Guns, Girls and Gambling [Blu-ray]
Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, and Dane Cook headline this outrageous action-comedy about greed, revenge, and a desert full of dead Elvis impersonators. A priceless Apache war mask has been stolen from an Indian casino causing criminals, frat boys, tomahawk-wielding hit men, modern-day cowboys, and a six-foot-tall blonde assassin to rampage through a small town in hopes of claiming the treasure first. Guns, Girls and Gambling is an action-packed comedy where the laughs pile up faster than the body count. – © Universal
Universal's 1080p/VC-1 video transfer will come as a much-needed relief; a sip of water in the desert that makes 90-minutes of hell a bit more bearable. Though no amount of encoding prowess can take away the sting of labored cinematography, the presentation is bolstered by sizzling colors, striking primaries and deep blacks. Contrast is a touch hot by nature, with at-times slightly oversaturated skin tones, but it's vivid and consistent, so no real complaints here. Detail delivers too, with crisp edges, nicely resolved textures and revealing close-ups. Imperfect and unremarkable as it can be, the video presentation is by far the high point of the disc.
Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track does its job and does it well. It just doesn't have much to work with. Guns, Girls and Gambling is riddled with rather flat sound design, louder than it is powerful. Dialogue is clear, intelligible and competently prioritized, and gunfire, tomahawk thunks and quick-draw cannons sound the part, front-locked, as they tend to be. LFE output is decent, although it lacks finesse, and the rear speakers are active, albeit fairly inconsequential, particularly when so many scenes involve one long conversation after another. Directionality is passable but underutilized, dynamics are strong but a bit dodgy, and the sound field never quite engages the listener as pointedly as it should. All things considered, it's solid at best, serviceable at worst.
This is the kind of cinematic experience where everything you need to know (not to mention everything you don't) is forcibly spoon fed to you exactly a million times over. What you see here is precisely what you get, and that list is as follows: Christian Slater as Christian Slater, endless clichés and plot holes, recycled characters and storytelling devices, shamefully shameless editing, racism, sexism and gratuitous violence. Not a great movie by any means, but it could have been worse.
Posted by Ryan Gibbs, February 21, 2013 7:10 AM