(aka I Want To Be A Gangster/2008/Synapse
DVD)/Overtime (2012/VCI Blu-ray
w/DVD)/Sleep Tight (2011/Dark Sky
C-/B- & C+/C+ Sound: C/B-/C+ Extras: C-/C/C Films: C-/C/C
two recent action/gangster films that turn into horror films and one that is a
thriller from the beginning…
Chateau’s Asylum (aka I Want To Be A Gangster/2008) starts
out as a drama as Jack (Julian Courbey) starts by telling us he always wanted
to be a gangster in a very tired, boring GoodFellas/Martin
Scorsese reference (he even sounds like he is repeating the film’s famous line;
one of many) so this starts out as some kind of gangster genre work, but turns
into a stuck-in-a story with a torture porn side to it as Jack is tied to a
tree and we wonder if he (and we watching this mess will survive to the end.
majority of the latter script is about him being tied up, so the gangster part
is a misleading pretense and though this is actually a low budget French
production, it felt as bad as the many U.S. counterparts we have suffered
through and the image is purposely degraded throughout (more on that in a
moment below) making it worse. I do not
know what the makers where thinking and doubt they truly know either, but
unless the intent was to artificially make some kind of cult item, it is a
dud. Now you can see for yourself.
include 3 Promotional Trailers, Chateau’s short Homer and a Making Of featurette.
In Overtime (2012), a relatively young
drug dealer escapes prison thanks to a clever female lawyer, but is up to all
kinds of immediately profitable and dangerous business, so much so that a
gunfight breaks out not long after he appears free on a TV news program. A U.S. indie production, it also has
too many clichés like the above release, but the makers at least give this one
some energy. However, when the script
runs out of gangster ideas, it becomes a zombie flick!
is not awful and they seem to be having fun on this one, but besides taking on
more than the makers could handle, having two directors instead of one in both
Brian Cunningham and Matt Niehoff further confused a situation where it is
obvious both failed to make this work through shear inexperience. They should have stuck to one director who
could concentrate. I don’t think this
will be a cult item either, but n this case, genre fans will at least be
include a feature length audio commentary track where the makers explain
themselves with co-stars Al Snow & John Wells, a Press Promo, a Trailer, a
Behind The Scenes featurette and a 20+ minutes featurette dubbed a Documentary.
Jaume Balaguero’s Sleep Tight
(2011), set in an apartment building where the male
receptionist/concierge/doorman César (Luis Tosar) is friendly to everyone,
takes care of things the best he can and is up to no good. Specifically, he is unhappy, a sociopath and
is obsessed with a beautiful woman named Clara (Marta Etura) who he is spying
matter of fact, he is hiding in her room at nights until she is asleep (she
lives alone), puts her to sleep using chloroform and then goes to sleep with
her. Turns out he is also having sex
with her without knowing it and starts doing more bizarre things, but when she
starts bringing her boyfriend around, things take a turn for the more bizarre.
to say the film is creepy, well cast and even atmospheric, it starts to run
into logic troubles in the end and even in the conclusion is technically
possible, it I also dumb, stupid, somewhat illogical and when you think about
it, does not add up or is very realistic as conclusive. I cannot say anything else or I would reveal
plot points, but I was disappointed, especially since this was going so
include a trailer and Making Of featurette.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Asylum
is degraded and noisy throughout, oddly on purpose including what looks like
endless edge enhancement shot on digital video of some kind with a limited
color range on the sepia tone side. It
adds nothing to the already problematic narrative and is a mess. The same type of image playback on the Overtime DVD is soft, but has better
color and definition by default, even with its many flaws, motion blur and some
minute aliasing errors that are also present in the better 1080p 1.78 X 1
digital High Definition image transfer on its Blu-ray version that shows it is
a better HD shoot.
leaves the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Tight with color, but often also slightly darkened and even decolorized
in its look, though it looks like full color versus Asylum.
French Dolby Digital 5.1 surround on Asylum
is very weak with location audio that is troublesome throughout and practically
simple stereo. Overtime has a similar mix on its DVD and PCM 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
sound on its Blu-ray version and the best sound on the list. However, it too is a stereo production with
limited surrounds and I thought the PCM Stereo on the Blu-ray sounded best for
the film and as the best representation of the fidelity of its soundmaster.
Tight offers a lossy Spanish Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix that is well recorded, but quiet and dialogue-based in nature,
so surrounds are only engaged so often, though the music score by Lucas Vidal
is not bad.
- Nicholas Sheffo