Focus Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 3/10
There are four states of being prior to watching a movie. First there is Oblivious; this is when I not only know what the movie is about, but had no prior knowledge that it even exsisted (my favorite). Next we have Oblivious Plus; this is when I know of the movie, a hint, a blurb, maybe who is in it or if it’s by a director I like. We then have the Informed state; this is something like a sequel, a retelling of a mega popular story from another world like comics, novels, TV shoes, etc. So much information has already soaked in from osmosis that some of the mystery is lost before every clicking the play button. Finally we have The Idiot Zone; this is when too much has leaked into the world, key moments and plot points or big themes are smashed into my brain cells in a way that makes my interest in the movie go down down.

How does this matter in the world of movie watching, or  how is it relevant to this review? It matters only to my movie watching pleasure and satisfaction, and for this review it made a whole paragraph before I had to get the actual movie. 🙂

I did know a tiny bit about Focus, so I was in the state of Oblivious Plus. We watched an interview with Will Smith and Margot Robbie on Top Gear. It seemed kind of boring and too glossy for my taste. That is the problem with knowing about a movie ahead of time, it can poison the well, but then again, sometimes first impressions are correct.

It’s about a week since we watched it and I had forgotten it ever existed. That’s not a good sign. What I do recall is con boy meets con girl, end of story. I know I’m being harsh but it is what it is. I don’t love the super gloss of the whole thing, the slick vapidness of every single character, and the absolutely absence of any kind of actual story. Will Smith and Margot Robbie are adequate for the roles, but I could take’em or leave’em. Here is the bold truth, it was boring. I like a good heist as much as the next movie lover, but a heist needs some guts and consequences. This little glimpse into the world of conniving and cheatery has the charm of a dried piece of toast painted with some cheap shiny paint.

There are times during a movie watching experience at home when the pause button needs to be pushed and a pee break is in order. Usually I try to go quick, grab a beverage or more snack and get back to the movie at hand. This time I remember thinking, “If we didn’t continue with this one I can think of lots of other things to do with my afternoon, like taking a nap. Yea, I can’t deny that Focus did nothing for me. Give it a try if you do appreciate overly superficial, eye rollingly trite flicks that are all flash and no substance.

Features: 5/10

  • Masters Of Misdirection (10 Minutes) – The Filmmakers used a professional con artist to train the films stars in pick-pocketing. Here we see the master in action.
  • Will Smith Gentleman Thief – Small studio style promotional piece that focuses on Will Smith’s character Nicky.
  • Margot Robbie – Stealing Hearts – A similar piece that takes a look at the gorgeous Margot Robbie.
  • Deleted Scenes & Alternate Opening – The deleted scenes are a bit hit and miss but the alternate opening which involves a cool jewelry heist shines.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art: 2/10
What does one say about an image that is so completely uninteresting as to make typing a description a suitable substitute for “Pain Reliever PM”? It’s boring and that’s about it. I would never ever have this image in my house as a poster or anything else. I’m a little bit annoyed that it’s actually on the Blu-Ray case which is on our shelf.

Audio & Video: 8/10
Focus comes in a sharp AVC encoded transfer that pushes the 1080P format to the limit. This is a beautifully shot film that showcases DP Xavier Perez Grobet’s style to its fullest. Any issues I found are usually in the darker scenes and are related to imperfections in the digital format. Blacks are inky, flesh tones are natural and the color corrected palette makes the film look stylized when it needs to. You won’t find a nicer looking transfer for this type of film.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is restrained but often impressive. The scene set in a football stadium is a treat for surround sound enthusiasts with subtle sounds coming from every corner of the room. If you’re looking for some LFE action that takes place in the third act as a car crash rumbles the room and sends glass flying all over your sound stage.

Overall Score 5/10