horror and science fiction DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
Blu-ray reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - blu-ray
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Max Payne - Blu-ray DVD / animation DVD / family and children's DVD review
Unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O'Donnell, Donal Logue
Directors: John Moore Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 20 January 2009 Runtime: 89 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ration 2.35:1, Audio tracks (5.1 DTS HD Master Audio - English; Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean), Theatrical and unrated extended cuts, Commentary (dir. John Moore, production designer Daniel Dorrance, visual effects supervisor Everett Burrell), Picture production featurette - Part 1, Michelle Payne animated graphic novel, Unrated digital copy, Picture production featurette - Part 2, BD BonusVIEW mode, Walkthroughs & Cheats (Making Max Payne behind-the-scenes picture-in-picture production featurette - theatrical version only), Picture-in-picture interviews w/ dir. John Moore

It's rather ironic that I am reviewing Max Payne on Oscar night, because movies such as Max Payne never when Oscars (even when they are as good as The Dark Knight, but I digress). However, for anyone wanting a good "brain candy" action movie, Max Payne delivers the goods - but if you have Blu-ray, the better, because this is the type of movie that is simply better appreciated in hi-def, with high quality sound and picture.

For those who have never played the well-known video game, the plot: Max Payne is a cop "hell bent on revenge" after his wife and child are brutally murdered. As he gets closer to the truth, though, he places others he cares about in harm's way (including the beautiful Mila Kunis) and begins to question his own sanity as the lines between the natural and the supernatural start to blur.

The story is decidedly grim and brutal for one based on a video game (but as any current gamer can attest, game story lines are often much darker than even this one). Unlike many other adaptations, the story lends itself quite well to a movie. Indeed, I'd rank it up there with the underrated Silent Hill as the best video game-to-movie adaptation I've seen.

The plot of Max Payne is paper thin, clichéd and rather silly (and the big plot twist at the end I saw coming for awhile), but the makers of this movie knew that they weren't out to win any screenplay Oscars. The main purpose of the script is to serve as a vehicle to deliver the goods (namely the many over-the-top action scenes), and it does deliver. The movie looks great, capturing the dark, grungy cityscapes of the game nearly perfectly. The special effects when reality blurs with the supernatural are quite arresting. Furthermore, the Matrix-type shootouts between Payne and villains are exciting and innovative.

I liked this even more than I expected that I would. It's not a great movie, but it is a pretty good, entertaining one. I'm recommending it because it knows what it is - pretty much a live-action adult cartoon - and does about the best that it can. The action set pieces and art design are terrific. Still, this is one best enjoyed if you have good quality home entertainment system, as you will definitely lose something if you try to watch on the 12-inch portable in the kitchen. Get the popcorn out of the microwave, dim the lights, crank the sound and enjoy.

  • Both the theatrical and uncut versions of the film.
  • Audio commentary by director Moore, Production Designer Daniel Dorrance and Visual Effects Supervisor Everett Burrell.
  • A making-of feature.
Blu-ray features include:
  • Some cool picture-in-picture features such as "Walkthroughs and Cheats - the Making of Max Payne" (a "how did they do that" feature), and "Behind the Scenes with Director John Moore"
  • A graphic novel: Michelle Payne
  • The Blu-ray is also enhanced for D-Box motion control systems.
  • Finally, a second disc is included that is a digital copy of the unrated version for portable media players.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
reviewed by Trent Daniel
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home