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Jean-Francois Richet
Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, William H. Macy, Michael Parks
Writing Credits:
Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff

An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 17-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 10/11/2016

• “Lost Souls” Featurette
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Blood Father [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 3, 2016)

Drunken anti-Semitic rants don’t tend to be good for movie stars, and Mel Gibson has spent the last 10 years in semi-Hollywood limbo. Gibson does continue to work occasionally, though, and 2016’s Blood Father represents another effort in his attempt to put his past behind him.

17-year-old Lydia (Erin Moriarty) went missing years ago and hangs with a criminal gang. During a home invasion, her boyfriend Jonah (Diego Luno) badgers her to shoot a woman, but Lydia shoots Jonah instead.

This sends Lydia on the lam – and back into contact with her long estranged father John (Gibson). With Lydia’s life on the line, ex-con John goes into action to save her, a decision that leads down a violent path.

On the surface, the plot of Blood Father sounds fairly similar to Taken, but I think the connections remain fairly tangential. Taken and its sequels focus more on pure action, while Father attempts something a little deeper.

“Attempts” becomes the operative word, though, as I don’t think Father achieves much beyond the superficial. It hints at regrets, flaws and desperation but never digs into these on a deep level.

Instead, the movie seems oddly chipper much of the time, partly because Moriarty plays Lydia as a sitcom character. Moriarty gives the role an oddly smirky attitude that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the part and leaves the impression she’d prefer to be trading quips on Big Bang Theory.

Gibson does better as the lead, though I don’t think he stretches himself. In many ways, John feels like an older/alternate universe version of Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon. Both seem somewhat unhinged/dangerous and both offer similar attitudes. John might exist more as part of the real world than Martin, but not by much.

Father can’t quite decide what tone it wants to take. While it seems to aspire to become something dark and gritty, it only sporadically invests in those elements.

Instead, it tends to straddle different forms of atmosphere in an erratic manner. Add to that a lackluster story and the movie can feel disjointed.

Despite these flaws, Father never becomes a bad film. The action scenes deliver fairly impressive material, and the enterprise boasts enough tension to keep the viewer with it.

Nothing about the movie allows it to become above average, though. Blood Father maintains decent watchability but it seems too inconsistent and derivative to make its own name.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Blood Father appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The picture looked fine.

Sharpness was almost always strong. A few wide shots showed a smidgen of softness, but those were minor instances. The majority of the movie looked accurate and concise. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like most modern action flicks, this one opted for stylized hues, with an emphasis on teal and especially amber/orange. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine; they showed appropriate range. Blacks were dark and full, and shadows showed good range. This was a consistently fine presentation.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Blood Father also worked well. Various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with weapons fire and fights, and a few other sequences used the channels in a satisfying way.

The action scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner. Music also made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. All of this added up to a “B”.

A featurette called Lost Souls: On the Road with Blood Father runs 27 minutes, 50 seconds and offers comments from screenwriter/producer Peter Craig, director Jean-Francois Richet and actors Mel Gibson and Erin Moriarty. “Souls” looks at the source novel and its adaptation, its path to the screen and story/characters, cast and performances, Richet’s approach to the film, and general thoughts. “Souls” tends toward happy talk at times but it mixes comments and shots from the set well enough to become informative.

The disc opens with ads for Hacksaw Ridge, Mechanic: Resurrection, Criminal, Hell or High Water and The Expendables 3. No trailer for Blood Father appears here.

As a basic action movie, Blood Father delivers occasional thrills. However, it lacks much substance and fails to coalesce into anything memorable. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio as well as a decent featurette. Father becomes a serviceable effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.25 Stars Number of Votes: 8
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