Montana (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 18-Feb-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Trailer-Sirius, Shame the Devil
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 108:24
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mo Ali
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Lars Mikkelsen
McKell David
Zlatko Buric
Ashley Walters
Adam Deacon
Michelle Fairley
Brad Moore
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Toydrum


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

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Plot Synopsis

     In Bosnia in 1995 during the breakup of Yugoslavia the wife and child of hitman / commando Dimitrije (Lars Mikkelsen) are murdered by para-military commanded by Slavko (Zlatko Buric), Dimitrije losing a leg and barely escaping with his life. Almost two decades later Dimitrije has tracked down and killed a number of the para-military soldiers in various European countries and has now followed Slavko to London. Slavko is now the wealthy and brutal leader of a drug gang controlling thugs such as Ryan (Ashley Walters) and Pitt (Adam Deacon) and corrupt police such as Phelps (Brad Moore). Also on his payroll is orphaned fourteen year old Montana (McKell David) who delivers drugs for him around the London tenements.

     As Dimitrije starts to kill Slavko’s underlings and steal his cocaine, the Police led by DCI Rachel Jones (Michelle Fairley) suspect a gang war is happening. Slavko starts to get, rightly, suspicious of some of his underlings and when Montana is attacked and the drugs he is carrying taken Slavko orders his execution. Montana is saved by Dimitrije, who has been watching him. When Montana learns that his father had also been killed on Slavko’s orders, he becomes Dimitrije’s pupil and is taught unarmed fighting and the use of automatic weapons. Retribution is on the way and it will be bloody.

     Montana is the second feature film of director Mo Ali following his 2010 film Shank which also featured Adam Deacon. Montana is slick and violent and Ali throws in a plethora of film school filmmaking tricks including a training montage, split screens, jerky camera work and jump cuts. The plot is also pretty standard drawing on any number of revenge films as well as films where a young person is trained by an older, more world- weary mentor (Leon – The Professional anyone). Some of the dialogue is also pretty dull but the film works mainly due to some energetic action sequences and the excellent performances and rapport of Lars Mikkelsen and McKell David.

     Lars Mikkelsen is an experienced Danish actor, and his Dimitrije is a damaged man with melancholy eyes who, while he teaches Montana about killing, comes to learn from Montana more than he intended about friendship, honour and respect. This is McKell David’s first feature and he brings a spirit and humour that is compelling and the scenes between Montana and Dimitrije are both funny and tinged with sadness. Perhaps the most familiar member in the cast is Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark of Game of Thrones) but in reality her DCI, and the police in general, have very little to do.

     Montana may not be anything too original, but the action is energetic and the relationship between the two central characters, tinged with history, sadness and a fair dose of humour, is well realised drawing us into the picture.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Montana is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is a very nice looking print. Detail is crisp and the colours have a deep, natural look and have not been noticeably manipulated. Blacks and shadow detail are excellent and some of the London cityscapes, both day and night, look beautiful. Brightness and contrast is consistent, skin tones natural.

     Other than some slight aliasing against vertical lines, marks and artefacts are absent.

     There are no subtitles, although white English subtitles (or in one case yellow) automatically translate the sections of non-English dialogue.

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

Audio

     The audio is a choice of English DTS-HD MA 5.1 or English Dolby Digital 5.1.

     Dialogue is sometimes a bit difficult to hear when subtitles would have been useful. This is not an overly aggressive audio track but the surrounds and rears supply music, trains passing, gunshots and the crashes of combat. The sub-woofer added appropriate bass to shots, thumps and the music.

    I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

     The original score by Toydrum is effective and included some loud rap music as well as more conventional music.

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

Extras

Trailers

     Trailers for Sirius (2:10) and Shame the Devil (1:49) can be selected from the menu. They are the only extras.

R4 vs R1

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

     There is not currently listed any Region A US or Region B UK releases of Montana. There is however a Region B German releases that seems to include cast and crew interviews and a making of that, as far as I can see, are not extensive.

Summary

     Montana may not be anything too original but it is certainly not the worst example of the revenge genre around. It is interesting, the action is nicely done and the relationship between the two central characters, humorous and sad in turns, is well realised.

     The video is very good, the audio fine. Trailers for other films are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, April 13, 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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