War, Inc. (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / War
First Look Studios || R - 107 minutes - $34.98 || October 14, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-10-20


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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

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Joshua Seftel
Writer(s): Mark Leyner & Jeremy Pikser & John Cusack (written by)
Cast: John Cusack, Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley


Theatrical Release Date: May 23, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Remember Grosse Point Blank? That overlooked Cusack film from 1997 that didn't do that great in Theaters but became a small cult-classic? This is kind of the sequel to it. Kind of. Cusack really wanted to do a sequel to the film and since Disney didn't want to relinquish rights to it, he decided to change some of the characters names around and do things a bit different and created something that is almost a sequel to the original...but not quite. Think of it as a "re-imagining".

Brand Hauser (John Cusack) is a hit man that is sent to Turaqistan by the former V.P. (Dan Aykroyd) to take out an oil tycoon named Omar Shirif. While there he is joined with his assistant Marsha Dillion (Joan Cusack) and goes undercover being a manager for the Timberlane trade show. Itís here that he meets Natalie (Marisa Tomei), a young journalist and strikes up a possible romance with her. Soon enough he gets mixed up with a Britney Spears pop-princess-like-girl named Yonica (Hilary Duff) and from here his life becomes way more complicated as he has to deal with the budding romance between Natalie, the possible romance and strange connection with Yonica and he still has to take out his hit.

Yeah, the film is a bit hard to follow but I found myself enjoying it almost as much as Grosse Point Blank. It was great to see some of my favorite characters back in action while altered names and identities, but it still felt like a sequel. Even the murder of Hauser's wife could be considered the murder of Debi Newberry (if you want to believe that).

An interesting aspect of this film is the amount of times it was implied that Americas were trying to take over this fictitious country. Some of the more clever things the film does is try to turn this little Iraq-like country into a mini-America complete with American restaurant's (Popeye's) as well as other marketing (Coca Cola signs). I found it rather amusing to see huge tanks with advertisements plastered on it like you would seeing a PT Cruiser out here in American advertising someoneís business.

The acting here is completely top notch - Cusack - who I've always enjoyed as an actor - gives a great performance as a hit man that is questioning if this should be the last hit, and Tomei has a great charm to her. The surprising break-out role here is Hilary Duff who actually appears to have a decent ascent and some great acting chops. Who would have guessed?



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Not a single thing.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

War, Inc. is presented in 2.35:1 on a 25GB Disc. Considering I've been watching the same very poor non-anamorphic Grosse Point Blank DVD for years I was thrilled to have the "sequel" presented in a much nicer state. And while itís a treat to have it in HD, the quality is not all that great. A very soft picture mixed in with scenes that are either dimly lit or way to bright make this a rather poor HD presentation.

First Look has included an English Dolby TrueHD track as well as a basic Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Overall I was not very impressed. Dialog is clear, which is a top priority for me, but everything else is just very flat. There are several explosions throughout the film and they just felt very weak.



.::OVERALL::.

Considering this is as best as we will ever get to a sequel for Grosse Point Blank it comes highly recommended. If you've never seen Grosse before... go out now and rent it. While its not required material for this film, it does give you an idea why these characters work so well together.