Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
For Tes and her two cohorts Kara and Tara, the job sounded simple enough: intercept a double-cross drug shipment for their crime boss Mel at an isolated diner. But when an unstoppable chain of events unfolds, everyone soon realizes no one is who they seem and the job may be something other than eliminating the competition. What started as simple instructions has now turned into a deadly cat-and-mouse game - with large guns pointed at everyone.
For more about Catch .44 and the Catch .44 Blu-ray release, see Catch .44 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 8, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Malin Akerman, Reila Aphrodite, Kevin Beard, Bruce Willis, Forest Whitaker, Deborah Ann Woll
Director: Aaron Harvey
» See full cast & crew
Catch .44 Blu-ray Review
Quentin wants his discarded sixth grade project script back.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 8, 2011
Trust doesn't exist in this world.
Drugs and money. And double crosses. All of these sorts of movies come back to drugs and money and double crosses and, if the audience is lucky, triple crosses, broken allegiances, misguided beliefs, and plans that go down the drain faster than a .44 magnum round can plaster the wall with someone's brain matter. Or does that make the audience unlucky? Catch .44 is the latest wannabe hip and happening quirky Crime Thriller from the mind of somebody who's seen all of the Tarantino movies at least ten times apiece, which of course means this person (or persons) is qualified to go out and make a movie in the same style and make a movie with the same potential for success. In the immortal words of Bruce Willis, "Sorry Hans, wrong guess! Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?" Catch .44 is like laying it all on the line in a double-or-nothing gamble and praying that recycling a patented style that only one or two directors have really been able to make work will somehow magically yield a great movie, because, hey, the whole nonlinear, kinda-sorta grind house, 1970s inspired, and hiply scored styling and fast-talking and smooth-operating characters worked for Quentin, so they should work all the time. Or not. Catch .44 really wants to get up there on the summit where movies like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Death Proof exist, but like Po, it pretty much runs out of gas before even beginning the ascent.
Tes (Malin Akerman), Dawn (Deborah Ann Woll), and Kara (Nikki Reed) sit in a booth at an out-of-the-way roadside country diner. Nobody could expect that they're anything more than a few girls passing through for a bite to eat on their way to something bigger (but in the mind of the truckers and other small-town guests, probably not something better). Certainly, nobody could expect that they're packing heat and ready to pounce at a moment's notice. They're there at the request of Mel (Bruce Willis), a slovenly has-been dope dealer who's snorted one too many lines and put back one too many Jack's, and are lying in wait for the arrival of a trucker and his orange rig. The rig happens to be carrying drugs, and the diner is to serve as their temporary home. The girls are itching to get their hands on the merchandise, but matters are complicated when Ronny (Forest Whitaker) joins the party with an explosive secret. There will be blood, shootouts, standoffs, and revelations aplenty, for some of the characters a lifetime's worth of baggage checking in at this otherwise inconspicuous last-grub-for-200-miles Louisiana restaurant.
While Catch .44 sure looks and sounds like a bad Tarantino wannabe rip-off, it would also be a good comparison to call it the Action/Crime equivalent of Tanner Hall, another recent film that, within its own genre, wants so badly to be the next "in" movie that it forgets to be itself and instead winds up settling for third-class status as a derivative knockoff movie that barely stands on its own two feet and most definitely becomes lost under the shadow of the giants it yearns to emulate. It's hard to believe that a movie can be this absolutely unoriginal; it's expected of far lesser fare like those dime store movies from outfits like the SyFy Channel and The Asylum, but when a movie reels in a few big names like a Willis and a Whitaker (who's the movie's one real bright spot despite some outrageous accent work), one would rightly think that the movie might have at least a modicum of purpose, a shred of originality. Not so with Catch .44, obviously, and especially not when it tries to recapture the magic of superior movies but instead only repurposes themes, situations, and style rather than find any traction or create any actual storytelling substance.
Indeed, Willis and Whitaker give the movie some gravitas, but their presence does little more for the movie than grace the poster/box/whatever. Willis' character in Catch .44 is the cog but a fairly useless and underutilized one at that. Whitaker, however, is again a highlight, as he is in pretty much every movie in which he appears. His character is the most interesting and dynamic, in part because his Ronny is the one part of the script that's partway engaging, and because he plays the part quite well. The first time he appears on-screen, he seems to be a stranded motorist with a severe stutter and a slow intellect, but he nicely transitions from hopeless buffoon to cold-hearted killer in a matter of seconds (even though that plot "twist" can be seen coming 44 miles away), setting him up nicely for his developmental arc that permeates the movie. Sadly, his character and effort are lost to the back-and-forth style that sees the movie begin at the end, flash backwards, flash forward back to the end for an added layer of information, move backwards again, and so on and so forth. It's not dizzying or difficult to follow, but it's not handled quite right in part because the story and the characters aren't strong enough to carry it, and because of the overwhelming sense of déjà vu that runs through the thing and leaves audiences thinking of better movies rather than concentrating on the plot. Add in the obligatory rocking yet old-styled music that overlays half the scenes in the movie and comic-influenced character title cards and the movie has "blatant rip-off" and "skip it" written all over it.
Catch .44 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Catch .44's glossy 1080p Blu-ray transfer is serviceable, occasionally very good but never spectacular. General definition can be a little shaky; the image yields its fair share of soft and smeary textures, but generally it captures fine details nicely enough. Faces are usually somewhat complex, while everyday elements like a brick façade look rightly rough. It's clear enough to reveal some very fine little touches, like scratches on the bluing of a shotgun barrel and the rust on an old diner fan, though detailing usually falls somewhere between "strong" and "average." The glossy HD video source is of no help in lending a life and texture to the movie. Light banding and absorbing blacks are common. Colors are fair, whether in the modestly-lit diner or in some of the brighter interior and exterior daytime scenes. This is a decent transfer that serves the movie well enough, but top-tier material it is not.
Catch .44 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Catch .44's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack is quite good. Music is front dominant but it does enjoy a fair surround support element. Music plays with great energy, features excellent spacing across the front, and yields very good clarity. Light ambience inside the diner is natural. Music plays quietly off to the side, and a pleasant collection of busy kitchen sound effects nicely permeate the entire listening area. The track finds a quality low end in music and effects; it's a little rattly at times and not consistently tight, but it gets the job done. Gunfire is strong and convincing. Dialogue plays as expected, crisply and accurately through the center channel. The track is good, but hardly memorable. It gets just about everything right; it's too bad it's not part of a better movie.
Catch .44 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Catch .44 contains only an audio commentary track with Writer/Director Aaron Harvey and Editor Richard Byard.
Catch .44 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Catch .44 is derivative moviemaking through and through; it reels in a few name actors but fails to nab anything else of substance. The entire thing is like a bad dream mashup of Tarantino movies gone wrong. Forest Whitaker at least provides a highlight but Bruce Willis literally looks like he rolled out of bed and onto the set after a night of hard partying; has it really come down to this for the Die Hard legend? The girls look pretty, but they don't add any substance to the movie as they attempt to channel the likes of the Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth characters from the Tarantino films of yore. The entire thing is a borderline disaster. It's dull, unimaginative, and not even very good as an accidental parody of superior mid-90s fare. Catch .44 might not be the crown jewel in Anchor Bay's Blu-ray catalogue, but at least the studio has once again delivered good video and audio presentations for the film's Blu-ray release. Worth a rental for the curious.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Catch .44. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Catch .44 in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Catch .44 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Catch .44 - December 13, 2011
Blu-ray.com and Anchor Bay Films are offering three Blu-ray.com members the opportunity to win a copy of Catch .44, starring Bruce Willis, Forest Whitaker, Malin Akerman and Brad Dourif. The crime thriller arrives on Blu-ray on December 20th.
Catch .44 Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Catch .44 Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Catch .44 Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.