Saw V (2008) - 2-Disc Unrated Director's Cut [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror / Thriller
Lions Gate || Unrated - 96 minutes - $39.99 || January 20, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-01-27


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: David Hackl
Writer(s): Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan (screenplay)
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good


Theatrical Release Date: October 24, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Mo-Log
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 7.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

I may be alone with this idea, but I thought the first Saw film sucked. The acting was way over the top and I was almost waiting for the two characters at the end to start kissing. I hated it and ignored Saw II when it hit theaters. Somehow, a DVD copy of the second film ended up in my hands and after I watched it... I decided to get the third film a go. I enjoyed it and waited for Saw IV (which many didn't like - but I did) to hit Blu-ray and from then on I promised myself I would continue watching the series as each one hit Blu-ray. And with that, Saw V arrives and I'm not sure what to make of the series so far.

[Please be advised there are SPOILERS below.]

At the start of the film we see an unknown individual once again given the choice to live or die. He seems to have chosen the live part...but something goes wrong. The individual is killed and itís chalked up to being another one of Jigsaw's murders. Shortly after we revisit Agent Peter Strahm (Patterson) who is still in the same room with the now dead Jigsaw. After hearing an eerie message he tries to make his way out only to be knocked unconscious by a man in a Pig Face costume. Strahm soon finds himself seated with a square box above his head filling with water. With no apparent choice to live or die given by Jigsaw, Strahm settles in for an uncomfortable death. He soon realizes he has a pen in his pocket and quickly performs a tracheotomy on himself (ouch!) and soon police and help arrives.

The only other apparent survivor is Detective Mark Hoffman (Mandylor) and he is given an award and quickly promoted for his acts of bravery. Strahm, the other survivor, starts to think that maybe Hoffman is involved with the Jigsaw killings as the man at the start of the film (killed with the Pendulum) was the same person who killed his sister years before. Since you are already reading this and have either seen the film before and want to ruin the film, we find out Hoffman has been working with Jigsaw since nearly the start - even teaming up with Amanda. Several scenes are "re-configured" to allow Hoffman into the mix and in the mean time, he is playing his own game with 5 other individuals who do not understand that they need to work together to survive rather than be the last man standing.

[END of SPOILERS]

Through most of the film I was fairly confused. Not only do Hoffman and Strahm look similar (I was only able to tell them apart because Strahm had a bandage on his neck) but the film moves between time periods so much you never really know when things are actually taking place. One would think the Pendulum killing at the start of the film was taking place right now, but it took places sometime before the second film!

My main beef with this film is that we spend way too much time on Hoffman/Strahm then we do the actual people playing Hoffman's death game. A whole bunch of new, exciting traps have been thought up for this film and it felt like we only spent a total of 15 minutes with these individuals while we were given too much story on Strahm trying to figure out what Hoffman was up to.

For those in the know, Saw III and Saw IV took place during the same time - at the end of IV we were given a run through of how that was possible and many wondered how the series would continue on with Jigsaw apparently now being dead. Well, they figured a way around that and while I am glad to see the series continue on, it leaves many questions which now depends on apparently the final film, Saw VI, to clear up.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in SD unless otherwise noted.

Commentary with Director David Hacki & First Assistant Director Steve Web
Commentary with Producer Oren Koules & Mark Burg and Executive Producers Peter Block & Jason Constantine

Featurettes (on the traps):
The Pendulum Trap (6 Minutes)
The Cube Trap (5 Minutes)
The Coffin Trap (6 Minutes)
The Fatal Five (12 Minutes)
Slicing the Cube: Editing the Cube Trap (5 Minutes)

- - The traps are by the far the most interesting aspect of the films and each of these 5 featurettes give us a look into how they were designed and incorporated into the film.

Mo-Log - I've never really liked these on other Lions Gateís titles and here we go again... after waiting 5 minutes for my player to connect to the network I went through another 10 minutes of signing up so I could move around shapes and letters and interact with-in the film. After several frustrating minutes I turned my player off and vowed never to be bothered by this stuff again. *Blu-ray Exclusive*

Rounding out the disc is a theatrical trailer (HD) and second disc which is actually a Digital Copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Saw V is presented in 1.78:1 (AVC) on a 25GB Disc. Like the previous installments on Blu-ray, the film looks really good in HD but all the intended grain is still very much intact. Most of the film takes place in dark rooms so besides some splashes of red you won't see much else from the black, grey and white surrounding each character.

Lionsgate has included an English 7.1 DTS MA track for this release. Within the first few minutes you will understand why Lionsgate seems to care about Blu-ray - everything sounds good. From the blood curdling screams to the slight buzz of a telephone they got everything here right - and even amped it up to 7.1 for those lucky individuals with that setup.



.::OVERALL::.

Saw V, while not as good as the previous film, brings up way too many questions that need to be answered in the sixth (and apparently final) film. While I was happy to see Jigsaw actually appear in the film, his role was downsized to bring in a new character which I'm not sure can help finish of the series. The Blu-ray boasts some incredible picture and audio, while still lacking a bit in the special features department.