Note: Twentieth Century Fox has recently changed their screening policy and has stopped sending out physical Blu-ray media to most outlets. While Fox has provided an “online screening room” with this title available, the audio and video quality are nowhere near indicative of the final Blu-ray available to consumers. Reviewer Matt Malouf has purchased this Blu-ray with his own funds and has submitted this review. We hope you enjoy the coverage.
Plot: What’s it about?
A remake of District B13, Brick Mansions stars Paul Walker in what unfortunately turned out to be one of his last performances. Walker plays Damien Collier. He’s an undercover Detroit officer who is assigned a task in Brick Mansions – essentially a secluded neighborhood that more-or-less governs themselves. The entire Mansions population is surrounded with a wall that “contains” the area. That’s simply how bad the crime is there. RZA plays Tremaine Alexander, he controls Brick Mansions and orders his men to get Ex-Convict Lino (David belle). After Tremaine kidnaps Lino’s girlfriend, he and Damien work together to take down Tremaine. There’s also a subplot involving a corruption angle, but the plot isn’t what you’re here for. Or it shouldn’t be. The film has no shortage of action and if that’s all you require from a movie like this then you should enjoy it just fine. Those looking for something more profound should look elsewhere. In regards to the late Paul Walker and his performance here, it’s pretty much more of the same. I am still shocked that he died (not to mention the way he was killed), but his performance is acceptable. You’d never hear me argue that he was the greatest actor. So, for those expecting something outstanding such as Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight will be let down. If anything, he takes a backseat to Belle who gets just about as much screen-time. Some of the other actors don’t fare as well here, especially RZA who gives an almost laughably bad performance. Still, that’s not a deal breaker since the film is so much fun.
Brick Mansions arrived in theaters earlier this year and left before you knew it. After two viewings, I still find the film entertaining. It won’t win any awards, but it has the decency to not take itself too seriously and if you’re willing to check your brain at the door then you might find yourself having a great time. To say it stretches credibility is an understatement. Characters leave from tall buildings without event thinking twice, there’s a bomb that must be stopped and several other “Eye rolling” moments, but so what? Sometimes it’s best to not overthink something and just go with it, and that’s exactly what I did here. This disc includes not only the theatrical cut, but a slightly longer unrated cut that adds a bit more footage. I’d stick with that version as it adds a bit more edge to the film. It won’t win over the naysayers, but fans will appreciate its inclusion here.
Video: How’s it look?
Fox has done a great job with this transfer, there’s a nice smooth look to it. Colors remained strong and well saturated throughout with no major issues to speak of. Flesh tones were nicely detailed as well. The print displayed no issues either. The entire middle stretch is within the Brick Mansions area, so we’re not treated to changing visuals often, but things were still on point. The transfer is AVC encoded with a 2.39:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is also strong. That’s a good thing, because the film almost always has something going on in terms of action. All the channels are put to the test here. Vocals remained clear and strong, but really, it’s the action that most will remember. There was a nice bass that kicked in during several moments. You might have to adjust the volume from time to time, but this track presents the film nicely.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Unrated Cut – In addition to the theatrical cut, we get a longer unrated edition. This is the one you want to go with.
- On Set Action with Paul Walker – This is just 2 minutes showing Paul Walker training. It’s too short to offer anything substantial.
- Becoming Tremaine – This simply shows star RZA discussing his character. It’s fairly useless.
- Brick by Brick – This offers more of the same and gives a short look at the making of the film. Again, it’s only 6 minutes so don’t expect to learn much here.
- Theatrical Trailer
- UV Digital Copy