Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"Marked For Death" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-june-2010-marked-  for-death

Synopsis

Drug-enforcement agent John Hatcher (Seagal) suffers serious burn-out after the death of his partner in a Mexican drug bust. He decides to retire back to his home in Chicago and spend some quiet time with his sister and her family. Trouble soon finds him however, when he gets in the middle of a gang war between Columbian and Jamaican drug lords who rule the streets. The Jamaican’s leader, Screwface, swears revenge on Hatcher and his loved ones. With the help of girlfriend Leslie (Pacula) and long-time friend Max (David), Hatcher strikes back against the entire posse vowing to destroy their leader and run them out of town.

 

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 1990, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 33 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 26 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Steven Seagal, Joanna Pacula, Keith David
  • Directed by Dwight H. Little
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Gratuitous
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

This film is very typical of the formulaic action flicks of the 80s and 90s. Our hero tries to escape his life of violence and death. He runs into trouble on his first day of retirement. He goes on a rampage of revenge and 45 minutes-worth of fight scenes later, the movie ends. The acting is over-the-top, the action is over-the-top and the violence is over-the-top. Fans of popcorn action movies will likely want to add this one to their collections. If you desire more of a plot, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Steven Seagal is known for his martial arts training but I didn’t really see much of it here. It was nowhere near the acrobatics in the typical Jackie Chan or Jet Li film. Seagal is more of a brawler and gunslinger. There is a good car-chase sequence through the streets of Chicago. The main villain, Screwface (a classic nickname if ever there was one), is a practitioner of black magic. I felt this twist to be needlessly weird and it added nothing to the already thin storyline. Hardcore action fans will surely enjoy this but those with broader tastes may not.

Technical

The image is very clean with fair evidence of digital scrubbing. Detail is fairly soft and coupled with the flat lighting, makes for a two-dimensional presentation. Color is well-saturated and natural. Black levels are a little elevated giving dark scenes a washed-out look. Many of the fast-action portions are filmed in low light making it hard to follow just who’s doing what to whom. For a catalog release, this Blu-ray is merely average.

Audio showed the same lack of dimension as the video. There was nothing approaching subtlety at any time. Whether it was dialog or explosions, everything was loud and somewhat compressed-sounding. My sub only lit up during the nightclub scenes with their accompanying loud music. Surrounds weren’t really used at all.

Extras

There are no bonus features on this disc.