Stolen (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 5-Jun-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Trailer-x 3 but none for this film
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 95:32
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Simon West
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Nicolas Cage
Josh Lucas
Danny Huston
Malin Akerman
Sami Gayle
Edrick Browne
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Mark Isham


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     I recently reviewed the DVD version of Stolen. This plot synopsis is repeated from that review.

     Will (Nicolas Cage) and Vincent (Josh Lucas) are part of a team of robbers stealing $10 million in cash from a bank vault in New Orleans. However, an FBI team led by Tim Harlend (Danny Huston) have had advance warning and are staking out the bank; they spring the trap but the robbers, except Will, escape. To avoid a longer sentence by being caught with stolen money, Will burns the cash before being arrested.

     When Will is released after eight years in gaol all he wants to do is to go straight and to reconnect to his daughter Alison (Sami Gayle) who is now 15. However Harlend and the FBI do not believe that Will destroyed the money and keep a close watch up him, hoping that he will lead them to it. Vincent also believes that Will has the money, and he wants his share. He kidnaps Alison and locks her into the boot of his taxi, cruising the New Orleans streets during Mardi Gras while giving Will 12 hours to come up with the money. Dogged by the FBI at every turn, and not having the cash, Will is forced to return to his old trade and decides to rob a bank to get the money to save his daughter before time runs out.

     Nicolas Cage can act; he won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1996 and was nominated for Adaptation in 2003 but lost out to Adrien Brody in The Pianist. In the mid-90s he was at his action hero apex with the wildly entertaining trio of The Rock (1996), Con Air and Face/Off (both 1997). Now it seems he will do anything for money, with a succession of action films such as Ghost Rider (2007), Bangkok Dangerous (2008), Season of the Witch and Drive Angry (both 2011). That said, Cage is not actually too bad in Stolen, mostly avoiding those all too familiar facial expressions and mannerisms and giving a competent performance, although character development from Cage, or anyone else for that matter, is non-existent. Stolen was directed by Simon West, whose first feature films were Con Air (with Cage) and the interesting and underrated The General’s Daughter (1999), but he too seems more of a director for hire these days with predictable action fare like The Expendables 2 (2012). Yet it must be said that while Stolen is nothing original, both West and Cage are professionals and do a workmanlike job.

     Stolen starts with a 20 minute bank heist that is exciting and well-staged. Unfortunately nothing in the rest of the film is quite as good. Although the New Orleans locations and the colourful Mardi Gras procession look good, the remaining action scenes, and especially the car stunts, feel old hat and pedestrian; it has all been done before, and better. The plot itself, from the kidnap on, makes little or no sense, and although Will has only 12 hours to rescue his daughter, there is not much of a feel of passing time, so the film does not create the tension it should.

     Nevertheless, Stolen is not a bad film. It is certainly a by the numbers thriller, but it is well made, workmanlike and diverting enough during its 90 minute running time. On another note: the film has a character in the taxi with the most atrocious Australian accent and colourful “Oz” phrases I have heard for a long time. I guess the Yanks still find us amusing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Stolen is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close to the original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 code.

     The print is sharp, the detail very good in close-up. The colours are good looking and natural although the palate tends towards grey / blue in some scenes. The exteriors during the Mardi Gras parade scenes are bright and very colourful. Skin tones are good, contrast and brightness consistent. Blacks are rock solid, shadow detail excellent. Marks and artefacts were absent.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

     A very good looking print.

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

Audio

     The Blu-ray menu indicates that the audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1, which is incorrect; it is a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1. There is also an English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio description track at 192 Kbps.

     Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. The surrounds and rears, as expected in an action film, are in frequent use with music, crowd noises, car engines and crashes, and there are some directional effects, especially during the car chases. However, I felt that the music, by Mark Isham, in the mix tended to overwhelm the Foley in some of the car chases, lessening their effect. This was not the case with the sub-woofer, which added appropriate rumble to the crashes, and the music.

    Lip synchronisation was fine.

     As noted the original score by Mark Isham felt intrusive on occasions. It was augmented by some pop songs, including by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

    The audio was generally good.

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

Extras

     On start-up the following trailers play and need to be skipped: Silver Linings Playbook (2:26), Safe Haven (2:15) and Beautiful Creatures (1:44). They cannot be selected from the menu.

     There are no other extras.

R4 vs R1

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

     The Region A US Blu-ray includes as extras: a featurette (6:43), cast and crew interviews (42:16) and a behind the scenes featurette (10:55). The UK Blu-ray is to be released in early August and as yet I have no details of specifications or extras.

     While reviews of the US releases do not think too much of the extras, at least there are some which would give the US version the nod.

Summary

     Stolen, is a by the numbers thriller, professional, workmanlike and diverting enough for its 90 minute running time although it all has been done before, and better.

     The Blu-ray video is very good, and audio good. There are no relevant extras and we miss out on those available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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