Condemned, The

Featured In Issue 124, October 2007

WSR Score2
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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For pervasive strong brutal violence, and for language
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Scott Wiper
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Dolby Digital+ Surround EX
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Jack Conrad (Austin) is a dangerous criminal awaiting execution in a corrupt Central American prison's death row. When he is purchased by a wealthy TV executive, he is transported to a deserted island to be an unwilling contestant on an illegal fight-to-the-death reality show. On the deserted island Conrad finds himself in the company of nine other hardened criminals who are to co-star in the reality show with him. In order to earn his freedom, Conrad is forced to literally fight The Condemned co-stars to the death. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include commentary with Director Scott Wiper, commentary with Wiper and Actor Stone Cold Steve Austin, a 38-minute five-part making-of featurette, a look at the Capital Carnage Reunion WWE event in London where Steve Austin first met Vinny Jones, a two-minute Stone Cold At Movie World featurette, storyboard sequences, the original theatrical trailer, previews, and up-front ads. Additionally, there are 19 deleted and extended scenes with optional director's commentary.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.80:1 DVD has a gritty nature that fits the story well. Contrast is generally well balanced, and colors are bold and vibrant, even though the color scheme is fairly limited. Shadow delineation is good and details are captured well. The image is virtually free from compression artifacts, and edge enhancement is not much of a problem. Some scenes can look slightly washed out and black levels can look slightly milky, but the picture generally is good. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows very good resolution and solid black levels. Shadow delineation is impressive as well, making for a very dimensional-looking image. Colors are bold and vibrant. This is a very enjoyable high-definition release. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital Surround EX™ 5.1-channel soundtrack can be like an elephant in a china store, blasting sound from each loudspeaker without any real direction or tact. The result is full use of each available channel but not enough phantom imaging to create a detailed, natural soundfield. Deep bass is delivered through each channel, with good use of the LFE channel to really build the foundation. In the more quiescent scenes, imaging is still limited, and the addition of the matrix-derived center surround channel does not add a whole lot to the experience. The Blu-ray Disc's 7.1-channel lossy DTS-HD High Resolution Audio encoding is pristine, with tight bass, good articulation, and fairly good dynamic range. The mix is the same, which is still somewhat disappointing. (Danny Richelieu)