The Movie: 6/10
I do like mystery, some action, and brooding leading men. A Walk Among the Tombstones moves in the direction of this set of ingredients, unfortunately something is missing, but I’m not sure what exactly. I really do like Liam Neeson, he’s adequately broody, but not sullen. He’s got that command of any scene he’s in, however, some of the dialogue in this movie is not good and that lowers the quality of any performer, even Neeson. Speaking of the dialogue, did I mention some of it is really really not good? It’s like someone wrote it on a napkin as a starter movie and then somehow it got through to the final cut. I’m not fan of a lot of the scenes throughout the whole thing, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it as a whole.
The story is fine. It’s got the ex-cop with a drinking problem as the focus, not very original. He comes across a kid with a troubled life and they make an odd pair, also not original. The plot is straight out of an old Johnny Dollar radio show, but with more serial killer thrown in for a modern “twist”. Serial killers are so 20th century, and yet we keep clinging to their weirdness and horror as the shocker element of movies. I get it, it’s creepy and the bad guys in this story are supposed to be just that, creepy, but they really are just cardboard cut outs of what creepy has decided to be.
As for the movie as a whole, I was interested and I cared about certain characters, the aforementioned troubled kid, and there is a junkie who tugs at the heart strings. The look of it all is kind hypnotic and beautiful at times. It’s shot well, high quality music and performances, so it’s actually pretty good now that I think about it. I wouldn’t watch it again, just because it didn’t win me over THAT much, but it was a new look at a very old genre with most of those ingredients mixing well. If the writing had been a bit better and the bad guys hadn’t been written to be such stereotypical creepos, it would have ranked higher for me, for sure.
- Matt Scudder Private Eye (6 Minutes) – A behind the scenes featurette that features the Author of the books and the screenwriter and how it was a challenge to bring Matt Scudder to the screen. Incidentally this is a Blu-Ray exclusive extra.
- A Look Behind The Tombstones (12 Minutes) – Interviews with the filmmakers and cast and some on set footage. To be honest it’s all very standard and doesn’t really tell you anything you don’t know already.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
A dolled up Liam Neeson with the boring black and white thing going on..blah. I wouldn’t have this as a poster.
Audio & Video: 8/10
A Walk Among The Tombstones comes on Blu-Ray disc using a 1080P AVC encode that does it’s job impeccably. The movie has a very subdued color palette almost like it was filmed in the 70’s on 70mm film stock. Also the Noir aspect of the film ensures its always covered in a veil of shadow that is usually hard on image quality. Fortunately the picture here is great and really makes the city come alive. If I have any complaints it’s there is a little black crush in some of the films opening moments.
A Walk Among The Tombstones is not really an action movie, there are a couple of action scenes that bookend the film but aside from that its a walky talky movie starring Liam Neeson. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track handles everything that is thrown at it. Conversations are always clear and central where gunshots ping around your ears. It’s a nice smooth mix that is pleasant to listen to and the HD uncompressed audio helps with that.
Overall Score 6/10