Playing With Fire

Featured In Issue 249, April/May 2020

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Rude humor, some suggestive material and mile peril
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Andy Fickman
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In "Playing With Fire," when firefighter Jake Carson (Cena) and his team (Key and Leguizamo) rescue three siblings in the path of a wildfire, they quickly realize that no amount of training could have prepared them for their most challenging job yet––babysitting. While trying to locate the children's parents, the firefighters have their lives, jobs and even their fire station turned upside down and learn that kids––much like fires––are wild and full of surprises. (Gary Reber)

Special features include 13 deleted scenes (HD 14:43), bloopers (HD 02:33); five featurettes: "Storytime With John Cena" (HD 01:27), "Lighting Up The Laughs" (HD 03:05), "The Director's Diaries: Read By Star Cast" (HD 05:05), "What It Means To Be A Family" (HD 04:32) and "The Real Smokejumpers: This Is Their Story" (HD 02:34) and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa XT Plus camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. This is a pretty limited visual experience as it takes place, for the most part, in a smokejumper compound with drab production design imagery. Color fidelity is generally well saturated with natural hues and fleshtones. Contrast is well balanced with decent black levels, shadow delineation, and white levels. Resolution is good, though, a bit soft in segments. Close-ups reveal fine detail in object textures, clothing, and facial features, including pores, hair and beards. Visually, this is an uninvolving picture, but color fidelity is appealing. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused on the interplay of the smokejumpers and the three orphaned children. The orchestral score occupies a wide soundstage that extends to the surrounds for nuanced envelopment. Instrumental clarity and fidelity are excellent. Sound effects are directionalized in the soundstage. music is wide and deep with excellent fidelity. Some panning excites the soundfield such as when the boy shoots off a flare gun and the flare ricochets all over the station. Dialogue is generally well integrated spatially. Overall, this is a rather typical soundtrack for a comedy with limited energy to excite the soundfield. (Gary Reber)