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Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'Safe': a hit-or-miss action film with unmatched technical quality.

    Safe Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The 'Safe' Blu-ray offers an exceptional 1080p presentation, with vibrant, detailed imagery and a gritty look, albeit with minor shadow detail issues and occasional motion judder.

  • Audio
  • Safe's 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix offers an intense, immersive experience with some inconsistencies. While fidelity and surround effects excel, especially in urban and shootout scenes, mixing issues occasionally disrupt the soundstage.

  • Extra
  • Boaz Yakin delves into 'Safe's' creation, embracing its philosophy and recycled ideas while examining character motivation, action sequences, and NY's villainous aura, amidst mixed reviews on originality and emotional depth.

  • Movie
  • Jason Statham excels as the solitary hero in 'Safe,' a film filled with non-stop action and predictability, paralleling 'Mercury Rising' but criticized for lackluster originality and a weak connection between characters.

    Video: 76

    The Lionsgate Films Blu-ray presentation of "Safe" in an AVC encoded 1080p transfer with a 2.35:1 ratio is a nearly immaculate visual treat that emphasizes the technical prowess of the format. The film's picture quality is consistently sharp, clear, and rich in detail, showcasing a level of clarity that almost persuades one of its digital rather than filmic origin. Colors are vibrant and well-saturated, with the film's predominant cool blue and green color grading enhancing rather than detracting from the visual detail. The intentional graininess present serves to reinforce the gritty atmosphere of its New York setting, contributing significantly to the overall aesthetic appeal. While the image occasionally suffers from minor issues such as slight contrast fluctuations in darker scenes and negligible motion judder during quick pans, these are but minor blemishes on an otherwise exceptional transfer.

    Textures in "Safe" are portrayed with remarkable depth, from Jason Statham’s distinct stubble to the finer points of blood splatter and the textured environs of New York. This clarity in texture is maintained throughout the vast majority of the film, allowing for an immersive visual experience that is both engaging and vivid. Although the film employs highly saturated settings for dramatic effect, particularly in scenes set in vibrant locales like Chinatown clubs where oversaturation leads to a loss of detail, it effectively adds to the narrative's tension. However, it's worth noting that shadow delineation can occasionally render darker objects somewhat indistinct.

    Despite these sporadic shortcomings, the Blu-ray video presentation of "Safe" stands out for its outstanding fidelity and visual integrity. Issues are few, limited primarily to rare instances of digital noise in dimly lit scenes. Overall, this release is bound to satisfy videophiles with its stunning display of visual precision and attention to detail, ensuring that the film's dynamic and grimy atmosphere is preserved and enhanced for home viewing.

    Audio: 73

    The audio experience of "Safe" on Blu Ray, presented through a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix, demonstrates both impressive strengths and notable weaknesses, creating a somewhat mixed bag for audiophiles. From the opening scenes in a subway station, where the sound of a train whooshing by serves as a dynamic introduction, there's an immediate sense of immersion. The fidelity throughout is commendable, with the sound field being used to great effect to envelop the viewer in the film's urban setting. Especially noteworthy are the film's action sequences, where the use of the LFE channel and inventive discrete channelization during shootouts adds a thrilling dimension to the viewing experience. The sound design makes excellent use of surround channels, enhancing the atmosphere with richly detailed foley effects and ambient noises that capture the bustling energy of urban environments.

    However, the audio track is not without its shortcomings. Despite the potential for a fully immersive soundscape offered by the sophisticated 7.1 setup, there are moments where the mix fails to harmoniously blend its elements. In certain sequences, such as the initial subway scene, the sound feels less cohesive, lacking in spatial mixing that could have maximized the environment's bustling acoustics. This inconsistency extends to surface-level scenes where, despite vibrant environmental sounds, abrupt transitions into chaotic shootouts result in a muddled audio presentation. The disorganized scattering of sound across channels during these intense moments undermines the otherwise meticulous sound design, indicating missed opportunities for creating a coherent auditory experience.

    Notwithstanding these issues, the audio track excels with its dynamic range and particularly with its gunfire effects, which remain impactful and intense throughout. Such moments demonstrate the audio’s capability to deliver exhilarating action sequences. However, the fluctuating quality of mixing across different scenes suggests a disparity in attention to detail, hinting at what could have been a thoroughly captivating auditory experience had the mixing been more consistently executed throughout.

    Extra: 48

    The extras on the Blu-ray of "Safe" offer an insightful peek into the creation and thematic groundwork of the film, spearheaded by writer-director Boaz Yakin's commentary. Yakin, opening up about his cinematic journey and philosophical influences, presents a blend of technical insight and narrative exploration, especially in character motivations and his approach to action sequences. The featurettes extend beyond his reflections, delving into the mechanics of action filmmaking, the crafting of gun fights, and the dark allure of New York City as both a backdrop and an adversary. Despite a tendency to overstate the film's originality, particularly in emotional connectivity, these extras simultaneously ground Yakin’s vision in reality while showcasing the collaborative effort behind the stunt work, the character-driven action, and the film’s interpretative use of its setting. This mix of directorial introspection and behind-the-scenes craftsmanship provides a layered understanding of "Safe," especially for fans intrigued by cinematic process and execution.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Director Commentary: Boaz Yakin discusses his film industry background and the philosophical underpinnings of "Safe".
    • Cracking Safe: A look into Yakin's motivation behind the film, featuring interviews with Jason Statham and others.
    • Criminal Battleground: Explores New York as both a physical and thematic villain within "Safe".
    • The Art of the Gunfight: Details on fight choreography and the philosophy behind the film's gunfights.

    Movie: 56

    Jason Statham delivers another hardened, yet nuanced performance in "Safe," a movie that oscillates between intense action and a predictable narrative landscape frequented by action titles. In this film, Statham embodies Luke, a character who inadvertently disrupts the operations of a Russian mob by failing to take a dive in a fight, leading to a complex web of consequences involving both the mob and corrupt elements within the New York police force. The first half of the movie is particularly notable for its rapid editing and engaging direction, which skilfully intertwines Luke's downturn with the introduction of Mei, a young Chinese math prodigy embroiled in the criminal underworld due to her unique abilities. Their paths cross in a New York set piecemeal by various factions including the police, the Russian mafia, and Triad members, setting the stage for a narrative that, while sometimes veering into the realms of the implausible, keeps the audience's attention with well-orchestrated action sequences.

    Despite its grip on audience attention with gritty action and moments of levity courtesy of Statham's combat and comedic skills, "Safe" struggles with maintaining originality in its plot. It wraps familiar motifs in a new packaging, which might remind viewers of previously seen scenarios in action cinema, contributing to a sense of déjà vu. The juxtaposition of a downcast Statham against the vibrancy and vulnerability of Mei encapsulates a dynamic that could have offered more depth but instead feels underexploited as the storyline unfolds. The action components are undeniably thrilling, showcasing Yakin’s ability to choreograph sequences that dazzle and entertain, even as the plot meanders towards a predictably explosive conclusion without significantly leveraging the potential chemistry between its leading characters.

    Addressing the technical elements, "Safe" boasts commendable cinematography and editing that manage to inject vitality into its New York backdrop, making for an immersive urban battleground. However, the script does not fully capitalize on its premise or the emotional dimensions it tentatively explores. Though it sets up an intriguing dynamic between Luke and Mei, their relationship doesn't mature sufficiently to anchor the narrative emotionally, leaving the film to rely heavily on its action credentials. This reliance on spectacle over substance might suffice for viewers seeking nothing more than a straightforward action flick, but for those craving depth and a novel storyline, "Safe" may register as a missed opportunity to blend genre conventions with character-driven storytelling.

    Total: 66

    Safe" conjures a mixed bag of reactions, embodying a high-octane action film that manages to deliver an adrenaline rush while grappling with an identity crisis. Statham shines in his role, showcasing a robust command of the action genre, which the film exploits through exhilarating set pieces and smart storytelling techniques in connecting parallel narratives. The Blu-ray edition of "Safe" excels in technical areas, featuring excellent video quality that brings out the visceral textures of the action-packed scenes with clarity. The audio presentation is of reference quality, enveloping the viewer in the intensity of each moment. Supplements provided are above average, offering insights that could enrich the viewing experience for fans.

    However, the film struggles to transcend beyond the realm of formulaic action flicks, falling into a pattern of repetitiveness that dilutes its impact. Critically, it lacks memorable elements that could distinguish it from the myriad of action films that precede it. Despite boasting commendable action sequences, the film ultimately succumbs to a sense of déjà vu, failing to innovate or surprise. The special features section, intended to highlight the unique aspects of "Safe," paradoxically underscores its shortcomings when compared to other films within the genre. The attempt to position "Safe" as a standout proves futile amidst a narrative that treads familiar ground without introducing noteworthy divergence or complexity.

    In conclusion, the Blu-ray presentation of "Safe" brings technical finesse to the forefront, delivering stunning visuals and immersive audio. However, this cannot mask the film's inherent flaws— a storyline that offers little in the way of novelty and action sequences mired in repetition. While it may captivate those looking for straightforward action, it falls short of leaving a lasting impression or redefining its space within the genre.