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National Security

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Movie falls short of Blue Streak's charm; Martin lacks freshness, Zahn refreshing. Rental advised.

    National Security Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • National Security's Bluray transfer offers an above-average 1080p/AVC encode with a clean presentation, deep blacks, and accurate colors. Despite minor blemishes and slight grain, it's a noticeable improvement over DVD, lacking compression flaws, and ideal for Martin Lawrence fans.

  • Audio
  • National Security's 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, encoded at 16/48 kHz, offers clear dialog and conservative mix, with limited but effective LFE and surround, showcasing more dynamic bursts during action.

  • Extra
  • The disc offers sparse extras: a commentary by Director Dennis Dugan filled with trivia and insights into working with Martin Lawrence, a music video by Disturbing the Peace, a few deleted scenes, an unremarkable alternate ending, and BD-Live access for more content.

  • Movie
  • National Security pairs Martin Lawrence in yet another cop comedy, leading to genre fatigue and modest box office success, while the plot involves a mistaken police brutality incident turning partners Hank and Earl into crime-fighting allies.

    Video: 50

    National Security" makes its way to Blu-ray with a presentation that largely impresses, showcasing a 1080p/AVC encode presented in a 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The video quality is a step up from its DVD counterpart, offering a visual experience that, while not groundbreaking, comfortably exceeds average expectations. The print is mostly clean with only minor instances of dirt and scratches noted, indicating a transfer that has seen some care. The film's color palette is treated with respect, maintaining natural saturation levels without veering into overly vivid territory. Blacks are rendered with depth and solidity, contributing to an overall image that is both sharp and film-like. Grain presence is handled adeptly, preserving the filmic texture without overwhelming the viewer, save for a few scenes where the grain becomes slightly more pronounced.

    Contrast levels are consistently well-judged throughout the movie, enhancing the visual depth without causing any loss of detail in the darker scenes. This balanced approach ensures that both bright and dim scenes retain their intended detail and ambiance. Notably, the absence of compression artifacts and edge enhancement further speaks to the quality of the transfer, ensuring that the picture remains clear and free from common digital pitfalls. The fine grain structure that persists lends the movie a pleasing cinematic feel, which, coupled with the solid blacks and accurate colors, elevates the viewing experience beyond the standard DVD quality.

    For fans of Martin Lawrence and those interested in upgrading their collection, the Blu-ray version of "National Security" presents a worthwhile improvement. The transfer respects the source material while providing technical enhancements that make for a visually satisfying watch. Though it may not set a new bar for Blu-ray presentations, it delivers a solid and commendable video quality that fans will appreciate, making it a recommended upgrade from previous versions.

    Audio: 50

    The audio presentation of "National Security" on Blu Ray delivers a consistent performance through its 5.1 English Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, meticulously encoded at a 16/48 kHz bit and sample rate. Reminiscent of the audio mix found in "Blue Streak," the track exhibits a notable front-heavy arrangement that leaves a bit to be desired in terms of surround sound engagement. Dialogue is crystal clear, maintaining its prominence over both effects and musical score with no loss of clarity or intelligibility. This aspect ensures that the verbal exchanges, critical to the comedic timing and narrative flow, are conveyed with utmost precision.

    In terms of low-frequency effects (LFE), the usage could be described as selective yet impactful. While not constantly in play, the LFE channel leaps into action to enhance particular sound effects and musical cues, providing an appreciable depth to the soundscape. The soundtrack seems to leverage the subwoofer more with its musical components than with sound effects, creating moments that add a visceral dimension to the overall viewing experience. Despite this, the effectiveness of these occurrences does vary, falling into a pattern of conservative use that occasionally misses opportunities to fully immerize viewers.

    Moreover, while the mix may appear reserved, it does not falter in dynamics during key sequences that demand attention, showcasing bursts of surround activity, ambient sound layering, and well-executed front channel pans. These elements contribute to creating a soundscape that is engaging during its peaks yet maintains a certain restraint that could leave audiophiles wanting more. Overall, the audio track for "National Security" on Blu Ray provides a technically solid but somewhat cautious auditory experience that supports the film without overshadowing its elements.

    Extra: 35

    The Blu-ray release of "National Security" delivers a modest package of extras that caters to both insightful film enthusiasts and fans looking for additional content. The commentary track, led by Director Dennis Dugan, gives an introspective look into the film's production, seasoned with various trivia and his experience working alongside Martin Lawrence, despite a noticeable taper off towards the end. The inclusion of a music video, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending offers a peek into the creative decisions behind the scenes, although the alternate ending might not live up to expectations. Additionally, the BD-Live feature expands the experience by providing access to further content on Sony's website, enriching the overall package despite its brevity.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Commentary: Insights from Director Dennis Dugan on film production and collaboration with Martin Lawrence.
    • Music Video N.S.E.W.: Performed by Disturbing the Peace.
    • Deleted Scenes: A collection of scenes not included in the final cut.
    • Alternate Ending: A different conclusion to the film that might not stand out as expected.
    • BD-Live: Offers access to additional content on Sony's website.

    Movie: 45

    National Security," starring Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn, encapsulates a blend of comedy and action with the traditional buddy-cop formula. The movie dives into the storyline of Hank (Zahn), a dedicated cop whose life takes an unexpected turn when a misunderstanding with Earl (Lawrence), a civilian caught in a suspected car break-in, leads to Hank's suspension and imprisonment. This unfortunate event is fueled by a mistakenly perceived act of police brutality caught on video, setting the stage for the duo's eventual, albeit contentious, partnership. Despite its attempt to infuse comedy into crime-fighting, "National Security" struggles to rejuvenate Martin Lawrence's typecast persona in cop comedies.

    The film’s narrative further unfolds as Hank, now a security guard post-incarceration, crosses paths with Earl once more during a warehouse robbery. This scenario sparks their unlikely collaboration to dismantle a smuggling operation. Throughout, the movie persistently plays with racial themes and tensions, an element that, while intending to add depth and humor, often feels overplayed and clichéd. The dynamic between Lawrence and Zahn treads familiar ground seen in earlier Lawrence ventures like "Blue Streak" and "Bad Boys," yet fails to capture the same allure or box office magnetism, with a modest grossing and tepid critical reception including a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Technically speaking, "National Security" does not push any boundaries in cinematography or special effects, adhering instead to standard practices of the genre. The action sequences are competently executed but lack the innovation or intensity that could set this film apart from its predecessors. In essence, while aiming to marry comedy with action-packed sequences within a buddy-cop framework, "National Security" reiterates Lawrence’s familiar territory without offering a refreshed or engaging take on the formula.

    Total: 45

    Upon examining the total presentation of the Blu-ray edition of "National Security," it's evident that the film does not quite ascend to the heights of its predecessor, "Blue Streak." Martin Lawrence's role, which previously sparkled with originality and improvisational zest in "Blue Streak," here appears somewhat recycled and lacks the same vigor and spontaneity that once charmed audiences. The freshness and novelty that marked his earlier performance seem to be missing, leaving the impression of a somewhat lackluster reiteration of a once-dynamic character. In contrast, Steve Zahn delivers a performance that shines for its authenticity and consistency, offering a portrayal that, while not groundbreaking, faithfully serves his character without veering into overacting.

    The Blu-ray edition itself provides fans of Martin Lawrence an opportunity to appreciate his talent, even if in a familiar guise. The technical aspects of the Blu-ray release are competent, ensuring that viewers receive a quality viewing experience that leverages high-definition visuals and audio to enhance the film's presentation. For those deeply loyal to Martin's body of work, this release may represent a worthy purchase. However, for casual viewers or those seeking the novelty and excitement found in "Blue Streak," a rental might suffice before considering adding this title to their collection.

    In conclusion, while "National Security" on Blu-ray presents an adequate opportunity for die-hard fans to revel in Martin Lawrence's comedic flair, it falls short of recapturing the magic found in previous works such as "Blue Streak." Steve Zahn's reliable performance stands as a highlight, yet the overall experience may leave some audiences yearning for the freshness that initially endeared Martin to them. As such, the film finds itself nestled more comfortably in the rental category for those curious about its offerings, rather than as an essential addition to one's Blu-ray library.