Bait (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Category||Horror||Featurette-The Making of Bait (45.45)|
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kimble Rendall|
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the supermarket…
Bait is a new Australian/Singaporean co-production shot on the Gold Coast utilising a few glorious beach exteriors at Coolangatta as well as the Roadshow studio. The presence of Singaporean money and a couple of Singaporean actors in this production is an interesting twist, but the full story is even more fascinating. Check out the article from the Sydney Morning Herald to get an insight into this somewhat novel approach to moviemaking here.
The plot of the film almost doesn't bear talking about. That's no insult but rather a reflection of the genre - shark attack horror. There is a little bit of backstory provided. Our hero Josh (Xavier Samuel) is being chided by his friend and fellow lifeguard Rory for proposing to Rory's sister Tina (Sharni Vincent). An horrific shark attack leads to Rory's death and the couple, devastated by the loss, go their separate ways.
A year later and Josh is working at a supermarket still clearly cut up by the loss. In one of two unfortunate coincidences that occur on the same day a tsunami of biblical proportions sweeps through the beachfront devastating the supermarket and turning it into an underground lake. As it happens, Tina and her new boyfriend from Singapore are visiting the supermarket that day and the former lovers are trapped together.
Also trapped are a bunch of other characters. As with the genre these are sketchily defined individuals where the only real question is who will get chomped next.Chomped I say? Well unfortunately for all and sundry there are a couple of hungry great whites circling in the murky waters of the supermarket and underground carpark.
Bait, to give it credit, is an entertaining film destined for Friday pizza nights. Most of the cast are young and pretty however there are a couple of more seasoned actors thrown in. Julian McMahon plays the good guy/bad guy with varying degrees of success but Martin Sacks actually takes the role very seriously and delivers a pretty good performance. The remainder of the cast, as I said, are really just potential shark food.
If you read the article above you will know that there was some effort taken to put the Australian accents in and out of the film. The result is a melange of accents; some Australian, some American and some mid-Atlantic, which at times either makes the film hilariously bad or hilariously good.
The film was originally a project for script writer director Russell Mulcahy who is no stranger to animals eating people, having directed Razorback some millennia ago. This film from former Hoodoo Gurus member and Second-Unit specialist Kimball Rendell ticks all the right boxes for this type of movie. Go in expecting Jaws and you will be disappointed but anyone looking for a fun diversion will find it in Bait.
Bait is presented on Blu-ray at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is consistent with the original cinema aspect ratio.
Firstly, the elephant (or at least big shark) in the room. This film was promoted as Bait 3-D . The version provided for review is the 2-D Blu-ray and not the 3-D Blu-ray which is available for purchase separately, at a higher cost. I suspect that the decision was made to release this Blu-ray in 2-D as well as 3-D as the likelihood of getting a bunch of friends over to watch the film, all who have 3-D glasses, was negligible. Therefore the film would be much more marketable prospect on home video in a 2-D format.
There is nothing particularly wrong with the decision to put a 3-D movie onto a 2-D format. Films like Hugo and Up are perfectly enjoyable in either format. However, viewers should be aware that at regular intervals in this film sharks, half munched bodies and stray objects leap or point towards the viewer. The effect is somewhat jarring and it doesn't help that the Chinese financed special effects are mostly pretty average. Everything made specifically for 3-D doesn't quite work.
That caveat aside it must be said that this is a top class Blu-ray transfer. The image quality is razor sharp.
The colours are bright and vibrant and the level of detail is superb. The flesh tones and blood tones are accurate.
The film was shot on high-definition digital. Much of the action is in semi-darkness yet the transfer handles this exceptionally well and there is no noise present.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired.
Bait comes with a punchy DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 English soundtrack.
The dialogue can be heard clearly throughout although it must be said that most of the dialogue is pretty much irrelevant, apart from the odd "look out-shark!". The sync is generally good but having learnt that there was a lot of overdubbing make me consciously look for the dub work. Occasionally it is noticeable.
The surround effects are well used to create tension particularly in those moments where the stranded group are trying to work out where the sharks are swimming and whether it is safe to get into the water. Hint - it usually isn't safe! When the sub woofer comes in it does so with great effect.
The music is perfectly suited to the movie ratcheting up the tension and then exploding at relevant times.
There are no defects with the sound transfer.
|Surround Channel Use|
Those who wanted to learn a bit more and spend a bit more time with this film will appreciate the lengthy Making of featurette included with this Blu-ray. It includes not just discussions with the director and the cast but also a fair amount of technical detail. In fact, it contains a lot of technical detail. The technical guys clearly had a ball working on the film and there is a lot of discussion about the particular equipment, techniques and problems which had to be overcome.
Unfortunately for those buying the 2-D Blu-ray release a lot of the discussion concentrates on the technical challenges and exciting prospects presented by filming of the movie on 3-D particularly underwater 3-D.
Lead actor Xavier Samuel gets to have some fun pretending to be a diva and the featurette is definitely a worthwhile watch if only for all the animatronic shark stuff. It is not, however, designed for casual viewing.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The versons available are the same. Buy local.
Bait is a lot of fun as long as you don't make the mistake of taking it too seriously. It is a B-movie through and through and delivers tension and shocks as well as a few laugh out loud moments.
Apart from the dodgy 3-D moments this is an exceptionally sharp Blu-ray transfer with good sound as well.
The extra feature is perhaps a little too technical and serious for the sort of fan who would be by the Blu-ray that is nevertheless an interesting watch.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|