DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Aaron Harvey
Luke Grimes, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale
Writing Credits:
Aaron Harvey

With an honest job and a loving wife, Nick Brenner believed he had safely escaped his violent, criminal history, but his old crew hasn't forgotten about him or the money he stole.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $28.97
Release Date: 9/3/2019

• “Building the Fire” Featurette
• “Shooting the South” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Into the Ashes [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 28, 2019)

A tale of crime, redemption and revenge, 2019’s Into the Ashes introduces us to Nick Brenner (Luke Grimes). An ex-con, Luke attempts to remake his life via a relationship with wife Tara (Marguerite Moreau) and an above-the-board job.

Unfortunately, Nick’s past won’t let go of him. Led by psychotic Sloan (Frank Grillo), his old criminal buddies want to get back at Nick for his perceived betrayal, so they kill Tara.

Unsurprisingly, this pushes Nick over the edge. With his life in ruins, he needs to decide whether to stay on the straight and narrow or if he should pursue revenge.

All of that sounds like a film packed with potential drama, but Ashes never becomes as interesting as it should. Brooding and dark, the movie forgets to put the “thrills” in “thriller”.

Some of the problems stem from a “been there, done that” feel, as Ashes doesn’t feel especially original. From its reformed protagonist to its insane villain to everything else, the movie suffers from a sense of déjà vu, as we’ve seen too many other tales in a similar vein.

In addition, Grimes creates a void at the film’s center. While not a bad actor, he can’t do much with the part.

This becomes especially obvious because he spends a fair amount of time with Grillo and James Badge Dale, two more accomplished and effective actors. By comparison, Grimes’ attempts to seem brooding just make him look vacant, and he can’t find inner life in the character.

Not that the underwritten script does Grimes or his co-stars any favors. None of the characters receive enough exploration to seem substantial, and the narrative lacks much real forward thrust.

Instead, Ashes pummels us with its dark and ominous tone. The score ensures we always find a sense of dread that the story can’t support, as the music implies drama the visuals don’t convey.

Ultimately, Ashes never becomes a bad movie, but it offers a surprisingly aimless one. With all the potential sparks it could offer, it feels limp and directionless.

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

Into the Ashes appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing representation of the movie.

Sharpness looked mostly strong. Softness did occasionally materialize, but most of that came from stylistic choices, so the majority of the flick came across as well-defined.

No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create any problems, as this was a clean presentation.

In terms of colors, Ashes tended to go with a mix of teal and amber. Within those choices, the colors appeared well-developed, so I encountered no problems with them.

Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a good transfer.

I felt the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Ashes worked better than expected for a character drama. The film came with a few semi-action scenes, and those fleshed out the spectrum fairly well.

In addition, the mix boasted a lot of good environmental material, and those elements could seem broad and engaging. For example, shots at the prison used the five channels in a dynamic manner.

Audio quality was always good. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music followed suit. The score was consistently lively and full.

Effects also demonstrated nice vivacity and accuracy, with positive bass response along the way. This turned into a satisfying sonic presentation.

Two featurettes appear here, and Building the Fire runs 12 minutes, 36 seconds and offers notes from writer/director Aaron Harvey and actors Luke Grimes, Frank Grillo, Brady Smith, David Cade, Marguerite Moreau, Robert Taylor and James Badge Dale.

“Fire” looks at story and characters, genre influences, and Harvey’s efforts. A few minor insights emerge but much of this seems superficial.

Shooting the South lasts seven minutes, 57 seconds and features Harvey, Taylor, Dale, Grillo, Grimes, producer Eric Binns, and cinematographer John W. Rutland.

“South” examines visual design, sets and locations, cast and performances, and other production issues. Like “Fire”, “South” becomes lacks much depth.

The disc opens with ads for Galveston, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and The Standoff At Sparrow Creek. No trailer for Ashes appears here.

Despite a story packed with potential drama, Into the Ashes lacks much impact. Due to its flat characters, it fails to find much to make it work. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio along with minor supplements. This ends up as a mediocre film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main