AWOL-72 (Blu-ray) (2015)
|Category||Thriller/Action||Trailer-x 2 for other Eagle releases|
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Christian Sesma|
|RPI||?||Music||Michael John Mallo|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Lieutenant Colonel Conrad Miller (Luke Goss) is an American marine and possible double agent who has gone AWOL after apparently stealing something from the Russians. He is on his way to a rendezvous with a contact near LA after which he intends to take his pregnant girlfriend Laura (Heather Roop) and flee the country. On his trail is Russian Special Agent Cushko (Adam Gregor), who has enlisted the help of LAPD Detective Adams (RZA), and a hitman from the CIA, Myron (Bokeem Woodbine). To complicate matters even further, when Miller seeks a room in an isolated motel for the night he falls into the hands of a group of white slavers and drug dealers with links to a corrupt cop. Can Miller live long enough to meet his contact, pass over the information and get away with Laura?
†††† AWOL-72 includes a plethora of characters and plot-lines into its short 82 minute running time. It is an action thriller but also a mystery, a film which certainly does not spell out what is really going on, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Is Miller a double agent and what has he taken from the Russians that they want back so badly? Whose side is Myron really on? However, AWOL-72 takes the mystery to extremes by fleetingly introducing characters, such as Adamsís policewoman girlfriend, Millerís contact, Lauraís two girlfriends or Cap, and giving them some scenes which are pretty much superfluous to the main storyline. And surely there is enough going on with the groups hunting Miller without the introduction of the white slavers; this section seems to be another story entirely which allows Miller to take out some scum who clearly deserve it. Yet, if this entire section were cut, it makes no difference to the main story and it feels a bit as if inexperienced director / co-writer Christian Sesma had an idea for a plot outline that, in making the film, needed to be padded out.
†††† Yet an action film should be judged by the action and AWOL-72 delivers some intense and brutal hand to hand combat scenes plus a few gunfights. Certainly Gossís acting and delivery of dialogue is on the taciturn side but he looks the part with his shirt off and moves well in the action sequences so they are well worth watching. Hip hop artist and producer RZA can be termed a martial arts film geek; for example, he provided the score for Jim Jarmuschís excellent quasi- samurai film Ghost Dog (1999), has turned up doing audio commentaries on DVD releases of martial arts classics such as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and a couple of years ago he made his directorial debut with The Man with the Iron Fists (2012). His interest in films probably outweighs his talents as an actor; his performance in AWOL-72 is certainly patchy but he is not as bad as some critics maintain.
†††† One can applaud an action film that does not spell out everything for the audience and as an action film AWOL-72 is interesting and certainly watchable over its short running time. On the other hand, the film tries to cram too much and feels more like a work in progress than a fully developed script.
†††† AWOL-72 is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the original ratio being 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† The print has good detail but there are a lot of instances of glare when the light source is behind the actor when the detail is much softer. Colours are glossy and natural except where the print has been colour manipulated, such as the final sequence which has a brown tinge. Skin tones can also look quite brown although blacks and shadow detail are fine and brightness and contrast consistent except for the glare.
†††† There is some motion blur against vertical lines, such as the rails at 31:15, but marks and other artefacts are absent.
†††† There are no subtitles available, although small yellow subtitles automatically translate sections of Russian dialogue.
†††† Audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
†††† In quite a few sections dialogue was difficult to hear due to effects, mumbled delivery or softness, when subtitles would have helped. Effects are crisp, with deep gunshots and thumps in hand to hand combat, but this is not an overly enveloping audio and it is mostly music in the rears and surrounds, even during the action sequences. The sub-woofer supported the music and some thumps and crashes.
†††† The original score by Michael John Mallo sounded generic, neither memorable nor intrusive, and it was supported by a few hip hop tracks by KC Bandz.
†††† There are no lip synchronisation problems.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for 7 Minutes and Rushlights 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.
†††† I cannot find another version of AWOL-72 listed on Amazon at this time.
†††† AWOL-72 tries to be a mystery as well as an action thriller. It does not quite succeed as even with the short running time it feels alternatively padded or unfinished. The action however is worth watching and Luke Goss looks the part.
†††† The video and audio are OK. A couple of trailers for other films are the only extras.
|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|