Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Audio Commentary-Audio Commentary with writer/director Michael Davis
Deleted Scenes-Deleted/Alternative Scenes with Optional Commentary
Featurette-Making Of-Ballet of Bullets: The Making of Shoot 'Em Up
Trailer-Addictive TV Remix Trailer, Theatrical and Redband Trailer
|Year Of Production||2007|
|Running Time||83:00 (Case: 86)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Michael Davis|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 6.1 ES Discrete (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|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|
Scattershot, irresponsible, immature and insane are all accurate words to describe Shoot 'Em Up, a film without a cohesive narrative that exists only to display a dozen or so outrageous, awesome action sequences, all based around shoot-outs. Astonishing violent and astonishingly stylish, the film is a thrilling mess. Find Mr. Smith cutting the umbilical cord after helping the mother give birth by shooting it, followed up by a lengthy series of scenes reminsicent of Hard-Boiled in which our hero Smith protects the baby in his arms whilst gunning down everyone targeting him. There's a firefight in the air after Smith exits a plane midflight and is pursued by trigger happy goons anxious to annihilate him, many of whom end up falling victim to helicopter blades. A wire rigged series of firearms give Smith the advantage in a warehouse shoot-out where he's outnumbered 50-to-1; later, a sex scene is interrupted by a group of armed gunfighters and Mr. Smith returns fire while continuing to have sex. Not to mention the many scenes in which enemies are offed - extremely violently - by carrots.
Too stupid to be truly offensive and too stylish to be repellant, consider Shoot 'Em Up to be the lowbrow amalgamation of Sin City, Merrie Melodies and every John Woo Hong Kong actioner. If not for the insane dwelling on various fetishes alongside several fascinating, perfectly-choreographed shootouts (the type where you can actually see what's going on, thank you Michael Bay) it would be instantly forgettable. But the film lacks purpose, and runs its course with unfortunate scenes of exposition that seem to suggest at different times that the film is an anti-violence tract, then a gun control tract, then an anti-gun-control tract, then something about the notion of lying to your family, and so on so on, and it all ends up being a confused mess. It's action sequences range from the astonishing - a home invasion gunfight is wonderfully choreographed and thoroughly nutty - to the truly terrible - the horrible shootout in the sky in which you'll basically be able to see the green screen - but it isn't left as particularly special because of the lack of something in the center to hold onto, even if it's undeniably fun to watch, and definitely interesting; consider the nutty morality in which dedicated mother figure DQ sells blowjobs in order to buy the baby a bulletproof vest, and later creates a cozy home for mother and child within an armored tank. At times the film seems downright vicious towards women, and constantly transgresses placing a baby in the line of fire, but it also empowers the DQ character a surprising amount for the typically misogynistic genre, and allows her to grow in her interactions between Smith and the baby. Overall, as mentioned, the film is an insane mess, and a very violent one: note the R18+ rating, which is bloody hard to earn nowadays (hey, OFLC, did you idiots actually watch Saw IV?!) and is definitely warranted by some of the wonderfully stylistic, extreme scenes of bloodletting that Shoot 'Em Up has to offer.
But it's an undeniably entertaining film, with Clive Owen reprising his Dwight/Theo/Clive Owen role as Mr. Smith, an everyman living with the same frustrations as most hormonally charged young gents (say, frustration at aggressive drivers who cut lanes without indicating) but with the freedom to do something about them (run them off the road, into a brick wall). He sells the film, and sells the action set pieces; likewise Paul Giamatti weighs in with an excellent out-of-character perfomance as the dry, often nasty villain. It's all a lot of fun, is what I'm saying, and undeniably a notch above current action garbage like Transformers and Rush Hour 3, even if it isn't going to break into the ranks of film literature.
If there was one word to describe the picture in Shoot 'Em Up, it would be gritty. With lots of darkness, grimy surfaces and blood splatter, there's not a lot of bright colours to fill the space, but the video transfer delivers here to show off just how good a dark film can be. There's no interlacing or artefacts, and no grain across the entire presentation, with low level noise completely absent from even the darkest scenes - that said, the trade off is the occasional lack of detail in the darker parts of scenes, although for the most the film remains consistently sharp and looks excellent.
This is a dual-layer disc with a layer change at 76:13 that was completely unnoticeable on my equipment.There are English subtitles for the hearing impaired, which are accurate and readable based on my sample.
I'd heard some terrible things about all three different soundtracks for this film, and straight off the mark was extremely unimpressed with the Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mix, which the DVD defaults to. With rear speaker usage kept to an absolute minimum and very little sound from the subwoofer, the only difference between this and the stereo mix is a slight increase in volume. However, switching over to the DTS-ES 6.1 I was quickly blown away by the surround and insane loud that did a number on my home theater. The action sequences come to life in all their ridiculous glory when this track is on, utilizing every speaker in nearly all scenes, putting you right in the atmosphere, and it's great.
Not quite as well mixed as the phenomenal system-testing Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 6.1 track, what the DTS-ES 6.1 track here lacks in clarity it makes up for with aggressive, room-filling volume that bombards from all angles. Individual sounds sometimes have a little separation from speaker to speaker which makes for an onslaught of sound rather than a more realistic surround soundscape, but regardless it enhances every scene, and not just action sequences; even smaller exposition scenes of Clive Owen arguing with Monica Belluci feel more atmospheric and engaging. All tracks feature excellent audio sync with effects and dialogue, but this is the only one that uses your entire sound system to put you right in the film.And you're absolutely going to want that, because the soundtrack is a blast. The original generic action orchestral score was jettisoned when Paul Haslinger suggested a rock soundtrack, and Shoot 'Em Up delivers with some of the best hard rock heard in an action film. AC/DC, Motorhead, Nirvana and Wolfmother all make appearances and they all sound superb - my favourite is Lemmy's Ace of Spades blasting over one of the most aggressive action sequences in the film, resulting in a lovely orgy of aural and onscreen violence.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video and audio transfers are both very good.
The extras are also very good, with elements to appeal to fans and young filmmakers alike.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|