John Wick (2014)

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Released 4-Mar-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Audio Commentary-by co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch
Featurette-Don’t F*ck with John Wick (14:14)
Featurette-N.Y.C Noir (5:45)
Trailer-Good People, A Most Violent Year
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 97:03
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chad Stahelski
David Leitch
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Keanu Reeves
Michael Nyqvist
Alfie Allen
Willem Dafoe
Adrianna Palicki



Case ?
RPI ? Music Tyler Bates
Joel J Richard
Le Castle Vania


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
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

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     John Wick (Keanu Reeves) had once been the most lethal, remorseless assassin for the Russian mob led by Viggo (Michael Nyqvist) until he found love and married, retiring with Viggo’s blessing. But four years later Wick’s wife had died of an unspecified illness and Wick is bereft, his only pleasures now his 1969 Mustang and the dog his wife had left him as a parting gift. But one day while Wick is putting petrol into his car a man offers to buy it. Wick declines and that night his house is invaded, Wick knocked senseless, his dog killed and his car stolen. Wick quickly discovers that the person responsible was Viggo’s psychotic son Iosef (Alfie Allen) and he sets out to gain revenge. Viggo puts a $2 million bounty on Wick’s head, attracting Wick’s old friend Marcus (Willem Dafoe) and female assassin Ms. Perkins (Adrianna Palicki) into the game. Mayhem ensues.

     There is nothing subtle about the plot or characterisations in John Wick; we know where this film is going pretty much from the start! John Wick is directed by Chad Stahelski and (an uncredited) David Leitch. Neither have directed previously but each have 70+ entries for stunt performer / stunt co-ordinator listed on the IMDb including Serenity (2005) (both), The Hunger Games (2012), The Expendables (2010) (Stahelski), Jupiter Ascending (2015) (Leitch), while Stahelski worked on The Matrix (1999) as the stunt double for Keanu Reeves! Hollywood can be a small place! With this pedigree, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch know how to turn on the action and this is indeed where John Wick excels.

     After some minor flashbacks and an attempt to flesh out, rather woodenly, the character of Wick, for the rest of its running time John Wick is a succession of action set pieces using a variety of guns and brutal hand to hand combat in houses, hotel rooms, a church, a night club, and there is a car chase. These sequences are well staged and exhilarating; bullets fly and ricochet, bodies are propelled through glass, furniture and fittings are demolished, kicks and punches thud as Wick takes out a succession of mobsters in his search for Iosef. The number of people killed by Wick during the film has been said to be 76 (or 84 by another source, and no I did not count them) while the total body count in the film is said to be 119! This is mayhem on a grand scale. The role of Wick is one that required stoicism, subdued emotion and few words but a lot of physical action so it suits Keanu Reeves perfectly who did most of his own fighting and driving stunts, allowing the camera to get up close and personal.

     John Wick is a fun, exciting film for those who enjoy action! The plot may be secondary but it is not dumb, like some action films, while the fights and stunts are loud, chaotic and spectacular while Keanu Reeves is as cool as only he can be. John Wick is apparently the first in a trilogy of films and John Wick 2 has already been announced.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     John Wick is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print has been colour manipulated in a lot of scenes; some look ochre, others grey, red or green while the nightclub scene is very blue. Some of the grading does affect sharpness, but close-ups are very crisp and detailed and the colours in other scenes have a digital glossy look that is pleasant. Blacks are fabulous, such as in some of the night city landscapes, and shadow detail excellent which is just as well as a number of fight sequences take place in darkness. Brightness and contrast are consistent and skin tones fine.

     I did not notice any obvious artefacts or marks.

     The layer change at 38:08 created a slight pause during a scene change.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available. As well, subtitles come on automatically to translate sections of Russian dialogue; they are mainly white but sometimes words are highlighted by the use of other colours.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     This is a loud and enveloping audio track, suiting an action film. Dialogue is clear and centred. The surrounds and rears contained music, ambient and weather effects but exploded into life during the action sequences with gunshots, ricochets, punches and kicks, engines and bodies hitting the furniture or propelled through glass. There are also frequent panning effects for bullets and engines. The sub-woofer added bass to the explosions, gunfire, car crashes, engines and music without unbalancing the sound design.

     The film has a driving electronic and rock music score by Tyler Bates, Joel J Richard and Le Castle Vania plus some contributions by others including Marilyn Mason, Ciscandra Nostalghia, MSG and Suzie Q and Candy Shop Boys. It sounds great in the mix and added to the fun.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

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

Extras

Trailers

     Trailers for Good People (2:02) and A Most Violent Year (2:13) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

Audio Commentary

     Co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are good friends and they chat nonstop and provide a lively, entertaining, humorous and informative commentary with only a little silliness and “I love this”. They talk about locations, their influences and intentions, the look of the film, the cast and the music. Well worth a listen.

Don’t F*ck with John Wick (14:14)

     Basically this is about the personality, the training, fighting and driving skills of Keanu Reeves. Some film clips, a lot of preparation and behind the scenes footage plus comments from the directors, producers, writer, stunt coordinator, fight choreographer, stunt performers and a number of the cast, including Reeves. Reasonable.

N.Y.C Noir (5:45)

     Making the film feel like a graphic novel and including New York as a character. Film clips and comments by the directors, producers, writer, production designer and a number of the cast. OK but limited.

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 and the US Region A Blu-rays of John Wick include the same extras as our DVD but add 4 additional featurettes. However, the Region 1 US DVD of John Wick seems to be bare bones which means a win for Region 4 as far as DVD is concerned.

Summary

     John Wick is over the top. It includes humour, full on action, colourful locations in New York and a Keanu Reeves who is very cool and back in form. Action fans, and / or fans of Reeves will enjoy it.

     The video and audio are very good (the Blu-ray should be spectacular!). Although the DVD does not get all the extras included on the Blu-ray, it is still a decent package as it includes the good commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 17, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Audio difference on Blu-ray -