Plot: What’s it about?
Since this movie uses a lot of twists and turns, I don’t want to reveal more than I should in this synopsis. So while my summary will be shorter than usual, the movie has much more detail and complexity than this synopsis. When a group of young criminals to be end up killing a businessman they were supposed to kidnap, they find themselves on the shit list of the local mafia leaders, Leigh and Hellman (Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano), who aren’t the type of folks you want to piss off. In the process of trying to stay alive, the group, led by Danny (Nick Moran) encounters all manner of problems and complications, which leads them through a very unusual night. I realize how vague my synopsis was, but you’ll thank me when you discover the twists and turns still intact when you watch. Sometimes less is more, and this was one such case where that phrase certainly applies.
This was the first time I had seen this movie, so I was not sure of what to expect, but I am glad I took the time to look this film over. If you’re at the rental location or store, don’t judge the film by the synopsis on the back of the package, it doesn’t do the film justice. This movie fits into the whole crime involving mobsters genre well, but as more of a modern take, as opposed to Goodfellas or Casino, which seem to be a look back. Of all the things I like with this film, the biggest complaint I could find is Joe Pantoliano’s hair, which is ridiculous. When Shawn Wayans calls him Benjamin Franklin, he hits the nail right on the head. Aside from the awful hair of that man, this is a great movie, one all fans of the crime genre should check out. It has a fresh angle on the genre, and is packed with enough twists to keep you guessing. I recommend this film and disc highly, so whether you decide on a rental or purchase, your money will be well spent.
This film was written and directed by Michael Hurst, who makes his motion picture debut with this film. For his first time out, Hurst does an excellent job on both fronts, with a literate script and above average camera work and visual style. While crime films are a dime a dozen, this one has enough twists, turns, and style to keep it fresh, and while this isn’t among the best, it’s one of the better recent films in the genre. The cast of this film is quite eclectic, and filled with solid performances all around. The lead spotlight is shared by John Hurt and Nick Moran, who both turn in excellent performances with this film. While most of you are familiar with Hurt (The Elephant Man, Alien) and his work, Moran is more of a new face to most, best known for his turn in Lock Stock & 2 Smoking Barrels, another excellent crime film. Also giving a top notch performance here is Carrie-Ann Moss, who gives her finest turn yet here, even better than her work in The Matrix. Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie, Don’t Be A Menace…) and Joe Pantoliano (Bound, Ready To Rumble) also appear.
Video: How does it look?
New Blood is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The visuals are very dark, but the transfer keeps them in line, with no shadow problems or detail loss. The colors are downplayed, but still have some brightness to them, and flesh tones are natural and free from distortion. I couldn’t find any compression errors on this transfer, and the print is sharp and free from defects.
Audio: How does it sound?
While this is a crime movie, the audio is geared toward vocals more than gunfire. When shots are fired, or the action heats up, you’ll notice the surrounds, but usually the audio is dialogue driven. The surrounds will also perk up when the soundtrack is present, so the audio can kick when it needs to. Dialogue is good here, volume is consistent and clarity is very high, no complaints here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I was pleased to find a nice assortment of supplements on this disc, more than I expected from a lower profile film like this. First up is a running commentary with director Michael Hurst, who provides insight into the production of the film, as well as some humorous anecdotes. If you liked the movie, you’ll want to give this alternate audio track a spin as well. An eleven minute behind the scenes featurette is found here as well, which mixes interviews with cast and crew and clips from the film to form a mostly fluff piece. Talent files and the theatrical trailer are also included, to round out the disc.