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In The Blood (Blu-ray Review)

in-the-blood-ITBD-FINAL_w_Digital_rgb-001There is only so much to say about movies like In The Blood.  It is a thriller that had minimal exposure upon its initial release and will live in the realm of streaming and cheap Blu-ray bins.  That said, as far as these fairly straight-forward action vehicles for lower-profile stars and fun character actors go, In The Blood is a fairly enjoyable experience that constantly rides the line of ridiculous and too ridiculous.  Gina Carano continues to find her place as both a professional butt-kicker and as an actress, but even when she struggles, the film has enough going on to make it a decent distraction.
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Film:

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MMA Fighter Gina Carano stars as Ava, a woman with a dark past who has just gotten married to Derek (Cam Gigandet).  The two head to the Caribbean for their honeymoon, but things are complicated by the disappearance of Derek, following a disastrous zip-lining accident.  Ava is put in the position of finding out the truth for herself, which leads to her uncovering a conspiracy that many with power on the island are involved in.  Hopefully she can take down the men responsible for kidnapping her husband, but it will be a tough journey.

Not so tough was sitting through this film.  I knew nothing about the plot of this film going in and was surprised to be so engaged by the story.  I think it comes down to how easy it is for me to want to see where something goes, when no one believes the lead character and they have to fend for themselves, in order to receive justice.  In The Blood is actually quite similar to the Kurt Russell thriller Breakdown, though Gina Carano is certainly no Kurt Russell.

Beyond her MMA appearances, many audiences first got a taste of what Carano had to offer in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, which had the benefit of many great actors working around her, while she simply displayed her fighting skills.  The same can basically be said for Fast & Furious 6, but with In The Blood, Carano is the one leading the way and while I can acknowledge that she has gotten better as an actress, she has not yet become anything close to a force to be reckoned with, when not kicking ass.

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That said, the film has its fair amount of action, which director John Stockwell is happy to basically over-direct, based on the numerous filmmaking choices he utilizes during big chase and action sequences.  He also does his best to treat the film with serious respect; given how crazy the plotting is, once we figure out what is actually going on.  It does help that the cast is rounded out by reliable talents, such as Luis Guzman, Treat Williams, and Danny “Machete” Trejo.

Without getting too revealing with the details, let’s just say that this film explores all the worse situations involving tourists getting caught in a foreign land, which doesn’t quite make the film too xenophobic, as the film is too ridiculous to worry about that motif, but does not help matters too much either.  Still, at the end of the day, In The Blood provides enough entertainment, even when I laughed during some rather intense scenes, to make it a decent way to spend a couple hours, were one looking for a random action movie.

Video:

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Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution:  1080p

Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  Given the Caribbean setting, it is little surprise that this movie looks pretty solid, given the attention to detail.  Even with a lot of handheld and GoPro camera use, the film has a nice amount of clarity that make it a good looking film on Blu-ray.

Depth:  For what I assume is a low-budget film, In The Blood has enough pop, given the use of location and how that plays into seeing true depth in the feature.

Black Levels:  No real issue with this area, as the darker scenes look great, with a lot of natural lighting making its way in, without causing problems.

Color Reproduction:  We see lots of tropical environments mixed with some more neutral colored settings, but the film does a good job of making all the colors register quite well.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones appear natural, with enough texture to notice on various character faces.

Noise/Artifacts:  Nothing I really noticed.

 

Audio:

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Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Between the music, the action beats, the dialogue, and the sounds of the environment, there is a lot going on, but it works very well on Blu-ray.

Low Frequency Extension:  LFE effects are felt when the film dips into more intense situations, which provides an extra amount of punch for the Blu-ray.

Surround Sound Presentation:  A nice amount of work done to really spread out the sound across my audio system.  The balance is solid throughout.

Dialogue Reproduction:  While focused a lot on sounds of impact, it was always clear when it came to listening to people speak or yell.

 

Extras:

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Next to nothing, which is a bit of a shame, as more looks at Carano’s stunt work would have been nice.

Features Include:

  • In The Blood: Behind the Scenes – Pretty standard making-of.
  • DVD Copy of the Film
  • UltraViolet Copy of the Film

Summary:

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In the Blood gets points for being more entertaining that I had thought it would be.  While I am not against seeing more Carano, I can recognize she’s not the best of actresses, but am still happy to see her doing action in film.  It helps that the plot, while silly, is engaging.  The Blu-ray has a solid presentation overall, even while coming up lacking in the extras department.  A decent watch for Carano fans or those in a random mood.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “In The Blood (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Kid Cannabis (Blu-ray Review) at Why So Blu?

    […] I enjoyed the film overall due to it being injected with equal parts comedy and equal parts drama. Jonathan Daniel Brown as the unlikely Junior Scarface is cool and we actually root for him, because he’s the underdog and likable as hell. The rest of the ensemble cast also does well in their parts. Many props go out to Ron Perlman and John C. McGinley. If you’re interested in more films by john Stockwell (he’s got two out this year so far) then read Aaron’s review of In The Blood HERE. […]