Oliver Stone’s latest (and no it’s not another re-cut, extended cut or director's cut of Alexander) is a return to form of sorts. Savages is a twisted tale of a two for one love story where Chon (Taylor Kitsch) & Ben (Aaron Johnson) share a lover affectionately known as O (Blake Lively) and a flourishing "weed" business on the sunny coast of California. Now these two are on to something, their weed has levels of THC that is off the chart, so when a Mexican Cartel leader Elena (Salma Hayek) makes them an offer they won’t be allowed to refuse, but do, she uses the mega-evil Lado (Benecio Del Toro) to acquire O as a weapon of blackmail. This is where the fun starts, as the two brothers from another mother use all their contacts, including corrupt DEA agent Dennis (John Travolta) to get their one true love back. (The unrated cut of the film is what was reviewed). VIDEO: MPEG-4 AVC, 1080P, 2:40:1 Ratio, 2 Cuts of the Film. This is a wicked presentation. The lush vibrant colours, especially the sun-drenched beach shots with glistening water, but also the ultra-violent action scenes come to life as shot by frequent Scott Brothers collaborator Dan Mindel. Stone certainly goes the close-up route here and that’s where the transfer shines through, also the occasional black & white is treated with ease, this is why the format of HD is all about, an almost flawless picture, just misses out on the top mark, bit a solid [rating=4] and a half.
SOUND: DTS- Master Audio 5.1, French & Spanish DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles English SDH, French & Spanish. This loseless audio mix is once again right at the pinnacle of the format. It's particularly aggressive; action scenes burst from the screen and surround with ferocity; the bass is often violent, but clear and the dialogue is crisp and extremely well mixed. You will feel immersed in all that is happening. A totally pleasing experience, again state of the art, [rating=5].
FEATURES: There's a decent amount of extras including commentary with Oliver Stone (and an alternate Commentary with Producers/selected crew). Deleted Scenes, a five part featurette and both the Theatrical/Unrated versions of the film. Stone throws some interesting light on the film in both the featurettes and commentary, solid stuff & a [rating=3] and a half.
OVERALL: I personally enjoyed this film, but was blown away with the blu-ray. You almost get a buzz and blood shot eyes as it comes to life, as a product this is a [rating=4] and highly recommended, now I gotta go and fill my strangely enormous hands with corn-chips…
Dave Grenfell - follow Dave on Twitter here: @nowshowinghigh