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The Package (Blu-ray)
Starz/Anchor Bay / 2012 / 95 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: February 19, 2013
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- List Price: $19.99
- Amazon Price: $10.49 (48%)
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Reviewed by Bryan Kluger
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I really wanted to enjoy this film. I'm a fan of Dolph Lundgren and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, and have been watching them perform on the big screen and in the ring for many years. Over this time, I've come to expect a certain type of entertainment from both of them, primarily low-grade, fun action movies that I can watch with friends and laugh at. I was hoping for that type of B-movie here, but unfortunately, with phoned in dialogue and acting, along with some sub-par action sequences, this falls into more of the D-movie category.
Jesse V. Johnson, who is most known for being a stunt coordinator and stuntman on tons of epic blockbuster films, directed this thriller. I guess in his spare time he has directed more than ten films, which have all gone straight-to-video. One of the main and only things I enjoyed about 'The Package' was the lack of CGI that we see in action films all too often today. It was refreshing to see real cars crash into things and blood squibs go off instead of the usual computer generated sequences. That's not to say it isn't there, but it is very minimal. I would expect a stuntman turned director to do these things the old fashioned way, and he does.
We follow loan shark enforcer Tommy Wick (Steve Austin), who works for a guy referred to as Big Doug (Eric Keenleyside), who gives Tommy jobs collecting various amounts from degenerates who owe big. We see that Tommy has a decent side to him even though his job is to hurt and or kill people. Big Doug gives Tommy a new mission, which is to deliver a mysterious package to a guy referred to as 'The German' (Dolph Lundgren), in return, Big Doug will let Tommy's younger brother off the hook for a large sum of money he owes him.
Tommy's instructions are to deliver this package only and he is instructed to not open it as he has now idea what he is carrying. So Tommy and his partner set out for a long journey to deliver this strange package and are soon ambushed by a bunch of elite killers who have enough weapons to fill an 18 wheeler. Caught off guard, Tommy's partner is killed with Tommy barely escaping. It's only a matter of time before Tommy figures out what he is carrying and the film soon becomes a race against time to deliver the package to 'The German' with tons of different heavily armed killers trying to murder Tommy. This flick has a few twists and turns throughout, but they can be seen from miles away.
Now, watching Steve Austin in the WWE for many years, it's very difficult to see him in a suit and dressed up for most of the film. It just doesn't seem right. For most of the film, he is dressed to the nines and he has an odd walk that just doesn't seem natural. Plus he plays a calm and collected man through the duration of this movie and it comes across as lazy and unfrightening. He's supposed to be a scary enforcer, right? But that's not what 'The Package' wants to deliver on. It wants to deliver the action and fight scenes. Unfortunately, Steve Austin doesn't sell virtually any hit or kick he gets from his opponents, making him seem indestructible. I was sorely unimpressed by this, as he sold his opponents blows very well in the WWE.
Lundgren does a decent job for the most part, but he doesn't have a lot of screen time and is underused. However, he brings the emotion and tries to make up for Austin's blank face, but it never really sells. The rest of the supporting cast do a fine job with the content they are given, by being over-the-top. I'm happy that the stunts were done the old way and not the computer generated route, but the sheer lack of any type of acting in the film with the exception of Lundgren, was a big downfall for 'The Package', and its sub-par fight sequences would have been better if Austin wanted to sell his defeats. Like I said, I'd hoped for a fun B-movie here, but that's not the case.
'The Package' comes with a solid 1080p HD transfer presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
The image itself looks good, with spot-on coloring, even though the colors in the film are gloomy and grayish. There's not a whole lot of bright colors that pop out in this action thriller. The flesh tones are natural and smooth, and the detail is pretty sharp as you can make out the facial stubble on the actors.
The blacks run deep and inky, with some of the whites, especially the heavily lit areas in interior shots, looking a bit softened, but doesn't detract from the viewing. I noticed a small bit of motion blur at a couple of spots, but it didn't last long enough to really register and was not distracting. Overall, this image looks clear, sharp, and detailed. It's a solid HD transfer from Anchor Bay.
This release has a decent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix, which does its job well enough. I was hoping for something a bit more powerful here, considering there a lot of gunshots and action sequences.
The dialogue is crystal clear and easy to understand. Their vocal levels are mixed well and are centered on the fronts nicely. The directionality does it's job for the most part when characters off-screen are talking and when the treasure trove of bullets fly by across the screen. The score, while it might sound like any other action film score you've heard, does sound good and never drowns out any of the action or dialogue. The bass kicks in only a tiny bit here and there. The main complaint I have with this audio presentation is that it was too soft and underwhelming. It needed to pack a bigger punch.
Aside from a trailer or two when the disc starts up, along with a DVD copy of the film, there are no extras.
There are no HD exclusives either.
No easter eggs reported for 'The Package' yet. Found an egg? Please use our tips form to let us know, and we'll credit you with the find.
'The Package' doesn't deliver the goods. The audio and video are solid for the most part, if a bit underwhelming. The film itself could have been better, due to its many downfalls, it's just not that entertaining. And to have no extras on a Blu-ray these days is asinine. There are better B-movie action films out there, and I suggest one of those over this one. Skip it.
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