16 Blocks is what separates petty criminal Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) and broken down cop Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) from exposing several corrupt NYPD detectives. Jack Moseley an aging alcoholic NYPD detective is faced with a crucial decision whether or not he will sell out his long time friends/colleagues or trust a criminal he had just met. The movie takes us through the crowded streets and narrow ally ways of New York City as they scramble to understand themselves and each other. We come to learn of their se…arate and equally interesting pasts, and even plans for the future.
16 Blocks is more than your standard action movie, it is nicely balanced with acting and a constantly advancing story line. We feel claustrophobic as they run down the streets of New York with little time to make it to the courthouse, and the suspense is constantly escalating. We come to care for the characters, and what is going to happen to them.
Mos Def does an amazing job playing Eddie Bunker, who is ridden with a speech impediment. I felt very sympathetic for the character, who always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. As the movie progressed we find him out to be more than just a petty criminal, but an inspiring entrepreneur who wants out of New York. Mos Def gets top marks for playing the roll of this seemingly un-complex individual who is beyond the surface a very profound individual. Bruce Willis plays the alcoholic Jack Mosley, who always seems to find time during the chaos of the day to sit down and take a shot. We know that there is more too the character than just being a drunk, there is something on his shoulders. Willis does more than the standard point and shoot I have come to know him for, instead he plays a deep and troubled character that has many ghosts in his closet. Backed with a terrific cast of supporting actors and actresses, 16 Blocks goes above and beyond a simplistic action movie and actually matches its action with character depth, I was impressed. The dialogue between characters is always interesting, and as they keep a fast pace through the streets there is never a dull moment.
All the way up to the shocking ending, 16 Blocks never had a dull moment. We were always learning something new about the characters or the overall storyline. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking to watch an action movie with depth.
16 Blocks is presented in 1080p 2.40:1 aspect ratio and looks very good thanks to another fine Warner transfer. Details ooze out within the first few minutes of Willis on screen; every thing from his blood shot eyes to his receding hair line is seen crisp and clear. Colors look both vivid and realistic fitting the New York atmosphere perfectly. The blacks are rich, deep and look flawless as most HD-DVDs do.
Because this disc is in combo format I flipped it over and compared it to the Standard Definition of the film. While the SD version looked good, there is no denying that the HD version is vastly superior.
16 Blocks features a Dolby Digital Plus: 5.1 which seems to have become the standard for most HD DVDs. Unfortunately it doesn’t feature any TrueHD but that is not to say that the disc doesn’t sound good. Although 16 Blocks doesn’t feature any loud explosions, it does feature a fair amount of shooting and this sounds great. Each shot fired sounds so crisp, clear and it really delivers a punch.
However I was slightly disappointed in the use of rear speakers. Like Four Brothers, 16 Blocks featured a track that was very focused in the front speakers which is disappointing for a movie like this. Overall I thought 16 Blocks still featured a good audio track, that being said, I hope Warner will start releasing TrueHD for discs more frequently.
The largest disappointment I experienced with this disc was the lack of features. Though the ones they have included are very in-depth they just weren’t enough for me. They are however worth checking out as they are very interesting, if only they could have included more like them.
- Deleted Scenes: 8 Deleted scenes accumulating 20 minutes, they are each introduced by Richard Donner and Richard Wenk. They as well include commentary by the two.
- Alternative Ending: A six-minute ending that completely changes the outcome of the movie.
- Theatrical Trailer
I was not impressed how the special features were only available on the SD side of the disc. I hope Warner changes this as it is an inconvenience for HD owners to have to flip the disc in order to view these special features.
A great action film that boasts impressive acting as well great sub plots. The movie itself contains some fine acting as well as nail biting suspense. The lack of special features is somewhat disappointing to a rather strong disc. I do however recommend this disc as it provides a very solid story and does a good job showcasing the abilities of HD DVD.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Theatrical Trailer