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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Drama > Murder > Mystery > Police > Gangster > Detective > Telefilm > British TV > House Of The Rising Sun (2011/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011/Sony DVD)/Zen: Vendetta – Cabal - Ratking (2010/BBC Blu-ray set)

House Of The Rising Sun (2011/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011/Sony DVD)/Zen: Vendetta – Cabal - Ratking (2010/BBC Blu-ray set)


Picture: C+/C/B-     Sound: C+     Extras: C-/C/C+     Main Programs: C-/C+/B-



Three new crime dramas show the mixed state of the genre…


Brian A. Miller’s House Of The Rising Sun (2011) has Dave Bautista somewhat interestingly cast as a cop on the outs who starts working for criminals to protect one of their upscale clubs until things backfire and he is caught in the middle.  With its nearly idiot plot, this one tries to get by on fights, frontin’ and clichés, but never really adds up to much despite some efforts and support from Amy Smart, Dominic Purcell and Danny Trejo.  I wanted this one to work, but it never did, despite some potential and interesting possibilities.  Extras include cast/crew interviews, feature length audio commentary by Miller & Bautista and a Making Of featurette.



The latest Tom Selleck telefilm Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011) is the fifth we have covered following these releases covered on DVD at the following links:


Night Passage/Death In Paradise



Sea Change



No Remorse




This is about on par with the last telefilm, which shows the series is slowly going decline or just running out of things to do, but Selleck is doing what he can to make it work and this case of a friend being accused of a crime he did not commit is more serviceable than the teleplay would otherwise have it.  Kathy Baker, Stephen McHattie, William Sadler, Sal Rubinek and William Devane also star, but there are no extras.



Finally we have the newest BBC detective show, offering three episodes of Zen: Vendetta – Cabal - Ratking (2010), all with Rufus Sewell as the title character trying to solve various murders in Italy while juggling the politics of his business and still have a personal life.  Caterina Murino co-stars in this nicely produced series based on the successful book series by Michael Dibdin resulting in something more stylish and fun than the usual police procedural.  Ben Miles, Catherine Spaak and Peter Guinness also star and we get a nice making of featurette entitled Zen - An Italian Adventure.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Sun has detail issues, motion blur and is inconsistent throughout, while Zen takes the classical approach and lands up looking better by not being goofy with the color or detail, plus editing works better than most such shows.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 Stone DVD is as soft as the last Stone DVD and they are the poorest picture-wise in the series to date.


Though Sun has a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, it is towards the front speakers when it is not having problems with its location recording, has a problematic soundfield throughout and is just not good enough for DTS-MA.  Stone has a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, but it is just spreading around a simple stereo soundtrack, yet the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Zen is actually a little richer for a lossy audio format, but all three ultimately has the same so-so sound.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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