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Snitch (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

I remember seeing trailers for Snitch like crazy during The Walking Dead on Sunday nights like crazy. Why? It had series star Jon Bernthal in the movie (Who was very popular when he was on the show). So, I guess they were hoping that would get people out to see it? But, lets not fool ourselves, folks. The main attraction here is global superstar Dwayne Johnson!  I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a lot of hype for this movie when it came out, but then it surprised people by being a pretty solid film. Lionsgate has a film with The Rock in it, so they are going to use it, and use it they will when the film debuts on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format on June 6th alongside the likes of their cult classic comic book film, Dredd. Pre-order below to make sure you have yourself a copy to complete your Dwayne Johnson collection.

Film 

A successful businessman learns his son faces 10 tough years in a federal hole for drug possession. Convinced it was a set-up, he volunteers to become an undercover informant and infiltrate a ruthless cartel.  Now, with his back against the wall and his life totally on the line, he must expose the true criminals before they discover his identity.

When we talk about Dwayne Johnson being able to open movies on his name alone, Snitch is exactly the type of movie that proves its the real and a great example of it. There’s no brand other than his own on this. He’s not squaring off against another star, bringing added value to a sequel/prequel or being in a film that has a franchise tag on it. This is just a solid, dramatic thriller, not even a blockbuster, based on his chops alone. And on his chops alone it found its way to 42 million bucks at the box office. It helps that the film was pretty good too.

Based on a true story, Snitch is a film about doing whatever it takes for your family, but also the dangers this vivavious bravado can bring upon your family as well as affecting others. Helping to hit home on that factor is another solid acting performance from Jon Bernthal. Bernthal is an expert at playing blue collar, hardened, but sympathetic individuals. And, to no surprise, he pairs very well with Johnson. Also thrown into the mix in smaller, but strong bit parts that really bring this movie some more grandiose are Susan Sarandon, Barry Pepper and Michael Kenneth Williams.

As big a guy as Dwayne Johnson is and as much as we’ve seen the guy in some of the biggest action scenes put to film, this movie and himself really sell the inexperience of his construction business owner character. From simple moments where he meets with drug dealers, to car chases, to a huge shoothout he’s just needing to escape from, he feels confident yet at some of the most vulnerable he’s ever been in a movie. It all works, bringing the film some really good suspense and thrills to go along with its heavy dramatic sequences.

Snitch is just a really solid movie, that provides some good thrills, performances and emotion. Its nothing I think anyone needs to rush out and see or needs to fix that on their watching list. For Dwayne Johnson fans, I think its a must as its one of his better movies and performances. I’ve seen the film twice now, and its definitely one that you just don’t think about until you’re watching it that “Oh yeah, this is pretty good and entertaining”. A nice under the radar kind of movie and the type that I’m not sure without Johnson that you’d see getting put out in the theater or one that may be of a dying breed theatrically.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Snitch features a pretty nice 4K Ultra-HD upgrade from Lionsgate in this new transfer. The image is a bit more confident, more crisp, smoother and features some more details. You can make out wetness and dirt patterns on vehicles in any given scene, no matter how dark the paint job. Clothing patterns and textures are also very apparent. There are chrome parts on trucks and such that you can see scuffs, buffs and scratches on. Pieces of debris are also pretty clear. Its a very nice picture and much better than I was expecting beforehand coming into this review. The scenes that are well lit or are in daylight are pretty impressive.

Depth:  The image has a really nice separation of character and background to go with some smooth, confident camera movements feeling a little pushback. Character movement are natural, clean and no jitter or blur present to distort.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and well saturated. Maybe a big highlight of this whole ordeal. Detail is still maintained at a high level and the darkness looks more natural without being to overbearing or consuming. No crushing witnessed during this review.

Color Reproduction: Colors impress quite good. From the orange prison jump suit to the blue curtains at a press conference to spray paint in the background of a scene, its all rich and really comes to life popping off the screen. There is a good saturation provided by the HDR and the white in the image looks pretty impressive.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural with a consistent appearance throughout the film. Facial features are insanely impressive with moles, freckles, stubble, blemishes, lip texture, make-up, cuts, scrapes and sweat all looking like you could touch it.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (7.1 TrueHD default), English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late Night Listening, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Snitch features yet another impressive Dolby Atmos track from Lionsgate. The movie features many sequence of impressive action with sound traveling all over the room with a good, distinct, crisp and layered depth to each sound. Even in just the quieter moments, the effects sound pristine and lifelike. Action ramps up the intensity and gets the blood rushing. There is also a very good balance in this mix of the effects with the vocal track and musical score.

Height: The ceiling speakers are well utilized in a natural and fun way. Hell, impressively, there was a scene where Dwayne Johnson is waiting in his truck at a house and you hear a helicopter just randomly pass overhead in the distance and then travel over to the speaker to your left. Its just so nonchalant too. Of course there is more, but that moment was indiscreet but a big standout for me.

Low Frequency Extension: Semi trucks rumble, crashed bursts and gunfire pounds as the subwoofer keeps this movie bumping very powerfully throughout.

Surround Sound Presentation: Sound travels very well here, even in just a random scene as mention in the “height” section. There’s a big shootout in the middle of the film and that features a good test and check of the speakers as bullets whizz by everywhere and a big semi travels across the screen as well as some of the shooters in action. Volume placement is accurate to screen, too.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with good representation of the actors’ diction.

Extras 

Snitch comes with the Blu-ray edition and an UltraViolet digital copy of the film. This features the exact same bonus features found on the previous Blu-ray release of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Co-Writer/Director Rick Roman Waugh and Editor Jonathan Chibnall

Privileged Information: The Making of Snitch (HD, 49:40) 

Deleted Scenes (HD, 5:39) 

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:28)

Summary 

Snitch is a nice, above average film that is money well spent for those who’ve taken the time to watch it. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray edition from Lionsgate is a pretty nice upgrade over its Blu-ray predecessor with a great image another impressive Atmos track. All the extras are still here, too. My big wonder though, is if Snitch is the kind of movie that people are going to double dip on or upgrade with. And for those who don’t own it, what’s the right price to pick this 4K edition up brand new? We shall see.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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