REVIEW: Homefront (2013) Blu Ray – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Homefront (2013) Blu Ray

Rated: R
Runtime: 100 Mins
What To Expect: Solid-steel transfer, shit extras

I liken Jason Statham to a modern day Charles Bronson, coming off with a solid ruggedness in his movies despite not being particularly noteworthy in the acting department.  For a long while Bronson had a string of low key violent action thrillers, where one differed little from the next.  Simple plots where a man just wanted the quiet life, but there was always some pissant who just couldn’t leave well enough alone.  Statham’s resume is similar and here’s more of the same with Homefront.  This one time ‘Rambo’ vehicle, co-written by Sylvester Stallone, is a straight forward thriller with some action elements rather than an action movie with some thriller elements.  Statham is a man after the quiet life with his daughter, but some pissants just couldn’t leave well enough alone…

It is known.  You rarely get scintillating story dynamics in Jason Statham movies.  If you didn’t know, the trailer probably should’ve alerted you.  Some baddies find out a tough guy has a daughter (among other things), they ‘go there’ and push the usual buttons.  But, simple as it is, it treads along at a comfortable pace, especially if you take it for what it is.  Nice cinematography, nice lighting and the occasional brutal fight scene and/or Manly stare-down.  It’s meat and potatoes screenwriting from Stallone.  This is a big, shiny DTV with expensive packaging.  Almost too big for the DTV market, but too small for the big screen.  Unfortunately, due to this simplicity I can see it suffering financially.  Movies about men in CGI diapers can get away with sub-par screenplays, but not Manly Men protecting their daughters.  Sad.

There are complaints in this though, definitely.  James Franco’s villain is weak, almost exceptionally weak.  An unmotivated lackey of no real noteworthy stature in his own world, this problem comes full circle because it means the movie has a finale that is a bit anti-climatic.  This movie is also diagnosed with a mild case of shaking-cam crazy-editing syndrome, so while the fight scenes are well choreographed, the actors and planners are let down by harsh camera work and splicing.  But it’s not as bad other movies.  When all is said and done though, the good outweighs the bad.  Statham fans will won’t be disappointed, but the casuals will.

You’re probably going to want to own this on home video.  But when you pick it up on Blu Ray you should curb your hopes of anything special.  The only positive is the transfer.  It turns along at a beefy 37Mbps. This piece of information alone explains why there’s still a market for Blu Ray, instead of abandoning all for streaming.  Most people can’t achieve that kind of quality over a network.  Looking at the picture of Homefront, it’s hard to think how 1080p can get any better than this, I guess this is why newer resolutions will appear towards the end of the decade.  Elsewhere on the disc though, it’s not good.  It has the worst menu interface I’ve seen since the advent of DVD in the late ’90s, downright ugly and rushed looking.  The so-called features are poor too.  One five minute bite of Stallone and Statham mulling over the script and another 90 second video on Franco’s villain.  Together, they wouldn’t fill one YouTube clip.  There’s also no commentary, at least not on the disc I am in possession of and to tease Stallone hyping the script along with Statham, but not have both do a commentary, is disappointing.

I am thankful this movie was made, I’ll take it.  Solid but unremarkable, Statham has given us another Manly Movie worth buying.  But it’s pretty slim for a Blu Ray release.

MOVIE : 7/10
DISC: 6/10