The Machine

Featured In Issue 268, July/August

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Strong violence, pervasive language, drug use and some sexual references
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Peter Atencio
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Bert Kreischer rose to fame as a stand-up comedian known as "The Machine," and in his signature set he recounts his true experience with Russian mobsters while on a booze-soaked college trip. Now, 23 years later, that trip has come back to haunt him as he and his estranged father (Mark Hamill) are kidnapped back to Russia by the mob to atone for something they say he did. Together, Bert and his father must retrace the steps of his younger self (Jimmy Tatro) in the midst of a war within sociopathic crime family, all while attempting to find common ground in their often fraught relationship. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four featurettes: "Bert’s Big Bash – Premiere Party" (HD 15:42), "Bert, Bruised & Brawlin’: The Action Of The Machine" (HD 07:03), "The Making Of The Machine" (HD 08:01) and "The Cast Of The Machine" (HD 09:06), deleted scenes (HD 07:48), outtakes & bloopers (HD 02:30) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 1080p picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed digitally using Arri Alexa LF camera system and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture's production design's setting are interesting, especially in what is the primary location, Russia and a train from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. Colors are nicely saturated with rich and warm hues and flesh tones that appear natural. Igor's village is set in a forested area. Contrast is excellent with natural black levels, revealing shadows and realistic white levels. Resolution is superb, especially during closeups. The imagery exhibits clarity and sharpness, This is a well-crafted picture with captivating sets steep in nuanced warm colors. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding with action-impacted sound effects and supportive atmospherics. The soundtrack was originally produced in Dolby Atmos, which would have been preferred in this home release. Gunfire and fight scenes are active throughout. Foley sound effects are also very active during the action sequences. The main focus is dialogue, both in English and Russian (with subtitles). Spatial integration, even the ADR, is generally good. The orchestral/choral score is at times a background sound element or aggressively energized. with a wide soundstage. Surround envelopment is active throughout and provides generally good depth within the soundfield. Deep bass energy sounds natural and impactful. This is a very busy holosonic® soundtrack that is captivating throughout. (Gary Reber)