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My take: The Deal

HD Goofnut
10-24-2009, 06:27 PM
Title: The Deal (2008)
BD-25 Single-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Run time: 98 minutes
Studio: Peace Arch Trinity
Rating: R
Region Coding: Region Free
Player used for review: LG BH200

Cast/Crew Info:
William H. Macy as Charlie Berns
Meg Ryan as Deidre Hearn
Jason Ritter as Lionel Travitz
LL Cool J as Bobby Mason
Sharon Raginiano as Levy Rosenwald
John Carson as Nigel Bland
Adrian Galley as Andrei
Fiona Glascott as Fiona Hicks
Elliott Gould as Rabbi Seth Gutterman
Directed by Steven Schachter

My take: (the breakdown)

Every now and again I try to go out on a limb to watch a movie that I know may not like, but I usually like Macy in whatever role he undertakes so I figured I'd give The Deal a whirl. The story follows the depressing life of Charlie Berns. When the movie opens we find him out of work and ready to commit suicide. Then why Charlie's nephew Lionel writes his first script he decides that it is worthy of its own movie. However, since he knows the script has a Jewish twist he decides to hire Bobby Mason, a big action star, to star in the movie because Charlie knows his movies rake in some big profits. Charlie begins shooting this big action movie and then Mason gets kidnapped by terrorists and Charlie is forced to make a 'better' movie with his nephew's unaltered script. Along the way he befriends Diedre Hearn of the movie studio and together they make an incredible team. I for one enjoyed this movie and will say that it is worth a rental for most and maybe even a purchase for hardcore Ryan or Macy fans. Due to language I'd keep the kids away from this one.

I was not expecting this kind of transfer for a movie that was just released in theaters last year. From the start it looks as if the film is out of focus in several scenes, but it does seem to get better as we see brighter and more focused outdoor shots. Colors seems a bit muted, but I imagine that was probably the director's intent. At least flesh tones seem to be accurate for the most part. Fine detail is great when the film is in focus, but there are several shots that seem to have this problem. Grain is also extremely heavy, but it does remain consistent even during the darker scenes.

For some odd reason we get a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, but do not be thwarted by that statistic. I found this one of the better Dolby Digital mixes I have heard in recent years. The movie is primarily dialogue and it is clear and concise throughout the run time. There are some discrete effects for the surrounds to use and the musical score also fills all the channels evenly. Believe it or not there are even a couple instances where your sub will see some action.

We get a 17 minute making of feature and film's two minute trailer. However, both features are presented in lowly 480 resolution.

Movie: 6.5/10
VQ: 7/10
AQ: 7.5/10
Supplements: 1/10
Final word: Worth A Rental

As always thanks for reading folks.