Sunday, January 30

Some quick thoughts on Saw VII (Saw 3D/The Final Chapter) (2010) on 2D Blu-ray

Like it honestly matters anymore and does anyone give a damn anyway?

Looking back, I made three errors. First, I decided to actually buy Saw: The Final Chapter. Then in my infinite wisdom, I figured on saving a few bucks and opt for the standard def disc before noticing its the R-Rated version. So I took another trip out to return it and finalize my purchase decision with the unrated Blu-ray/DVD set. Maybe fate was telling me something with that initial mistake; maybe I should have bought Red instead...

Why bother? Well, for some unexplainable reason, I've stuck with series this far. Diminishing returns has been the name of Jigsaw's game since the previous "worst" installment, Saw IV (2007). Yet there's been glimmers of hope mixed in with the increasing clusterfuck of rushed writing and yearly deadlines in the quest for Halloween theatrical greenback. Although shoehorned in post-intended trilogy, Costas Mandylor's Hoffman has sloppily punched his way into the role of a fitting successor through the last five films. His character is one of the better aspects of Saw: FC as he goes on a vengeance trail over his near-death at the hands of Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell not giving one damn). At the risk of sounding sadistic, you want to see Hoffman kill everyfuckingbody, even if there's little reason behind those he actually does kill at this point.

Okay, not sounding too bad, but come hell or high water a Saw entry can't be content with one track. There's yet another "trap run" in the form of a Jigsaw victim (Sean Patrick Flanery) making a career out of writing a contrived tale of survival sold as truth realizing his bestselling nightmare in the flesh. Like prior films, the author's wife is the end goal that drives him while forced to decide the potentially gruesome fates of friends and acquaintances. Then there's a new detective, an embarrassingly awful Chad Donella, drawing in on Hoffman while holding Jigsaw's wife in protective custody. Oh, and as always a few horrific traps in the first half that have nothing to do with anything.

One stupid mess indeed even by franchise standards and easily the worst of the bunch. A sort of well thought through simplicity imbues the 2004 original that would have been refreshing is again completely absent in this hopefully final resting place. Unless major changes are made, let this be the last for good. Maybe this could be another nail in 3D's coffin as well, please? Not to mention the hot pink color to most of the blood and fleeting, unintentional(?) allusions to Nightmare on Elm Street sequels. If you're content with the superior sixth film, there's no need to waste ninety minutes with Saw: The Final Chapter and I think even the barely-in-this-one Tobin Bell would immediately admit to that once the gag order expires.

Liongate's 2D Blu-ray is technically sound boasting a high-bitrate MPEG-4 AVC encode. The problem is the film looks like total shit. Unlike the previous 35mm entries, Saw: The Final Chapter was shot in HD for the purposes of 3D so that patented grainy appearance is either gone or badly computer generated in post. Most of the time, the picture looks like a HD broadcast television show with massively tinkered with color and contrast which seems to have adversely degraded image quality far worse than film. So fine detail is not only really diffuse, but everything is much more of an eyesore to look at. Again, what the fuck pink blood. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track gets the job done registering incredibly deep bass amongst the sonically accurate screaming.

One note about the unrated/rated versions. Both the DVD-only and DVD included with the unrated Blu-ray are the MPAA R version running at 1:29:54. The unrated cut is 1:30:11. So if you're still interested even after reading all this, buyer beware, this Blu-ray (and presumably the 3D Blu-ray) is the only edition featuring the film in its unrated form.

1 comment:

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I'm posting a review for this hopefully this week since I watched this film days ago. I don't think it's the worst one [I think V was really], but I was expecting more out of it. And I thought my TV was off, but apparently the blood was pink! I really hope this is the last one until the inevitable remake in 5 to 10 years.

Also, what's the difference between the rated and unrated versions? I only watched the DVD cut. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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