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End Of A Gun (Blu-ray Review)

End-of-a-GunSteven Seagal is BACK!  This time he’s facing down the End Of  A Gun (As we know, this is definitely not the first time, but the first time they’ve title one of his after the action of doing something like that).   While he’s nowhere near as popular as he once was…lets face it, the guy is pretty much reviled, even in most action junkie circles.  We’re a long way from Under Siege.  However, its not like the man doesn’t have an audience and doesn’t have trouble finding work.  This film is alone is one of seven films he has released for this year.  Yes, that’s pretty insane even for the straight to video department.  There is a weird appreciation and aficionado type thing that comes with these, so they can be an enjoyable watch.  Before I begin this review, I’ll leave you with THIS entertaining read I found a while back that is worth your time regarding Seagal. 

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Film 

An ex-DEA agent’s life takes an unexpected turn when he comes to the rescue of a seductive woman, and finds himself entangled in a bloody game of cat and mouse with a maniacal drug lord when he goes on the run with her…and $2 million worth of drug money.

I know, I know, I’m the lucky bastard that gets to review the latest Steven Seagal opus.  While I’m not the world’s biggest fan, I can’t deny the man had a great pure action fun from Above The Law through Under Siege.  Some really rad movies that boast some good cheese.  Ever since it was discovered he’s a bit of an asshole, people stopped going to his movies.  He had a bit of a comeback with Exit Wounds, but quickly found himself back straight to video.  But, the man has fans and those fans he keeps appeasing do more films.  Like one of seven from this year, End of a Gun.

With his modern film, there is a bit of sadness to watch him try to do the things he used to.  The man is quite a bit out of shape and some humor is provided in watching goons be dispatched by this rendition of Seagal. Though to be honest, his career has always been the stationary guy that just stands there while henchmen come at him.  Here they shoot the action decently enough to where I’m pretty sure he did a lot of the work, though there are some non-face showing shots that I think a stunt man could have been use.  And this film doesn’t overdo it, so it feels like he could pull this off.

What’s funny about this one is his performance.  I have no idea what the man is going for.  But, while struggling to breath through a lot of his dialogue, he appears to be using some sort of urban dialogue.  It almost feels like he’s some sort of racist poking fun at black stereotypes.  Like he wants to have a sort of gangster edge to him or something.  Its really weird and slightly feels offensive.  Its Seagall though, so who really knows what the hell he’s going for.

End Of A Gun is a very low budget and is at least aware of what it is and doesn’t try to go above or beyond it.  It tells a smaller scale, low on the locations story.  The film also doesn’t sit and try to pull off extreme shaky cam to hide its shortcomings.  While its not very good, its at least watchable and at some points pretty entertaining.  Those going into it probably already know what to expect and will likely get pretty much exactly that.  I wasn’t really looking forward to this one, but was surprised by it still being junk, but not completely deplorable junk.  Is that some sort of praise?  I dunno.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-25

Clarity/Detail:  End of a Gun features a a bright, vivid picture that looks very sharp, clean and crisp.  Details do reign abundant.  The image is definitely a very low budget digital one, but always comes off more proper and professional than amateur.  Details like wood chips and grain patterns on palettes come through like looking into a piece of glass.  Seeing marks, wears and such on moving roads are also an impressive aspect of this image.  Overall, it’d be more worth talking about if there were problems with the image.

Depth:  Background imagery and such looks decently distant from the foreground and detail can be made out even when blurred.  Movements are smooth and form a natural appearance.  Some camera movements give a good 3 dimensional look to them with characters hold while backgrounds move and looking deep.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich without really losing too much detail.  Patterns on dark jackets as well as texture is visible.  Hair follicles can be made out pretty easily.  Shading and shadows look done quite well. No crushing witness in this review.

Color Reproduction:  Its not a really colorful film, as many people and places just bring basic blacks, whites and grays.  However some shirts with blue in them bring s solid buffer.  And for some reason reads really pop here when they show up.  Orange, be it on a cup or Seagal’s shades also sticks.  There is a scene with a guy in a purple shirt and a woman in a guord-like yellow that pop.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural for the most part, but look to be just a hair flushed out white.  It maintains appearance for the entirety of the film.  Scars, stubble, pores, wrinkles, dried blood, bruises, lip lines and make-up all look pretty pristine and vivid from any given distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics:  End of a Gun finds itself on the solid end of a 5.1 mix.  Its decent and does the trick while sounding crisp and clear.  Its loud and does amplify intensity with the action sequences.  There are some good sound effects here and there in the film, but this one is just really a competent job done with nothing much to work with in the first place.  Its a good job on a straight forward film.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The score gets a lot deep sounds to hum along her with the sub and beat around in intense moments.  Car doors shutting, guns firing and punches and kicks also see some thump.  Car and truck engines also rumble.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This is a more front heavy mix, with the action traveling back and forth among the front 3 channels.  There are some moments of unique sound from the rear speakers, but they are primarily there for ambiance and light score accompaniment.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is loud, clear and crisp.  Vocals are accurately place to where the speaker is on screen or how they are moving in the film.

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Extras 

End of a Gun comes with an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Trailer (HD, 2:06)

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Summary 

End Of A Gun wasn’t the end of the world to watch.  It is what it is, and of shit Seagal movies, it was watchable and harmless to get through.  This Blu-ray features a fine presentation of the film while giving you pretty much nothing in the extras department (I can’t say absolutely nothing, because then one of you’d be like “Um, but there’s a trailer!” Yes, my point exactly).  If you’re interested in this movie, or collect EVERYTHING Seagal, wait for it to hit $5 and then grab yourself a copy.

End-of-a-Gun-Blu-ray

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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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