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Big Bang, The (Blu-ray Review)

18 May, 2011 By: John Latchem

Street 5/24/11
Anchor Bay
$26.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Antonio Banderas, Autumn Reeser, Snoop Dogg, James Van Der Beek, Sam Elliott, Jimmi Simpson, Thomas Kretschmann, William Fichtner, Robert Maillet, Delroy Lindo, Rebecca Mader, Sienna Guillory.

The universe is a vast expanse of complicated systems and interactions that might appear to be random to those not well versed in its mysteries. In many ways the intricacies of human relationships aren’t that different.

The neo-noirish The Big Bang connects these two concepts in a fun mystery that ponders what exactly gives the universe its substance: the energy of matter, or love.

The story focuses on a private detective named Ned Cruz, played by Antonio Banderas with an accent so thick you might want to consider turning on the closed-captioning. He’s hired by an ex-con (Robert Maillet, a.k.a. WWE’s Kurrgan) to find a prison pen-pal (Sienna Guillory) who has disappeared. Cruz’s search takes him to New Mexico, where the case somehow ties into a billionaire (Sam Elliott) and his experiment to use an underground particle accelerator to re-create the conditions that originally formed the universe.

The theme that connects these threads is the idea of finding something that exists in theory but which no one has ever seen. The plot swims around in its own randomness, which is kind of the point, since the film celebrates how the seeming chaos of the universe gives rise to perfect order if you know where to look. This idea might be best embodied in a kinky waitress played by Autumn Reeser, who recites physics theories in bed to get off.

The zany script by Erik Jendresen, who previously penned four episodes of HBO’s epic World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, pays homage to the styles of mystery writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett while telling a wholly original story that may be lost on some impatient viewers. Director Tony Krantz has given the film a distinct visual flair with a vibrant color palette, clever visual effects and several visual cues to the film’s scientific undercurrents.

The extras are pretty good for such a low-profile release. The behind-the-scenes featurette is comprehensive but spoiler-laden, so watch it after the movie. There’s also a good commentary with the filmmakers and a few extended scenes.

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