Best Laid Plans Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2:40:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital Stereo
- Subtitles: English
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 108 Mins.
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
- Studio: Well Go USA Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: June 26th, 2012
- List Price: $39.99
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Based on author John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, Best Laid Plans tells the story of Danny (Stephen Graham) and Joseph (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), two men of seemingly opposite worlds. Danny is more of your thuggish guy, while Joseph is a grown man with the mental capacity of a seven-year-old. When Danny finds himself in debt to a crime boss, he realizes his only way out may be to manipulate Joseph into a series of underground cage fights in order to repay his debts. What results is a thriller whose concept may be typical, but whose execution is better than your average film thanks in part to a series of strong performances.
Being loosely based on Steinbeck’s novel doesn’t really help Plans in my eye as the manner in which the filmmakers tried to incorporate the themes of the book just didn’t work. The performances, on the other hand, help make this one worth checking out. In particular Akinnuoye-Agbaje is stunning at times as Joseph. Clearly mentally challenged, Agbaje hits this role on the head from the first initial sequence, and never, ever lets go. His acting is something to behold. He doesn’t just make Joseph a typical disabled character. Rather, he breaths life new life into the role and makes Joseph his own, almost as if Agbaje was channeling something from deep inside. Truly, this is the definition of acting at its finest. That, solely in my eye, is reason enough to watch this one folks.
The film’s 2:40:1, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is excellent. Shot using the Red One camera, detail is great throughout. While the film’s color palette does feature colors from the darker side of the spectrum, detail is never lost. Facial close-ups result in accurate flesh tones. Contrast levels can be a bit murky at times resulting in some of the character’s looking kind of washed out. Anomalies like noise and crush are nowhere to be found. Outside of the slight contrast issue, I found this transfer to be quite good.
Arriving with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, Plans captures all the punches and kicks of the underground fighting world. As each punch lands, we get a strong bass response with a deep, immersive ‘oomph’. Dialogue is also well reproduced throughout. Atmosphere brings home the Nottingham locale with fine precision placing us right in the middle of the town. The wind blows by us, making us feel like we can experience the cold. All in all, this is a very effective track that hits well.
The included supplements are featured in High Definition:
- Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:51) is shown.
- DVD – A DVD copy of the film is included on a separate disc.
The Definitive Word
An average film is made into something far better than it should be, thanks to a rock solid performance by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Equally as impressive is Well Go USA’s Blu-ray, with excellent video/audio. This release is definitely earns a hearty recommendation.
Additional Screen Captures