Payback: Straight Up - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [Blu-ray] (2007) Blue-Ray
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Mel Gibson portrays Porter a career criminal bent on revenge after his partners in a street heist pump metal into him and take off with his $70000 cut. Bad move thugs. Because if you plan to double-cross Porter you'd better make sure he's dead. Porter resurfaces wading into a lurid urban underworld of syndicate kingpins cops on the take sniveling informants and deadly gangs. Porter wants his money back. And the way he sets out to get is assures that from beginning to heartpounding end Payback pays off big. System Requirements:Runtime: 90 MinsFormat: BLU-RAY DISC Genre: DRAMA Rating: UNRATED UPC: 097361197845 Manufacturer No: 119784
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Don't get me wrong, I know exactly what specific little niche he was aiming for. He was trying to make a gritty, 70s-style criminal-anti-hero-vs-world flick, kind of like Michael Caine and the original Get Carter, with a few extra spoonfuls of melodrama and a sprinkle of Tarantino B-movie-With-A-Budget.
But even viewed in this context, I found Porter's character wildly inconsistent. In some parts, he was tough guy with deadpan sense of humor. And then in one scene, he had a sit down on the kitchen floor with his wife for a 5 minute long where-did-it-all-go-wrong chat that would have been appropriate for them to wrap up with a tub of chocolate ice cream and a spoon (until you remember that the reason for their being on the floor began with extreme domestic violence).
I had thought that the movie had been generally in post production when the studios kicked Helgeland to the curb, but some parts of the movie were so third-rate in dialogue and acting that perhaps the true story is some irate executive burned the original cut footage and at this late date Helgeland had to piece together his edition from floor scraps and excerpts from the dvd release.
Given that this is an entirely different type of movie for Mel Gibson in which he is the hero of the film but his character isn't quite the "hero" type, I found his performance to be exceptional, but then again, name a film where his performance wasn't exceptional. Maria Bello of "ER" fame stars as Mel Gibson's love interest and she performs quite well in this film. Gregg Henry who plays the "true" bad guy of the film and he does a great job of playing the extraordinarily sadistic mafia "wannabe." Kris Kristofferson plays the "mob" boss of the film. Lucy Alexis Liu performs quite "scarily" as the masochistic/sadistic call girl with some interesting associates.
This is the first film from Director Brian Helgeland that I've seen and he certainly deserves a great amount of praise for bringing the novel "The Hunter" by Richard Stark to the silver screen and DVD format. This film is certainly the last of its type in the twentieth century! The sound track for the film matches perfectly with the entire "feel" and atmosphere of the film, greatly enhancing the experience.
Mel Gibson plays Porter who, while being little more than a common criminal is not so much a common criminal as the film unfolds.Read more ›
The muffled Dolby Digital track is sort of a disappointment, and more extras would be greatly appreciated, considering all the dram that went behind the camera for this particular film. Most people who has seen this film would know by now that there was a different version of Payback, with different plot twist and ending, before the original director Brian Helgeland was fired by Gibson due to creative difference. You can find plenty scenes and action sequences which were not in the final version in the short trailer, that alone can tell you how much materials we missed! Personally I would love to see the alternative version included, with a "fly on the wall" behind the scenes documentary, in a Special Limited Edition package.
People complained about "Payback" having too much shadow of the "Pulp Fiction" fame. I do not know how to argue with that. Because it could be, even though it does not intend to, since Pulp Fiction has been the champion reference for any other films that is slightly noirish, violent, and full of cussing. I would only say that this film might vastly improve if it is more action-oriented. Overall, Payback is an above-average gangster noir, entertaining, but forgetable. Whether the alternative version is a better one, we will never know, or won't we?
Most recent customer reviews
it says theatrical cut and director's cut in the description, but it's only director's cutPublished 3 days ago by Alexandre A.
Why do a director cut it worth nothing the theatrical version was a 100 % better, some director should never touch there movies.Published 1 month ago by Richard
Couldn't play it. It's a HD DVD and my Bluray player can't play it.Published 4 months ago by Robert Lagroix
In a Director's Cut, we normally expect extra minutes of footage, including the already existing ones in the actual movie. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Norrin Radd
I didn't realize that this was a different version. And it was way too different than the "original". Read morePublished 9 months ago by Barbara Plett
Did not know about this movie version until recently. Worth watching.Published 9 months ago by Steven Dugas