Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vice Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Futuristic, action-packed, sci-fi thriller Vice arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD March 17th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The film is currently available via On Demand. Directed by Brian A. Miller (House of the Rising Sun), written by Andre Fabrizio & Jeremy Passmore, and produced by the team who brought audiences Lone Survivor and Escape Plan, the futuristic film stars Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Bruce Willis (Die Hard Franchise), Ambyr Childers (Showtime's "Ray Donovan"), Johnathon Schaech (The Prince), Bryan Greenberg (Friends With Benefits) and Colin Egglesfield (S.W.A.T.). Julian Michaels (Willis) has designed the ultimate resort: VICE, where anything goes, and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants, who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial (Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian's mercenaries and a cop (Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down VICE, and stopping the violence once and for all.
Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Vice is a place people can go to live out their wildest dreams.  Whether they are sexual, criminal or other, Vice is the place to be.  There are a variety of “Artificials” to cater to a person’s every whim.  These “Artificials” are androids whose day resets every evening.  Their memories are erased and there are special bracelets they can’t see, but that they identify them to the humans who are there.  The company is headed by Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis), who because the company brings in a lot of money for the city, is allowed certain concessions.

Kelly, an Artificial who is a bartender, goes through the same day over and over again.  After one event, she is reset, but for some reason the reset doesn’t work.  She begins remembering moments from her life and when Julian calls for her to be reprogrammed, she realizes that her life has been constructed and she escapes the compound.  Now, on the run, she finds a safe location – one that she’s dreamed about – and meets Evan, the man who first created the Artificials.  Hot on her tail is a cop (Thomas Jane) who wants more than anything to take down Michaels and Vice.  Also on her tail is Michaels’ team.  They want her back and will do anything to make that happen.

When Kelly and Evan acquire the necessary documents to leave the country, they arrive at the docks where they are going to be picked up.  Also there is Tedesci, who wants to bring her in.  Michaels’ people also find them and after a gun fight, Kelly and Tesesci escape.  They team up to take down Julian Michaels and Vice.  But the only way to do that is from the inside.

I really liked this movie.  If you are a fan of Joss Whedon and enjoyed watching his short-lived television series Dollhouse, you will like this movie.  It’s the same concept, just with much more action.  All the actors were good.  It was a little ridiculous when Ambyr Childers’ character was aware and changed her appearance by wearing black and slicking back her hair.  I am a big fan of Bruce Willis and really like Thomas Jane as well.  I thought the casting was good and all the actors did will in their parts.
Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The 1080p high definition widescreen presentation of Vice is really good.  The picture is clear and transitions are good.  Colors are sharp and accurate and night scenes are accurate.  I didn’t have a hard time seeing any part of the movie.  It’s a good movie to watch on any screen.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
Vice is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and it’s really really good.  Every word was clear and easily heard.  The volume level was almost perfect; I only had to turn it down once when gunshots were a little loud.  If needed, subtitles in English, English SHD and Spanish are available.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The special features were pretty much nothing more than a bunch of interviews with the cast and crew.  I don’t think all these interviews were needed and because repetitive after the first couple.
  • Commentary with Director Brian A. Miller and Actors Ambyn Childers and Bryan Greenberg
  • Behind the Scenes of Vice – A behind-the-scenes looks at the movie with cast and crew interviews.
  • Interviews with Cast and Crew – These were a waste of time.  I honestly didn’t care to hear the same summary of the movie multiple times. 
  • Brian A. Miller – Director – A three and one-half minute interview with the director.  He discusses the premise of the movie and what drew him to the movie.
  • Thomas Jane – Five and one-half minutes of background on the character and how he became involved with the movie.
  • Ambyr Childers – Three minutes with Ambyr Childers, the female lead, Kelly. 
  • Bryan Greenberg – Almost six minutes with the actor who played Evan, the creator of the androids.
  • Johnathon Schaech – Almost four minutes talking about the movie, the direction, and his character.
  • Andre Fabrizio – Writer – Five minutes with the writer talking about the story and the writing of the movie.
  • Jeremy Passmore Writer – Five minutes with the other writer about the story.
  • Vice Trailer – The official trailer for the movie.
  • Also from Lionsgate – The previews from the beginning of the disc.
  • Bookmarks – That weird feature where you can bookmark certain sections of the movie.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
Vice is a good movie.  I liked the story, I liked the actors, I liked most everything about it.  The things I didn’t like about it were not significant enough to make a difference in my rating.  It was me being picky.  I will definitely watch Vice again and recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of action adventure.

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