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Ralph Ziman
India Eisley, Samuel L. Jackson, Callan McAuliffe
Writing Credits:
Brian Cox

When her cop father is killed, a young woman tracks the murder with the apparent help of his ex-partner.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 12/2/2014

• “The Making of Kite” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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.


Kite [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 30, 2014)

Take a look to the left for a gander at the cover of 2014’s Kite. Given that image, one might think “hey, they made a Kick-Ass spin-off about Hit Girl!”

Nope - Kite has no direct connection to Kick-Ass, as it instead adapts a 1998 anime film. It takes us to a society in ruins after a financial collapse, and gangs who sell children into slavery rule the streets. A mysterious baddie called the Emir (Zane Meas) leads these miscreants.

When she was 12, the Emir caused the death of Sawa’s (India Eisley) parents. Now a few years older, she’s trained to become a lethal assassin and with the help of her late father’s police partner Karl (Samuel L. Jackson), Sawa seeks her revenge.

Perhaps when the original version of Kite debuted in 1998, the material may have seemed fresh and interesting. 16 years later, unfortunately, the story and characters seem fairly stale, as they don’t boast much to make them stand out from the crowd.

Without a lot of creative spark behind the narrative, Kite needs filmmaking sparkle to allow it to shine. Unfortunately, it lacks much to make it seem dynamic, as it tends to plod where it should sizzle.

This means we get a slow-moving narrative with only occasional punctuation from graphic violence. The movie tends to amble along without much forward momentum. It periodically “advances” the story with gore and bloodshed, but not much of this makes an impact,

Instead, we simply wait impatiently for the inevitable developments to occur. Kite often feels like a collection of action scenes loosely connected by a general plot, and the film rarely seems terribly invested in its story. The filmmakers seem interested in the violence and not much else, so when it digs into actual narrative material, it turns bland and flaccid.

If the set pieces gave us good action, I might not mind the flatness of everything else, but unfortunately, those scenes lack much to make them compelling. Again, these tend to focus on graphic violence to the exclusion of much else; we get lots of blood but little true excitement or tension. Hack hack, slash slash, yawn yawn.

All of this leaves Kite as a pretty tedious 89 minutes. The core material comes with some potential, but the film devotes itself so heavily to general violence that it can’t develop into anything more than a dull story punctuated by gratuitous gore.

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

Kite appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great presentation.

Sharpness usually seemed fine. Occasional softness emerged – some of which resulted from visual choices – but the majority of the movie seemed accurate and well-defined. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No print flaws marred the image either.

As I expected, Kite went with a stylized palette. Much of the time it veered toward a desaturated bent to fit the depressed nature of the tale’s society, but some bursts of color emerged, usually related to Sawa’s hair and clothes. These came across with pretty good clarity.

Blacks seemed reasonably tight, and shadows mostly appeared smooth. However, some interiors came across as somewhat dense, so those shots didn’t always display the desired accuracy. All of this left us with a more than watchable image.

Though also not dazzling, the film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix worked well. As one might anticipate, the soundscape came to life best during action scenes, as the speakers displayed various violent moments in a pretty active manner. None of these ever became genuinely impressive, so don’t expect great usage of the surrounds, but the mix added decent involvement to the proceedings.

Audio quality seemed positive. Music was peppy and full, while effects showed good accuracy and range. Speech was natural and concise. Like the image, the soundtrack seemed mostly positive and earned a “B”.

In terms of extras, we find The Making of Kite. It runs 25 minutes, 18 seconds and includes notes from director Ralph Ziman, writer/producer Brian Cox, line producer Greig Buckle, production designer Willie Botha, costume designer Ruy Filipe, makeup/hair designer Meg Tanner, director of photography Lance Gewer, stunt coordinator Francois Grobbelaar, and actors Samuel L. Jackson, India Eisley, Callan McAuliffe, Deon Lotz, Cleo Rinkwest, Matthew Van Leeve, Lionel Newton, Terence Bridgett, and Jaco Muller. The show looks at story/characters, the source material and its adaptation, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design, hair/makeup/costume design, photography and stunts, and related areas.

The program delivers a reasonable look at the basics. It doesn’t provide a ton of depth about the movie’s creation but it gives us enough material to merit a look.

The disc opens with ads for The Possession of Michael King and Black Sails. No trailer for Kite shows up here.

A second disc features a DVD copy of Kite. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

With Kite, we find a stale story told without much conviction. Outside of some graphic violence, the movie fails to boast anything memorable. The Blu-ray provides pretty good picture and audio along with a decent behind the scenes featurette. Kite boasts action film potential but it fails to capitalize on its strengths.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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