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Blast (MVD Marquee Collection) Blu-ray Review

    Ian Jane

  • Blast (MVD Marquee Collection) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: MVD Marquee Collection
    Released on: August 28th, 2018.
    Director: Albert Pyun
    Cast: Linden Ashby, Rutger Hauer, Andrew Divoff, Tim Thomerson, Shannon Elizabeth
    Year: 1997
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    Blast - Movie Review:

    Albert Pyun has given fans of B-grade action pictures plenty of cinematic gifts, and one of his most underrated has got to be the 1997 Die Hard knock off, Blast. The film is set in Atlanta, Georgia where the city is preparing for the start of the Olympic Games. Not only will the President Of The United States be in attendance, but so too will various other world leaders - all of which makes this a prime target for terrorists! One such terrorist is named Omodo (played with wicked enthusiasm by the Wishmaster himself, Andrew Divoff) decides to get in on this by kidnapping the U.S Women's Swim Team while they're on their way to a practice session. Not only that, he and his men set up explosive traps at all the entrances to ensure that the cops (led by Tim Thomerson of Trancers fame) can't get in to take them down. If that weren't enough, Omodo then makes it onto television where, to prove how serious he is about his demands, he executes a hostage in cold blood. Clearly, you should not fuck with Omodo.

    What Omodo didn't count on was the facility's janitor, a guy named Jack Byrant (Linden Ashby), who just so happens to be a Tae Kwan Do expert. It just so happens that his wife is on the swim team! Once he realizes what's going on he makes a phone call or two and before you know it, he's the man on the inside, working for the F.B.I. with some help on the other end of the phone from a counter-terrorism expert named Leo (Rutger Hauer).

    Top billed Hauer is in this turkey for about five minutes in total, but he's fun in the part. That leaves Ashby and Divoff to do the heavy lifting here. Divoff is more than capable of playing this type of part to the hilt, and he does. He's great as the bad guy, making Omodo the type of character that audiences love to hate. He is, without question, the best part of the film. As to Ashby? He's okay. Many will recognize him as Johnny Cage from the first Mortal Kombat movie. He's got some decent moves and enough charisma to carry the part. He isn't the most versatile actor you're ever going to see but he's perfectly fine B-movie material. His character was injured years back but somehow, through the magic of bad writing, he overcomes that pretty quickly and once he does, he manages to show those terrorists whose boss. Supporting work from the ever-reliable Tim Thomerson is fine, and hey, check out pretty Kimberly Warren here. Pyun would use her again in Mean Guns and Sorcerers. Shannon Elizabeth, who got ravaged by a snowman in Jack Frost before going on to mainstream success once American Pie hit it big, also has a small part here as one of the hostages.

    The pacing is decent. The effects are okay. Almost the entire thing takes place in and around the swimming pool that the team was intending to train at, so we're a little limited in terms of where the action happens, but it's a fun time killer.

    Blast - Blu-ray Review:

    Blast (which never had a domestic DVD release) arrives on Blu-ray framed in its original 2.35.1 aspect ratio in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer. Presented on a 25GB disc the movie looks pretty decent here, even if it is a little soft in spots. There's a bit of print damage in the opening credits but thankfully once that passes, we see little more than the odd speck here and there. Colors are reproduced nicely and black are decent if maybe a step or two away from reference quality. Texture and depth are both pretty good, definitely better than we'd get on a standard definition presentation, and the image is free of any compression artifacts or edge enhancement issues. There's also a reasonable amount of natural looking film grain, and there doesn't seem to be any wonky filtering or sharpening to complain about.

    The English language LPCM 2.0 Stereo track sounds okay, if never great. Things are a bit thin sounding, but this likely stems back to the original recording. There's some decent channel separation in the mix when action occurs and the score is spread out rather well in spots. There's occasionally some minor distortion in the mix but it's infrequent. No optional language options or subtitles are provided here.

    There are no extra features included on this release save for a few low quality trailers for other MVD Marquee properties, but we do get a slipcover.

    Blast- The Final Word:

    Blast might owe a whole lot to Die Hard but it hardly matters how original the picture is when it's this much fun. Pyun keeps the action moving quickly and directs the picture with just the right amount of flair, while the cast all make the most of their respective roles. The Blu-ray release from the MVD Marquee Collection is light on extras, but it presents the movie in decent shape and finally makes it available on disc in North America.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blast Blu-ray review screen captures!

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