Fortress
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (17th March 2022).
The Film

Fortress is an all-out-action cyber-thriller from the producers of Lone Survivor and The Irishman and starring the action powerhouse Bruce Willis, Escape Plan IIís Jesse Metcalfe, One Tree Hillís Chad Michael Murray, and Shannen Doherty (90210, Charmed).

Robert (Willis) is a retired CIA agent living at a secret resort in the woods. One day, his estranged son drives to the camp for a visit ó but heís followed by Robertís old nemesis, Balzary (Murray). As the site is besieged by Balzaryís attack squad, father and son retreat to a high-tech bunker.

But are its steel walls and advanced weapons powerful enough to match Balzaryís bloodthirsty plans for revenge?

Video

Bruce Willis keeps churning out these low budget, straight to video or streaming action mellors with this one being the third or fourth I've come across in the last year or two. The script is nothing special but the production and execution are efficient if nothing surprising. Willis doesn't really push the boat out and seems bored. This routine siege thriller isn't going to boost his legacy but it will make for a passable beer and pizza movie on a Friday night after a hard day.

This is a digitally lensed production so doesn't have much of a filmic look, it has that clean slightly processed look all digital shot stuff strikes me as having although there is some depth. There's little or no grain and not much texture. Colours are fairly rich favouring a mild yellow and green push; flesh tones tend towards the orange. There's lots of green due to the location and the woodsy backdrop allows the details to show in this well encoded disc.

Black levels are strong with some shadow detail and contrast allows detail in highlights. This isn't a remarkable looking film but being new means that the transfer is about as strong as it can be for the format and given how it was made ('B').

MPEG-2 / DVD5 (single-sided, single-layered) / 2.39:1 / 94:53 PAL

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

It's a modern, American action film so the soundtrack is pretty active with decent use of surrounds in scenes of mayhem of which there plenty throughout the 95 minutes. Dialogue is mostly front and centre with score playing around the sound field nicely. Gunfire kicks out and explosions tickle the woofer but to get the most out of the track I had to pump the volume up a bit. The 2.0 track has a mite less range but aquits itself well although it's just basic stereo with encoding for surround, however play it through ProLogic II etc then it plays through the surrounds well.

There are no subtitles which prevents this disc from being used by the hearing impaired ('B-').

Extras

Startup Trailers:
- The Ice Road (0:41)
- The Ledge (1:47)
- Zeros and Ones (1:39)


Standard promos for other Signature Entertainment releases.

Packaging

Standard black, DVD Keepcase.

Overall

Yet another action programmer from the Bruce Willis production conveyor belt gets a solid standard def release on DVD here in the UK. Ideally everything should be getting a BD release which would allow this strong transfer to breathe much more and perhaps allow some mild digital texture to shine through. Image and sound are decent for the format but there are no extras worth a damn. However, this is a cheap disc and will provide casual purchasers with a reliable evening's thickear.

The Film: C Video: B Audio: B- Extras: E Overall: C+

 


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