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February 28, 2011
Paintball Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
None27/1/2011Icon FilmsDaniel Benmayor
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Brendan Mackey

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Ready for some Paintball action.

If ever there was a movie that sounds like the perfect way for a gamer to spend a couple of hours in front of the TV, and not gaming, then Paintball is probably it (well, perhaps Gamer now that I think about it). This Spanish film (which includes English dialogue) was made on a small budget, but that doesn't mean it can't impress.

During a serious paintball competition, eight strangers fall under life-threatening attack by an invisible enemy in the woods. Reluctant to trust each other but too afraid to be alone, the group members struggle to make it through the ordeal alive.

There is one moment in this movie when I realised just how crap it all is - it's precisely at the 45 minute mark when one of the "good guys" kills on of the supposed "bad guys". The thing is, he's never done anything wrong - not to them, nor to anyone else. Even if the "good guys" suspected him of killing their friends - why kill him when you have complete control over him. It's cold, callus, and it was really at a point where I was ready to turn the film off due to its absurdity, terrible acting, horrendous dialogue and script.

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Looking scared...
Hell, even the main bad guy in this film uses a form of thermal imaging goggles to spot his prey - it kind of reminds me of another similar movie - Arnold Schwarzenegger's infinitely better Predator film and the sequels.

The premise of this film is actually decent, but the execution of Paintball is nothing short of horrendous. Even as a gamer, and massive fan of action movies, I was ready to turn this off quite early on and that's not something I ever do. Sure, I've seen worse, but not in some time and I can only recommend you avoid this trash.

This Blu-Ray encoding of Paintball retains the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. On a technical level this transfer is fairly decent with dark scenes handled fairly well and fine detail evident in some scenes too - especially the long grass in some of the more static shots.

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The image from the bad guys viewpoint.
Two things stand out about this film. The first is the constant use of handheld shaky-cams - something which I'm not a big fan of as I suffer from motion sickness. Even my wife, who suffered through this film with me, commented on the excessive shake in the image. The second thing about the image quality here is that the film is drained of any vibrant colours. The lush jungles should be green, but have more of a dull grey tint to them. Perhaps it makes it a bit more foreboding, but it makes everything look a little lifeless.

Paintball is presented on Blu-Ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) audio track and if there's one thing it does right at times it's the audio effects such as gunshots and the use of surround sound channels which, when the gunfire kicks in, will surround you with bullets whizzing past. This lossless track is about as clear as one expects on a technical level however from an artistic point the audio priortisation is a bit all over the place too with conversations overlapping, and priority given to effects or sounds making it a bit unnatural at times.

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That's some serious camo!
There is only one other audio option on this disc, a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which sounds nigh on identical to the DTS-HD track so whichever you choose (we still personally prefer DTS tracks in general) you will be well served.

The disc includes a single Descriptive Subtitle track which, in typical fashion for Icon Films, colours and places the dialogue according to who is talking on screen making it easy to figure out who's talking. The subtitles are accurate to the dialogue on-screen.

There are only a couple of extras on this Blu-Ray besides forced trailers for Red and Let Me In as the disc starts. Strangely these aren't available from within the Special Features menu - it wouldn't hurt to put them there as well.

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A prisoner? Or is something else happening here?
The Making of Paintball (26:08/HD): This is a moderately interesting look at the making of this film with interviews with cast and crew and plenty of on-set footage. Being made in Spain quite a few interviews are in Spanish with subtitles - but even this shows off the lack of attention to detail with the English subtitles placed over the name of the person talking. Still, this is worth a look despite also being presented in a widescreen for 4:3 TV's - or window boxed with borders around all sides.

Paintball Trailer (1:45/HD): The theatrical trailer for the film, which actually makes the film look pretty good.

Skip it. That's the best advice I can give about this pretty terrible movie. Paintball is lacking in so many areas and if you want a similarly themed, but significantly better film, then check out The Running Man or the Gerard Butler starring Gamer instead.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.