Oct 052019

I was a little disappointed in Awake as I am usually a fan of the crime-drama genre, however the convoluted and contrived plot was too much to ignore, though I do like seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a leading role.




Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama, Crime
Cinedigm | NR – 92 min. – $19.97 | September 24, 2019

Date Published: 10/05/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Alex Cher, Fedor Lyass
Writer(s): Elana Zeltser (written by)
Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Francesca Eastwood, Malik Yoba, William Forsythe

Features: None
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 19.01 GB
Total Bitrate: 25.87 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Cinedigm 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 — 1.5/5

Note: This review contains some MAJOR SPOILERS, so please beware.

Plot Synopsis: On a quiet evening, a shabby beige sedan speeds down a country highway. Dust and gravel fly through the air after being targeted and rear-ended, the car slides out of control into a ravine… Later, a man wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. His nurse, Diana (FRANCESCA EASTWOOD), is unable to find any identification and refers to him as John Doe (JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS). FBI Agent Frank Ward (MALIK YOBA) and police Sheriff Roger Bower (WILLIAM FORSYTH) barge into the hospital, accusing John of being a serial killer responsible for the murder of several young women in the area. John manages to escape forcing Diana to go with him, before believing John to be innocent, and the pair set off to gather clues and evidence to prove his innocence.

Review: Generally speaking, I love crime-dramas. From Heat to yes, Criminal Minds, it’s the genre I’m most attracted to (and I also include true crime television). So I went into Awake with some high hopes even though it is a movie that was direct-to-video and even then, not exactly a highly promoted release. Unfortunately, I can see why this was quietly dumped.

Awake is a film that is one of the more convoluted, contrived and messy films I’ve seen in a while, at least one not from Grindstone Entertainment. Will be getting into spoiler territory here, but I’m sure the film’s writer, Elana Zeltser (debut), had a great idea and all, but by the time we get to the end, the explanation on what happened made zero sense, and it was never exactly explained, and the only one I can come up with — taking a missing girl’s car with her body in the trunk to meet and take the suspect into custody — would completely torpedo the case.

The performances I suppose were okay all things considered and it is nice seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a leading role, though still not sure about his Southern accent, however didn’t detect his natural Irish accent coming through; Francesca Eastwood kind of went through the motions and didn’t exactly deliver a great performance, kind of disappointing turn for her when compared to her amazing role in M.F.A. and was a little distracting wearing baggy clothing, although in fairness, I believe it was to cover up her pregnancy.

The supporting cast was also fine. William Forsythe as the town sheriff gave the  thin role some weight while Malik Yoba, an actor I’m not very familiar with (never watched Designated Survivor), is more or less a discount Idris Elba, though I did like of like the guy in the part (setting aside some of the recent allegations).

Awake was directed by Alex Cher (short for Aleksandr Chernyaev) and Fedor Lyass; not sure if there were some production troubles and one took over for the other, but this does mark Lyass’ feature debut and Chernyaev’s English-language debut after helming a trio of Russian films.

In the end, there was an interesting hook for Awake but because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, coupled with many convoluted scenes in between, this was a misfire.



No features were included.


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Cinedigm releases Awake onto Blu-ray where it’s presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. Right from the opening, there was some obvious banding with the transition of colors in the sky, but otherwise the movie looks fairly good, detail is relatively sharp while colors are a bit on the muted side considering the dusty Oklahoma setting.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes equipped with a standard but still effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 which does output crisp and clear dialogue levels via the center channel and some respectable depth from the front and rear speakers, although nothing spectacular.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

Overall, I was a little disappointed in Awake as I am usually a fan of the crime-drama genre, however the convoluted and contrived plot was too much to ignore, though I do like seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a leading role.




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

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