Tags: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Blu-ray, Charles S. Dutton, Craig Ross, Danny Trejo, Danny Woodburn, Epic Beard Man, Erik Betts, John Duffy, Joyful Drake, Patrick Fabian, Ron Perlman, Tonita Castro
has an average rating of 5.4 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 25gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are OK but way, way too short…
– 89 minutes
This uses 19.8GB for the movie out of 23.2GB total.
Overall Verdict – OK Film / Bad Ass Presentation
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was co-wrote and directed by Craig Moss whose previous film credits included co-writing & directing the direct-to-video parody “The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It” from 2010 and the “Twilight” parody “Breaking Wind” from 2011 which he wrote & directed.
This film IS actually based on a true story like the trailer mentions; however it’s actually more inspired than based on one. It was “inspired” by a cellphone video that went viral on YouTube and other online video outlets from back in February of 2010. You can read more about this incident HERE on Wikipedia. The video (as seen below after this paragraph) shows a white bearded senior citizen male attacking a younger black male who was harassing him on a public transit bus. The white bearded senior citizen male was wearing a t-shirt that read “I AM A MOTHERFUCKER” on the back and was later nicknamed “Epic Beard Man” by folks online. Lots of views, almost 6 million total across video sharing sites, accumulated for this video and it became the definition of a “viral” video. This and lots of dialogue were the sheer inspiration for this film (“BAD ASS“) although some things were obviously changed.
Our main character here in the film is a 67-year-old hispanic Vietnam war veteran by the name of “Frank Vega” (played by Danny Trejo) who we learn about in the opening of the film through flashbacks to his younger days. He was in love with a girl but he was sent to Vietnam to fight in the war. When he got back from the war he was disappointed to find out the girl he was in love with didn’t wait for him. He was devastated by this. Frank tried to get a job as a police officer but wasn’t accepted, so he started his own business as means to get by. The business he started was a hot dog stand that he worked at from the time of the flashback to the current day we see him in.
The real story here though starts on a public transit bus one day where Frank is just sitting and minding his own business on his commute. Eventually two skinheads board the bus and start to harass some of the passengers, namely this one older black gentleman who they demand give up his seat. Frank gets up and tells the two guys to leave the man alone and that they can have his seat in the back of the bus. They don’t like this move on Frank’s part, as they end up following him to the seat he’s moved to and proceed to try to start shit with Frank. It should have been perhaps a sign of warning to them that he was wearing a t-shirt that read “I AM A MOTHERFUCKER” on the back to not mess with this senior citizen. Yet, the two skinheads persist to pester and are eventually taught one serious lesson in the form of an ass beating. The passengers on the bus are amazed and some even start to record the ordeal via the cameras on their cellphones. It’s only a matter of time after this before the video is uploaded to online video sharing sites and proceeds to go “viral” and makes Frank a star not just locally but worldwide. They give him the nickname of “BAD ASS” (hence the film’s title). He gets newfound respect from the local people as well as the local police officers. One policeman, “Officer Malark” (played by Patrick Fabian), befriends Frank and has him ride along with him from time-to-time. This excites Frank as he wanted to be a police officer as we were told in his flashbacks to his youth.
The real plot here, after the ordeal on the bus, involves Frank’s mother passing away and him moving into her house. Frank takes in one of his old war buddies as a roommate, a black gentleman by the name of “Klondike” (played by Harrison Page). Klondike gives Frank a USB jump drive the first night they move into the house while they’re drinking and insists that he put the storage device in his mother’s safety deposit box. They continue to drink on throughout the night discussing old war stories and whatnot when eventually Klondike wants to have himself a cigarette. Frank’s buddy decides he’ll walk to the store to buy himself a pack of cigarettes yet he manages to run into some men he’s dealt with in the past. They demand he hand over the jump drive (that he gave Frank earlier) but Klondike is a stubborn and bad ass gentleman like his friend. He puts up one hell of a fight against the two thugs but eventually after they are beat up physically they resort to using a gun on him. Klondike is shot and killed. This devastates our main character Frank and he tries in every way to get his friend the police officer to get this investigated but has no luck. Aggravated that his friend’s murder will never be solved Frank decides to take things into his own hands and does some investigating of his own. He’ll manage to make some friends and enemies along the way throughout the course of this investigation and film. Some of those, the co-stars here, are played by Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman, Joyful Drake and John Duffy; who all give decent performances.
“Bad Ass” proves to be pretty much a straight-forward tongue and cheek action film with a tad bit of drama thrown in. It’s nothing anywhere as impressive as the more popular film “Machete” that Danny Trejo did back in 2010. However it proves to be worth the watch and has its moments. One thing I’d like to clarify here is that it was only trying to pay homage to the original incident though and not rip it off as some folks have accused it for doing. In fact, the end credits includes a line that clearly states “Based On Events In The Life of Thomas Bruso.” Also, there’s lots of references to the original ordeal here such as the obvious inclusion of the “I AM A MOTHERFUCKER” t-shirt Trejo‘s character wears, lines of dialogue like “you’re leaking” when referring to someone bleeding and even the name of a character “Amber Lamps” serves as a means to make fun of how the black man in the original video pronounced the word ambulance. It’s nothing amazing but the film is worth checking out if you like Danny Trejo. Considering he does roughly 10 films a year now, if this doesn’t do it for you, you’ll have lots of other films with him to choose from — including a sequel to “Machete” slated to be released later this year.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-25 (25 gigabyte single layer Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. IMDb doesn’t state what type of camera or means this was shot but I’m guessing from the apparent digital noise that it was shot digitally in Hi-Def. I’m pretty sure this is digital noise and not film grain but you can see for yourself in the screenshots; which I did up to 400x zoom on to closely inspect to come to my conclusion it was digital not film. After watching the end credits I discovered I was right, as this was shot digitally on the Red camera; although it doesn’t specify which model.
This really has a really impressive amount of detail throughout, especially in close-ups, yet manages to show flaws a bit in the lower budget CG special effects. The black level is perfectly solid, the flesh tones are accurate and the color palette is very vibrant. There’s really nothing here to complain about in terms of the video quality aside from the fact some of those CG special effects I mentioned come across a tad “cheesy” so-to-speak. Still, special effects don’t pertain to the actual Hi-Def video quality, they involve the production value so I can’t deduct anything from the video quality for that. I’d like to mention that the DP (director of photography) John Barr‘s cinematography here is quite fitting and also impressive in its own right. All and all this looks great in Hi-Def and earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. Pretty “BAD ASS” visual presentation and the audio quality isn’t too bad either as you’ll hear me discuss below.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Things start out pretty decent in the opening credits with the original music from Todd Haberman getting a nice amount of rear channel and LFE (bass) presence. Once the credits are over and the film starts you’ll notice that the opening narration by Danny Trejo‘s character is delivered through the front center channel. This is just the case for dialogue later, being delivered distinctly through the front center channel and never being overpowered by the action. Speaking of the action, the sound effects here can be pretty damn impressive at times for a movie made on a smaller budget. There’s a good amount of LFE here and some decent “play” on their rear channels in the 5.1 lossless mix. The original music by Todd Haberman continues to get mixed nicely here throughout the film as well as the other music on the soundtrack like the song “I’m A Bad Ass” by Kid Frost & Big Tank which serves as a theme song of sorts; getting played numerous times in fight scenes. That music packs quite a little bit of “punch” to it so-to-speak. The mix is pretty impressive for a small film like this and earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @224kbps sound.
- Audio Commentary Featuring Co-Writer/Director Craig Moss
- “Birth of a Bad Ass” (6:09 – HD) is a straight-forward featurette that includes interviews with both the co-writer/director Craig Moss and star Danny Trejo discussing the first time they saw the YouTube video that inspired this film. Craig Moss says one of his producers on the film first showed it to him and he (Moss) thought it’d make a good basis for a character to bring to film. Trejo says they (the filmmakers) were the ones that first showed him the video and says he “thought it was cool to see a senior citizen kicking some ass.” We get to also hear how much of a “bad ass” that Craig Moss thinks Danny Trejo is as he discusses the stunts that he did for his age. It’s a shame this featurette is so short as it proves to be pretty entertaining and somewhat informative.
Overall the bonus materials here are really a disappointment but they do have some worthwhile content, regardless. The audio commentary is worth checking out perhaps the second or third time you watch the film if you really enjoyed it but most consumers will probably skip it. The featurette however proves to be something that consumers will want to check out and will very likely find worthwhile. The fact it’s in Hi-Def too is a plus. That being said this earns a weak “1 Star Rating” overall for bonus materials. They could have at least shot some behind-the-scenes footage on digital camcorders or something to have included to “beef” up the supplemental material. The studio could have opted to have included a DVD or Digital Copy or something to make up for the short amount of content; however they did not.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.