Wild Card (2014)
|Category||Action||Trailer-x 3 for other Roadshow titles|
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Simon West|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Nick Wild (Jason Statham) is a security consultant in Las Vegas with a gambling problem, down on his luck and dreaming of making enough money to escape to Corsica. He is approached by Cyrus Kinnick (Michael Angarano), a wealthy young man who is visiting Las Vegas to gamble and who wants to hire Nick to be his bodyguard and show him around. Nick agrees, although Cyrus seems to know a lot about Nick and may have a hidden agenda. At the same time Nick receives a call from ex-girlfriend Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido); she has been raped and brutally beaten and wants Nick to help her find the men who did it so she can take revenge. Nick is reluctant, especially when he discovers that the man involved, Danny DeMarco (Milo Ventimiglia), is connected with the Mob. Nick, however, is too soft-hearted to turn Holly down he helps Holly to get her revenge although he knows this will bring him to the attention of local Mob boss Baby (Stanley Tucci) and may cost him his life. With Cyrus Nick also wins and loses a fortune at blackjack in the casino but finds an unexpected ally who helps Nick to see himself in a new light.
†††† Wild Card has received some indifferent reviews and it could be that most fans expect a Jason Statham picture to be a full on action film, which Wild Card is not. It does have three well staged, high impact hand to hand combat sequences courtesy of experienced Hong Kong action director Corey Yuan but the film, as written by William Goldman based upon his own novel Heat, tries mainly to be a character based drama.
†††† Heat was published in 1985 and the book has been filmed before, in 1986 as Heat starring Burt Reynolds. Goldman has excellent writing credentials as he is a dual Oscar winner for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the Presidentís Men (1976) and he also penned the wonderful The Princes Bride (1987) as well a very interesting autobiography Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983). Yet, Wild Card feels stagey and dated; it has a talky script which, added to a stoic, one-note performance by Statham, means that the character elements and the drama never quite convince.
†††† Wild Card is directed by Simon West whose early feature films were Con Air (1997) and the underrated The Generalís Daughter (1999) although he seems more of a director for hire these days with predictable action fare like The Expendables 2 (2012) and Stolen (2012). Nevertheless, in Wild Card West does a workmanlike and professional job which, added to the impressive casino locations and the action sequences, helps make Wild Card reasonably diverting and watchable.
†††† Wild Card is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the original theatrical ratio being 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
†††† This print has a few problems. Although the film was shot using Red Epic digital cameras West has said he intended to give Wild Card a film-like appearance, with grain to simulate an old fashioned look, and some pleasing grain is indeed evident especially in exterior day-light shots. Close-ups are crisp and detailed although in wider shots detail can be lacking. Some interiors have issues; around 11:04, for example, the glare creates a halo effect around the actors and the horizontal blinds produce what looks like interlacing across them while the background yellow looks garish and unnatural (see also 74:17 for another example). Exterior shots of the Las Vegas strip are fine with good blacks. Skin tones look yellowish under lights while, except as noted above, contrast and brightness is consistent.
†††† There was slight ghosting against broken surfaces and shimmer on the end titles.
††††English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available in a largish white font.
†††† The layer change was not noticeable on my equipment.
†††† Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps and there is an English descriptive audio track in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.
†††† I found that the dialogue and most of the music emanated from the front of the sound stage. Dialogue was sometimes a bit difficult to hear, which made the subtitles more useful, and the rears were mostly silent or used for a bit of ambient sound. I did notice some effects in the rears during the fight sequences, and once a car passed by, but this was not a particularly enveloping audio track. The subwoofer supported the music and the crashes and thumps.
††††Lip synchronisation is fine.
††††The original score by Oscar winner Dario Marianelli (Atonement) was good and it was augmented by a diverse range of music including songs by Dean Martin, The Drifters and Ray Charles, a bit of Mozart and a version of Money (Thatís What I Want.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for Letís Kill Wardís Wife (1:26), American Sniper (1:50) and Ask Me Anything (2:16) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The Blu-Ray Region A Blu-ray of Wild Card includes as extras a commentary by director West and two minor featurettes, on characters (16:26) and the script (5:17).
†††† There are two different DVD versions of Wild Card available in Region 1 US; the theatrical release (which is what we have) and the extended version which adds about 10 minutes to the film. The Blu-ray mentioned above contains only the shorter theatrical release. I cannot find any reviews of the Region 1 US DVDs, so I cannot say whether the extras on the Blu-ray are also on the DVD(s). If they are this is a win to the US due to the commentary, which is reported to be reasonably interesting.
†††† Wild Card is not due to be released in the UK until the end of July.
†††† Our Region B Blu-ray of Wild Card is also the theatrical version and extras free.
†††† Jason Statham fans looking for non-stop action may be disappointed but for a casual viewing Wild Card is well made, entertaining enough and watchable.
†††† The video has some issues, the audio is functional. The only extras are trailers for other films.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 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 Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|