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Shawn Ku
Nicolas Cage, Benjamin Bratt, Noah Le Gros
Writing Credits:
John Newman

An ex-enforcer for a local crime syndicate has vowed to enact retribution on his mob bosses after 22 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Rated NR.

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

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 9/24/2019

• “Story & Characters” Featurette
• “On Set” Featurette
• “Sins of the Father” 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


A Score to Settle [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 11, 2019)

Today in Nicolas Cage Direct-to-Video Adventures, we encounter 2019’s A Score to Settle. Once an mob “enforcer”, Frank Carver (Cage) spends 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Because he suffers from a terminal illness, Frank obtains early release. He seeks out his estranged son Joey (Noah Le Gros) and attempts to make up for lost time before he dies.

Still bitter about his wrongful imprisonment, Frank also wants revenge against those who betrayed him. Frank tries to balance his remaining time on Earth between vengeance and his personal connection to Joey.

While I poke fun at Cage’s descent into his current status as King of the Direct-to-Video Movie, I still maintain affection for the guy. During his glory days, he presented a delightfully twisted presence who could elevate not-so-good material.

As such, I enter flicks like Score with low expectations and semi-high hopes. I always want to enjoy Cage’s work, and I try to go into these efforts with a reasonably open mind.

The sheer volume of bad Cage movies makes that difficult, though, and Score does nothing to eliminate that stench. While it occasionally shows glimmers of quality, much of it seems too unfocused to succeed.

At its core, Score brings a tale of internal conflict. Frank finds himself torn between his need for revenge and his desire to fix his flawed relationship with Joey.

That tug of war should motivate a good character drama, but Score doesn’t serve the two sides well. It seems unsure where it wants to go, so it bops between the opposing poles in a satisfying manner.

Score also shoots itself in the foot with a massive plot twist on the cusp of its third act. I won’t say this curveball comes out of nowhere – maybe the movie sets it up but I was just too bored to pick up the clues.

Whatever the case, the story choice really changes a whole lot of the movie’s narrative, and it doesn’t work. Obviously I don’t want to spoil the twist, but it seems like a pretty ridiculous decision, one that cripples an already erratic film.

Cage offers decent work as our lead. At times he seems to sleepwalk, but he also brings out occasional manifestations of “classic Cage”, and those give us some enjoyment.

But not much, and Score doesn’t produce an especially compelling movie. It lacks coherence and fails to coalesce into anything particularly satisfying.

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

A Score to Settle appears in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt satisfied with this appealing presentation.

Sharpness seemed good. Only a little softness appeared in some interior shots, so the movie usually appeared tight and concise.

Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t cause distractions, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to pop up in this clean transfer.

Score presented a fairly subdued, amber-influenced palette much of the time, with some light teal and green as well. The colors seemed accurately reproduced within the stylistic choices.

Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows were well-depicted and smooth. No obvious concerns marred this solid transfer.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Score worked fairly well, and various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. These scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, and music 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. This left us with a “B” soundtrack.

Three featurettes appear here, and first comes Story & Characters. It fills six minutes, 16 seconds with notes from producers Kevin DeWalt and Eric Gozlan, co-producer Benjamin DeWalt, director Shawn Ku, and actors Nicolas Cage, Noah Le Gros, Ian Tracey, Mohamed Karim, Karolina Wydra and Benjamin Bratt.

To my shock, “Story & Characters” looks at story and characters. A few minor insights emerge, but the show mainly feels promotional and superficial.

On Set goes for seven minutes, three seconds and features Gozlan, Le Gros, Kevin DeWalt, Bratt, Cage, Wydra, Karim, Benjamin DeWalt, Ku and director of photography Mark Dobrescu.

“Set” brings a general discussion that examines cast, crew and some production elements. Like “Story”, it lacks depth and sticks with a promotional bent.

Finally, Sins of the Father fills three minutes, 30 seconds with Kevin DeWalt, Gozlan, Bratt, Le Gros, Dobrescu, and Ku. “Sins” discusses the major plot twist in the film, and it shows some of the hints I missed when I watched the movie.

These make me feel dumb, but again, I blame my general boredom. “Sins” doesn’t come with a lot of substance, but I like the glimpse of some of the ways the filmmakers hinted at the big twist.

The disc opens with ads for Mandy, I.T., and Pay the Ghost. No trailer for Score appears here.

Parts of A Score to Settle show promise, but the glimmers of intrigue too often fall by the wayside. Throw in one of the cheesiest plot twists I’ve seen and this becomes a less than engaging movie. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. Score offers another flawed Nicolas Cage effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main