Untraceable (2008) [Blu-Ray]
|Genre(s): Crime / Thriller|
|Sony || R - 101 minutes - $38.96 || May 13, 2008|
|Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-05-08|
Writer(s): Robert Fyvolent & Mark Brinker (story), Robert Fyvolent & Mark Brinker and Allison Burnett (screenplay)
Cast: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hart
Theatrical Release Date: January 25, 2008
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Untraceable stars Diane Lane (Unfaithful) as Agent Jennifer Marsh, an internet Cyber Crime detective. One day she gets a tip to check out a website, KillWithMe.com, which shows a kitten slowly dying on a live webcast stream. This prompts Agent Marsh to look into it and see if she can track down who did it. Before you know it the killer moves on to humans and the game is on. What follows for the remainder of the film is a cat and mouse game where the agents are not only trying to track down the killer, but try to figure out the motive of why he chooses certain people and not others. Is it at random, or is their a more meaningful purpose?
Untraceable echoes the SAW franchise in the disturbing and uncomfortable death sequences. While none of the killerís inventions in this movie were even close in creativity to those of Jigsaw, they still made me feel a bit uneasy watching these people being tortured and then killed.
The acting in the movie is incredibly uneven. Diane Lane really does give it her best, but uses way to much Internet lingo that will go over the head of a typical person watching the movie. When she started using words like query, IP address and mirror host sites I wondered if people like my mother would have any idea what was going on and suggest why they couldnít just unplug her computer and make it all go away. Using terminology like that made her seem as believable as a computer expert as Denise Richards is as a nuclear scientist from The World is Not Enough.
I really enjoyed the performance by Colin Hanks as Agent Griffin Dowd. If youíre a fan of the TV show "Roswell", he takes a lot of the attributes from his character Alex and applies them here. Then of course we have Billy Burke as Detective Eric Box. His character, essentially, is useless. I canít recall a single thing he did that actually moved the plot forward. Even at the climax of the film, where you would think he would save the day, he was not needed.
While I didnít hate Untraceable, I didnít love it either. Iím not sure who the demographic for the movie is meant for. If itís for the younger, internet savvy generation, why cast a 40 year old Diane Lane as a computer expert instead of someone like Sarah Michelle Gellar or Jessica Alba that would appeal towards the younger crowd?
All special features are presented in SD.
Commentary - A fairly dull commentary track with director Gregory Hoblit, producer Hawk Koch, and designer Paul Eads. Skip it.
Tracking Untraceable (15:44) Ė The start of 4 short featurettes that barley scratches the surface of how the movie came to be. What was an interesting idea for a movie could have a made a great stretched out feature. Instead we get the typical fluff.
The Personnel Files (15:05) Ė A typical featurette that gives most of the characters a chance to give themselves a job well done speech.
The Blueprint of Murder (13:30) Ė A look into the filming locations, costumes and various stages of production.
The Anatomy of Murder (5:42) Ė One of the more interesting featurettes discusses the makes and special effects that were used in some of the murders. Iím a bit disappointed that this was so short as some of the inventions were pretty neat.
Beyond the Cyber Bureau (Profile 1.1/2.0 Players only) Ė This PiP presentation runs concurrently with the film and takes snippets of the above special features as well as a few other new ones. Not the most enjoyable thing in the world, but itís a good way to watch the ďbestĒ of the above special features all at once.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Untraceable is presented in 2.40:1 1080p (AVC/MPEG4) widescreen on a 50GB disc. The quality here is really hit and miss. I was not blown away by the transfer but it certainly was not bad. The film has an intended grainy look to it (much like SAW) and appeared a bit out of focus. There were too many times where I wondered if I was watching an up-converted DVD rather then a Blu-ray.
Audio wise we dual Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks in both English and Spanish as well as dual Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Spanish and Portuguese. Sony appears to be leaving behind the space heavy PCM tracks now in favor of the space saving TrueHD tracks which is a good thing as more space is now available for better video encodes as well as more special features. Kudos to Sony on that. The movie is fairly dialog heavy and it comes out crisp and clear. Many times in the movie I was greeted with the sound of rain pouring throughout my speakers. There is one particular scene where various radio stations are discussing the killings on the website and each of my rear speakers alternated between different radio personalities discussing it. Very neat effect.
Untraceable feels like a tamer version of the SAW films with a "CSI" twist on it. Itís a good popcorn movie filled with suspense, but I canít imagine ever going back to it again.
Note: Images do not represent the true picture quality of the film. Also, picture and audio ratings are on a high-def scale.