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Redbelt (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]
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Set on the westside of the Los Angeles fight world, a scene inhabited by bouncers, cagefighters, cops and special forces types REDBELT is the story of Mike Terry(Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Jiu-jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing to instead pursue a life of honor and education by operating a self-defense studio with a samurai's code. Terry and his wife Sondra (Sonia Braga) struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night, between an off duty officer (Max Martini) and a distraught laywer (Emily Mortimer) puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry's life dramatically introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen). In order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Director : David Mamet
- Media Format : AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 39 minutes
- Release date : August 26, 2008
- Actors : Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Randy Couture, Ricky Jay
- Dubbed: : Thai, Portuguese, French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : Dutch, Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Indonesian, Korean, English, Portuguese, French, Spanish
- Producers : Chrisann Verges
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B001C5LLL4
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #51,079 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The martial arts themselves are done quite well, so when they are presented, you can't help but watch. Very wonderful film.
I had the DVD and the Blu-ray is an upgrade in picture quality. Get it while you can.
Mamet movies I've seen (written and/or directed), as just now revealed to me by IMDB:
The Winslow Boy
Ronin (I had no idea!)
Wag the Dog
The Edge (!)
Glengarry Glen Ross
So, as it turns out, I've liked most of the movies of his I've seen. In fact, all of the above rank at least in my "hey that was pretty ok" level. Ronin I love.
Redbelt ranks similarly to Ronin, helped by it's main character's adherence to a samurai-like code. Mike Terry is an honorable man running a small jui-jutsu dojo in LA. He has a dedicated student, a police officer, in whom he has instilled the same sense of honor. His wife runs a textile/clothing design business and helps him stay afloat. He is well-known and respected within the martial arts world, but has never found great financial success, and refuses to compete. A series of fortuitous and tragic events and people test his code of honor to the furthest degree.
The movie is carried equally by its writing and acting. It's a fight movie, and you figure the quiet master will have to fight in the end, but Mamet's screenplay takes interesting routes to get there. The time spent with Mike Terry (the truly great Chiwetel Ejiofor) makes the choices and conclusions feeled earned rather than obvious. Chiwetel is supported by a uniformly excellent cast, including Tim Allen in a serious role, Emily Mortimer, Joe "Fat Tony" Mantegna, and Max Martini (who does a lot with a relatively small amount of screen time as the cop student).
I read some reviews that complained about the ending and some of the story's loose ends not being tied up, but I think each of those elements was consistent with the way the story was told and needn't have been elaborated on. (One example: it is hinted that Terry has a military past and has overcome an alcohol addiction, but, while never elaborated on, we see the sort of man it has made Terry, and these hints do strengthen the character without needing to be spelled out.)
As far as the visuals go, the beginning really stood out to me. Very moody noir-ish stuff in the rain. The rest of the cinematography doesn't draw attention to itself (to me, anyway), but the direction allows many lingering shots that afforded some great introspective work from Chiwetel.
I recommend it.