Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Prince Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
From the producers of Lone Survivor and Escape Plan comes the action-packed film, The Prince, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD October 28 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Finding the perfect balance between The Departed and Taken, the film is available now on Video on Demand. Featuring an incredible ensemble cast including Jason Patric (In The Valley of Elah, Speed 2: Cruise Control), Bruce Willis (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Red 2), John Cusack (Being John Malkovich,The Frozen Ground), Jung Ji Hoon aka Rain (Soar into the Sun), Jessica Lowndes (TV's "90210"), Johnathon Schaech (The Legend of Hercules), Gia Mantegna (The Frozen Ground) and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (Escape Plan, The Frozen Ground), the suspenseful revenge thriller will have viewers on the edge of their seats.

Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I’m willing to admit that this John Cusack movie actually stars Jason Patric. Patric plays Paul Brennan a mechanic with a daughter in college. His daughter Beth (Gia Mantegna) seems like a daddy’s girl but suddenly stops communication. Knowing something is wrong, Paul heads to school and checks out her apartment, which shows no sign that she’s been home recently. He tracks down a friend of hers at a local hangout, and learns that Beth could be in New Orleans. The friend, Angela (Jessica Lowndes) reluctantly agrees to show Paul where his daughter might be, in exchange for a few hundred dollars.

Angela quickly realizes that Paul is not your average dad. He is not afraid of a fight and doesn’t want to be recognized in New Orleans due to the fact that Paul has a very checkered past. Although he left his life as a mob enforcer behind, his number one enemy hasn’t forgotten. A very powerful man named Omar (Bruce Willis) has a score to settle and wants revenge. As Paul searches for his daughter, he enlists the help of an old friend Sam (John Cusack) as he determines whether his daughter left willingly or was kidnapped and where she is now. The Prince also stars Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, as a big time drug dealer named “The Pharmacy”, and Jonathon Schaech as the son of an old friend – one of Paul’s few allies.

Lately it seems as though a lot of movies I’m getting had a very limited theatrical release, if one at all. If the film went direct to Blu-ray, there’s a really good chance that it stars either John Cusack or Nicholas Cage. I happen to love both of these actors and will continue to joyfully receive all of their movies. They have both made me sorry, with some film choices clearly aimed at paying the bills, but I keep coming back - hoping for greatness. The Prince kept me waiting a long time to see John Cusack and he had a much smaller part than I’d imagined. Still, the acting was good and it kept me interested. The story isn’t intensely unique and you can pretty much see where it’s going. The main question is will Beth be alive when Paul gets there. Bruce Willis is a believable bad guy, and I definitely wouldn’t want to be on his bad side. Jason Patric is realistic as the enforcer, but also as a loving father. Angela jumping in a car with a man she doesn’t know, heading out on a road trip to find her friend is less believable – but then again college kids do make stupid decisions.
Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Prince is presented on Blu ray in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 2.40:1 ratio. The film takes the viewer into some dark clubs and bars, as well as the dingy building “The Pharmacy” deals from. In all these low light locations, detail and contrast are still good. Skin color is accurate and consistent and overall the film looks good.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The Prince’s 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio mix provides authentic gun fire, screams and chaos. Both Jason Patric and Bruce Willis have a bit of a low growl to their voices, but all dialogue is clear and intelligible throughout the film. The audio supports an action flick like this well, but certainly won’t leave the listener overwhelmed.
Extras (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Prince contains a short list of features, some of which are repetitive. The Blu-ray offers the following extras:
  • Commentary – Director Brian Miller and Actor Jason Patric’s audio commentary.
  • Capturing The Prince: Behind the Scenes Featurette (9:49) – Cast and crew interviews discussing the story, production and their experiences on set.
  • Extended Scenes – Six extended scenes are available individually or with a play all feature.
  • Interviews with Cast and Crew – The Behind the Scenes Featurette is taken directly from these interviews and contains a lot of duplicate footage.
    • Brian A. Miller, Director (4:04)
    • Jason Patric (2:06)
    • John Cusack (:56)
    • Jessica Lowndes (2:25)
    • Curtis Jackson (2:33)
    • Gia Mantegna (2:01)
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I was hoping for a new John Cusack movie for my collection and instead I ended up with a Jason Patric movie with John Cusack providing a lengthy cameo. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad movie. The story isn’t terribly unique but I won’t hold that against it. It’s a little like a poor man’s Taken. Let’s face it – no one threatens a person standing between him and his daughter like Liam Neeson. I don’t know that I’ll ever revisit this one. One viewing was probably enough, but I definitely recommend watching it once.

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