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August 19, 2013
Bullet To The Head Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
18/4/20131/8/2013IconWalter Hill
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Sylvester Stallone

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Stallone stars in Bullet To The Head.

It wouldn't be a surprise if you hadn't heard about Sylvester Stallone's latest film Bullet To The Head. Despite the reported $US55 million budget its marketing was almost non-existent and as a result (and perhaps due to the quality of the film too) the film struggled to around $US20 million at the box office around the globe. Certainly a far cry from the success which Stallone (and friends) have had with The Expendables films.

When their respective partners are viciously murdered, a New Orleans hitman James Bonomo (Sylvester Stallone) and a young Washington DC cop (Sung Kang) put aside their differences and realise that their best hope for exacting revenge is to team up. This high stakes investigation takes the unlikely duo from the back alleys of New Orleans all the way to the city's most powerful and dangerous corridors, where each move could be their last.

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This morgue scene is somewhat gory.
Director Walter Hill should be no stranger to action fans with films such as 48 Hours, The Warriors and Red Heat to his name as well as Producer credits on the first three Alien films as well as Prometheus. Slipping back into the director’s chair for this effort it's clear that Walter still has a good eye for detail in places, as well as some comedic timing but sadly, overall this is a pretty pedestrian affair with nothing we haven't seen done many times before, and often much better.

Perhaps Walter Hill should have re-sharpened the pencil and done a bit more rewriting of the script (he has written many films he has directed and produced including Aliens) - the writing that he and Stallone did here wasn't enough to elevate the script and story to something great despite being based on the popular French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete by Alexis Nolent.

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Bullet To The Head is out on Blu-Ray.
While there are occasionally entertaining moments, Bullet To The Head is pretty pedestrian from start to finish as Stallone mumbles his way through the lines, but doesn't really seem like he's having fun on set - unlike some of the work he's done on The Expendables.

Sung Kang, who most would know best as Han from the Fast & Furious franchise is pretty impressive as Detective Taylor Kwon in the film and brings a bit of life to his role while Sarah Shahi is fun as James' tattoo artist daughter Lisa and Christian Slater, who never seems to age we might add, adds some flare as Marcus. Finally, keep an eye out for Jason Mamoa (who many would know as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones) who plays a pretty vicious hitman in the film. Perhaps the greatest thing about this film is that the main characters aren't black or white, they aren't good or evil, there are shades of gray here.

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Now that's one massive explosion.
As the title and the MA15+ rating suggests, this is a pretty violent film with a Stallone managing to, well, put a bullet through a few heads. While it's not overly comedic we have to say there were a few one-liners in this film that had us chuckling not least of which when Mamoa's character is talking about lost memories and Stallone interrupts with "We gonna fight or you plan on boring me to death?" and when Mamoa throws him and Axe replies with "What are we fucking Vikings?". It's pretty funny stuff at times.

Bullet To The Head is a largely forgettable buddy action film that struggles to hit the high marks that the director and stars have hit in the past. If you're a fan of Stallone then it's probably worth checking out, if only once.

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Christian Slater, still hasn't aged!
Presented in the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio Bullet To The Head is a fairly solid, but never overly impressive looking release. Encoded in the AVC MPEG-4 codec the film has many dark scenes which are handled quite well with a retention of fine detail from start to finish. It's not the glossiest looking film, nor is it meant to be, but it has certainly been well shot. The upgrade from DVD to Blu-Ray quality is certainly noticeable.

Bullet To The Head is presented on Blu-Ray with a single DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track that has quite a bit going for it with plenty of surround sound use and cracking sound effects when the gunfire starts up. Bass levels really are quite deep be it for the rumbling of a car engine, some thumping music or an explosion it will certainly have your room shaking. Perhaps, most importantly, dialogue is well prioritised over the sound which makes understanding Stallone a little easier, sort of.

The film includes a single subtitle track, an English Subtitle for the Hearing Impaired track which, from our various samples throughout the film are accurate to the on-screen dialogue.

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Sarah Shahi as Lisa in Bullet To The Head.
Sadly - well depending on your opinion of the movie really - the Blu-Ray disc for Bullet To The Head is absolutely devoid of any extras at all. Actually the disc does contain a DTS-HD Master Audio sound check which is for 5.1 or 7.1 setups - makes me think we're missing a 7.1 soundtrack on the film though.

Bullet To The Head is a disappointing film which falls well short of Stallone's best, as well as the best action buddy genre film as well. The transfer is adequate however the disc lacks any extras. Probably a rental at best.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Madman. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.