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Broken City Blu-ray Review

broken-city-blu-ray-dvd-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 109 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 30, 2013
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

 

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

City_1

Broken City tells the story of shamed New York City police officer Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg; Ted; The Fighter) Seven years after he was exonerated in the shooting death of his girlfriends’ sisters attacker, Billy finds himself being called back into action by the two men who asked for his resignation Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe; A Beautiful Mind) and Chief Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) His job? To track Hostetler’s wife, Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones; Rock of Ages; High Fidelity), whom he suspects is having an affair. Initially Taggart feels this might be an open-and-shut case, but once he discovers the truth, he just may find himself deeper involved in this than he ever wanted to be. What results is a film that is fairly solid for the first 45 minutes or so, until it suddenly throws a new twist in the plot, one of which ultimately causes the audience to quickly lose interest.

City_2

Back in January, I can recall seeing a trailer for this film, and I saw the cast involved. Immediately I thought to myself – there’s no real way this can be a boring film right because a cast of this caliber (especially Crowe and Whalberg in my humble opinion) will at least make this one interesting (right?) Well, the film came and went and I had completely forgotten about it, until it reached my doorway for this review. Still, despite THESE reviews, I still had hopes; however, this is one of those cases where the general consensus WAS correct. The main issue? Look to about 45 minutes into the movie. It’s at the 45 minute point that the plot switches itself into a ‘let’s investigate this guy’ to a ‘let’s find out why this guy got murdered.’ It’s at this point that I had struggled to finish this one. Despite my desires, I powered through this one and wondered why I did. The ending felt like it was rushed together as it lacked any real cohesion with the story.

Alas, chalk up Broken City as yet another film that certainly had both the star power and plot to make it (in the slightest merit) worth watching. Instead, here we have a movie that is halfway decent for about 45 minutes – then turns into a complete mess.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

City_3

Broken City tackles the NYC landscape with a 2:40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer. From the first initial sequences, this transfer might seem like one that could disappoint as these moments are rather dark, lacking any real detail. Don’t let these scenes fool you though, this Arri Alexa shot film does look quite solid. The palette does tend to lean toward the darker side of the spectrum, but detail is still strong. Facial close-ups result in both accurate flesh tones and contrast levels. Grain is absent, and video noise is kept to a bare minimum. Brighter scenes showcase the fine NYC skies that the city is known for. While this may not be one of the strongest day-and-date Fox titles, Broken City still offers up a strong transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

City_4

Audio wise, the film includes an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) mix, which like to the film’s video presentation, offers up a solid treat. While action buffs might expect more out of this one, outside of a few action scenes roughly one hour into the movie, the mix heavily favors the front channels. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout. Atmosphere is mostly reserved for the background NYC standards (taxi cabs, birds, as well as a bit of the film’s score by Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne and Leo Ross.) During the action scenes, LFE does show up with a bit of deep low-end, but again is rather subdued. Not so much a demo track, but more a track that does what it’s called upon, this lossless offering from Fox works.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

City_5

All included features are presented in High Definition:

  • Putting It All Together – A rather long 34:59 look into the making of the film via behind-the-scenes interviews, as well as on set looks.
  • Deleted Scenes – 6 scenes, totaling 8:35, are shown.
  • Trailer – The film’s Theatrical Trailer (2:19) is shown.
  • UltraViolet – An UltraViolet Digital Copy is available for this release.
  • DVD – A DVD copy of the film has been included on a separate disc.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

City_6

Despite a solid technical disc from the folks at 20th Century Fox, Broken City is a mess of a film that struggled to find its identity. Know this, if you’re a fan of the film, know that this Blu-ray is worth your $ – but that’s ONLY if you’re a fan. Otherwise, skip this one.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Broken City - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

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City_7

City_8

City_9

City_10

City_11

City_12

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BestBuy.com:
Broken City - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Broken City on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

 

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