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DVD REVIEW

Man Apart, A  (2003)

 

Starring: Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant

Director: F. Gary Gray

Rating: R

Distributor: New Line Cinema Home Entertainment

Release Date: September 2, 2003
Review posted: September 6, 2003

Spoilers: Minor

 

Reviewed by John Teves

 

Synopsis

 

Action star Vin Diesel takes a dramatic turn here as Sean Vetter, a DEA agent devoted to ending the drug war along the U.S.-Mexico border. When a man known as Diablo takes over as the new leader of a drug cartel and Vetter's wife gets caught in the crossfire, Vetter and his partner (Larenz Tate) must get close to a jailed drug boss to get answers and take revenge.

 

Critique

 

A MAN APART was desperately hard to get through. I was anticipating the release of the film when it was merely known as EL DIABLO back in the day. After months of anticipation it was nothing more then a letdown. This is a very confusing script and the acting is haphazard through out its presentation. There is never a sense of evenness that makes the film gratifying or at least bearable. Donít get me wrong, itís not a dreadful film. Itís just far from anything extravagant.

 

For the most part, A MAN APART has that "been there, done that"type of impression to it that simply doesnít know how to conclude. I swear A MAN APART is like Steven Soderberghís TRAFFIC, but only dim-witted. The senseless plot is meant only to connect the action sequences. Dieselís acting is horrible, which puts the final nail on the coffin. The action is edited with such choppiness that it's difficult to tell who's doing what. Not to mention the several different endings the film could have had an hour after the film started.

 

A MAN APART came as quite a surprise to me. I expected a film that was attention-grabbing and clever, but instead I found a tedious film presentation that could have had so much potential.

 

The Video

 

A MAN APART appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 and a full frame version of the film. The widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As a whole I thought the picture presented a very nice video transfer. Sharpness was solid. The image always came across nicely crisp and distinct, and I noticed no issues related to softness; remaining accurate and well defined. However, I noticed some light edge enhancement and jagged edges during wider shots. Colors were accurate, bright and vivid through out the films presentation. These colors displayed acceptable clarity and depth. Black levels were appropriately deep and dense. Shadow detail was appropriately thick but didnít seem too dense or dark. I noticed some minor print flaws in the form of light grain and speckles, but not enough to merit any major concerns. Ultimately, A MAN APART presented a terrific visual experience.

 

The Audio

 

A MAN APART is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1. The track provided a lively affair during the action sequences. However, the forward spectrum received the greatest emphasis throughout the film as the front channels offered modest ambience. For the most part I found the speakers provide a nice and natural complement to the action sequences. Audio quality seemed to be consistently good. Dialogue always sounded natural and distinct, and I heard no signs of edginess. Effects appeared clear and accurate at all times, and I heard no distortion. As a whole, the soundtrack behind A MAN APART provided a satisfying auditory experience.

 

The Extras

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Theatrical Trailer

Overall

 

The DVD provides terrific sound and picture, and tosses in a few good extras as well. A MAN APART definitely rates at least as a rental, but I'd recommend a wary rental.

 

John Teves rates the film 2 out of 4.

Review originally appeared on DVDFreak.net

 

VERDICT: RENT IT

 


DVD REVIEWS BY JOHN TEVES:

- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2-disc)

- Chicago

- Hunted, The

- Daredevil

- Just Married

- Biker Boyz

- Tears of the Sun

- Frida

- About Schmidt

- The Pianist

- Cheers - Season One

- Frasier - Season One

- Catch Me If You Can

- Young Guns - Special Edition

- Far From Heaven

- 8 Mile

- Army of Darkness: Boomstick Edition

- Blue Crush

- Bourne Identity

- Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

- Empire

- Eye See You

- Ghost Ship

- I Spy

- Maid in Manhattan

- One Hour Photo

- Red Dragon

- The Ring

- Road To Perdition

- Signs: Vista Series

- Swimfan

- The Truth About Charlie

- The Tuxedo

- White Oleander

 

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