Saw: The Final Chapter (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 23-Mar-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Audio Commentary-Writers of Saw: The Final Chapter
Audio Commentary-Producers of the Saw series
Deleted Scenes-Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer-Trailers
Featurette-52 Ways to Die
Music Video-5 Music Videos
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 89:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kevin Greutert
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tobin Bell
Costas Mandylor
Betsy Russell
Cary Elwes
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Charlie Clouser


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English dts 7.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror..

   Saw 3D (aka Saw: The Final Chapter) finishes out the lucrative Saw series on a mediocre note. Far from the worst of the films (that would be the dismal Saw V) this "final chapter" - later named because it didn't make the money to ensure an eighth - is simply uninspired. Even with the 3D (removed for this Blu-ray edition, but retaining the original title in a truly dumb move) the writers couldn't come up with new and interesting ways to tear people to pieces, nor a clever way to tie up the many loose ends formed across the self-important convoluted previous entries. Although the main storyline - involving the botched execution of Jigsaw-mantle holding Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) by Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) - kind-of-sort-of concludes (complete with series-retconning appearances by Dr. Gordon - Cary Elwes) it does so without satisfaction or a feeling of completion, not even really involving the original-Jigsaw John Kramer (Tobin Bell) master plan. Even the 3D, absent here, was used sparingly - not for effect, just because the filmmakers couldn't think of exciting ways to use it. It's all kind of a mess, and not in the gooey way Saw fans would like.

   The B-plot revolves around a false survivor of the original Jigsaw killings, Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) who has made a fortune out of rallying together other survivors as a twisted self-help guru; after being kidnapped and locked into a real Jigsaw trap, he must make his way through a horrifying labrynth wherein his survival and the fate of the ones he loves must be "played" for. Props for some of the most gristly, torturous and cruel devices the series has to offer in this outing - a particularly grueling encounter with a fishhook that must be removed from one's stomach is one of the most unpleasant sequences screened last year - but it all sort of washes out into tedium, and barely has anything to do with the main story, which devolves into nonsense involving a mounted turrent, a SWAT team being gassed, and a Jason-like unstoppable golem storming a police station. It's a big, big step down from the enjoyable Saw VI, an all-round enjoyable horror film and also the nuttiest take on the American healthcare system ever.

   There are moments of inspiration in Saw 3D - the best part is a clever and sickening trap involving a white supremacist (Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park) and several racist friends strapped into a Rube Goldberg car trap that threatens to tear them limb from limb. If there had been more sequences like this, the overall package would have improved (even the opening, involving a cheating woman and her two boyfriends fighting for their lives with a buzzsaw in front of a crowd of hundreds, feels lacking) but the real problem lies with the underlying lack of imagination that went into dooming this "final" film. A shame - smarter writing could have breathed life back into this mutilated corpse.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   The video is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

   This is a strange case of the video transfer being fine, perhaps even exceptional, but the source being completely misguided. Although the video in Saw: The Final Chapter looks technically fine, with strong colours and blacks, no interlacing, only rare scenes of grain, the whole thing looks like it has a fleuro filter over it - which is exactly how it looked in the cinema. Blood, for example, looks neon and entirely unconvincing. It's the orange-and-teal trope taken to a different level, essentially using a different range on the colour wheel, and it looks bizarre.

   The reason filmgoers didn't experience this nonsense when they saw the film in the cinema (both of them) was because of the 3D, which darkened and blurred the image and thus looked "better" - so, technically this is a great transfer, and one accurate to the source, but it still looks odd.

   There are English subtitles and the parts I sampled were readable and accurate.

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

Audio

   The audio is presented in English  DTS-HD 7.1.

   Far and away the best part of this Blu-ray is the sound mix, which borders on perfect. This is frequently a loud film, with screams and grinding and sirens, and it all sounds superb, from every angle. The surround is used to obscene effect to make intense and grueling scenes all the worse, and the bass comes through strong when required. All dialogue and effects are well mixed to ensure everything can be heard clearly - it's basically stellar, and probably much better than the film deserves.

   Charlie Clouser's tried and true soundtrack is alive across the film, with so many remixes of Hello Zepp that has become the theme song to the entire series, as well as all the other happy grinding unhappy background music you need to have a really unpleasant time. It all sounds wonderful here.

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

Extras

Audio Commentaries with producers of the Saw franchise (Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Peter Block) and writers of Saw: The Final Chapter (Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan)

   When it comes to extras the highlight of this package is the two commentary tracks, absolutely worth the listen if you can bear the film another two times. The producers talk enthusiastically about creating this film and how it fits into the series, while the writers discuss the creation of this, now the last entry in the canon, along with the stories and asides you would want to hear as a Saw fan (both of you). These writers have produced the best (Saw IV) and worst (Saw V) in the franchise, and also did the ridiculously enjoyable The Collector, so it's interesting to hear them talk shop - at least to me. Your mileage may vary.

52 Ways to Die - A Retrospective on the Saw Franchise (14:15)

   A completely dispensible featurette that runs through all 52 of the Saw traps, in fast motion, with some discussion from people involved and little in the way of insight or interest - a complete bummer that might have been something watchable.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (13:46) and Trailers

   This set of deleted and extended scenes is also completely dispensible, most removed for obvious reasons, typically adding nothing to the film or affecting pacing. The nifty trailers are here, originally shown in 3D with all of that hilarious nonsense of buzzsaws flying out into the audience, which would be well-and-good except there's no 3D here to enjoy them with - rendering them even sillier.

Five Music Videos

   The grand union of bad music with awful video quality (in 1080p!!) edited together with random clips from the film comes together in the worst "extras" I've come across on Blu-ray. The first four bands/songs - Karnivool, "Goliath"; Kopek "Cocaine Chest Pains"; I-Exist, "Pass Out" and Dir En Gray, "Hageshisa To" are absurd vids that resemble what a 13 year old would whip up for YouTube, featuring horrible footage of each band performing spliced with the odd shots from the film. They're terrible. And inexcusable. And have nothing to do with the film. Some relief comes from Danko Jones' "Full of Regret," a real music video with actual stars that has achieved recent popularity used in various trailers but also has nothing at all to do with this film.

R4 vs R1

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

   Both Region A and Region B have identical extras and transfers.

Summary

   Saw 3D (aka Saw: The Final Chapter) is a disappointing, decisively average ending to the lucrative Saw series..

   The video transfer is technically fine and accurate to the source, but that source was a mess that doesn't fare well in HD.

   The audio transfer is phenomenal and arguably better than the film deserves.

   The extras are mostly ignorable except for the most die-hard Saw: The Final Chapter fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ryan Aston (Bioshock)
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output
DisplayPhilips 47PFL9732D 47-inch LCD . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX.
Amplification"Onkyo TS-656"
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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