HD) is a standard behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews by members of the cast and crew talking – intercut between scenes from the film – about the origins of the movie and the characters.

Cast/Crew Interviews (43:54; HD) is a compilation of additional comments as they discuss in more detail on the plot and/or characters.

Trailer (2:12; HD)

PreviewsExtraction, Heist, Misconduct, Exposed, American Heist


VIDEO – 4.0/5

The 1080p transfer, shown with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, isn’t half bad. The movie itself is bright and colorful throughout though it does veer more towards oranges. Detail is pretty good with well defined and sharp images. There are no major instances of artifacts or aliasing and while it doesn’t quite have the pop compared to other DTV releases, it’s satisfying enough.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is actually impressive. Along with the sharp and clean dialogue levels, this lossless track kicks into gear for the various action sequences from the boat chase to the armored car heist scene. The LFE channel switches on giving this that extra boost. It’s not reference quality work but at the same time, the transfer was better than expected.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, all I can say is Precious Cargo isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other gems from Grindstone Entertainment yet by the same token, it pretty much met my already low standards. On the plus side, some of the action sequences were finely directed and I at least never found myself bored. The Blu-ray released through Lionsgate offers good/great video and audio transfers and a so-so selection of bonus material.





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

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