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"The Negotiator"- {Blu-ray}
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Warner Bros.
Release Date:
Special Features:

The Eleventh Hour: Stories From Real-Life Negotiators, On Location: Why Chicago


The Negotiator is directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey. The film was originally released in 1998. ***

Danny Roman is one of the top negotiators on the police force, and his talent has won him the respect of his fellow officers Ė or so it seems. He quickly finds himself the victim of harsh accusations, including the murder of his partner and embezzling police funds. As a result, Roman has to do the unthinkable Ė take hostages himself, to give him the time he needs to clear his name. ***

Iím somewhat ashamed to admit it Ė despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I had never seen The Negotiator prior to its release on the Blu-ray Disc format. And after giving it a viewing for the first time, all I can say is this Ė I made a huge mistake overlooking this film the first time around. ***

The Negotiator is an intelligent police thriller from start to finish. Despite its run time of over 2 hours, the movie never feels like it is dragging. It has excellent writing and direction, as well as great performances from Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey, two of the finest actors out there when this film came out Ė and still two of the finest in the industry. ***

The Negotiator works as a film because it does just about everything right. There is a lot of talent on board for this film, and you can see it in every frame of the movie. I donít want to spoil anything for those who havenít seen the film before so I will keep this review fairly brief. But I will say this Ė itís a gritty, gripping thriller from its opening moments to the inevitable conclusion. And it comes highly recommended. ---

Image and Sound:

The film finally hits the Blu-ray Format. And like most of Warnerís output in 1080p, this disc doesnít disappoint. The film is well-detailed with no serious major visual flaws to speak of. It maintains the deliberately-shot gritty and grainy feel, but grain spiking is rarely an issue. Audio is generally front-heavy, being that much of the film is dialogue, but there are a few scenes where the mix really comes to life.

Special Features:

Not much to speak of here. There is a collection of interviews with real-life negotiators and cast/crew interview footage on why they chose Chicago for the shooting location. Not a whole lot of bonus material, but itís better than nothing.

Final Words:

The Negotiator is a superb police drama, and if you havenít seen it yet (like I sadly hadnít prior to this review), pick up this Blu-ray Disc. Any fan of police/crime dramas/thrillers/etc. will not be disappointed.


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