Blu-ray Review “Safe House”

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 115 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

With a cast of Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, you really can’t go wrong.  The film is action packed and really thrilling.  Whenever I see Denzel in a a role like this, it immediately sparks my interest.  I mean…the guy really knows for to succeed in playing a crazy man.  He just does it well!  The film is also shot and directed really well, thanks to Daniel Espinosa channeling his inner Oliver Stone and Michael Mann.  Normally I am not a big action movie fan but without re-creating the genre, this film is still able to delivers a fun entertaining experience.

The film follows Matt Weston (Reynolds), a rookie CIA operative, so is frustrated with his boring job of running a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. Of course everything changes for Matt when he meets  Tobin Frost (Washington), a renegade intelligence officer who had been on the run for almost a decade. When the safe house is mercenaries attack the house, Weston and Frost make a narrow escape and together must find out who they can trust.

Kudos to Universal for really delivers an ass-kicking Blu-ray.  It comes with a Blu-ray of the film, along with a DVD and a digital copy discs, as well as a Ultraviolet streaming digital copy as well.  The 1080p transfer looks awesome presented in its original aspect ratio: 2.39:1, especially with the action sequences. As does the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, which really excels with the film’s intense scenes.

The special features are very impressive overall.  To start there are a few interactive features like Universal’s first U-Control feature, which is basically a Picture-in-Picture track, features interviews with cast and crew and provides decent behind-the-scenes footage.   Secondly, Universal brings a Second Screen Experience that works with the pocket BLU app able to be downloaded to your tablet, Mac or PC,  which syncs the app with the film.

There is a decent  behind-scenes featurette called “Making Safe House”, which focuses on production and characters.  “Hand-to-Hand Action” focuses on the film’s fights with fight coordinator Olivier Schneider and his team. “Shooting the Safe House Attack” is a short look at the film’s major action scene. “Building the Rooftop Chase” takes a behind-the-scenes look at Washington and Reynolds leaping from roof to roof. “Behind the Action” is another look into the shooting film’s action sequences. “Inside the CIA” takes a look at creating Langley and at the CIA itself today.  Lastly, “Safe Harbor: Cape Town” focuses on shooting on location in Cape Town.

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