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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2013

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"Prisoners" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

Prisoners

Synopsis

Two young girls go missing on a Thanksgiving afternoon. Upon discovering the girls are gone, their families begin a frantic search. The police detective assigned to the case is Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) a cop who heretofore has solved every case he's been assigned through a methodical process. Well, Detective Loki's measured brand of police work isn't fast enough to satisfy one of the girl's fathers, Keller Dover (Jackman) and he decides to take matters into his own hands. Multiple leads and suspects are investigated as the clock continues ticking and the pressure mounts to find the two innocent victims. How far will Keller Dover go in his quest to find his missing child?

Specifications

  • Warner Brothers
  • 2013, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 33 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano
  • Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

This was an incredibly tense movie. I was totally engaged in the story and the characters from the very beginning and my involvement never let up. The writing, the directing, the music, the cinematography, the sound mix, and the acting are all very well done. All these aspects make this one finely crafted cinematic experience. Jackman and Gyllenhaal in particular laid down great acting performances in this film. This is a very believable tale and it was easy for me to get caught up in it all. I have kids of my own and I could directly relate to each parents' reaction to the abduction of their children to some measure or another. Very highly recommended.

Technical

This is a dark movie with numerous indoor and night scenes. Most of the outdoor scenes are dominated by poor weather, overcast skies, rain and snow. The picture quality remains demo worthy throughout. There is great rendering of fine details and the colors are true to the source. But what really makes this a reference quality transfer is that the image never loses its pop even in the darkest scenes.

The audio is also of reference quality. There is of course abundant dialog in this movie. But there is also a musical score with strings and deep bass effects that build and support the tense moods. Then you have all the environmental sounds that are natural and enveloping. Dynamics are a joy here as you can hear every subtlety like the soft speak of one suspect or the sound of a tree growing (really).

Extras

This is a 2-disc set with a Blu-ray, a DVD and an HD Ultraviolet streaming code. There are only two additional on-disc extras:

A very brief featurette called "Every Moment Matters" in which Jackman and Gyllenhaal explore the tension between their characters. The other short featurette is "Prisoners - Powerful Performances" which looks at the entire cast.