Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 17th, 2014
BluRay released: August 12th, 2014
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, DTS-HD 5.1 French, Dolby Digital Stereo French
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Though the movie opens with a flashback sequence that fills in who everyone is and their motivations? Narrative wise things are not always smooth sailing for this film. This opening set up feels too rushed and there is not enough time given to let all the info fully resonate. Also as the story evolves things often move along to quickly from one moment to the next which ultimately subdues any chance of this film sustaining momentum.
Content wise what starts off as a heist themed movie quickly transforms into a revenged themed movie that is rooted in redemption. Of course given this film theme there are bound to be plenty of action oriented moments and in this regard this film often excels. Unfortunately when it comes the more dramatic moment’s things are on shakier ground.
From a production stand point the film’s visuals do a great job setting the tone of the film and there are a few of the performances that leave a lasting impression. And though this is film were the male characters dominate onscreen time. It is this film two female leads that actually deliver the strongest performances Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) in the role of Carmen, a woman who finds herself the object of two men’s affection and Freya Tingley the role of Carmen’s rebellious daughter.
Also for many the main reason to check out Swelter is because of Jean Claude Van Damme’s (Bloodsport, Hard Target) participation in this film. In this film he portrays Stillman one of the four bank robbers who are looking for the man who took the money from their heist. This film is one of those rare instances where Van Damme gets to expand his acting skills and when it comes to action oriented moments his involvement is actually limited. His character also has one of this film’s most memorable moments a scene where he tries to help Carmen’s daughter after she has been sexually assaulted by one of the guys from his crew. Ultimately Swelter is a mildly entertaining modern take on western genre.
Swelter comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. Both films are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are no issues with compression, colors and flesh tones, contrast and black levels look very good and details look sharp throughout.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in French and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in French. All audio mixes sound great as dialog always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs. Of course the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English is the strongest of the mixes as is does superb job with the more ambient sounds and range wise it offers a very satisfying audio experience. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film and a interviews with actors Jean Claude Van Damme, Grant Bowler, Josh Henderson, Alfred Molina and Lennie James and screenwriter / director Keith Parmer (56 minutes 58 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen). All of the participants discuss their character and thoughts on the film, while Keith Parmer’s comments offer up the most insight as he covers influences, the look of the film, the cast and other production related topics. Other extras include trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Swelter gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.