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The Bounty Hunter(2010)
Milo Boyd, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly. He thinks all that's ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and Nicole. The exes continually one-up each other – until they find themselves on the run for their lives. They thought their promise to love, honor and obey was tough – staying alive is going to be a whole lot tougher.
For more about The Bounty Hunter and the The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray release, see the The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 11, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Giovanni Perez, Joel Garland, Jason Kolotouros, Matt Malloy
Director: Andy Tennant
» See full cast & crew
The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray Review
Go on the hunt for another movie to watch.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 11, 2010
I won't even break a sweat.
"From the director of Hitch." Those aren't exactly confidence-inspiring words for movie enthusiasts, but they're not particularly deal-breaking bearers of end-of-times prophesies, either. No, they pretty much say "here comes another midlevel clunker with a few name actors and a potential not fully realized." Indeed, that's a fine summation of both Hitch and The Bounty Hunter, the latter a box office success that pulled in just over $67,000,000 domestic gross no doubt fueled by the mere presence co-stars Gerard Butler (The Ugly Truth) and Jennifer Aniston (Office Space). That's a pretty fair haul for a movie defined by nothing other than a crafty premise and two big stars. One problem: the movie proper fails to deliver on the promise of marital misery spliced together with action and laughs. It's another case of good idea/bad execution, and it's easy to tell from the get-go that all involved in The Bounty Hunter pretty much phoned it in and let the premise and posters do the talking instead.
Nicole Hurley (Aniston) is an investigative reporter who's about to discover a disturbing secret behind a recent suicide. She's also a fugitive from justice for having skipped out on her bail hearing. Enter Milo Boyd (Butler), a low-level bounty hunter with a penchant for gambling who's has been hired to bring Nicole in. It's another easy five grand for Milo, but he's got some extra motivation on this case: Nicole is his ex-wife, and he'd love nothing more than to catch her, handcuff her, bring her in, and shame her. Nicole proves a touch catch, though; she knows Milo and is able to weasel her way out of his custody on more than one occasion, but the chase evolves into something neither one of them counted on. Nicole's investigation into the mysterious suicide has the local criminal element up in arms and hot on the couple's trail. Can Milo and Nicole evade the bad guys and can Milo bring his ex-wife in, all without the two of them turning up dead or -- worse yet -- falling back into love?
The Bounty Hunter has two things really going for it: a decent idea and two high-profile stars. Unfortunately, neither of them make a lick of difference in the final product. For a movie that promises the moon -- a combination Romantic Comedy/Action hybrid seems the perfect ticket for hard-to-please moviegoing couples who normally can't decide between Predators and Letters to Juliette -- The Bounty Hunter fails to even tie up the lasso to try and rope it in. This seems like the very definition of a half-hearted effort if there ever was one. For starters, the picture is painfully slow; it lumbers about for a good 30 minutes before really getting anywhere, and everything that follows is so utterly predictable that the movie loses every last bit of steam it had and any semblance of the allure the premise promised. The "comedy" is tired and uninspired; The Bounty Hunter moves from one stale joke to the next without even trying for anything new and fresh, instead piling on and seemingly enjoying beating its audience -- who paid good money for the privilege of being duped into this mess in the first place -- to a pulp with the hardcover edition of "Comedy for Dummies." All that's missing is the 4" long red lump sticking out from the middle of someone's head; at least that would take the victim's mind off the movie.
That brings the analysis to the bread-and-butter of The Bounty Hunter, the action and the romance. Of course -- and no surprise judging by what's preceded this section of the review and the movie score above -- both prove pretty weak elements in a movie that doesn't exactly offer a strength beyond a couple of bullet points that probably existed on some pre-production studio pitch Powerpoint. As to the former, well, The Bounty Hunter is certainly no Die Hard, but it doesn't need to be. Unfortunately, it's not even Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Wait, what? Was that an action scene that just went by? Sorry, didn't notice. The worst part of The Bounty Hunter, however, comes in what should have been its strength: its actors. To be blunt, Butler and Aniston share absolutely no chemistry. It's amazing considering that they're both solid actors, but even the best actor can't rescue the worst movie. There's a complete phoniness to their relationship; whether they're arguing or trying to make up, they demonstrate no sizzle and no sincerity. All that's there is the notion that Director Andy Tennant was just doing all he could to try and salvage the coupling, force-feeding some semblance of spunk into the pair by directing them to go so over the top that the relationship loses its foundation and sucks the life straight out of the entire premise.
The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray, Video Quality
The quality of The Bounty Hunter's Blu-ray transfer fares better than the quality of the movie, but it's still a couple of notches below Sony's usually lofty standards. Indeed, the transfer offers more hits than misses, but the misses become something of an eyesore that further detract from whatever enjoyability exists within the film. Colors more often than not take on a decidedly warm tint in the now-traditional RomCom visual scheme, but some shades positively sparkle; the red, white, and blue hues seen during an early Fourth of July parade are very impressive. This warmth carries over to flesh tones, giving most characters the look of a bad sunburn or a botched tanning bed session. Speaking of faces, they look very pasty and far too smooth throughout the entire movie. It's hard to say to what degree, if at all, noise reduction was applied; fine details outside of faces rarely suffer to such an extent. Indeed, details in buildings and other various elements throughout the movie more often than not look magnificent; though the image looks somewhat flat, there's rarely an absence of clarity across the entire frame. Even long-distance elements -- street signs and brick textures far off in the distance as seen during several street-level city shots and sweeping flyovers -- retain a startling level of clarity and sharpness throughout the movie. The picture is positively free of unwanted debris or random print anomalies, but there is at least once instance of moderately severe aliasing visible on a building façade. The Bounty Hunter is one of those transfers that looks gorgeous at-a-glance, but further inspection reveals some flaws that aren't deal breakers, but they do knock the overall score down a couple of notches from where Sony's new releases generally reside in the 4.0-4.5 range of the picture quality scale.
The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Bounty Hunter arrives on Blu-ray with a serviceable but ultimately forgettable DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This one's by-the-books and not at all engaging, but it does what's asked of it in support of a very pedestrian movie. Dialogue is generally stable with only a hint of mushiness in a couple of scenes. The track lacks a strong ambient support structure; for all the scenes that take place outside and in the middle of the city, on the freeway, or inside a busy casino, there's very little in terms of engulfing or realistic ambience. The casino sequence in chapter six proves particularly disappointing; for such a lively locale, the track seems surprisingly dead and happy to get by with the bare minimum of effort. A few discrete effects manage to sneak into the track, notably in the form of golf balls whizzing through the soundstage in one scene, but there's very little of note otherwise. The action scenes sound as insipid as they look, and the track rarely delivers anything resembling a vigorous low end. Several popular songs play throughout the film and make for the track's strongest asset. The beats are wonderfully rich and clear, with good spacing across the front but only a minimal surround support structure. All told, The Bounty Hunter's Blu-ray lossless soundtrack does little more than show up, but with a movie like this, it's hard to ask for much more.
The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Bounty Hunter tracks down a few extras for this Blu-ray release. Making 'The Bounty Hunter' (1080p, 17:42) features cast and crew talking up the movie and one another while discussing how much fun it was to make. There's also some chitchat about the film's stunt work. Stops Along the Road: Hunting Locations (1080p, 11:21) takes a closer look at the "Road Trip" elements found in the film and the process of shooting in various places around the East Coast. Rules For Outwitting a Bounty Hunter 1080p, 1:21) is a little fluff piece that takes elements from the film as a series of "rules" for escaping the clutches of a bumbling bounty hunter. Also included is BD-Live functionality; MovieIQ connectivity; and 1080p trailers for The Back-Up Plan, Chloe, Get Low, The Runaways, Nine, Extraordinary Measures, Dear John, Not the Messiah, and The Pillars of the Earth. Additionally, two digital copies of The Bounty Hunter are included. The iTunes digital copy is found on a separate disc; sampled on a 2nd generation iPod Touch, the image proves mostly stable, crisp, and nicely detailed, with some compression artifacts popping up, usually around the darker corners of the frame. The audio track is fine if not a bit shallow across the two tiny headphone channels. Dialogue is satisfactory, ambience is decent, and sound effects and music come across as suitably strong and crisp. A PSP-compatible digital copy, found on the Blu-ray disc and accessible through a PS3, is also included, but it was unavailable for redemption at time of publication.
The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Lame. What else is there to say? The Bounty Hunter is a perfect example of a good idea gone sour. The direction and pacing are sluggish, the lead actors lack spunk and spirit, the laughs are stale, the action is insipid, and the movie is a good 20 minutes too long. Everything the movie got right exists only on paper rather than celluloid: a good idea and two quality actors in an Action/Romance/Comedy hybrid. What could possibly go wrong? Watch and find out, or better yet, don't. Sony's Blu-ray release of The Bounty Hunter is no great shakes, either, but the technical presentation is decent enough, and for those that just can't get enough of the movie, two digital copies are included. Worth a rental on a "rent one get one free" night.
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The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Bounty Hunter Blu-ray Announced - May 10, 2010
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced The Bounty Hunter for release on Blu-ray on July 13. This romantic comedy/action film, starring Gerard Butler as a bounty hunter hired to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston) grossed $64 million at ...
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