Blu-ray Review: CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES

criminal activities blu

CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES stars John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens, Christopher Abbott, Rob Brown, Edi Gathegi and Jackie Earle Haley, who also makes his directorial debut.

The movie follows four friends who stumble into a deal too good to refuse. But when the investment goes bad, they learn that part of their funding came from a notoriously ruthless crime boss… and it’s payback time. Now they must successfully kidnap a family member of a rival kingpin in order to erase the life-threatening debt. In way over their heads, if they can complete the assigned task without screwing up, they just might escape with their lives.

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Criminal Activities focuses most of its time following these four friends who end up getting in way over their heads (or so we think) and end up caught right in the middle of this soft-spoken, ruthless crime lord with a smile and the rival kingpin who wants his family member back no matter what the cost. At first there’s some humor involved with this kidnapping but once shots are fired, things quickly get much darker for everybody involved. As the story plays out and these friends go into panic mode, some people slowly begin to reveal themselves and they aren’t the people you thought they were in the beginning.

Okay, the story for Criminal Activities ended up being really interesting and thought-provoking. You think you’re watching four bumbling friends get in way over their heads but as each of their stories get told, you find out there’s so much more going on here and maybe everybody is not as innocent as they appear. There’s quite the agenda at work here that deals with sweet revenge and you don’t see this coming until the twist reveals itself and this is so well done.  All of the acting was fantastic and it’s always fun to see what kind of character John Travolta is going to deliver. In this case, he gives us this likable and charismatic crime lord with a smile. Sure, the guy smiles but he’s also sinister and ruthless. There’s also some pretty brutal scenes in the movie so get ready for bullets being fired and victims getting in the way. Oh, and there will be blood!

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear.

Bottom line is, Criminal Activities ended up being a really good crime-thriller that included this great cast and a twist you don’t see coming until the very end. The movie has a fair share of humor but it also his its dark side from time to time and it’s all evened out with just the right doses.  The fact that this was Jackie Earle Haley’s directorial debut is impressive because the movie really is a good watch that never stalls. To me, Criminal Activities is one part Godfather, one part It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and fans of Elmore Leonard will dig it. Criminal Activities arrives on Blu-ray on February 16th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: RLJ Entertainment

Run Time: 94 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interview with John Travolta and Jackie Earle Haley

 
 

 

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