Updated: Jun 24
HOT 4K NEWS/4K ULTRA HD REVIEW/HDR FRAME SHOTS
Emmy-winning writer/actor Bob Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a nobody dad who turns into a fighting machine. (1) Hutch offers hard cash to get information on who broke into his house. (2) After finding the thieves he rides the bus home, but encounters members of the Kuznetsov gang.
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4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Digital copy; 2021; R for strong violence and bloody violence, language throughout and brief drug use; Streaming via Amazon Prime Video (4K), Apple TV (4K), FandangoNOW (4K), Movies Anywhere (4K), Vudu (4K), YouTube (4K)
Best extra: “Just a Nobody” featurette
SOMETIMES LIFE can pull some nasty punches.
Just ask writer/actor Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Post”) who had a gun pointed at his head at 2 a.m. in Chicago. He ended up giving up all his cash to the person. Then in Los Angeles at his home, it was broken into twice. The events became the genesis for his action-thriller “Nobody.”
“It was very disturbing to my family. So, I know what it feels like to play that guy [Hutch Mansell] in that moment,” he says during the featurette “Just a Nobody.” The Emmy-winning writer/actor and a father of two grabbed the family baseball bat – in the movie it’s a golf club – but ended up not using it to “keep the damage to a minimum.”
Odenkirk started to question himself and struggled with thoughts of violence, guns, frustration, and protecting his family. “The difference with Hutch is he could do something. He’s been trained to fight. Whereas in my case, I’m not,” says Odenkirk.
(1&2) “Nobody” opens with Hutch being questioned about the killing of Yulian Kuznetsov, a Russian mob leader, and many of his gang. (3) Another day on the job, Hutch enters his father-in-law's manufacturing business. (4&5) A young couple breaks into the Mansell home and Hutch prepares to use his golf club as a weapon. They took his watch, around $20, and his daughter’s kitty cat bracelet.
Eventually, the movie premise surfaced, “to make an action movie and a bit of fantasy role-playing,” says Odenkirk. Hutch is a nobody lost in his underestimated day-to-day life, working at his father-in-law’s business and his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) is a successful real estate agent, who’s pulling herself away from him. His teenage son Blake (Gage Munroe) is disappointed in him, while daughter Abby (Paisley Cadorath) still looks up to him, and his father David (Christopher Lloyd) a retired FBI agent is living at an assisted living facility.
Now the 59-year-old from Berwyn, Ill is an action star. He transformed his body during 20 months of training at 87Eleven, the L.A.-based action training facility, co-founded by David Leitch, the co-director of the first “John Wick” film, and where Keanu Reeves prepares his body for the action franchise. “What I wanted to do was this big, grand, unapologetic, unironic action film that would play in China, and Africa, and Russia and all around the world,” says Odenkirk.
He pitched the storyline to a number of Hollywood writers and Derek Kolstad (“John Wick”) took the nugget of an idea and “he just blew it up into grandiose violence and made it into a movie,” says Odenkirk. Russian-born director Ilya Naishuller ended taking the job, who calls the film, “A bit of a male fantasy. It’s a movie full of wish fulfillment. We have a love story. We have this crazy action set pieces, shock moments. And it makes you want to go again on this ride.”
(1&2) The police interview Hutch and his son after the burglary of their suburban home. The officer says, “You know if that was my family I would have done something. But, you did the right thing.” (3) Hutch and his wife Becca sleep in the same bed, and that’s all. A pillow separates them. (4) Later he goes downstairs and ends up on the couch with his daughter Abby and the cat joining him.
Naishuller and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski (“Hereditary,” “Midsommar”) decided to capture the action on 6K RED RAW digital cameras (2.39:1 aspect ratio), mounted with anamorphic lens and pushed the ISO rating to 1600, for the production filmed in Winnipeg, Canada. Colorist Walter Volpatto added a heavy dose of post-production film grain to give it that old-school 35mm feel.
Sadly, it was mastered in 2K and the resolution difference between the 4K and Blu-ray is minimal. Only a slight bump in fine detail is found on the 4K. Standing three feet away from my nine-foot screen and I could see an increased facial clarity during a night wide shot when the police interviewed Hutch after the break-in. But, at normal seating distance, it would be tough to see any difference.
The HDR10 and Dolby Vision grading provide an overall darker palette, with deeper blacks and a slight increase of color richness. But, the difference is not as dramatic as on many 4K releases.
The 4K and Blu-ray both include the eight-channel Dolby Atmos soundtrack that’s quite active to your height speakers during the fight sequences. The score from British composer David Buckley (“Jason Bourne” “The Town”) is nicely balanced throughout. Plus, Naishuller incorporates some rock and roll hits and American standards including “Don’t Let Be Misunderstood” by Nina Simone, “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar, “Life Is a Bitch” by Luther Allison, “I’ve Gotta Be Me” by Steve Lawrence, “The Impossible Dream” by Andy Williams and half dozen more tunes.
The 4K disc, Blu-ray, and digital include deleted scenes, three featurettes: “Hutch Hits Hard” as Odenkirk trains to become Hutch Mensell, “Breaking Down the Action” highlights the bus fight, home invasion, car chase, and tool & die sequences and “Just A Nobody” a look at Odenkirk’s personal story and finding the right director Naishuller. Plus two commentaries with Odenkirk and Naishuller.
(1) The next morning, Hutch and his son are questioned by Jim their next-door neighbor. (2) Hutch visits his father David (Christopher Lloyd) at the assisted living facility. (3&4) Hutch finds the burglars and demands his watch and kitty cat bracelet back.
(1&2) Russians speaking actors living in Canada play members of Yulian Kuznetsov’s gang, and after they wreck their vehicle they jump onto a bus that Hutch was riding, which becomes a huge mistake. (3) Teddy Kuznetsov (Alexsandr Pal) is so badly injured in the fight, Hutch inserts a plastic straw into his neck so the young man can breathe. (4) Russian actor (Aleksei Serebryakov) plays the vicious mob leader Yulian Kuznetsov. (5) Hutch doesn't drive and rides the bus everywhere. (6&7) An army of Kurzenetsov fighters attacks the Mansell home.