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Haywire 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, French DTS Digital Surround 5.1, Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0
  • Subtitles: English and Spanish Subtitles
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run Time: 93 Mins.
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 1st, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product]B007C4ZJ3K[/amazon-product]

Purchase Haywire on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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:4/5]

Haywire tells the story of black-ops agent Mallory Kane (Gina Carano). Kane is known for her expert skills when it comes to extraction, especially after successfully freeing a Chinese journalist who was being held hostage. Shortly after this mission, Mallory decides it’s time for her to hang up her boots. Informing Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), the CEO of her company/former romancer, of this, he ultimately convinces her to do ‘one last mission’. The mission involves Mallory posing as the wife of Paul (Michael Fassbender), all taking place in the beautiful Dublin. In what’s billed to her as a simple, quick mission, it quickly becomes evident that this isn’t the case. Betrayed by those close to her, Mallory must now figure out who she can trust and, most importantly, survive. What results is a well crafted thriller from Steven Soderbergh.

Soderbergh, known for films like Solaris, and Contagion, is one of those directors who seemingly can tackle any subject. Whether space, viral outbreak, or spy/thriller, Soderbergh has that talent, the kind of talent where he can make any film better than it certainly should be. Take in case the film in question, Haywire. Upon initial glance, I felt like this might be a kind of a Bourne-lite film where action would occur, but plot would take a step back in the favor of a former MMA star kicking butt. Such isn’t the case though, as Haywire is enjoyable, fun and badass. Carano, in particular, carried the film. This didn’t come as much of a surprise, though, as we’ve seen that fighters turned actors are capable of carrying films on their shoulders (ie Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).

The other supporting actors, like  Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Prequels) and the always great Michael Fassbender (Shame; A Dangerous Method; Fish Tank; Hunger), also helped raise the film’s quality quite a bit. No actor, even Channing Tatum (Fighting) who is beginning to impress me in the roles he’s choosing, felt out of place. I guess it more comes back to Soderbergh demanding a certain quality, a certain sense of purpose to his films and his actors. In all reality, Soderbergh just knows how to make films enjoyable. Haywire is just another solid check mark in his growing list of accomplishments.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The 2:40:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is quite strong throughout. The film’s color palette tends to focus on the brighter side of the spectrum. There are darker moments, but brighter colors like yellows, reds and blues tend to dominate this transfer. The darker sequences, like that of the closing scene, do feature rock solid detail. Speaking of detail, facial close-ups result in accurate contrast levels as well as flesh tones. Soderbergh typically likes to bake his image with a heavier contrast; however, I didn’t find this to be the normal issue that has plagued a few of his prior releases. There was no notice of noise, scratches or any other damage to the print. All in all, this is a fine effort by Lionsgate.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is perfect. Dialogue, as one might expect, is well reproduced via the center channel. Atmosphere, while not as robust and active as say, The Bourne Trilogy, does offer up solid discrete effects. In particular, the moment where Mallory is attempting to escape throughout the wintery forests, has impressive atmosphere. As her car screeches away, the tires squealing make us look left, and the gun shots make us veer right. There’s just a true sense of quality to this mix, something that we may not expect given the subdued beginning. Once the film begins revving up the action, this mix never gives up until the credits start rolling. All in all, this is an excellent effort from Lionsgate.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The included supplements are presented in HD:

  • Gina Carano in Training – This runs 16:03 and shows some of the fight sequences featured in the film. Also a few interviews with MMA stars as well as her fight choreographer are shown.
  • The Men of Haywire – Running 5:29, this is a series of interviews with the Men of Haywire in Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Soderbergh is simply one of those directors who is consistent. He knows what he wants and just delivers. Haywire, his newest film, debuts on Blu-ray with a fine video presentation and excellent aural experience. If you’re a fan of his past work, definitely check out Haywire.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B007C4ZJ3K[/amazon-product]

Purchase Haywire on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

 

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