Walk Among the Tombstones, A (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 18-Feb-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama Featurette-Matt Scudder: Private Eye (6:26)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-A Look Behind the Tombstones (12:07)
Trailer-x 3 for other Roadshow releases
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 113:40
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Scott Frank
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Liam Neeson
Dan Stevens
Boyd Holbrook
Brian “Astro” Bradley



Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Carlos Rafael Rivera


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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     This plot summary is repeated from my review on this site of the Region 4 DVD.

     Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson), an alcoholic New York policeman, was in a bar when it was robbed and the owner shot dead by three men. He pursued the men, shooting two dead and wounding the third, but one of his shots accidentally killed a young girl bystander. He left the police force and now, eight years later, is an unlicensed private detective, going to AA meetings and doing favours for people. Scudder is approached by Peter Kristo (Boyd Holbrook), who he knew from an AA meeting, and asked to help Peter’s brother Kenny (Dan Stevens). Kenny’s wife had been abducted, and despite a ransom being paid she was killed and dismembered. Kenny wants Scudder to find the killers, but as Kenny is a drug trafficker Scudder declines. But when he finds that this was not the first case of a women connected with drug dealers being mutilated and killed and it seems clear that the killers will strike again, with the help of street kid TJ (Brian “Astro” Bradley) Scudder starts to investigate among the tenements and mean streets of New York.

     A Walk Among the Tombstones is based upon the book of the same name by Lawrence Block, the tenth out of seventeen (at last count) Scudder novels. The film has received some lukewarm reviews, which is a surprise as it is a well-crafted, tense and atmospheric thriller from director / screenwriter Scott Frank, who is better known as a screenwriter (Out of Sight (1998) , Minority Report (2002)) although he wrote and directed the well regarded The Lookout (2007)). The film also stars action go-to man of the moment Liam Neeson who, although A Walk Among the Tombstones is not a full on action film such as the Taken franchise, gives a fine, low key and grizzled performance that is well worth watching.

     There is a lot to like about A Walk Among the Tombstones. It is a gritty, tightly scripted crime drama it, avoids any “love interest”, the New York locations are well photographed by DP (Mihai Malaimare Jr), and has Liam Neeson in good form. It is rather better than some critics suggest.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Walk Among the Tombstones is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close to the 2.35:1 original theatrical ratio, using MPEG-4 AVC.

     This is a dark film, with many sequences taking place at night or in dimly lit rooms. The colour palate is very muted, with only occasional sections of bright colour, but the blacks and shadow detail are excellent, allowing us to see what we are intended to see. The print is also sharp and nicely detailed, with natural skin tones and consistent brightness and contrast.

     There is less ghosting with movement against mottled background such brick walls, railings or wire than the DVD, but it is still there. Otherwise artefacts and marks are absent.

    English descriptive captions for the hearing impaired are available.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track plus there is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio descriptive track for the vision impaired using a female voice.

     This film is not action film as such yet the surrounds and rears are used frequently for weather effects, such as the rain which seems more of less constant, thunder, music and effects. There are also some directional effects, such as doors closing. They are more active in the action scenes with loud, deep gunshots and a car crash. The sub-woofer gave appropriate support to the gunshots, engines, the thunder, crash and the music. The dialogue, especially by Brian “Astro” Bradley, was occasionally difficult to hear even when he was not using street talk!

     The choral and orchestral score by Carlos Rafael Rivera was understated, often melancholy and effective.

     Lip synchronisation fine.

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

Extras

Trailers (6:47)

     Trailers for John Wick, Good People and A Most Violent Year play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

Matt Scudder: Private Eye (6:26)

     Some film and on-set footage plus author Lawrence Block, screenwriter / director Scott Frank, star Liam Neeson and three of the producers talking mostly about the character of Matt Scudder.

A Look Behind the Tombstones (12:07)

     A lot of film clips, a bit of on-set footage plus comments by Scott Frank, three producers and cast Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook, Brian “Astro” Bradley, David Harbour and Adam David Thompson; topics include the script, various characters, the intentions and New York. Superficial.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

     Our Region B Blu-ray and the US Region A Blu-ray releases of A Walk Among the Tombstones are the same.

Summary

     A Walk Among the Tombstones is not a full on action film, although the action sequences, including the excellent opening, are well staged and exciting. Rather the film is a slowly building mystery, with excellent photography of the run down New York locations, a tense and tight script and Liam Neeson. It is far better than some reviews lead me to expect, and is well worth watching.

     The Blu-ray video is an improvement over the DVD, the audio is good. The extras are few, but we get the same as available in other regions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
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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