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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2012

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"Safe House" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2012

Synopsis

An ex-CIA agent, Tobin Frost (Denzel), has acquired a top secret data file from an MI6 agent, but as he leaves the exchange is attacked by local mercenaries and is forced to enter the American consulate for safety. Knowing the value of this once CIA agent now criminal, he is moved to a secret safe house until he can be properly extradited to the US. Ryan Renold's character, Matt Weston is the housekeeper, basically an low-level agent that sits around doing nothing until a guest like Tobin comes along. Things quickly escalate as their "safe" house is breached by mercenaries, leaving only Weston and Frost alive and able to escape. Something is fishy though, no one should have known the location of the safe house, unless there is a leak in the CIA. Weston tries to keep Frost as his prisoner, but loses the masterful agent many times with both of their lives in danger.

Specifications

  • Universal Pictures
  • 2012, Color, R, 115 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p AVC
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Renolds
  • Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Directed by Swedish newcomer Daniel Espinosa, Safe House takes on a definite Tony Scott feel. The photography is colorful and contrast is pushed in many shots with plenty of film grain to give the movie some style. Both Denzel and Ryan offer some decent performances, but nothing Oscar worthy. The movie tries to be sneaky and suspenseful, but it doesn't have any payoff in the end. That moment where everything in the previous hour and a half just snaps into clear focus. It kept me entertained and the well choreographed fight scenes are probably enough to lightly recommend this film.

Technical

The 2.40 scope picture on Safe House is a live with color and pop. Espinosa doesn't go for a natural look to this film and sometimes that can make it difficult to judge the picture quality. Given the amount of detail and amount of film grain, I don't doubt this Blu-ray looks the way Espinosa intended. It is a solid transfer.

Audio on this DTS-HD MA encode is good, but nothing special.

Extras

U-Control picture-in-picture track
Featurettes: Making of Safe House, Hand-to-Hand combat, Shooting the Attack, Building the Rooftop Chase, Behind the Action, Inside the CIA, Safe Harbor Cape Town