Director: Jon Cassar
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
In 1872, John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland) retires as a gunfighter and returns to his hometown of Fowler, Wyoming in hope of repairing his relationship with his estranged father, Reverend Clayton (Donald Sutherland). However, he soon learns that the town is in turmoil, as the railroad will be coming through the area and a criminal gang is terrorizing ranchers who refuse to sell their land. John Henry is the only one who can stop them, but his father does not want his son to return to a life of violence.
‘Forsaken’ follows ex-gunslinger John Henry Clayton in the year 1872 as he arrives back to his hometown in Wyoming after nearly a decade away, finally ready to make an attempt at putting things right with his father and also change his ways, hopefully retiring his gun belt for good in the process. Upon his initial arrival tensions remain high between John and his father William Clayton, the town reverend who also delivers the painful news that he missed his mothers passing while away. Refusing to give up and revert to his old ways John continues to try mending the relationship with his father and begin his hopeful new life, only to discover a group of ruthless killers led by a dastardly and conniving man named James McCurdy are using any means necessary to force the townsfolk to sell their land. Now, as his father continues to implore him to let things be, John must choose once and for all what kind of man he is and whether he can truly leave the matter alone, especially once his old friend and lifelong love is indirectly thrown into danger.
Directed by Jon Cassar (TV’s 24) from a script by Brad Mirman (Highlander: The Final Dimension), Cassar does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘Forsaken’ bringing together an emotionally powerful and impressive throwback to the true westerns of old. The film also owes a great deal of credit to the talented folks who comprise the cast including the first on screen pairing of father and son Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland, along with Brian Cox, Michael Wincott, Demi Moore, Aaron Poole and more, all of which deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Forsaken’ is a well constructed and executed throwback to the true westerns which were quite prevalent some decades ago. Utilizing intricate sets to create the ancient town and always retaining a certain aura of beauty within this simpler world, even when things become relatively violent. Brimming with emotion and handled with utmost care, down to the gunpowder bursts erupting during gunfights, building structures and more, ‘Forsaken’ is a true and rare Western that fans of the genre as well as those who merely appreciate a wonderful film of any sort will not want to miss out on. Guided brilliantly by director Jon Cassar and featuring a talented collection of individuals comprising the cast headed by the first time father and son Donald and Kiefer Sutherland have ever worked together on screen, while additionally reteaming Jon Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland who previously worked together for numerous years on the TV series ‘24’ on which Cassar served as executive producer and a regular director.
Overall, ‘Forsaken’ is an emotionally powerful and visually gorgeous old school western done right, and with a true attention to detail that should thrill fans of the genre. Guided by the capable hand of director Jon Cassar and complimented by a talented cast including both Kiefer and Donald Sutherland who also portray father and son on screen, ‘Forsaken’ is an impressive film and one that I would certainly recommend. Fans of westerns, quality filmmaking or the notable cast will definitely want to give this one a whirl; it’s certainly worthy of a rental at the least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Forsaken’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole, providing a consistently sharp and detailed presentation that beautifully captures the gorgeous world of this late 1800’s Wyoming town, holding up impressively even during the fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences and never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation boosted by a more than sufficient bitrate.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and occasionally quite aggressive audio presentation from start to finish. Utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with the score, in addition to sending bullets and debris whirring throughout the rear channels on a number of occasions, along with some crowd activity and general ambience, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a more than competent 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Forsaken’ includes a single extra, the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘The Making of Forsaken’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length) which includes behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Forsaken’ is Now Available on DVD & Blu-ray from Momentum Pictures
Purchase your copy of the Blu-Ray on Amazon at a discounted price (while also supporting our site) by clicking on the Amazon Cart Icon immediately below!