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London Boulevard Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 103 Mins.
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • List Price: $35.99

[amazon-product]B006ISJQBC[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
London Boulevard - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby

Purchase London Boulevard on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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:3/5]

Writer/director William Monohan’s (Edge of Darkness; The Departed; Kingdom of Heaven) London Boulevard, from the Ken Bruen novel, is a deftly directly and slickly produced crime drama set in London, England starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightly as two star-crossed lovers from two completely different worlds. Or is it? In fact, London Boulevard is more or less a crime drama about a feared gangster, Mitchell (Farrell), just out of prison who is now trying to go straight and manages to find a job caring for the reclusive actress Charlotte (Knightly) at her estate. Of course trouble won’t stay away from Mitchell as the big gangster boss Gant (Ray Winstone; Hugo; Rango) wants him back in the fold and away from Charlotte. When Mitchell refuses Gant’s offer for a position, it starts a violent battle of wills between Mitchell and Gant that can only end with either or both of them dead. Or, at least that’s what the film seems like it’s about.

That is the issue with London Boulevard, it struggles a bit to know what it wants to be. Surely there are many films of this ilk that have travelled down the same road – gangster gets out of the “big house” and tries to find redemption after finding the love of a beautiful woman. The problem here is the whole issue of Charlotte being a reclusive superstar actress and falling for a shady criminal in the first place. It’s also worth noting that the relationship between Mitchell and Charlotte is hardly touched upon, leaving Knightly’s character terribly underused and purposeless, just sort of a meandering waste in what could have been an otherwise solid crime drama, even if if Charlotte and Mitchell would still seem a highly unlikely pairing.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Video quality is up to Sony’s usually high standards for a new release on Blu-ray. There is a thin layer of grain that is sometimes bumped up to give the film a purposely gritty appearance. This isn’t a bad thing at all and in fact, it helps with the atmosphere for a film like this. The grain structure always looks natural and detail is exceptionally strong. Blacks are solid while shadow detail is well extended.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is also a good one that, apart from the clean and full dialogue, helps engage the listener with a few atmospherics and discrete sound effects through the surrounds and punchy classic rock soundtrack across the front.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

There’s nothing much here on this barebones release.

The supplements:

  • The Making of London Boulevard (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:33)
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An imperfect crime drama with a superb cast and great acting is dragged down by an inconsequential “love story” that, any way you look at it, seems improbable and unnecessary. While the story of a gangster trying to go straight isn’t a new one, London Boulevard could have been so much better than it turned out given the spot-on performances, deftly handled cinematography, and driving classic rock soundtrack. Rent it.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006ISJQBC[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
London Boulevard - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby

Purchase London Boulevard on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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