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Peppermint (Blu-ray Review)

Peppermint Blu-ray ReviewI’ve been a Jennifer Garner fan ever since her days on television’s ALIAS so many years ago.  Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’m here to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Peppermint didn’t get much love in its theatrical release from critics or the moviegoing Rotten Tomatoes crowd.  However, our own reviewer, Gregg Senko, praised the film as potential Top 10 material.  So I have taken it as my duty to either prove the world or Gregg wrong by tackling the Blu-ray review of Peppermint here.  If you know me well, then you’ll know the one thing this film has going for it with me is its R-rating.  So there’s always a possibility I walk away from this review unscathed and a fan of Peppermint.  Stranger things have happened, right?

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

Film 

Peppermint is best described as a revenge, vigilante film.  Others have called it a Death Wish on steroids.  Ha ha.  Whatever you call it there’s no doubt its a rare return to form for actress Jennifer Garner.  It’s directed by Pierre Morel and features John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba and Tyson Ritter.  The basic gist of the plot follows a mother (Garner) who sets out for revenge against the cartel.  They killed her husband and daughter right in front of her.  The movie ultimately fell short of doubling its budget, but there is a silver lining like I said.  Jennifer Garner is back in ALIAS form!

After my first watch this one reminds me a lot of a revenge thriller I once penned.  It opens much the same way and contains the same cliche dialogue and action sequences.  Thankfully the budget is bigger and the action bolder to make one viewing of it not exactly cringeworthy.  However, that’s not to say I did not check the time or some texts during its runtime.  My biggest beef with it was the way it leapt from one scene to another and sometimes you completely miss the action that went down.  For example, they cut to a scene and all the sudden Jennifer’s character is torturing them.  How did they subdue them?  One might not care about those kind of things because it bloats runtime, but it leaves me scratching my head in disbelief.

I guess I’ll focus on that word “disbelief” up above.  While the kill scenes, action and style of Peppermint are commendable and nicely executed at times (especially that piñata party store shootout) the film just screams implausible to me.  There’s no way someone can withstand the injuries Garner’s character sustains and keep on ticking.  I realize it’s a movie, but you also need to keep the suspension of disbelief alive throughout in revenge films like this or you risk losing your audience shouting lazy writing or forgettable remarks.  You want people to take you seriously.  And that ending?  Ugh.  Seriously?!

What I do love about Peppermint besides Garner’s performance and the R-rated action is the cartel aspect of it all.  Had the producers of the film chosen to forgo the cliche moments they could have had something really special here akin to Sicario.  I applaud the filmmakers from spending too much time in the past or giving us a half hour worth of Rocky-like training sequences which sees Riley North (Garner) transform from an ordinary mom to a combat trained guerilla.  I also borderline love the playful injection of social media at times too.  However, the really cool part of this flick is the cartel aspect of it.  It’s a dark world and I love the way Riley infiltrates it.  I just wish there was a little more strategy and time spent fine tuning things in the writing room.  There were a lot of plot holes and absolute ridiculousness, but for all the reasons I listed up above I’ll give it an above average pass.

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

Video 

  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Size: BD-50
  • Clarity/Detail: Okay so yes there are a few minor signs of banding, but nothing I feel like dinging this presentation heavily for.  Instead I want to talk about how great all the little details look.  This one is digitally shot so as you can imagine it makes things pop with an uptick in detail and realism.  Closeups reveal fine wrinkles, individual pores, freckles, moles and more, but it’s the touchy feel of textures like in clothing for example that has me raising my hands up high in praise.  Blood and gore also look mighty impressive here too.
  • Depth: Not only does everything have that three-dimensional pop to it all, but sets, environments and everything in frame has that overall sense of intricate detail to it.  As a result depth of field is rather apparent here especially in the many sequences in the streets of Los Angeles.
  • Black Levels: Black levels for the most part are all deep, solid and inky throughout here.  There are a few iffy moments, but the positives very much outweigh the negatives here.
  • Color Reproduction:  Dull is a word you can never use to describe this Blu-ray here.  I found the colors to be very bold especially the crimson red blood in the gore sequences and moments of stitches.  Explosions against the night background pop nicely too, albeit faux ones.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: I didn’t notice any hideous moments of noise for which I would ding this presentation over.  It’s very clean overall.

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

Audio 

  • Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DVS Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: This one is your above average action surround track.  The sound stage is spread wide throughout with immersion in moments of score, song and action, but most importantly nothing ever gets lost in the mix.  It’s a wee front heavy, but all in all there’s nice directionality and nods to discreet prioritization throughout.  I really don’t have many negatives to complain about.  It just didn’t sound like a Mission: Impossible – Fallout for example.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE is represented well in the score and multiple events of gunfire, action and whatnot.  It’s obviously those moments of heavy gunfire and explosions that punch the hardest.  All in all I’m pleased by the bounciness of things here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: What impressed me the most about the rears was the music flowing through them.  I felt completely in the middle of it all especially with the energetic song playing during the piñata party store shootout filled them.  I was amazed how loud it was.  It should go without saying you’ll also find your usual atmospheric events too like gunfire, people on the street and even police radios for example.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words are clear, intelligible and easy to hear on the ears.  I never found myself straining despite the body count that kept piling.

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

Extras 

As a reviewer when I’m tackling titles sometimes it’s a welcome relief not having to spend endless hours going through countless extras.  That’s exactly the situation I find myself in here.  Besides the audio commentary and the film housed on an included DVD disc there’s only one lonely extra to get through and it’s a whopping two minutes in length!  Wow!  In addition there is a redemption code for a Digital Copy only redeemable in iTunes.  Odd, huh?  Garner and crew must be an Apple fan.  Now let’s take a closer look down below at the lone two extras here.

  • Justice (HD, 2:16) – Here we have a very quick behind-the-scenes featurette with Jennifer Garner and Director Pierre Morel.  In it Jennifer expresses her interest in being involved in this film because of the strong woman story it is.  This also shows some of the training Jennifer did for the role as well as indicating all the action sequences were done by her.
  • Feature Commentary –  For those that love Peppermint and want to know all about the making of this audio commentary features director Pierre Morel.

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

Summary 

While I didn’t find Peppermint to be the absolute misfire most critics agree it was I can’t help saying it’s only above average on the story front.  Action, effects and acting were all sufficient, but cliche twists and turns, dialogue and plot holes ultimately bog it down.  Not even a shorter runtime could save it from that.  There are really cool things done to ensure Peppermint felt fresh and relevant, but in the end it’s nothing I’d respectfully add to my Top 10 list this year.  Audio and video presentations are rather strong, but the supplemental features are where this Blu-ray Combo Pack really falls flat.  You have a two-minute featurette and if you care to watch again, an audio commentary to boot too.  I recommend this one for FANS ONLY.  Enjoy!

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Peppermint

Released on Blu-ray December 11th

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Peppermint

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “Peppermint (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gregg

    I had so much fun with this film. I dug it!

  2. Gregg Senko

    I liked this one a lot, despite all the criticism. For me, it’s one to buy, just not at $19.99.

  3. Brian White

    Agreed on the latter. $7 Wal-Mart bin?