Poker Night (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Category||Action||Trailer-x 5 for other Eagle Entertainment releases|
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Greg Francis|
|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|
†††† The town of Warsaw Indiana was experiencing an increase in crime so the city authorities hit upon an interesting response: lure experienced or retired detectives from the big cities and use them to mentor local up and coming officers. Newly promoted detective Stan Jeter (Beau Mirchoff) is invited to attend the weekly poker night where Lieutenant Mike Calabrese (Ron Perlman) and detectives Floyd Maxwell (Titus Welliver), Byron Davis (Corey Large), AJ Bernard (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jason Cunningham (Ron Eldard) talk about their cases as a means of training Stan. But when Stan is abducted, beaten and imprisoned in a cellar by a mysterious masked man, he is going to have to draw on all those stories he heard from the senior detectives to work out what is happening and why. And just to complicate matters, Stanís underage girlfriend Amy (Halston Sage) is chained and being abused by his captor in nearby cellar.
†††† Poker Night is director / writer Greg Francisís first feature film although he has a number of TV and video directing credits. He obviously has promise for Poker Night is a clever film with a fractured chronology which jumbles past, present and future in and around itself, not unlike The Usual Suspects. There are scenes at the poker game, or should I say various poker games, flashbacks to cases the older detectives were involved in, events in Stanís life, Stanís attempts to escape and to save Amy and the search for Stan by the detectives. These are jumbled together, and some even impinge on the others such as where a bound and bloodied Stan sits in on the poker game! The killer (Michael Eklund) is a menacing presence in his lizard mask, but the tension is juxtaposed with some amusing flashback sequences of him going about his business in public, still wearing the mask and nobody reacting. As well, the film keeps one guessing as there is always this underlying question in sequences and storytelling scenes: what is really happening, is what we see real or imagined? Or re-imagined? The film also features good performances by Beau Mirchoff, ably supported by Ron Perlman and Giancarlo Esposito, and does maintain a great pace so that the plot holes and contrivances donít really matter.
†††† Poker Night is probably not quite as clever as it thinks it is but if you just go with it and enjoy the performances and convoluted storytelling you will have a lot of fun.
†††† Poker Night is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close the original ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Although shot using Arri Alexa digital cameras, Poker Night is not one to show off your system. Most of the print has been manipulated, including bright flashbacks, black and white sections or enhanced colours for effect and while the ďnormalĒ scenes are sharp in close-up, shadow detail is somewhat hazy and the colours quite glossy, with yellow and green tinges at different places, which does effect skin tones.
†††† Other than some slight ghosting against mottled surfaces, I did not notice any artefacts or marks.
†††† There are no subtitles.
†††† Audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
†††† Dialogue is not always clear, especially through the mask, when subtitles would have helped. In normal scenes the audio is front oriented but during flashbacks or scenes of violence or torture the Foley becomes enhanced and very loud for emphasis. The sub-woofer supported the enhanced effects and added boom elsewhere to increase the tension.
†††† The original score by Scott Glasgow was appropriate and effective.
†††† There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for Howl (2:11), Lap Dance (1:30), Alien Outpost (1:32), Electric Slide (2:16) and Grassland (1:58) 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 US Region A Blu-ray of Poker Night is the same technically as ours but includes English SDH subtitles and the filmís trailer.
†††† Poker Night is a bit of a surprise and far better than I expected. It has a simple premise but it is anything but simple in execution and writer / director Greg Francis is to be applauded for trying to do something a little different. While the plot may not quite hang together if you think about it too much, ultimately Poker Night has enough fun, zest and enthusiasm to keep one intrigued and wondering what will happen next.
†††† The video and audio are acceptable, there are no extras other than 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|