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Go (1999) Print E-mail
Friday, 14 August 2009
Image"Go" has become something of a cult hit for Sony Pictures.  It was a low budget film, costing about $6.5 million to make.  It was able to gross over $16 million at the box office, but it is video sales that show the film's popularity.  While, this film is supposed to be in my generation, I don't connect with it, nor have a desire to do so.

"Go" is something of a cross between "Can't Hardly Wait," "Vantage Point" and other teen films.  The cast is all well known, but the movie is made in such as way that you feel like this film is the first for all of them and that they went on to bigger and better things.  The cast consists of: Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf, Sarah Polley, Timothy Olyphant, William Fichtner, Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Jane Krakowski, et. al.  All of them deliver terrific performances, but in the end the film just doesn't work to hold a viewer's attention.

Ronna (Sarah Polley) works at a grocery store along with her friends.  At Christmas time Ronna is persuaded to work another shift, a triple so that her coworker can go to Vegas.  Randomly, Ronna is asked to get drugs for a couple guys for their party.  They originally wanted the guy that Ronna took the shift from.  Ronna gets their information and decides to make the deal.

Ronna takes her friends, Claire (Katie Holmes) and Mannie with her to deal directly with drug dealer, Todd Gaines (Timothy Olyphant).  They are cutting Simon out as the middleman.  Ronna is desperate to make her rent.  One thing leads to another and Ronna gets everyone into trouble.  Just as all seems lost and the movie ending on a depressing note, the movie starts over from the beginning.

This time the movie is from the point of view of Simon and his Vegas friends.  When we reach another breaking point the film starts over again and resumes from beginning from the point of view of Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr), the two drug buyers.

Each storyline falls into place so that it all makes sense in the end.  I am not a fan of this type of cinema, but it works for some people.  I simply get tired of seeing the same story told from different points of view.  There comes a point in which you just want to know how it all ties together.  The same thing applied to "Vantage Point."  The constant restarting of the movie was very annoying.

Doug Liman, fresh off his success, "Swingers," directs this film.  He has gone on to direct "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Jumper" and "The Bourne Identity."  "Go" does not contain as much shaky motion action as his later films.  However, the cinematography is not very attention grabbing.  For the chase sequences the editing is rather bland.  The film relies heavily upon the pumping electric-acid music score. This latest bunch of Sony titles has only slightly above average video transfers.  This film is no exception.  The video is of the quality that the budget allows.  The limited budget almost immediately means high levels of grain.  The grain is fairly intrusive, but can be overlooked depending on your expectations.  The black levels are fairly decent, however they are a bit bright in many sequences.  The brightness and contrast levels are a little unbalanced.  Colors are bland, which may be a stylistic choice, but it is rather distracting.  Without any pop the image can't hold your attention.  The details are slightly above average, while edges are not as sharp as I would have liked.  The source print is in good condition.  There are hardly any flicks in the picture.  Textures are absorbed once again by the high levels of grain.  All that said, there does not appear to be any banding or artifacting issues.  The Blu-ray is an upgrade from the standard DVD, but it is far from what you would expect to see on Blu-ray.

Audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 as usual.  The audio track is better than that of the video track.  Dynamics are expansive, almost to the point of annoyance.  The music takes center stage with the audio track.  The beats are thumping and the LFE channel nicely represents the low end.  Aside from the techno music, the track is fairly immersive.  There are several action sequences that completely envelope the listener.  Surround activity is nicely separated.  Pans and directionality become a little clunky at times.  Dialogue is consistently clear.  The heavy techno beats don't conflict with the dialogue or effects stems.

Special features on this Blu-ray are limited to the original standard definition bonus materials.  All the materials have been left in standard definition.  First there are 14 deleted scenes.  The deleted scenes don't offer much to the final version of the film.  In fact, it is difficult to understand why they existed in the first place.  It is as if film didn't know how it was going to all fit together.  There is an audio commentary with director Doug Liman and Editor Stephen Mirrione.  There is nothing memorable about the audio track.  There is plenty of information for those interesting, but else it is fairly boring.  There is a brief making-of featurette.  There is nothing of interest in this featurette.  Lastly there are three music videos: "New" by No Doubt, "Steal My Sunshine" by Len and "Magic Carpet Ride" by Philip Steir.  The disc is also BD-Live enabled.

"Go" is not my cup of tea, but it does have a loyal following.  If you are into dark, comedic, somewhat mysterious plots then you will probably like the film.  The video quality is decent for its budget but hardly worth the Blu-ray effort.  The audio quality is much more interesting but still lacks that polish.  If you know you like the movie then I would recommend this disc, otherwise probably skip it.

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