Homefront Blu-Ray Review
|27/11/2013 (USA)||23/4/2014||Village Roadshow||Gary Fleder|
|AVC MPEG-4||DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1||MA15+||Jason Statham|
|Jason Statham as Phil in Homefront.|
As many of you would be aware I'm a pretty big action fan having grown up with 1980s and 1990s action fare provided by Arnold Schwarzenegger (my favourite actor of all time), Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme to name a few. In recent times, movie studios have moved towards superhero movies filled with CG visual effects, and eschewing the old-school action. That's where Homefront got my attention - with a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone from the novel by Chuck Logan, and with Jason Statham starring this promised some decent action.
Former drug enforcement agent, Phil Broker (Statham), is a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter, to a seemingly quiet bayou backwater to escape his troubled past. However, Broker’s world soon becomes anything but quiet once he discovers that an underbelly of drugs and violence riddles the small town. Soon, a sociopathic methamphetamine kingpin, Gator Bodine (James Franco) puts Broker and his daughter in harm’s way forcing Broker back into action in order to save his family and the town.
So the story is pretty generic, but in an age when action films are dominated by CG heavy visual effects and unrealistic superheros it's nice to have an old-school styled action film. Dialogue isn't Oscar worthy, not even close, but functional enough to convey the story. When it comes to actors Jason Statham is one of the biggest and best action stars today, and while he isn't really being pushed to new levels of acting, this is a pretty decent starring vehicle for him and he gets the job done nicely with some entertaining action sequences.
|Homefront has some intense action sequences.|
In terms of the supporting cast everyone does a pretty solid job. James Franco, typically playing comedic roles in films, is surprisingly vicious as Gator and puts in a decent performance while Wynona Ryder is great as his accomplice Sheryl while Kate Bosworth plays the role as Cassie. We have to say we also enjoyed Izabela Vidovic as Phil's daughter Maddy. Hopefully she gets a few more roles in future.
Ultimately Homefront won't be remembered as a great action film - probably not even a very good one, but with a strong cast, and some good action sequences this is a film which action, and Jason Statham, fans would do well to check out.
|James Franco puts in a brutal performance.|
Homefront is presented on Blu-Ray in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio and is encoded with the AVC MPEG-4 codec. The bitrate on the transfer, according to our PS3, is quite variable reaching as low as 10Mbps in some more static scenes, but also well above 30Mbps in others. Levels of detail are high from start to finish, with daylight scenes being bright and vibrant while even scenes taking place in darkened rooms, or at night time, retain a great level of detail with no discernible black crush in the image.
Homefront is presented on Blu-Ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) and it's a pretty decent soundtrack with clear dialogue and gunfire that sounds pretty meaty with plenty of surround sound use and bass to have the room shaking. The gunfight that takes place around the 77 minute mark of the film is a prime example. That's not saying this film is perfect with some areas that could do with a bit more punch and clarity, but it's decent enough.
The Blu-Ray disc also includes an English Audio Description Track for the Vision Impaired which is encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224kbps. There is only a single English subtitle track which is coloured according to the character talking on-screen and is accurate to the dialogue.
|Homefront is a great looking film on Blu-Ray.|
The Homefront Blu-Ray contains a small smattering of extras, but nothing really essential to view.
Gator Featurette (1:31/HD): A very short clip with James Franco, Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone talking about the character. Little more then a promotional piece.
Stand Off Featurette (2:39/HD): Another promotional piece which offers nothing that you can't gather by watching the film.
Deleted Scenes (3:25/HD): Nothing really too new or exciting here that would have added to the film.
|Old-school action fans should check out Homefront.|
Alternate Ending (5:07/HD): This is a longer ending then the one in the finished film but is overly long and adds too much unecessary fluff and closure. We prefer the shorter, original, ending.
If you like old-school (read: non-CG/superhero) action films then Homefront is one worth checking out. A good cast and decent plot made this an entertaining couple of hours while the Blu-Ray provides a pretty gorgeous transfer.
Review By: Dave Warner
Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.