Wild Target (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 29-Mar-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation-.
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Nine interviews.
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 97:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jonathan Lynn
Studio
Distributor
Cinemax
Icon Entertainment
Starring Bill Nighy
Emily Blunt
Rupert Grint
Rupert Everett
Eileen Atkins
Martin Freeman
Gregor Fisher
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music Michael Price


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† I was quite looking forward to seeing Wild Target.The cast seemed like a promising mix, and perhaps here was a comedy that was not preoccupied with toilets and their various uses. While not being a complete loss, it is a considerable disappointment, and the blame seems to rest squarely at the feet of the director, one Jonathan Lynn. With some decent past entries in his portfolio, including The Whole Nine Yards (2000) and My Cousin Vinny (1992), Lynnís name has more recently been attached to TV comedies such as Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister and very little else.

†††† Perhaps the root of the problem here is that Wild Target is a remake of a French film from 1993, Cibele emourant. Rarely does Gallic humour travel well, and with Lynnís seemingly copy-cat version very little that is on screen actually works. The screenplay, from Lucinda Coxon (The Heart of Me), "based on" Pierre Salvadori's original for the French version, begins well with an ingenious and well executed art fraud cum heist, committed by the beautiful and young Rose (Emily Blunt). The gent swindled out of his original Rembrandt, mature and dashing Ferguson (Rupert Everett), employs a hit man, old and dried up Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) to get rid of Rose and get the painting back. The tables are turned, and Victor ends up in Rose's employ to protect her from Ferguson's henchmen, who are now out to "get" both Rose and Victor. Aiding our ill-matched pair is very young and pleasant Tony (Rupert Grint), who is enlisted along the way and becomes Victor's apprentice. There is lots of general mayhem and running around, Emily Blunt supposed to be "funny" teetering in her high heels and evoking memories of "Holly Golightly". Baddies shoot lots of people, the assumption seeming to be that at the end of a scene all you have to do is shoot someone and that's funny! There are supposedly comedic car chases, accompanied by "funny" music, madcap scenes in hotel rooms and at dining tables. There is also Victor's mother, Louisa Maynard, played by the venerable Eileen Atkins, who looks too young to have given birth to Bill Nighy. Of course Victor and Rose fall in love - the most unlikely pair for many a moon, with the final fadeout a foregone conclusion.

††††Jonathan Lynn's direction is heavy handed and laborious, with no sense of comedic timing in either dialogue or action. Bill Nighy is simply miscast. So good in The Boat That Rocked and others, here he seems to be doing a Kevin Cline impersonation. And he is far too old. Emily Blunt, one of my favourite young actresses (Young Victoria, The Adjustment Bureau, The Devil Wears Prada) gives a performance that is just wrong for the film and its material. Her dialogue is laboured, where rapid fire-cracker delivery is required. She gets no help at all from her director, who gives her one of the most awkward exits I have ever seen in a film. Watch for it when Rose is leaving Victor's country house, gun in hand (82:53). The final piece of "business" is ludicrously inept. Poor Rupert Grint tries hard, but doesn't know what kind of film he is in. From his first Harry Potter appearance, young Rupert showed considerable promise. Sadly the young actor is not equipped to direct himself when he is cast adrift in a mess like this. Then there's Rupert the Elder! Rupert Everett looks a million, handsome and fit, but has virtually nothing to do. You can't help wondering what the film might have been like with Everett playing Victor. Eileen Atkins (Gosford Park) seems to be having a bit of fun, but her sudden reappearance ala Psycho is just plain stupid.

†††† The film is presented in an extremely good transfer, bright and sharp with aggressive use of widescreen. The London locations and traffic scenes are exceptionally lively, with some excellent work from cinematographer David Johnson (Resident Evil / Resident Evil : Extinction). All the supposedly bright goings on are accompanied by an array of popular music from Imelda May, Fishtank Ensemble, Michael J. McEvoy and others. There is even a smattering of Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven. The original music, courtesy of Michael Price (Hot Fuzz) is either unimpressive or annoyingly obvious, as in the car chase sequence. The bulk of Mr Price's credits are as "music editor".

†††† Although a pleasant relief from the array of smutty toilet and excrement films that are today passed of as "comedies", this one could have been, should have been, much better. Perhaps if you are a big fan of Bill Nighy that would help. However I am normally quite an admirer of Emily Blunt, and that did not help me.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The Blu-ray transfer of this movie is extremely good. While not of eye-popping quality, think The Adjustment Bureau, the image is a big plus. The 1980p transfer is presented at the ratio of 2.35:1.

†††† The image is very sharp, with extremely fine detail. This makes the most of the busy London street scenes, as well as the severe close-ups of the lovely Emily Blunt.

†††† Shadow detail is also extremely good, and there was no low-level noise or any artefact of any description to detract from the enjoyment of the image. Though just a notch below being brilliant, colours are bright and vibrant through the full spectrum, with lovely images of the London streets as well as Victor's country garden. Skin tones are very lifelike.

†††† The English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired were sampled and were found to be extremely good. Of particular note are the references to the music playing on the soundtrack.

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

Audio

†††† Considering the genre of the film, this is an extremely lively and comprehensive aural experience.

†††† There is one audio stream, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue is perfect with no trace of any sync problems. Though the dialogue is basically front and centre, it was pleasing, and surprising, to hear off screen dialogue coming from the left and right front speakers. Effects and ambience were very lively around the entire field, with the music very prominently emanating from the surround channels. The subwoofer added oomph where appropriate, in both the action and the music. Although I found the original music from Michael Price extremely forgettable, the popular catalogue tracks used throughout the film are reproduced brilliantly and give many sequences quite a lift.

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

Extras

†††† The only extra on the disc is a collection of rather lacklustre talking head interviews.

Menu

†††† The menu is presented 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. There is a mixture of live action and animation of floating paper money, accompanied by Imelda May's recording of the catchy Mayhem, which plays for 1:56 before repeating.

Cast and Crew Interviews (56:06) :

†††† Presented 1.85 in standard definition of quite nice quality, we have almost an hour of talking head responses to title card topics relating to the film. Each head is filmed against a black background, head and shoulders. From the cast we have segments with Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Martin Freeman, Eileen Atkins, Rupert Everett and Gregor Fisher. These are followed by comments from the director Jonathan Lynn, writer Lucinda Coxon and producer Martin Pope. The topics/questions are exactly what you would expect, as are the responses. Everyone looks and sounds rather flat and dull.

Censorship

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R4 vs R1

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

††† The Region 1 release has additional subtitles in Spanish, but only has one interview, On Target with Emily Blunt (3:33). As this is presented 1.33:1, I would guess that it is different material from that included on our Region 4 release. The interviews are not that impressive, but do make the local release preferable.

Summary

†††† Wild Target is a very smart looking and sounding film on this Blu-ray disc, but unfortunately the content does not match the presentation. There is lots of action, heaps of lively soundtrack music, attractive scenes of London, Emily Blunt and the English countryside, all lovely, but it is just empty noise and running about, without ever having the madcap tone that would have saved it. Bill Nighy is a fine actor, but here he is wrong. The film isn't actually bad, but rather just misjudged and misguided. The only extras are a collection of bland, talking head interviews.Wild Target is a very smart looking and sounding film on this Blu-ray disc, but unfortunately the content does not match the presentation. There is lots of action, heaps of lively soundtrack music, attractive scenes of London, Emily Blunt and the English countryside, all lovely, but it is just empty noise and running about, without ever having the madcap tone that would have saved it. Bill Nighy is a fine actor, but here he is wrong. The film isn't actually bad, but rather just misjudged and misguided. The only extras are a collection of bland, talking head interviews.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, September 02, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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