Paintball (2009)
By: Devon B. on August 9, 2012  | 
Icon | Region B | 2.35:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | 89 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Daniel Benmayor
Starring: Brendan Mackey, Jennifer Matter, Patrick Regis, Neil Maskell, Anna Casas
Screenplay: Mario Schoendorff
Country: Spain
External Links
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Back in my day we didn't really have paintball, we had to pretend we were warriors with Laser Tag. None of these highfaluting balls of paint, no, we had to use good ol' fashioned lasers to shoot each other with. I guess times are always bound to change, but it's sad to see that another bit of our heritage has been crushed by a new wave of technology that came about when someone got the idea to put paint in a ball and shoot it at someone else. I guess people wanted to actually feel it when they got shot in these games. Makes it more real. Makes 'em tougher. Makes it a good deal messier. Makes the folks at Dulux happy.

I picked up the movie Paintball because I thought it was a hilarious title for a horror movie. Watch out, who knows where the killer might strike next in…PAINTBALL! It sounds like a wind up a la April Fool's Day, because how do you take that title seriously? It was just another day playing paintball when a vicious killer struck? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Until I put the movie on because it's actually a straightforward flick and not funny at all.

In the film a paintball team are getting ready to be deployed for a serious game. It's kind of like Enter the Dragon where all the elite fighters come from all over the world to compete in the tournament, except these paintballers aren't really elite - they just really like paintball, so it's more that they're committed to the game rather than skilled at what they do. Another difference is that Enter the Dragon has a sense of humour. And Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, John Saxon and Bolo Yeung. Man, Enter the Dragon shits all over Paintball now that I think about it. I wish I'd watched that instead. Anyway, in the much-less-interesting-than-Enter-the-Dragon Paintball there are useful items the team can pick up at checkpoints to give them an advantage over their opponents. The "combat" starts out as a normal if somewhat intense bit of paintball, but it soon it seems their opponent has seen Child's Play 3 and got the idea to replace the paint with real ammo.

I like a good Most Dangerous Game story, but I found Paintball to be pretty lifeless. It doesn't really bring anything new to the situation, and overall is just a bit dreary. It's not a bad film, but it's also not one where anyone should feel like they've missed out if they didn't see it. The acting levels vary, I assume there're some people struggling to mask their natural accents, and the "surprise" of the film isn't much of a surprise at all and only invites further comparison to other movies that Paintball isn't as good as. The only new ingredient, which isn't entirely new since a variation of it appeared in Predator, is that the hunter uses night time/thermal eyewear to stalk the team. The killer's POV shots look almost like a negative image, which makes some of the kills more interesting to look at. There're also a few unusual kills, but that's not enough to justify watching the movie, so only die-hard Most Dangerous Game knock-off lovers should bother with this one.
There's some slight macroblocking, a tad of black crush and a little edge enhancement , but otherwise this is a very clear and clean print. There're a few impressive moments, but overall the film looks fine, but is not a wower.
Two 5.1 tracks are available to choose from, a DTS-HD Master Audio or a True HD. I preferred the louder DTS track over the subtler TrueHD one, but both tracks are decent. The DTS had a bit more bass to it, so when paintballs thud into things there was a more satisfying thump. Bullets and paintballs wiz around on both tracks, and either track is immersive where possible.
Extra Features
Trailers for RED and Let Me In play on start up.
The Verdict
If someone puts Paintball on you don't need to run from the room screaming, but you also don't need to stay and watch. As low budget thrillers go it's okay, but unless you've just watched Enter the Dragon, there're better things you can do with your time.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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