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Fire with Fire Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 97 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: None
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 6th, 2012
  • List Price: $24.99

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

Fire with Fire tells the story of Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel), a Long Beach firefighter who happens to find himself at the end of witnessing a liquor store robbery by white supremacist Hagan (Vincent D’Onofrio.) Having seen all the action go down, Coleman is brought in to point out Hagan by local cop Mike Cella (Bruce Willis), who wants nothing more than for Hagan to pay – especially after we learn that Hagan was responsible for the murders of both his partner and his partner’s wife. After accurately pointing out Hagan, Hagan calmly informs Coleman that he knows all about him (including his Social Security Number – odd no?) Anyhow, it’s due to this event that Coleman is placed under witness protection – all the way in New Orleans under agent Talia (Rosario Dawson). Now it’s up to Talia to protect this man and, of course, NOT fall for him (you know like so many other cliched genre entries). What results is – surprise, surprise – another action packed film filled with tons of cliches.

While the initial opening moments of Fire do show glimpses of promise, the overall storyline is so trivial and basic that we never fully invest ourselves in either the physical story nor the characters. There’s not a single soul we actual care about, which I suppose does help because we can easily see the ending of the film from miles away. It’s not necessarily the actors fault either, as each one does turn in an acceptable performance. Moreover, it’s that the lack of a substantial plot that ultimately causes Fire with Fire to go down in flames (pun intended.)

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Fire with Fire debuts with a 2:40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one of which is mostly solid. Shot using the Red One Camera, Fire with Fire looks how a brand new film should – sort of. A fine color palette featuring fine brights and accurate blacks, but not as impressive as a Red One shot film typically looks. The problem? Well, I don’t have an exact, definitive reason but my guess would lie with DP Christopher Probst, who relied more on a darker look. It’s not to say that the transfer looks bad per se, as it does feature solid textures and clarity, as well as contrast levels (for the most part). Just the film relied too much on the grayed out, blueish look films (seemingly) are leaning towards. Do note, this is not a bad transfer, just it wasn’t overly my cup of tea.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Any reservations I may have had with the film’s video transfer were all but wiped away with Fire with Fire‘s proficient, excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 offering. Dialogue is well reproduced via the center channel, with the film’s atmosphere (with it being an action film) features impressive  fidelity (especially that of the film’s heightened sequences). LFE also delivers with deep, booming low-end that rattles the room. The mix accurately handles the quieter dialogue moments well, but also knows exactly how to deliver the big action scenes as well. All in all, this is an excellent effort from Lionsgate.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The provided supplements are featured in High Definition:

  • Audio Commentary with Director David Barrett and Cinematographer Christopher Probst
  • Audio Commentary with Actors Vincent D’Onofrio, Eric Winter and James Lesure
  • Behind the Scenes with Interviews – This runs 9:20 and is a rather standard behind-the-scenes feature with a mix of film footage/cast interviews.
  • Extended Interviews – For those of you who wanted to hear more from the films stars, now’s your chance. David Barrett (21:43), Josh Duhamel (22:21), Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (20:30), Eric Winter (5:57), James Lesure (5:15), Vinnie Jones (5:03), Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (7:24), Nnamdi Asomugha (11:38) and Randall Emmett (14:17) all have extended bits.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:31) is shown.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Even though the roster lineup may impress upon initial glance, Fire with Fire is yet another cliched action film. Ultimately this is a shame, as the film does show promise. Skip this one.

Additional Screen Captures

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Fire With Fire

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Fire With Fire

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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