Featured In Issue 172, December 2012

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number):
(MPAA Rating):
R / Not Rated
(Rating Reason):
Strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexualit, nudity, drug use and language throughout
(Retail Price):
(Disc Type):
Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
(Widescreen Edition):
(Full Screen Edition):
(Running Time In Minutes):
131 / 142
(Color Type):
Color With B/W Sequences
(Chaptered/Scene Access):
(Closed Captioned):
(Regional Coding):
Not Indicated
(Theatrical Year):
(Theatrical Release):
(Direct-To-Video Release):
(Disc Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Oliver Stone
(Screenplay/Written By):
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer):
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers):
(Academy Awards):
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio):
(Measured Disc Aspect Ratio):
(Disc Soundtrack):
DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1
(Theatrical Sound):
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(DTS Bit Rate):
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate):
(Additional Languages):
(French Language):
(Spanish Language):
(Chinese Language):
(Cantonese Language):
(Mandarin Language):
(Japanese Language):
(Italian Language):
(German Language):
(Portuguese Language):

Based on Don Winslow's crime novel, Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson) and Chon (Kitsch) raise and sell some of the best marijuana ever developed, while sharing a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Lively). Their idllic life is shattered when the Mexican Baja Cartel demands that the trio partner with them. But the cartel's merciless boss, Elena (Hayek), and her brutal enforcer, Lado (Del Toro), underestimate the unbreakable bonds among these three friends. Ben and Chon—with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent (Travolta)—launch a seemingly unwinnable war against the drug lords that escalates into a save, high-stakes battle of wills. (Gary Reber)

Both the R rated (02:10:58) and Not Rated (02:21:10) versions are available. Special features include commentary with Director Oliver Stone, commentary with Producers Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff, Co-Screenwriter/Novelist Don Winslow, Executive Producer/Co-Screenwriter Shane Salerno and Production Designer Tomas Voth, the featurette "Stone Cold Savages," deleted scenes, D-BOX® Motion Code™, BD-Live functionality, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1080p AVC picture exhibits a rough-appearing stylized rendering, to heighten the raw qualities of the marijuana trade. The imagery is dense with strongly saturated hues. In this regard, the color palette is stressed with exaggerated orange-tinted fleshtones and deep primaries. Contrast is heightened, with undefined blacks and shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail evident in object texture and especially during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and objects. The picture exhibits an overall dark intensity. Throughout, the picture is visually engaging, with a deeply intense color palette. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced with an active soundfield presence that transitions from subtle to aggressive surround envelopment. Atmospherics and sound effects effectively communicate the soundsapes and emotional intensity associated with the violence sequence. The orchestral music score is nicely recorded with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to immerse the surrounds. Deep bass is supported in the music and sound effects with .1 LFE energy, at times, extending below 25 Hz. Pans are effectively executed with an aggressive directionalized effect that heightens the intensity. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially. This is a soundtrack that intensifies as the story unfolds, resulting in an engaging holosonic® experience. (Gary Reber)