Street Kings

Featured In Issue 135, October 2008

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Strong violence and pervasive language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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David Ayer
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Detective Tom Ludlow (Reeves), suffering from depression after the death of his wife, is dealt another low-blow when his partner Detective Terrance Washington (Crews) is killed by a couple of gang members. Ludlow has been known to deal a bit of Street justice and is determined to find the perpetrators who've brutally murdered his friend and partner. But when Ludlow comes face to face with the Kings of violence, he must choose between upholding the law and seeking vengeance for his friend's life. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include an audio commentary track by Director David Ayer; 15 deleted scenes, available with optional commentary; ten alternate scenes; the following featurettes: Street Rules: Rolling With David Ayer And Jamie Fitzsimons (17 minutes), LA Béte Noir: Writing Street Kings (five minutes), and Street Cred (four minutes); four short Behind The Scenes clips; four vignettes; the original theatrical trailer; previews; and a digital copy of the movie to download to your Mac or PC; an interactive picture-in-picture option Under Surveillance: Inside The World Of Street Kings; and an HBO First Look episode on the making of Street Kings (12 minutes).

While there is some noise noticeable in the darker scenes, that really is the only artifact in the anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD. Resolution is nicely presented, and while there are rarely bright colors in the picture, what are there are nicely saturated with good balance. Contrast is defined well, and shadow delineation is commendable. Black levels are slightly elevated, and fleshtones can appear pallid during daytime, outdoor scenes. At night, fleshtones appear too yellow as well. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows decent resolution, with fine details fairly well delivered to the screen. Black levels are deep, but shadow delineation is somewhat lacking. Fleshtones are still yellow at night and sickly during the day. The image just doesn't have the kind of pop that better Blu-ray releases will have. (Danny Richelieu)

The LFE channel is used often for both music and effects in the Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack, and while fidelity is generally good, it isn't pristine. There is a disappointing lack of surround use, considering the story, but the front stage is nicely mixed. Phantom imaging is limited, and the front stage sounds rather flat. There are occasional pans in the mix that sound natural, but they are few and far between. Dynamic range is adequate, but there is heavy noise audible, and clipping distortion can be a distraction throughout. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio™ encoding still has many of the same problems as the DVD, with audible clipping distortion and noise. The noise isn't as pervasive as in the DVD, and dynamic range is improved some, but the clipping distortion can be distracting. The LFE channel is also encoded at very high levels, so care should be taken so as to not damage your system. (Danny Richelieu)