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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Blood & Bone (2009/Sony DVD)

Blood & Bone (2009/Sony DVD)

 

Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: C+

 

 

Save a few films, the various Martial Arts film cycles offer next-to-no story or in more recent years, some have tried to be such films and act like they are “above” the genre.  Though writer/director Ben Ramsey may like genre films and know them well, he has not had the best success translating that into his writing work.  That work includes The Big Hit, Love & A Bullet and Dragonball Evolution.  However, he recently landed someone else’s screenplay (Michael Andrews) and decided to direct it.  The result is Blood & Bone (2009), a B-movie with some formula and (for a change) really good fight sequences.  If anything this deserves the praise Big Hit got.

 

The underrated Michael Jai White (Dark Knight) is Bone, a man sent to prison for unknown reasons.  He is out now and is suddenly looking to be in the shady world of for-money street fighting, even recruiting a would-be king, loudmouth and relatively decent guy (Dante Basco) to represent him.  They go up against some tough guys, but the toughest may be manager James (the great Eamonn Walker) who is up to no good and is used to winning and getting what he wants.

 

He is up to something more sinister, but in the meantime, Bone is winning all his matches and is in cahoots with another shady character (Julian Sands), but Bone also has family issues to deal with.  There is a girlfriend (Nona Gaye) and he is starting to get James’ attention when James’ “woman” Angela (Michelle Belegrin looking somewhat like Vanity in Action Jackson) and all this can only lead to a few showdowns.

 

With less unnecessary moments than you would usually get in a Ramsey script, he is free to better focus on his love of genres as well as a fan thereof.  The result is a predictable-but-amusing B-movie that at least delivers the fighting without dumb shaky camerawork (though the camera still shakes here and there), so those interested should catch it.  Especially since some of the great fighters alive today show up in the film.

 

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 is shot in High Definition video and is too soft throughout, including motion blur and other flaws at times.  Don’t know if Blu-ray could improve this, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix may be better, but has other mixing problems.  Dialogue is recorded well enough, but the low budget holds it back and the overall mix can be harsh and have a flawed soundstage.  Some mixing in fun and interesting, but it disappoints overall.  Extras include an amusing cast/crew audio commentary and making of featurette.

 

For more on Ramsey’s work, try these Blu-ray reviews:

 

Big Hit

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/4288/The+Big+Hit+(Blu-ray

 

Dragonball: Evolution

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/8880/Dragonball:+Evolution+-+Z+Edition+(2

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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