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It's Federal Marshal John Kruger's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) duty to keep witnesses hidden within the government's Witness Protection Program safe. Now he must protect Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), who inadvertently uncovered a scheme to deliver one of the most advanced super-weapons ever developed--the rail gun--into hands that could shift the world's balance of power forever. What she doesn't know is that the conspiracy reaches the highest levels of government and industry, and the players involved will stop at nothing to keep her from exposing the truth. Kruger is matched against an unknown challenger whose cunning skill equals his own as he guards Lee against the conspirators. As Kruger himself falls under suspicion as the traitor within the program, he sets out to prove his innocence to Robert Deguerin, his mentor, and Beller, the head of the WPP. In a world where allies could be enemies, Kruger and Lee come to trust only each other as the deadly players in the conspiracy close in on them, and time continues to run out
For more about Eraser and the Eraser Blu-ray release, see Eraser Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 15, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Michael S. Chernuchin, Walon Green, Tony Puryear, Charles Russell
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Vanessa Williams (V), James Coburn, Robert Pastorelli, James Cromwell
» See full cast & crew
Eraser Blu-ray Review
Typical of 1990s action, 'Eraser' plays it safe.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 15, 2008
Smile! You've just been erased.
Action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger (End of Days), known for terminating bad guys with extreme prejudice, puts a new spin on the action genre in Eraser, a film where he destroys lives -- in order to save them. Featuring a solid cast, including acclaimed vocalist Vanessa Williams, Oscar winner James Coburn (Affliction), and Oscar nominees James Caan (The Godfather) and James Cromwell (Babe), Eraser nevertheless remains a standard action movie with little to differentiate itself from the plethora of 1990s action films that played it safe, even within the loose confines of an "R" rating. Despite that, only Eraser and several other films of the decade can boast the presence of former Mr. Olympia and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger doing what he does best -- laying waste to his enemies, flexing his muscles, delivering one-liners like only he can, and saving the day from unsavory characters.
John Kruger (Schwarzenegger) erases identities and places individuals in peril into the witness protection program. Staging their deaths and creating for them a new way of life through a thorough and painstaking process, Kruger is a hero of sorts to those he has saved from immediate danger. His latest mission is to protect a frightened witness named Lee Cullen (Williams) who has detailed knowledge that the company she works for, Cyrez, is illegally selling advanced weapons overseas with the approval of her boss, William Donohue (Cromwell), committing a blatant act of treason. Under Kruger's protection, Cullen receives a new identity, a New York apartment, and a credit card, and if all goes well, she'll never see Kruger again. On his next mission, working with fellow U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin (Caan), Kruger becomes privy to an inside job within Witness Protection bent on eliminating Cullen and preventing the halt of shipments of Cyrez's weapons overseas. Kruger escapes at high altitude and rushes to get to Cullen before those that want her dead do, and he'll have to ask for the help of an old erasure, Johnny Casteleone (Robert Pastorelli, Striking Distance) to prevent the shipment of the weapons.
Eraser is passable action fare with no resemblence to the movies that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name in the 1980s. Gone is the grisly violence of Predator, the intimidating presence the actor brought to the role of Conan the Barbarian, or the stoic stature of his character in Red Heat. Eraser is "Arnold-lite," a stripped down, bare-bones, "safe" picture that pushes no limits, showcases minimal violence, and is probably best known for Arnold's one-liner, delivered to an ill-fated alligator: "You're luggage!" Eraser is not a bad movie. It's entertaining in its own right and in the context of what passed for action in the 1990s. It is straightforward and audience-friendly with a clearly defined plot, likable characters, and some exciting action sequences. It simply has no soul, offering nothing that shouts out and says, "Hey! I am Eraser, and this is why you'll remember me!" Even the film's surprise turn of events don't come as a shock. The villain is never set up in such a way so as to make the audience care one way or another about his motives or allegiance; he is crooked and unlikeable, but the point is never sufficiently driven home. He serves as nothing more than a plot device to move the film along to its all-too-predictable climax. The denouement that proceeds the action finale is intriguing and comes somewhat unexpectedly, but it is not all that memorable, either. With Eraser, however, asking for memorable cinema is a bit much. It does its job well enough, and features some entertaining sequences and props. It just never stands above the crowd, but it never embarrasses itself either. These days, that seems to be good enough.
Eraser Blu-ray, Video Quality
Eraser, although not offering a breathtaking Blu-ray transfer, still improves upon previous home video editions with its 1080p, 2.35:1-framed transfer. This Blu-ray offers increased resolution and detail over the DVD release, but Eraser still offers a drab and uninteresting visual appearance which reflects the intended look of the film. Rather dark in nature, the film lacks depth and vibrancy. Detail isn't striking, but is nevertheless solid considering the nature of the movie. Even in places like the apartment where Kruger houses Lee, which is full of interesting trinkets and colors, nothing stands out as overly compelling from a visual perspective. The transfer often exhibits just a hint of softness. Colors are accurate but slightly dull. Black levels are solid, and flesh tones are generally natural. The video never pops off of the screen to wow viewers, but it doesn't look terrible either. It's flat and routine, and might have even looked good in the early days of Blu-ray, but now, it's simply mundane, an average Blu-ray release.
Eraser Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Eraser makes its mark on Blu-ray with a fairly good Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Featuring decent fidelity and bass, moderately good directionality, and average-at-best dialogue reproduction, Eraser does not set the home theater ablaze, but it is certainly adequate for a shoot-em-up Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. There are some natural sound effects that work their way around the soundstage, little things that give the track a nice boost and a sense of realism on occasion. One such thing is the sound of a revolving machine that swoops around the rear soundstage in chapter 6 as Lee Cullen attempts to steal some important files on the advanced rail guns featured in the film. Various action sound effects are also thrown all over the soundstage. The first high-tech shootout of the film, as heard in chapter 11, presents listeners with a barrage of activity, all of which is well-placed and prioritized with great directionality and thump. A loud, aggressive, well-balanced explosion follows. It is loud but not overwhelming or jumbled. Likewise, the film's climactic action sequence is no slouch, providing plenty of action across the front with solid support from the rears, making for an entertaining listen that adds to the excitement of the sequence. The film's music seems to sometimes not settle on a volume. It is sometimes too low, even in lieu of trying to prioritize dialogue. A good example of this is a scene featuring John Kruger and several others as they board a plane in chapter 15. Even with the low volume music, dialogue is slightly hard to hear. Nevertheless, the track does far more right than wrong. It's not the clearest, cleanest, or most precise soundtrack, it's not the most realistic soundtrack, and it's not the loudest soundtrack, but it is better-than-average in just about every area, save for dialogue. Befitting the film, Eraser's lossless soundtrack should please most casual listeners.
Eraser Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
John Kruger was here. All supplements have been erased.
Eraser Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Passable at best, Eraser is a decent post-1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger action film. There is nothing extraordinary to see here, but nothing to lull audiences to sleep, either. The 1990s served up plenty of action movies just like Eraser. Free of risk, lacking extreme violence, and featuring mostly forgettable characters, the decade was a rather bland one for the action genre, embracing style over substance and high-tech gadgetry over blood and guts. Arnold Schwarzenegger does all he can to save Eraser; his presence alone guarantees bodies in theater seats and promises some decent action and fun one-liners. He just doesn't have much to work with, and even with an all-star supporting cast, Eraser is a moderately entertaining but ultimately forgettable action flick. Warner Brothers' Blu-ray release of Eraser is nothing special, just like the movie. With average video and audio quality and no supplements, Eraser is for Arnold-on-Blu-ray completists only.
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Various sources have indicated that Warner Home Video is set to announce five action Blu-ray titles, all due to hit store shelves on September 2nd. These titles include, 'Eraser', 'Outbreak', 'Under Siege 2', 'Every Which Way But Loose', and 'Gauntlet'. As these ...
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