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John Pogue
Dominic Sherwood, Jacky Lai, McKinley Belcher III
Writing Credits:
Michael D. Weiss

US Marshall Mason Pollard fakes the death of high-profile witness Rina Kimura and fights the odds to stay safe.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 103 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 6/7/2022

• “The Warrior and the Witness” Featurette


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Eraser: Reborn [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 15, 2022)

With a worldwide gross of $242 million, 1996’s Eraser didn’t flop. However, the movie came with tons of hype and marked a disappointment given the presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger close to his popular peak.

The film’s less than stellar commercial and critical reception explains why it didn’t get a sequel back then. More than a quarter century later, though, we finally find a continuation of the property via 2022’s reboot Eraser: Reborn.

US Marshal Mason Pollard (Dominic Sherwood) acts as an “eraser”. This means that he stages events that can convince the world high-profile witnesses died and thus allow them to avoid actual death at the hands of their powerful enemies.

Matters take a shift when Mason needs to “erase” Rina Kamura (Jacky Lai), the wife of crime boss Kosta (Clayton Evertson) who decides to testify against her husband. This “erasure” goes awry when learns of a double cross, so the two deal with assassins on their tail and attempt to stay alive.

What you won’t find in Reborn: Schwarzenegger or anyone else involved with the 1996 film. Well, at least no one officially involved with that movie, as apparently Reborn director John Pogue performed some uncredited work on the screenplay.

Given that I always thought the 1996 film seemed pedestrian and uninspired, I can’t call Reborn a disappointment. That said, I also can’t refer to it as an actual good movie.

On the positive side, Reborn feels more “theatrical” than I expected. Though I believe it always existed a product intended for home video, it nonetheless seems less “direct to video” than most of its ilk, as it shows pretty good production values.

However, outside of the basic “eraser” premise – which still seems fairly clever - Reborn lacks anything to stand out from the crowd. It reboots the franchise in a manner that never seems remotely memorable.

Part of the problem stems from the uninspiring performances. While Schwarzenegger didn’t break a sweat in the original, at least he showed his natural charisma, and the cast also boasted actual talented actors like James Caan and James Coburn.

Despite lackluster performances, at least those folks brought credibility to the 1996 flick. No one in Reborn manages to do anything to elevate the flat material, unfortunately.

As our leads, Sherwood and Lai look great. Unfortunately, neither can act, though their deficits diverge.

This means Sherwood delivers a performance so understated that it veers wooden, whereas Lai goes too broad. The two seem to exist in different movies, and they never connect.

None of the supporting actors manage to add to the film, and the story suffers from the absence of a clear villain. With a tale such as this, we need a strong antagonist to make it succeed.

Instead, Reborn keeps this side of the story fairly vague. While a “main baddie” does exist, he becomes such a minor presence that he barely registers.

Honestly, as far as direct to video action flicks go, you could do much worse than Reborn. The film seems fairly professional and it occasionally demonstrates minor signs of life.

We do find some terrible computer animation here, though. To avoid spoilers, I won’t reveal what happens, but the climax uses a CG animal in a violent manner that couldn’t possibly seem less believable if the filmmakers tried.

Otherwise, the movie seems adequate, but given the skillions of entertainment options out there, why settle for general mediocrity? This becomes a semi-competent but largely bland attempt to resurrect a generally forgotten property.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Eraser: Reborn appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image worked well.

Sharpness appeared strong. Only a little softness occurred during some interiors.

This left us with a largely tight presentation. I saw no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of palette, Reborn tended toward standard teal and orange, though some scenes boasted a broader sense of color. These hues showed good representation within stylistic constraints.

Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows seemed smooth. The movie consistently looked solid.

Expect a satisfying affair from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as this became an engulfing mix when necessary. The track came with occasional instances of dynamic information, mainly during action-oriented sequences. Those popped to life in an exciting fashion, even if these scenes occurred too infrequently to elevate the movie.

Much of the flick went with more ambient audio, and those segments succeeded as well. These contributed a good sense of atmosphere and formed an involving sensibility throughout the film, factors that made this a fairly pleasing mix.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, with deep, tight bass.

Speech remained natural and without edginess or concerns. Though not action-packed, this became a reasonably broad, involving track.

The Warrior and the Witness runs nine minutes, 12 seconds and includes comments from director John Pogue, producer Hunt Lowry, writer Michael Weiss, and actors Jacky Lai, Dominic Sherwood, Eddie Ramos, and McKinley Belcher III.

“Witness” looks at story/character areas, research and realism, sets and locations, budgetary restrictions, stunts and action. Expect a passable but generally fluffy production overview.

In 1996, Eraser did not turn into as big a hit as expected, and that means we waited 26 years for a continuation of the concept. Reborn becomes a watchable effort but it nonetheless fails to do become anything more than mediocre at best. The Blu-ray comes with positive picture and audio but it lacks substantial supplements. If they exist, serious Eraser fans might enjoy Reborn, but it never seems memorable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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