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Arizona 4K UHD Review

Arizona.jpg

“Arizona” is too straight forward.

Taking place amidst the housing crisis in 2009, the Harding, Arizona set dark comedy/thriller “Arizona” revolves around a divorced mom/real estate agent (Carrie) who is struggling financially. While at her job, all hell breaks loose when an angry client (Sonny) snaps and kills Carrie’s boss accidentally. Having witnessed the crime, Sonny kidnaps Carrie which sets off a chain of events that spiral out control as Sonny continues to become more and more violent and unstable. Sonny’s ex-wife and Carrie’s daughter, ex-husband and his new lover also play in a role in the story.

Whenever you blend genres, it’s a big risk as it could backfire big time. However, it’s always refreshing to see a writer and filmmaker take that risk. For “Arizona,” the mixture of thriller and comedy is a bit of a mixed bag. As a thriller, it’s a fairly intense albeit simplistic story told over a tight 83 minutes. As a black comedy, it doesn’t work nearly as well. The bumbling screw-up antics of Sonny and other characters just fall flat and feel a little out of place. Mixed together, you have to wonder why the comedic element is even here to begin with.

Aside from the strange genre mixtures, “Arizona” is a bit of a frustrating watch in that it never quite lives up to its potential. The film’s setting and time period is really intriguing right off the bat. I love that the movie has a real sense of place with this small town gated community that has become a bit of a ghost town. The director Jonathan Watson and cinematographer Drew Daniels also really do a fine job of showcasing that. Unfortunately, the housing crisis concept and the thriller within it lack originality. The script by Luke Del Tredici is very generic in how it plays out. There aren’t many surprises, the characters lack depth, the housing crisis impact is too on the nose, and the rushed ending is ultimately a bit of a letdown. It’s also a bit odd how there’s no lead in to the character of Sonny. He’s just angry and crazy from the moment we see him. Feels like a missed opportunity there.

Speaking of Sonny, actor Danny McBride does a commendable job as this creepy villain. Yes, he’s pretty much acting like McBride with an edge, but it works. Star Rosemarie DeWitt also shines as essentially the hero and protagonist of the piece. The supporting performances by Luke Wilson, Seth Rogen, Kaitlin Olson and David Alan Grier all vary in length but they all make an impression to be sure.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p with HDR. How does it look? The sunny and bright locals really shine in hi-def although the transfer could be a little more defined to be sure.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This disc contains a crisp DTS track that does the job.

Extras: * Blu-ray copy * Photo gallery * RLJE Films trailers * “The Making Of Arizona” contains film clips, interviews, story and character discussions, the standard fare.

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October 9, 2018 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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