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Within one 24 hour period, three sets of friends in three dysfuctional situations will collide in the raucous Los Angeles underground party scene. It's Christmas Eve and Ronna and Claire are supermarket checkout girls desperate to score some quick rent money. It's a simple plan -- all they need to do is acquire 20 hits of ecstasy from Simon and his drug dealing pal Todd and turn around and sell them for a small profit to Adam and Zack, two soap opera stars looking to hit the night club scene in style. But alas, nothing is so simple. Ronna will soon find herself at the center of a police sting, Claire will be taken hostage, Simon will be shot which will make Todd quite upset, and Zack and Adam will find themselves not only in hot water, but at one bizarre Christmas party.
For more about Go and the Go Blu-ray release, see Go Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 30, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, William Fichtner, Scott Wolf
Director: Doug Liman
» See full cast & crew
Go Blu-ray Review
Sony delivers a quality Blu-ray release of a good catalogue title.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 30, 2009
Things didn't go exactly as planned, ya know?
Director Doug Liman's resumé reads almost like a grab-bag of random movies with little interconnection in theme or style, save for a touch of kinetic energy. He's helmed the modern-day Action classic The Bourne Identity, and the crowd-pleasing Mr. and Mrs Smith, the lackluster Science Fiction flick Jumper, and the trendy Comedy Swingers. Perhaps the director's most unique piece is his 1999 effort Go, the film serving up a trio of interconnected tales that piece together the events of a crazy but eerily plausible evening that comes to be defined by drugs, women, gunfire, car chases, secrets, and plenty of other hair-raising scenarios that playfully yet dangerously factor into the lives of several related and unrelated individuals. Somewhat similar to Pulp Fiction with its serious yet lighthearted approach but certainly not as altogether delicate and somber as something like The Air I Breathe, Go takes viewers on a fast-paced and wild ride through a dark world lit up by an easygoing spirit.
Ronna (Sarah Polley, Beowulf & Grendel) is a down-on-her-luck 17-year-old working at a dead-end job as a grocery store check-out girl. Desperate for cash, the already overworked teen agrees to take co-worker Simon's (Desmond Askew, Turistas) shift and a handful of bribe money so he can pal around with his chums in Las Vegas. Enter Adam (Scott Wolf, "Party of Five") and Zack (Jay Mohr, Jerry Maguire), a pair of daytime TV stars looking for Simon, their usual supplier of party drugs. Desperate, they quiz Ronna, who agrees to provide them with the stuff, assuming she can get it from Simon's supplier, Todd (Timothy Olyphant, Live Free or Die Hard). Meanwhile, Simon and friends find themselves in hot water in Sin City after several events go terribly and accidentally awry.
Go is the sort of film that's primed for all of those pesky critics' blurbs that movie fans hate to see interfere with the artwork that adorns the home video box. "A well-crafted thrill-ride!" "Intense!" "Exhilarating!" It's a hard movie to sum up, and some of the more positive adjectives and catch phrases do a fine job of capturing Go's pacing and feel, so long as they're accompanied by an exclamation point. About the only thing missing from Go is an exclamation point at the end of the title. The film exudes energy, charisma, and a happy-go-lucky feel in spite of its many dark themes, dangers, and sometimes dismal feel. This spunky little picture does what few others seem capable of -- or even attempt to try -- managing to paint a rather gloomy picture with bright, cheerful colors. It's an odd sensation watching Go, the film swaying viewers between the vile world of drug deals and strip club visits gone bad and the many easygoing and both intentionally and unintentionally humorous moments in between that serve up some of the finest levity in film in the past decade while simultaneously delivering one of its more sobering outings.
Each story throughout Go interconnects by the end, but they all take on their own thematic personality while remaining stylistically similar. Each offers a glimpse into the more "colorful" corners of big-city life where one false move -- pre-planned or wholly innocent and accidental -- could mean the difference between life and death or, perhaps not quite so drastically, whole or broken, both physically and emotionally. The film's draw stems not necessarily from the story -- it's nothing too terribly earth-shattering -- but from the aforementioned light take on an otherwise dreary and unforgiving series of events, the film's more breezy moments comprised of several excellent side segments that develop characters and deviate somewhat from the primary story while simultaneously pulling it all together. Supporting the film is a collection of standout performances from a group of actors that aren't necessarily Hollywood's biggest draws but do incredibly well at immersing themselves in Doug Liman's quirky little world. Sarah Polley, Desmond Askew, Taye Diggs, William Fichtner, Scott Wolf, and Jay Mohr offer up high quality performances, but it's Timothy Olyphant's effort as the drug dealer wronged that's the best of show. Sly but friendly, vengeful yet easygoing, his is a charismatic and memorable character that elevates the film all the more. Finally, Go delivers a hip, well-integrated soundtrack that compliments each scene wonderfully and does so with a varied collection of then-present-day hits that still stand the test of time mixed together with the primary techno, bass-heavy beats that dominate several scenes.
Go Blu-ray, Video Quality
Go arrives on Blu-ray with a satisfactory 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer. The transfer appears a bit dull throughout, though it seems to capture the film's tone quite well. The drab palette lends to the film a disturbed, downtrodden, weathered appearance that reflects the story's somewhat depraved and dangerous yet curiously lighthearted feel. Detail suffices throughout; the backgrounds inside the grocery store where all of the varied food items of many distinct shapes and sizes are kept tend to make for the best-looking imagery throughout the film. Go also features a fair share of hazy, smoky shots, particularly those in the strobe light-intense and blue-tinted night clubs scenes that look fine, never accompanied by any unsightly banding, blocking, or other assorted maladies. Grain remains a consistent companion throughout Go, appearing moderately heavy in most scenes yet spiking to an even higher degree here and there. Blacks are mostly solid, generally dark and true, but perhaps a bit too bright in a few select scenes. Likewise, flesh tones are generally fine, but occasionally take a slight turn towards the red end of the spectrum. Go won't push any Blu-ray doubters over the edge, but it should satisfy fans that realize that not every transfer is going to look like the latest Pixar release.
Go Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Go explodes onto Blu-ray with a hefty Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. The mix is defined by its seemingly incessant barrage of techno music and bass-heavy club beats. The pulsating, thumping lows sound fantastic, delivering a thoroughly entertaining level of bass that reverberates about the soundstage nicely but never wears out its welcome or wears down its listeners. The track also serves up some wonderful atmospherics that provide to the track a well-balanced, lifelike feel. Whether some neighborhood ambience that sets the scene in several establishing shots or a driving rainstorm in chapter 13 that drenches the listener in sounds that emanate from all around the soundstage, Go offers up plenty of information to counterbalance the low end that surges throughout the picture. Dialogue is also reproduced crisply and efficiently. Go serves up a basic mix that's punctuated by its music. Outside of that, the track offers little to truly become exited about, but it does its job remarkably well in every area.
Go Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Go offers viewers several bonus features, chief among them a commentary track with Director Doug Liman and Editor Stephen Mirrione. This is a rather standard track that delivers a suitable amount of information, delivered at a fine pace and with sufficient enthusiasm. They speak on the film's independent flair, the process of assembling the finished product, shooting locations and a particularly humorous anecdote about the supermarket, filmmaking techniques, the music, and much more. The aptly-titled Making of Featurette (480p, 6:20) takes an all-too-brief and completely generic look into the behind-the-scenes world of Go. Next up are 14 deleted scenes (480p, 25:26) and a trio of 480p music videos: New by No Doubt (4:32), Magic Carpet Ride by Philip Steir (3:22), and Steal My Sunshine by Len (3:56). Also included is BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) functionality and 1080p trailers for The Da Vinci Code, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Ghostbusters, Damages: Season One, and A River Runs Through It.
Go Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Go offers a gloomy, dangerous collection of stories without taking itself too seriously in the process. It all ties in together nicely, leaving the audience feeling thoroughly satisfied for the experience, despite the rather dark world and menacing situations that come to define an innocent evening of fun gone terribly awry. Director Doug Liman has himself a genuinely intriguing picture with Go, the film a one-of-a-kind experience that fascinates with its light versus dark disposition, completed by a collection of fine performances and a wonderfully supportive soundtrack. This little gem arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures with generally good results. Though not the prettiest film ever to come to Blu-ray, the 1080p presentation does justice to the film's intended look, while its soundtrack is sufficiently deep and exhilarating. Unfortunately the supplements -- while adequate -- are a bit thin, but this is an otherwise solid package well worth picking up. Recommended.
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Go Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - August 18th - August 18, 2009
Like most individual-based sports, boxing is defined by its stars - those men and women who can dominate their opponents with a combination of flawless technique and debilitating power. Somewhat unique to boxing is the need for the stars to win the hearts and minds ...
• Sony Announces Go for Blu-ray - June 8, 2009
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'Go' to Blu-ray on August 18th. The film, which is directed by Doug Liman of 'Swingers' fame, will be presented in 2.40:1 1080p AVC accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack.
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