• Sleepless

    Released By: Universal
    Released On: April 18, 2017.
    Director: Baran bo Odar
    Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour
    Year: 2016
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    The Movie:

    If you've ever found yourself pissed off at Jamie Foxx's success, and really hoped that he would star in a crappy action film that would do horribly at the box office and not earn back it's meager 30 million-dollar budget, I've got good news for you! Sleepless, the almost latest wants to be direct-to-video flick from Director Baran bo Odar (who?), a remake of 2011's Nuit Blanche, is about as lame as it gets, with mediocre acting and direction right across the board. And the best part...if it's really Jamie Foxx that you're angry at...is that it's he himself who is the biggest detriment to the film, mumbling and lame action-scening his way from start to finish with zero enthusiasm.

    A late-night robbery starts the picture off, and to its credit, it's definitely the shining moment of sleepless. An SUV is run off the road by its pursuer, and masked assailants spring out to gun down the incapacitated driver and steal the cargo. The take, in this case, is 25 kilos of uncut cocaine, worth millions on the streets. Curiously, the gunmen are Vegas PD Lieutenant Vincent Downs (Foxx) and his partner Sean. Their getaway before responding offers can intervene appears to be clean, but returning to the scene of the crime in official capacity and knowing just where to look for incriminating evidence places Downs and his partner on the radar of unstable Internal Affairs Investigator Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) and her partner Dennison (David Harbour).

    But Downs has bigger issues to worry about; his estranged wife is on his case about his lack of involvement with their son, Thomas, and the cocaine that he's stolen is actually the property of Stan Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), the powerful owner of the Luxus Hotel Casino. Worse, still, is that Rubino is scheduled to hand that cocaine over in just a few hours to Rob Novak (Scoot McNairy), a definite badass drug dealer who needs the drugs to replenish a stock depleted by a DEA raid. Rubino is under the impression that the worry to deliver should not be his to shoulder by himself, and decides to share the wealth by kidnapping Vincent's son while Downs is driving him to ball practice.

    Caught between a rock (Rubino and Novak) and a hard place (his ex-wife and Internal Affairs), Downs decides that it's in his own best interest to deliver the drugs to Rubino, get his son back to his ex in time for dinner, and let the chips fall where they may with I.A. But Detective Bryant manages to mess up his plans when she goes rogue, snatching the dope from Downs in an effort to make the first in many cases against all of the dirty cops in Vegas.

    To put it bluntly, the only thing going for this film is that it's based on a film that is much better, and benefits from having the bones of the story in place. Kinda hard to mess that aspect of it up. However, the rest of this flick is a mess. First out of the gate is Foxx's ridiculous performance, in which he maintains zero consistency outside of his ability to not act. At no point do we feel the panic of a man trapped in an unsolvable situation; never do we feel that he is actually emotionally attached to his son enough to want to free him. Instead, it seems that Foxx is attempting to rescue his son only to save his own skin, which would be a fine story in and of itself, except that this perception is the result of Foxx's wooden performance. As a matter of fact, only two actors stand out in this film as doing anything other than dialing it in; Scoot McNairy and David Harbour; and neither of these actors are given much in the way of screen time.

    The rest of the film is as mundane as it's constant, driving annoyance of a score; Downs gets the drugs, loses the drugs, gets the drugs, loses the drugs, finds his son, loses his son, finds his...you get the picture. In between these repetitions, we're treated to mediocre fight scenes; is Odar going for Bourne or Taken here? Hard to tell, with that typical modern bluish tint aesthetic that makes Sleepless look like just about every other film out there. One could go on and on about this, but the saving grace here is that the film is just over 90 minutes long, making it less of a waste of time than if it were longer. Oh, and the final kick in the face? Using the phenomenal self-titled track by Run The Jewels....which amps up the end credits considerably....until you realized that it's the censored version with all of the profanity removed. What a shit note to end on. Everyone needs to be fired.


    Universal brings Sleepless to Blu-ray with included DVD and HD Download in a 2.40:1 AVC-encoded transfer that looks as good as it should for a new film. Bluish tint aside, detail is good with no compression issues. Blacks are deep, and clarity is maintained in dark and dim scenes. There's not much in the way of dynamics, but the intent is presented well, and problem-free.

    English Audio comes courtesy of a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track with English SDH as well as French and Spanish subtitles. Descriptive Video Services are also available on the blu-ray. The track makes heavy use of the bass and surrounds, with dialogue front and center. For the most part, the track is well-balanced, though Foxx's mumbling tends to get buried here and there. Still, like the video, the intent is presented well and without issue.

    Five Deleted Scenes (5:10) are available on the disc, available to play altogether or separately.

    One Long Night: The Making of Sleepless (4:23) is basically an EPK, with a number of clips from the film interspersed with actors giving a brief overview of their characters and the plot.

    A Universal Promo Reel is also available.

    The Final Word:

    Not a good film by any stretch, or even an adequate time-waster, the Universal Blu-ray is still a fine way to watch Sleepless if you're a fan.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!