Deadfall (Blu-ray)

March 6, 2013 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I’ve often wondered how some “A” list actors end up in movies that you never really hear about.  Some aren’t bad and others I’m sure the actors’ would love to have removed from their resume.  I suppose it would be naive of me to think that a star like Olivia Wilde only does two to three movies a year.  So when I see a movie like Deadfall, I wonder when these folks found time in their schedules to make a film like this and, more to the point, why?  Is it their agents?  Does Olivia Wilde get a call and her agent says “This is a movie you have to do, it’ll only take a month to shoot.” To which she replies “Ok, sounds good.”  Granted I’m somewhat involved in movies, though it’s more of the consumer end of them and not the production end.  What I’m saying is that I don’t have an answer to my seemingly open-ended question. Nevertheless, movies like Deadfall do exist and come out quite often, with big name stars in lesser-known films.  This is one of them.  Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and check it out.

We meet Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde), brother and sister, who have just robbed a casino.  After an accident on a snowy road (isn’t that always the case), their driver is killed and it’s up to Addison and Liza to split the money, go their separate ways and see if they can make heads or tails of the situation.  Let’s not forget the fact that Liza is wearing a cocktail dress and is knee deep in snow.  Cut to the second plot and we meet Jay (Charlie Hunnam), an ex-Olympic boxer who’s done some time for taking a fall in a fight.  Liza and Jay’s paths literally cross and as Addison makes his way towards civilization, the trial of bodies that he’s leaving behind is somewhat puzzling.  To further complicate matters we’re introduced to Hannah (Kate Mara) and her father (Treat Williams) who are taken hostage by Addison and led to their parents’ house (Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek).  Will the psycho get his way and can we keep all of these plots linear?

Deadfall is the classic case of a movie having all of the right elements, but somehow they just don’t seem to add up.  It’s not a horrible movie, actually, but it just gets so confusing and really for no reason.  They could have done with about half the characters and a few less plot lines and it might have been pretty decent.  Granted the star power is there even with the supporting roles (Kate Mara and Kris Kristofferson). The landscape certainly offered the actors some challenging roles and evidently Olivia Wilde nearly froze to death during her first day of shooting – how’s that for reality?  So while not a total waste of time it just falls into the trap that so many other movies do in that it’s totally and utterly predictable.  If this doesn’t bother you and/or you can handle it, then by all means give this movie a try.  If not, then you save two hours of your life.

Video: How does it look?

In spite of the content of the film, the physical presentation is actually quite good.  The 2.40:1 AVC HD image looks nice and with the majority of the film either being inside or out in the bleak wilderness, it equates to a fairly interesting look and feel for the film.  Flesh tones seem a bit washed out, but that’s to be understood when the landscape is totally white.  Detail is nice and sharp with contrast and black levels being on target.  There are a few times when the CGI got a bit dodgy, but by and large this is indicative of a new to Blu-ray transfer and I doubt that viewers will be disappointed.

Audio: How does it sound?

Again, the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is above average.  The opening scene features a very active and robust car crash.  Mother Nature is in full effect with the howling winds adding some depth in the rear surrounds as well.  Vocals are crisp and sharp and with a few moments in between the beginning and end, it’s a mix that’s not totally forgettable, but not one of the better examples of sound that you’ll ever hear.  It serves its purpose here, no more and no less, though I’d put it on the higher side with some good examples of surround sound.

Supplements: What are the extras?

True fans of the film (admit it, you’re out there) will be pleased as this offers a bit more than the standard fare.  We start off with a “Behind the Scenes” look at “Snow and Western” and “Family” as we get some insight into the elements involved in the movie as well as the familial aspect.  We get some interviews with Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde and director Stefan Ruzowitzky as they tell us about the film and such.  If you liked what Ruzowitzky had to say, there’s an extended interview with him as well.  Two more featurettes show us some more behind the scenes footage and we round it out with a trailer.

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