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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - October, 2013

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"R.I.P.D. (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-october-2013-ripd

Synopsis

Boston Police detective Nick (Reynolds) heads out with his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon) to raid a meth lab. During the firefight, Hayes kills Nick to cover up his theft of a large quantity of gold from a previous bust. Before Nick can say “crossing over,” he finds himself part of the Rest In Peace Department; a force of un-dead policemen from every period in American history. Their mission is to capture spirits, known as deados, who inhabit the living world. Nick quickly discovers the gold is part of a larger plot to create a portal for all the un-dead to return to Earth causing Armageddon. With his partner Roy (Bridges), he manages to foil the plot, and briefly reconnect with his widow as he saves her life.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2013, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 hour 36 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video: 1080p, MPEG-4 AVC
  • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-MA
  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker
  • Directed by Robert Schwentke
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Fans of Men In Black will be instantly familiar with the concept and plot of this film. Instead of aliens, we have un-dead spirits masquerading as humans. And replacing the dark-suited agents who look like Will Smith is an army of slain cops from various times in history. Ryan Reynolds does a decent job playing the newbie but Jeff Bridges seems to be phoning it in. And his attempt to replicate the drawl of a wild west lawman slurs his speech to the point where it sounds like he’s talking with a sponge in his mouth. Thankfully, the audio is crystal-clear; otherwise Bridges’ dialog would be unintelligible. The movie’s world and plot is so close to the first Men In Black film, I’m surprised there isn’t a lawsuit. That being said, it is fairly entertaining. There’s more than enough action and comedy to fill an hour and a half. But Jeff Bridges is no Tommy Lee Jones (at least not in this role); and Ryan Reynolds is a long way from being Will Smith!

Technical

The image is crisp and detailed throughout with a mostly natural color palette. My only nitpick concerns a slightly cool tint that pervades most of the outdoor scenes. It makes it more difficult to discern the time of day. For instance, early morning scenes should be much warmer in tone. The CGI effects also seem dated; like something from a few years ago. They lack the polish of more current films. All of the un-dead characters, when they shed their disguises; are entirely computer-generated, and it shows.

The DTS-HD Master Audio encode is bright and clear with excellent action and dialog cues. Despite Jeff Bridges attempt to completely cover his lines with cowboy drawl, he can be understood if you pay close attention. I deducted one star because the dynamic range seems a little compressed. With the volume cranked, the whole thing is a tad polite. Given the totally wild action scenes, I would prefer a more in-your-face feel.

Extras

The package I received included a DVD and digital copy, accessible through UltraViolet. Bonus features are two alternate openings, several short making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.