Review: Berlin Job (Blu-ray/DVD)

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Title: Berlin Job
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack / DVD
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Studio: New Video DVD
Original MSRP: $34.95 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) / $29.95 (DVD)
Number of Discs: 2
Language: English
Subtitles: English
MPAA Rating: NR

Audio Review:
The audio review for this movie is available on Episode 339 of the podcast.

Story:
Two cousins, Mickey Mannock and Ray Collishaw are running a firm (gang) in London, well known for their brutality. They’re older now though and when Ray decides he wants out because he wants to go legit, it sets off a chain reaction of events that turns their lives upside down.

Without going into too much detail about the film, which is known in outside of North America as St. George’s Day, Mickey (played by Frank Harper) sets up a huge score, designed to buy out Ray but it goes horribly wrong and now both the Russian Mafia and the police are all over our anti-heroes. They need to quickly come up with a ton of cash and don’t have a lot of options. Adding to the drama is an unknown mole in their organization who could bring the whole thing down around them at any time.

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It’s a slow burn and the action is doled out sparingly but for this movie and these characters in particular, it works to a certain degree. The story is a bit uneven at times and could have done with some tightening up in the script as well as the editing. One example is Mickey’s mistress, apparently added to the movie just to give Keeley Hazell a part. The same goes for a few other characters and superfluous scenes but overall it’s still a good film.

Video:
A good chunk of the movie was shot at night and it looks great. There was a conscious decision made to film in and around as many famous London landmarks as possible giving the movie a distinctly different vibe than other gangster flicks, more classy in a way.

The Blu-ray and DVD both look pretty close in terms of picture quality which is usually a sign of a problem with the Blu-ray but not this time. With a lot of close-ups, you’ll see plenty of detail in the actor’s faces, clothing and hands. Everything is always well staged and lit so there’s really nothing to complain about here.

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Audio:
The audio quality is great, be forewarned however that this is a British film with some very thick accents. If you’re not able to discern what’s going on, there are English subtitles to help out. They aren’t a perfect transcription and they lag behind the actual dialogue at times but you’ll get a good handle at what’s going on.

The rest of the sound design is quite good with crowds, gun shots, explosions and all but don’t expect it to really give your surround system a workout, it’s just not that kind of movie.

Bonus Features:
The “Making Of” has a distinct marketing feel to it, more fluff than depth, but it does surprise every now and then with a bit of cool information.

  • The Making Of Berlin Job (20:19) – Behind the scenes footage and interviews during the filming of Berlin Job
  • Trailer (1:56) – Standard trailer for the film

Conclusion:
The cast is what really holds this movie together even through the rough patches. I mean come on, who can command a scene like the incomparable Tywin Lannister himself, Charles Dance?

The story doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but it’s fun to see all these actors together, and even though the ending seems a bit telegraphed, getting there is half the fun. This one is definitely worth a look.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the movie using the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro screen capture feature through component cables.

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