Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 9th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Philippines, 2013
Director: Erik Matti
Writers: Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto
Cast: Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez, Angel Aquino, Michael De Mesa, William Martinez
BluRay released: February 11th, 2014
Approximate running time: 116 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Filipino / Tagalog / English, Dolby Digital Stereo Filipino / Tagalog / English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
From top to bottom On the Job is filled with less than reputation characters the majority of whom are hard to like. Fortunately in this sea of depravity there are a few characters that have yet to be seduced by the power of corruption. Unfortunately as the narrative goes on it becomes more and more apparent that that these positive characters are fighting a winless battle and that their ultimate fate depends on if they are willing to turn their back on the morality that has keep them moving forward.
Besides the in-depth focus on the corruption and the seedier sides of life this film does a superb job fully fleshing out all the main players. Another area in which this film often excels is its secondary characters, the majority of whom are connected or related to the main players that drive this film’s provocative narrative.
This character bond is most apparent in the teacher and student relationship between Tatang a prisoner who has been trained to be assassin and Daniel another prisoner who he has taken under his wing as an apprentice. And in many ways their relationship can be seen more like father / son dynamic.
Surely every action film has a good versus evil angle and in regards to On the Job there are two characters that go against the grain of the rest of the characters. A young detective named Francis Coronel, Jr. and nearing the end of his career Sergeant named Joaquin Acosta. What starts out as a confrontational relationship due to Sergeant Acosta feeling that his case was taken away from due to Detective’s connections. Eventually they realize that if they work together they can accomplish so much more and from there the story really starts to pick up steam.
Right from the get-go this film establishes blistering tone of violence that escalates to blood drenched finale that will leave you stunned. And when it comes to memorable moments, without a doubt this film most memorable moment is a scene were a witness has been taken to the hospital and is in police custody. From there one of the two assassins’ creates a diversion that allows the other one to complete their task.
From a production stand point there is not an area that is lacking or does not excel. This film’s visuals perfectly reinforce the grim tone of the event that are about to unfold. Pacing is never issue and the performances from the entire cast are very good. Ultimately On the Job is a first rate crime thriller that finds that right balance between action and melodrama.
On the Job comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look sharp and black levels look very good throughout. There are no issues with DNR or compression. Overall this transfer does a superb job retaining the intended look of this film.
This release comes with two audio otpions, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Filipino, Tagalog and English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Filipino, Tagalog and English. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sound balanced robust when it needs too. Of these two audio mixes the obvious winner is the DTS-HD 5.1 which offers the more engulfing experience of the two. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 7 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Filipino and English with English subtitles), Deleted scenes (37 minutes 52 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Filipino and English with English subtitles) and a brief ‘Making of’ featurette (6 minutes 37 seconds – 1080 Progressive 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in Filipino and English with English subtitles) with comments from the cast & crew. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall On the Job get a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.