Fire with Fire (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 4-Jan-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Animation & Audio-Animated computer screen and music
Theatrical Trailer-Lawless (2:26) 2.40:1 and 1080p.
Theatrical Trailer-End of Watch (2:21) 1.85:1 and 1080p.
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 97:02
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Barrett
Studio
Distributor
Voltage Pictures
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Josh Duhamel
Bruce Willis
Rosario Dawson
Vincent D'Onofrio
Julian McMahon
50 Cent
Richard Schiff
Vinnie Jones
Eric Winter
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $39.95 Music Trevor Morris


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Credits begin 13:51 into action.

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Plot Synopsis

     Although it boasts a trio of stars, Fire with Fire did not receive a cinema release either in the U.S. or Australia. It has just been released theatrically in Brazil, and in March has dates set in Ireland, the U.K. and Russia. However, this is an efficient action / thriller entertainment that is more watchable than many others that regularly find their way to the big screen.

     Pre-credits we are introduced to Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel), a member of the Long Beach Fire Department. Jeremy and his fellow fire-fighters are in action fighting a blaze in a liquor store. For their efforts, the valiant crew is rewarded with a case of fifteen year-old Scotch and return to their station house for some locker room banter. The guys set off to Jeremy's to enjoy their Scotch and stop at a convenience store to pick up some munchies. Jeremy is a terrified witness to a robbery that turns into the brutal double murder of the store's owner and his son, committed by an Aryan brotherhood crime boss, David Hagan (Vincent D`Onofrio). Later Hagan is arrested by police detective Mike Cella (Bruce Willis) and Jeremy identifies Hagan in a police line-up. Hagan eyeballs the identifying witness through the one-way plate glass and threateningly recites Jeremy's name, address and social security number. Jeremy is placed under police protection and has assigned as his guard/protector Deputy U.S. Marshal Talia Durham (Rosario Dawson). In hiding under the protection program, a romance develops between Jeremy and Talia. However, Hagan's attorney (Richard Schiff) arranges for his client's release and Talia is wounded when Hagan's henchmen, led by Robert (Julian McMahon), attack them in a motel. With Talia wounded, Jeremy flees from the protection program and sets off to systematically eliminate Hagan and his men in order to protect the woman he loves. And be warned! Things get very brutal.

     The handsomely cute Josh Duhamel (Life as We Know It) makes a likeable protagonist, though never really conveying the isolated, idealistic loner who finally finds his love, and then descends into animalistic brutality in order to save her. He begins well, but deteriorates to become a bellowing, standard bad-ass action hero. Bruce Willis is just Bruce, and that's enjoyable enough, but a more individual characterisation would have helped the movie. His relationship with Hagan is very vague. Rosario Dawson looks dreadful, but does the best with what she is offered in the role. The baddies come off best, with Vincent D’Onofrio (The Salton Sea) hulking and menacing and Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck) strong in his limited role. Richard Schiff (TV's House of Lies) also has a couple of good scenes as the somewhat reluctant defender of his evil client. Generally the support is very solid, with special mention also due to Eric Winter (The Ugly Truth) who registers strongly in his conventional buddy role.

     Director David Barrett here graduates from stunt work on movies such as The Town and The Double, and does well with his first directorial chore. Particularly good are the earlier scenes, with impressive use of the full 2.40:1 widescreen frame. The director is strongly assisted in this by cinematographer Christopher Probst, on only his second feature, and an impressive score from Trevor Morris (TV's Pillars of the Earth). With his first feature credit, Tom O`Connor has delivered a screenplay that has more depth and characterisation than we generally find in this genre. There is substance in the writing that never quite finds its way onto the screen. The very likeable Josh Duhamel is miscast, his golden boy good looks at odds with the isolated loner we are supposed to see at the outset, and Bruce Willis gives us nothing below the surface. However, it is all well paced, the action sequences are exciting and the baddies are genuinely threatening.

     If you really like fast paced crime thrillers, you should have a good time with this. If you simply like good movies, you might find that this very nearly was one. It's well worth ninety minutes of your time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is given a very good high definition transfer.

     The original wide screen ratio of 2.40:1 is preserved, and many of the images are very interestingly composed.

     The image is sharp and detailed throughout, with pore revealing close-ups of the youthful hero.

     Detail continues to be high in the many darker scenes.

     Colours are muted, as you would expect in such a film, but skin tones are not too annoying.

     There are English Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired, white and centred at the foot of the screen.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are two English streams : English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Encoded, with optional Audio Description for the Vision Impaired.

     Dialogue is sharp, clear and centred. There are no sync problems.

     There is little movement across the fronts, but the sound field is very alive during the many action sequences. Car chases and fights are very dynamic, with booming bass evident throughout. The music of Trevor Morris also gets the full surround treatment.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Not a single, solitary thing related to the feature itself.

Menu

     A computer image screen with animated information regarding characters and the protection programme, accompanied by electronic music.

Startup Theatrical Trailers (4:47)

     Lawless (2:26) : Presented 2.40:1 and 1080p, End of Watch (2:21) : Presented 1.78:1 and 1080p.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Our local release misses out on two feature length commentaries, the first by the director and the cinematographer, the second by actors Vincent DÓnofrio, Eric Winter and James Lesure, two hours of cast and crew interviews, and a trailer.

Summary

     Here is an efficient crime thriller that is better than most, while not really doing full credit to its material. An energetic, efficient cast, with the baddies making a bigger impact than the goodies. In a very nice high definition widescreen transfer the action scenes are well handled and the ninety-odd minutes go by very quickly. Our release gets not one relevant extra. Why?

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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