Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 22nd, 2008
Shattered, whose original (and more original) title was Butterfly on a Wheel, presents us with the household of Gerard Butler and Maria Bello. Life seems idyllic. They have a nice house, a lovely little girl, and the money is flooding in as Butler rises in his career (though his tactics don’t always seem entirely fair). Into their lives erupts Pierce Brosnan, who kidnaps their daughter, then forces the couple to perform one strange act after another, each event destroying their lives further.
Butler’s accent is erratic, but he does well as the rather too self-concerned husband. Bello turns in another performance that specializes in resiliance showing through extreme stress and distress, and Brosnan is clearly having a fine old time as an out-and-out villain. The scenario is, of course, utterly preposterous, but it trips along in a quick and entertainingly outlandish manner. Then the ending arrives, shattering the prepostero-meter with several twists that undermine much of came before. Oh well.
The score is properly atmospheric. Though it avoids bombast in its main theme, its mix makes it an enveloping, and rather ominous, presence, with instruments nicely separated from speaker to speaker. The score is where most of the action is, though there are some nice, understated bits of environmental effects, and some effective jolts of traffic running front and back as the action heats up.
The colours are very strong, with nice contrasts, and extremely strong, well-defined blacks. The flesh tones are natural, and the colours are striking – warm without being reassuring, naturalistic enough, but also just dark enough to shade into the gothic. There is only minimal grain, and no visible edge enhancement. The image is sharp. There is a little bit of shimmer, but otherwise, this is a very nicely done transfer.
Writer/producer William Morrissey and director Mike Barker have a fair bit of fun on the commentary, which tends to focus on the behind-the-scenes aspects more than the thematic concerns (though the latter are not ignored). There are two making-of featurettes: the general overview “Breaking Apart the Wheel” (which gives away a bit too much, so don’t watch it before the movie) and “Hero to Villain,” which focuses on Brosnan’s role. Both are the usual promo piece. There are a handful of deleted and alternate scenes, too, along with a clutch of trailers for Lionsgate releases.