Tom Berenger’s Last Stand

The hunted becomes the hunter in the atmospheric Blood and Money. A retired military veteran in the deep forests of Northern Maine encounters a group of deadly armed robbers with a million dollars in cash at stake. Blood and Money is set in the stark, desolate landscape of wilderness near the border of Canada. Tom Berenger stars in this slowly burning thriller from filmmaker John Barr with convincing suspense and action.

Blood and Money is an engaging character study about Jimmy Reed (Tom Berenger), an old man struggling in the solitude and loneliness of Northern Maine’s expansive forests. Alone and broken, he’s a recovering alcoholic with many regrets. He takes solace in hunting the occasional game when not driving around in his rugged RV unit, a tired soul playing out the string until creeping health issues finally catch him.

Jimmy’s quiet life hunting game in the wilderness is interrupted when he comes across a woman holding millions in stolen cash. From there the adventure is off, leading to a deadly confrontation. Blood and Money becomes a tense cat-and-mouse survivalist thriller between Jimmy and a nasty group of robbers making a run for the Canadian border. In the harsh wintry environment, no one may make it out alive.

Blood and Money works as a tense, deadly thriller about a man with nothing to lose

The indie film is well-made by director John Barr, also handling co-writing duties and serving as his own cinematographer. The frigid landscape is a character in its own right, shot exclusively in the wilds of Maine. It’s a thoughtful script that keeps the tension up once Jimmy’s life is threatened and he’s on the run. The capable cast includes small but excellent turns by Kristen Hager and Paul Ben-Victor.

Veteran star Tom Berenger delivers a fine performance as the retired Jimmy, worn with regret on his face. A former alcoholic, Jimmy could have been a crude caricature. Blood and Money paints him as a tortured, anguished soul looking for penance, which may be too sluggish as the character building slows the narrative’s momentum.

Blood and Money works as a tense, deadly thriller about a man with nothing to lose. While not definitive or even entirely original, the movie is more than another tired genre exercise. A decent starring vehicle for Tom Berenger, Maine’s landscape never looked more intimidating.

Video

Blood and Money is a small-time indie production that looks outstanding on Blu-ray. Director John Barr serves as his own cinematographer and brings a well-developed sense of stunning compositions.

The harsh Maine landscape, capped in white, is presented in superb 1080P quality with an even contrast and perfect black levels. Independent distributor Screen Media delivers a faultless digital transfer derived from the film’s digital intermediate.

Picture quality is pristine and razor-sharp, left untouched by any unnatural color correction. Saturation is tasteful without skewing flesh-tones. The wilderness offers revealing texture and outstanding definition. Blood and Money is immaculately framed in 2.00:1. Encoded in high-bitrate AVC on a BD-25, the flawless digital cinematography is cleanly replicated.

Audio

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio for Blood and Money features satisfactory LFE in a discrete mix that emphasizes gun shots. The low-budget feature has clean fidelity and decent channel separation. Dialogue isn’t overshadowed by the more dynamic sounding gunplay.

Large chunks of the plot are dialogue-driven affairs without any sonic excesses. The instrumental score fills the entire soundstage with real presence and depth, spread across all channels. A few choice scenes offer interesting surround elements for convincing realism.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font, remaining inside the widescreen presentation. A secondary stereo mix in 2.0 PCM largely reproduces the surround mix’s best moments without issue.

Extras

Screen Media includes one featurette and some trailers in this Blu-ray edition.

Surviving Blood and Money featurette (05:59 in HD) – Behind the scenes interviews with some crew members and star Tom Berenger. I’ve never seen an all-purpose featurette like this one that includes more interview time with the stunt coordinator than the director. Berenger discusses preparing for the cold Maine weather.

Cold Blood Trailer (01:02 in HD)

Crown Vic Trailer (01:52 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Blood and Money
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Tom Berenger plays a gritty veteran fighting off deadly criminals in this slow-burn thriller set in the cold landscape of Maine.

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