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Blu-ray Review: The Losers
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The Losers Blu-ray DVDThe Losers
DVD | Blu-ray
Directed by Sylvain White
Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Columbus Short, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Oscar Jaenada, Jason Patric
Warner Bros Home Video
Release date: July 20, 2010

The Losers, based on a DC comic, isn’t merely hell-bent on expressing violence like recent comic book adaptations (Jonah Hex). There is a method behind its outrageous madness. Externally The Losers and violence are mutually inseparable, finding pleasure in things that go BOOM, but internally is where it separates itself from the Jonah Hexes out there and undergoes an operation that is primarily inspired by one emotion: revenge. This intense sense of emotion is precisely what the picture needs because it has an actor in Jeffrey Dean Morgan who can construct a character who is riddled with guilt to perfection. We have seen him do it before in Watchmen, a film in some instances The Losers represents.

The similarities that can be found in both films have to do with the idea of abandonment and betrayal. Extending beyond violence, director Sylvain White finds a potent force that can withstand the over excessive amount of violence the picture contains. That force deals with humane elements. In Watchmen the heroes are depressed due to authorities and citizens questioning their true colors. The heroes are then wounded by the abandonment of such people. In The Losers a group of five highly trained Special Ops workmen led by Clay (Morgan) are stained with the same kind of abandonment.

Throughout the entire film this infantry (named the Losers) express the need to recapture what they lost. To witness characters who find the need to sustain the goodness of their name in any kind of genre only shows that the film is empathetic with its characters. Clay and his men (played by Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, and Oscar Jaenada), who practice camaraderie to the fullest extent, prove that they deserve our sentiment.

Their boss Max (Jason Patric), who is backed by the CIA like our heroes, attempts to branch off and benefit his own self. He is the cause for the Losers’ hopeless disposition. Aiming to double-cross Clay and his men, who are on a mission on Bolivia, Max goes to extremes, leaving The Losers presumed dead. Staying put in Bolivia, they swear revenge on Max with the help of another agent named Aisha (Zoe Saldana), hunting down every person who stands in their way.

Here is where the film creates its own absurdities. Contained within the film is a succession of implausible acts that consistently unravels to expose more unrealistic happenings. It is furnished to profusion with glorified violence. Some instances are eye-popping and some are of little importance. So vividly is this violence obsessed and glorified at that slowly becomes mundane. There is much violence considered in the film. By not cultivating it properly it only makes it become tiresome. But director White, along with cinematographer Scott Kevan, shows that he cares about these scenes, no matter how trivial they are, by making enjoyable the many action scenes by capturing them in an energetic and cool manner.

All of the action revolves around Max. The Losers must capture Max. It is a definite MUST! Everything hinges on this fact which is used up exhaustively every way imaginable. Max is what makes the movie go. He displays hypocrisy as being a U.S. government official trying to possess the world’s most deadly weapons so he could start a war by himself. The characteristics of a satire are evident especially when Max is on screen. Jason Patric portrays this man who is obsessed with power in a delightful way. It is his selfishness that contrasts so potently with Clay’s humbleness, and that is where the constraints of the action film are done away with.

HIGH-DEF PICTURE: The Losers is meant to be enjoyed on Blu-Ray. Warner Bros. has really out done itself with this transfer. As the film’s narrative becomes trivial, its picture quality elevates it to another level. It grabs you in with its visuals that are immensely effective. There are scenes that are demo worthy. One such scene contains Clay and Aisha engaged in a brawl inside of a hotel room going up in flames. The clearness of the fire only perpetuates that scene’s power. Most action pictures rely heavily on CGI effects. Watching this film and seeing how little it glorifies the CGI scenes only enhances its quality. Director White sees it fit to find meaningfulness in the things that don’t explode and cause chaos. His attention to realistic elements (lusty love scenes, early morning meetings and late night walks in Bolivia) makes this blu-ray transfer ignite into something other than a mere comic-book adaptation. Though some scenes have an issue with the dealing of light (hues are slightly off), the entire transfer took me by surprise and made the film much more fun.

Special Features:

Behind the Scenes: Zoe and the Losers (6mins); HD: Puts an emphasis on Zoe Saldana’s presence while with the boys of the cast. Describes how she held her own.

Band of Buddies: Ops Training: Walk the Ops Walk (6mins); HD: Explores the ins and outs of Black Ops with the cast.

Transforming Puerto Rico (6mins); HD: The production team scouting locations for the film.

Going Deep into the Action (6mins); HD: Director White and stunt coordinator Garrett Warren approach the film’s actions scenes.

The Losers: Action-Style Storytelling (10mins); HD: Comic creators Andy Diggle and Jock discuss their creation and why they wanted to take a new approach to the men-on-a-mission comic.

A First Look at Batman: Under the Red Hood (14mins); SD: An early preview of the upcoming DC Universe animated film.

Deleted Scenes (45sec); SD: One scene, but an interesting one at that. It involves Idris Elba in character talking over the phone with Chris Noth, who plays Max instead of Jason Patric.

DVD & Digital Copy: Disc 2 contains a DVD copy, as well as the Digital download copy.

MOVIE: **1/2 out of ****
HIGH-DEF PICTURE: ***1/2 out of ****
SPECIAL FEATURES: **1/2 out of ****

Verdict: RENT for the PICTURE QUALITY

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