Category Archives: DVD Review

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DVD Review – Maximum Ride

Category : DVD Review

Director: Jay Martin

Starring: Allie Marie Evans, Patrick Johnson, Gavin Lewis

Year: 2016

Maximum Ride might very well be the worst movie I have ever seen, which is saying something, given the terrible films I have watched over the course of my critical career.  Any of us who have sat through the four Sharknado flops know just how bad cinema can be, but at least there’s a way to defend that franchise, at least you know they were making their movies solely for entertainment purposes, with no desire to be taken seriously in the least.  After seeing Maximum Ride, you get the sense that someone worked with intention, with a purpose, with a thought that what they were creating might actually be good.  Well, it isn’t, it’s among the most awful things my eyes have ever witnessed, so back to the drawing board.

The Movie

Kept in an underground prison called The School, six gifted children are treated like animals, given a barrage of strange tests, live in cages, and don’t know the world outside at all.  Perhaps they are even test tube babies, born in a lab, and engineered with odd powers of mind and body.  Whatever the truth, Max and the others know only that they aren’t exactly human, though what having wings makes them is anyone’s guess.  As Max grows, she becomes the favorite of the leader of the researchers, a man named Jeb, a man who is like a father figure to them all, though he has a real son he basically ignores.  One night, Jeb even breaks them out of their confinement, rushing them away to a life in hiding.

The six children grow up in the mountains, living in fear of location and recapture.  Max is the leader and the mother figure of the group.  Fang is her right hand man and possible love interest.  Iggy is blind but has a sensitive insight.  Nudge is gaining in power but is also chafing at the seclusion of their hiding.  Gazzy is young and super-intelligent, a master builder.  And Angel is his little sister, a girl with powers of the mind that no one understands.  The older three can fly with powerful black wings, and when Jeb disappears and Angel is taken, they set out to solve the mystery of their creation, only to uncover more questions than answers.  As they travel cross-country, they must work together to find out the truth and to defeat the power that wants to own their souls.

This film is based on a series of books written by author James Patterson, who Stephen King calls a “terrible writer”.  Based on this movie, I can only guess that he definitely is.  There are nine books in his Maximum Ride series, and you would have to pay me a million dollars to read them all.  It’s the dumbest premise I’ve ever heard, and obviously doesn’t translate to the screen either.  Six kids mixed with birds in the lab and tested for who cares what reason; no thank you.  The story makes absolutely no sense, I actually don’t want to know why they are what they are, and the two writers of the screenplay weren’t able to adapt the stories in a successful manner, or else that goal was completely unattainable since the source material sucks.

Basically nothing happens during the course of the film.  I hate to be exaggerant and overly insulting, but really, nothing happens, and at the end you understand that you just wasted a piece of your life.  Story-wise, this is obviously a setup for more plot to come, but I can’t imagine that anyone would have the nerve to make another film in this series.  The actors are beyond awful to the point of incredulity, the special effects are 3rd-grade level, and I could make up a skit right now that I could perform in my basement that would be more entertaining than this film.  Someone actually made this, someone actually spent time and money wanting this to become an actual film that real people watched, that’s what blows my mind.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 16×9 Widescreen, the video quality and special effects are laughable, at best.  It’s among the worst you’ll ever see, and the team that put together the technical aspects of this film should be embarrassed.

Audio – The DVD was done in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, with an option of Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish.  The audio quality is as bad as the video and can be immediately ridiculed.

Extras – There are no special features on this disc.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  I can only imagine that this film was going for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel but completely missed the mark.  There is a touch of that melodrama, but even that was done poorly, failing to be over-the-top enough to even be fun.  This movie is serious, they’re being serious, that’s what’s shocking, that anyone in their right mind could have watched this final product and thought, “yeah, we did it”.  I am embarrassed for anyone with their name attached to this project, as it really is one of the worst films I have ever had the misfortune to come across.  The video is terrible, the audio the same, and their are no extras, so don’t look to cool technical features to save this awful story.  Stay as far away as possible, and don’t tell me if they ever make a sequel.

☆ – Content

☆ – Video

☆ – Audio

☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Neither Heaven Nor Earth

Category : DVD Review

Director: Clement Cogitore

Starring: Jeremie Renier, Kevin Azais, Finnegan Oldfield

Year: 2015

A war drama with a religious backdrop, Neither Heaven Nor Earth is part reality, part fantasy, and completely devoted to shedding light on the fragility of the human spirit.  On the surface, it’s a look at the lives and fears of the modern soldier, but in its depths, it’s a peek into his soul, revealing the doubts that lay so tenuously there.  Director Clement Cogitore, who makes his feature-length debut with this film, uses the harsh environment of war to bring the spiritual world to life, putting the stories on top of each other in a unique fashion in order to make several points.  That the movie itself can’t stand completely on its own is a problem, but the message comes across regardless, and is powerful enough to be heard.

The Movie

In Afghanistan during the current war is a French outpost whose mission is to thwart the Taliban and to protect the local villagers.  This group of soldiers have grown close during their weeks in the field, have bonded over their shared experiences and their common loneliness.  Living in a hostile environment completely cut off from your family and the world you once knew can be a difficult thing, a daily grind of checkpoints and running for cover that will eventually wear down even the sharpest warrior.  Captain Antares Bonassieu keeps his men on task, tries to keep them motivated, and cares for each of them, promising to never leave any of them alone or behind, forming a brotherhood that should withstand any attack.

But when first animals and then men begin to disappear from a hilltop watch post, the strength of these ties will be tested.  At first, Antares is convinced that his men have been kidnapped by local Taliban forces led by a man called the Sultan.  He questions the villagers, demands answers, and even threatens to withdraw French protection if they will not reveal the nature of the mysterious disappearances.  Then, in an unprecedented show of allegiance, the Taliban leader himself reveals that his men are missing as well.  The locals begin to tell a story of Allah’s country, a place where sleepers are taken away to be with God, a fanciful tale that fits the details, but is too ridiculous to be true, at least to those who refuse to believe.

The first 3/4 of the movie are solid, the last 1/4 a letdown, which is far too typical of a film by a fledgling director.  Cogitore also wrote the screenplay, so it’s obvious that he had a great idea, formed a strong story in his head, was able to execute it to a certain point, but just didn’t have the means to seal it into a perfect package.  He took an interesting plot, set it in a chaotic locale, had all the dramatic elements ready to go, and pulled off most of the tricks with no problem.  Where he failed was in not just the ending, but in the closing, as he was unable to keep momentum going when it was needed most in a movie that wasn’t long enough to require more editing, but also wasn’t quick enough to withstand a director who may not have been quite ready for the big screen.

The war element of the film was excellent, painting a perfectly accurate picture of life for a soldier in Afghanistan; the weight lifting, the boredom, the patrols, the villagers, the sheep, the infrequent calls home, the hierarchy of command.  I was intrigued and impressed by that part of the story, its details and its devotion.  The fantastic pieces of the film were nice as well; the ancient stories, Allah in the desert, the mystery of faith vs fact.  These two parts just didn’t mesh the way they needed to if the entire project was to be a rampant success, and the director didn’t put a bow on the action as the film drew to a close, instead handling it rather clumsily and letting the pace drop off.  Neither Heaven Nor Earth is a good feature without being a great one, a nice idea more than it was wonderfully done.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 Widescreen, the video quality of the film won’t be something that blows any audience away.  When the scenes are in the desert in daylight, there’s some nice color and clarity.  When the scenes are in the dark, much of the footage is shown using heat sensing technology or night vision, giving the film a military air, but not really allowing it to shine visually.

Audio – The DVD was done in 5.1 Surround Sound, with a choice of Stereo.  The film is in French with English subtitles, which can be turned on or off.  Also, the director’s commentary can be accessed from this menu.  The sound quality of the film is fine, not memorable, and will fall into the same category as the video; not something that was paid much attention.

Extras – There are only a few special features on the disc, beginning with a bonus short film called Among Us, a 30 minute story about Amin, a young illegal immigrant, and his experiences with the other men who are also trying to reach safety.  There are seven trailers to watch: Neither Heaven Nor Earth, My King, Men Go to Battle, The Ardennes, The Quiet Earth, Schneider vs. Bax, Sea Fog.  Lastly, you can read a paragraph about Film Movement for more information about the group.

Final Thoughts

Recommended.  For a foreign film about the complications of modern battle, check out A War, a film that is far superior to Neither Heaven Nor Earth and is telling a similar story, minus the supernatural element.  It’s that biblical/religious undertone that makes this movie unique, and credit should be given for an original story that was turned into a good movie.  Problem is, there wasn’t enough talent and/or experience to mold it into a great movie, more’s the pity, because there is definitely a solid message here that deserves to be heard.  The video and the audio were only OK, there are a few extras on the disc, but the technical aspects of the film can mostly be ignored.  The film itself should not be, even though it is imperfect, so put it somewhere in the middle of your list and watch some day without very high expectations.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Desierto

Category : DVD Review

Director: Jonas Cuaron

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Year: 2015

Jonas Cuaron is the son of acclaimed director Alfonso Cuaron, which becomes an ‘ah ha’ moment after you watch Desierto, dislike it, and wonder how such a young guy got such a stellar duo in his swing-and-miss film.  That this movie misses the mark will become readily apparent to most audiences; it simply isn’t very good.  Which makes you wonder, perhaps unfairly, whether Jonas got a leg up in making an ultimately poor-quality film with high-quality actors because he’s Alfonso’s son.  Again, perhaps that’s unfair or simply rude speculation, but it’s a question that pops up fairly quickly after watching the film and then understanding who the filmmaker is.  The cast deserved a better movie and a better director; we’ll see if he gets another shot.

The Movie

Desperate to make the incredibly difficult (and of course illegal) journey from Mexico into the United States, a group of people with nothing to lose travel cross-country to reach a new home and, hopefully, a better life.  For various reasons, these refugees/illegals/aliens, whatever term you choose to use, cannot cross at the border, won’t be allowed, and so risk the dangerous trek across the desert for a paid price and with no guarantee.  When this particular group’s hired truck breaks down, they are forced to go on by foot, traveling through the badlands and hoping to avoid notice.  The border patrol are ever-present, and the ranchers aren’t friendly either, so off they go into the wilderness, with nowhere left to turn.

One native in particular, one very angry, lonely man, has taken it upon himself to rid his once-loved home of uninvited guests.  He sets out hunting with his faithful dog Tracker, picking off rabbits, sure, but he doesn’t become shy when he discovers Mexicans crossing through the scrub with all their possessions strapped to their backs.  Shockingly, he begins to pick off the travelers one by one, shooting them down as if they were pheasants in a field.  A group of five, who were slow and had begun to straggle behind the main body, turn and run, hoping beyond hope that this crazed man and his dog might leave them in peace, perhaps might lose them in the canyons, or maybe might even remember that they are humans, not creatures that deserve eliminating from this land.

The positives first, and they are mostly Bernal.  Curious audiences will quickly wonder why he’s even here; his talent rises above the film from the very start.  He’s simply better than this, has done so much better than this, and was even making films at the same time as this one that required much more concentration and skill.  Perhaps he knew he could syphon off a little for a movie that wouldn’t demand much other than a few hot days on set, and then again maybe he signed on because of Alfonso Cuaron.  Whatever the reason, he was the bright spot, and we can assume he saw this dub coming a mile away, but just did it any way.  I also enjoyed Morgan as a villain, he fits that role very well, has played it before, and could almost phone in a performance, apart from what must have been a fairly difficult location at which to work.

Bernal and Morgan were solid in their parts, even though they can’t have been forced to stretch their abilities much.  For one, their lines were infrequent and mostly terrible.  I understand the simplicity of the movie, I appreciate that the story is self-contained, doesn’t need flash blacks and dream sequences.  But Cuaron forgot to write in drama, and then forgot to direct.  There were moments that you could pin as dramatic, but they were completely recycled and didn’t bring anything new to our screens.  The film felt extremely amateur, from the action sequences to the ending, coming across as an experiment gone wrong rather than a name film that we were supposed to take seriously.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (1080p HD Widescreen), the video quality of this film is good for the medium, and probably should be considered one of the highlights.  The desert was shot beautifully, with breathtaking images all around, and you could really almost feel the heat.  The crisp picture was a nice foundation, though the rest of the movie never could live up to the caliber of the Blu-ray disc.

Audio – The Blu-ray was done in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, with an option of Descriptive Video Service Dolby Digital 2.0.  Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, and French.  The majority of the movie is in Spanish subtitles, with only a smattering of English.  It felt backward somehow, and a smarter way to make audiences feel the language barriers and the differences inherent between the hero and the villain must have been out there, Cuaron just didn’t catch it.

Extras – The film’s bonus feature is the ability to watch with commentary from director/writer/producer Jonas Cuaron.

Final Thoughts

Rent It.  In a strange paradox, so many common theatrical elements seemed to be presented in this film, and yet it seemed never to grasp what makes a movie a movie.  A backstory was attempted, but failed.  Empathy was meant to be shared, but never developed.  The action was supposed to be exciting, but instead it constantly fell flat and felt forced.  Desierto is neither believable nor well-made, instead trudging along as a story about the hearts of men without delving into those same hearts and shedding light of what lies hidden.  The video was quiet solid, the audio was OK, and there isn’t much in the extras department.  I was pretty disappointed in this film, to say the least, and I put a lot of blame on Cuaron’s shoulder.  He’ll have to make up for it in his next project if I’m to eat my words, but as it stands, I have my doubts about his capabilities.

☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Bleed for This

Category : DVD Review

Director: Ben Younger

Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Ciaran Hinds

Year: 2016

Ben Younger may have copied The Fighter when writing, producing, and directing Bleed for This, but a case can be made that every boxing movie is a recycling of Rocky, or that there’s basically only one way to tell the story we’ve heard a hundred times, with the only change being the name and nationality of the heroic lead pugilist.  This doesn’t dampen our love for the genre though, on the contrary, for some inexplicable reason we want the same exact film shown to us time and time again; it’s like a comfortable relationship with a close friend, if the friend enjoyed punching people in the face and we enjoyed watching it.  Americans are weird when it comes to boxing films, that’s all there is to it, and an explanation as to why may never be found.  I’m on the side that says there’s no reason to go searching, I’d much rather sit back, relax, and be entertained by another sports biopic that I may have seen before, but for some reason never tire of.

The Movie

The story of Vinny Pazienza is one of the greatest American comeback sagas in sports history, exemplifying the no-quit attitude of the athletes who put their very lives in danger every day in order to prove to the world that they are the best of the best.  Vinny, hailing from an Italian family in Rhode Island, was one of the greatest lightweight boxers in the world, taking the title in 1987, but failing to defend it in the late 80s and early 90s.  He had difficulty making weight for his fights, frequently coming in over, even dehydrating his body to the point of exhaustion and series fatigue.  After one crushing defeat, Vinny Paz would hire a new trainer, jump up a weight class, and return to the top of a sport that he loved.

But a freak accident would threaten his young career, a tragedy that would have derailed the forward motion of a lesser man, but only put Vinny out of commission for a relatively short time.  In the passenger seat during a car accident, Vinny’s neck was broken, narrowly missing an entire severing of the spine.  He was put into a Halo, a device that prohibited any movement of the head, and was told that any slight jar could cause him to be paralyzed for life.  Instead of giving up, Vinny began training in the basement of his home, mounting a comeback that would become the stuff of legends.  He would return to the ring to fight his opponents even harder than he fought his injury, a dedication that is truly incredible.

If you can’t tell, I like boxing movies.  I won’t apologize for that; I’m absolutely not alone.  Americans are obsessed with the genre in general, and will give even the weakest of the bunch a more-than-fair shot.  You could study why, I’m sure it would be interesting, but the fact remains that the training, the emotion, the fighting, the abuse; it’s all so captivating, even if it’s sadistically so.  Rocky, The Fighter, Creed, Southpaw; we want to watch a man push his body pasts the limits, get into a ring, and win his immortality before thousands of screaming fans.  Even just watching brings forward the adrenaline, makes you want to hit a punching bag and run a mile to an inspirational song.  Don’t look to me for the answers to the whys, because I’m part of the blinded bunch who are ready to step behind these films no matter what.

That said, I think I can critique Bleed for This as a stand alone film as well, not just as another boxing movie, and it stands up fairly well under scrutiny.  Miles Teller may never be as good as he was in Whiplash, that was the role of a lifetime and J.K. basically made the movie, but the kid has talent.  He shows it here, goes all in, and you can tell he’s committed to the part.  It’s Aaron Eckhart who’s the show-stealer in a way, coming out bald and fat like it’s no big deal, which we know it is, even if it was makeup.  Ciaran Hinds as Vinny’s dad was solid, as was his entire family really, and you really get a sense of the passionate support behind him.  Again, a bit of a Fighter clone, a bit of a copycat movie, a bit of a genre flick that won’t transcend the style, but still a film that’s strong enough to enjoy if you’re a fan and good enough to recommend if you’re a critic.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (1080p HD Widescreen), the video quality of the Bleed for This Blu-ray is top-notch.  The film won’t dazzle you with cinematography or beautiful imagery, the story is much more brutal than that, but what you can enjoy if you wish is the stark reality of the situation and the clarity in which it was shot.  In other words, this isn’t the most impressive Blu-ray, but the crisp picture you want from the media is still there.

Audio – The disc was done in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, with an option of English Descriptive Video Service Dolby Digital Plus 2.0.  Also, subtitles are available in Spanish, as well as the ability to turn button sounds on or off.  The audio quality of the film is quite nice, with a bit of a soundtrack and a good balance between action and dialogue.  Again, this story doesn’t lend itself to everything that the Blu-ray is capable of, but it also doesn’t completely forget the technical.

Extras – There are quite a few special features, if after the movie you are thirsty for more.  There are seven deleted scenes, which you can choose one at a time or watch all in one queue.  Inspired by a Legend is a 2-minute interview featurette.  An Authentic World is a 3-minute segment about getting the boxing right.  And there are a ton of trailers as well: Snowden, Triple 9, Spotlight, Dope, Rosewater, Nightcrawler, Chef, End of Watch.

Final Thoughts

Highly Recommended.  It wouldn’t hurt to be a boxing movie fan before sitting down to watch this one.  We understand that there is a genre, a recipe, and even real life seems to follow suit, so we’ve come to accept and even to love the style.  If you find yourself entertained by that standard, Bleed for This ought to land right inside your wheelhouse.  It’s also just good enough on its own to be enjoyed by those looking for a true life drama.  It’s real, it’s raw, it’s sports at their most passionate, so there must be a larger audience for this film than just us suckers who like Rocky.  The acting is commendable, the story flows nicely, and by the end, the Paz might just be your personal hero.  The video is nice, the audio solid as well, there are a few extras, so the Blu-ray supports the film as well, without becoming the most brilliant visual you will ever see.  Watch with confidence, especially if you’re already an aficionado.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Come What May

Category : DVD Review

Director: Christian Carion

Starring: August Diehl, Matthew Rhys, Olivier Gourmet

Year: 2015

There was such a vast percentage of humanity affected by WWII that we’ll literally never run out of stories to glean from that time period, to turn into sagas and dramas that both teach a lesson and give us a taste of the history that we dare not forget.  Come What May comes at the era from a different direction, showing us a world gone mad through the eyes of those whose stories haven’t been loudly told.  In a way, these are tales from before the heart of the war was at hand, tales of the lives that were changed by the approach of battle, just as so many were destroyed by the actual chaos.  I appreciate the fresh viewpoint and the atypical delivery, but what’s even better is the quality put in to bringing this chapter to life, and the heart written into every scene.

The Movie

In the spring of 1940, Germany was already on their way to a sure victory over a cowering Europe.  Having already taken neighboring, Germanic territories, the Nazis were pushing on into France, crushing the token British and French forces, ending the war before it had scarcely begun.  The Brits were forced back to Dunkirk, the French never stood a chance, and Hitler’s forces began their takeover of the farmlands of central Europe, the fields that would feed a world army.  The French peasants were left with few options; stay in their villages and hope the German tanks would pass them by or flee south toward a possible safe haven, leaving everything they had ever known behind and in the hands of Nazi occupation.

This is the story of the struggle of the native people of this land, as they fought to hold on to any memory of their past peace, a dream that was slowly fading away.  Hans, a German rebel who worked for an underground radio station but was forced to leave his homeland, finds himself in a French jail, with no support from either side.  His son, Max, is living in a village that will soon be on the move, led by their mayor, a man who is used to having others follow his decisions but has never had to travel through a war zone before.  When Hans escapes jail, only to befriend a marooned Scottish officer, the two trek across the countryside in order to find Max, to find safety, to find some sort of sanity in the insanity that is the beginning of a world war.

We know the history of the Holocaust very well, and there is no saturation point when it comes to the films that can tell us the stories from that horrible time, both from a dramatic standpoint and from a humanitarian one.  But there was much more to the war than battles and terror, there were smaller tales that may have slipped through the cracks of time, individual accounts that might be smaller on scale but still deliver a powerful impact.  Come What May is a very personal film that sheds light on a very unique group of people; the displaced French.  Their struggles may not have been as vicious as others, but the way in which their roots were uplifted is just another crime to throw at the feet of the Nazis, just another way they destroyed so much.

It’s clear from the beginning that this movie is slightly documentarian in style, partly war drama, and always full of real feeling from a director/writer who felt that he had something very important to share with us.  It won’t capture your attention, entertain you, if that word can be used about the abuse of a population, in the way that many American-made war films can, but it also won’t bore audiences with an overly-artistic depiction of the times either.  Instead, it falls somewhere in the middle; a little action, a bit of beauty, but mainly focusing on telling a generally true story as it might have happened, allowing us to be there and to understand the panic behind the flight of so many who would never see their homes again.  The acting is strong enough to share the message, the Spring scenery is beautiful, the German advancement is frighteningly steady, and the film as a whole is a well-made point piece with just enough Hollywood to hook those who don’t want to forget what happened all those years ago.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the video quality of the Blu-ray disc isn’t exactly stunning, but it won’t disappoint those looking for a crisp image from a high quality medium.  The picture is saturated with rich color and showcases the beauty of the countryside, as well as the dark gore of war.  It’s a strong visual, with realistic cinematography and a nice brightness.

Audio – Done in DTS-HD Master Audio, the audio quality of the disc is quite excellent.  There is also a choice of 5.1 Dolby Digital, as well as subtitles in English.  Throughout the film, French and German subtitles will automatically appear.  The sound quality of the Blu-ray is superb, with an incredible soundtrack as well, crafted by the renowned Ennio Morricone.

Extras – There are many extras on the Blu-ray disc, beginning with an option of audio commentary with director Christian Carion.  A theatrical trailer is available to view.  The Making of Come What May is a look into the creation of the film.  Behind the Scenes with composer Ennio Morricone is exactly that.  And an Interview with Christian Carion and Richard Peña can be selected for your enjoyment as well.

Final Thoughts

Highly Recommended.  An unusual WWII film, at least in the direction from which it attacks the subject, Come What May is nevertheless an important piece to the greater puzzle of those impacting years and the people who survived to tell the tale.  We learn about the quick French collapse, but we don’t know much about the peasants who fled for their lives, and this is their story.  In that, it’s a film worth watching, with an added bonus of some solid acting and storytelling as well.  It won’t join a group of award-winners perhaps, but it at least deserves its time in the sun.  The video is pleasantly done, the audio is a highlight, and there are many extras to enjoy as well.  Taken as a whole package, there is much to appreciate here, especially for those wanting to dive into learning about WWII and the people who make it worth studying.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – My King

Category : DVD Review

Director: Maiwenn

Starring: Emmanuelle Bercot, Vincent Cassel, Louis Garrel

Year: 2015

Not to overlook the leading ladies of this film, Maiwenn the director and Bercot the lead actress, but My King is a success because of the man the title is referring to; Georgio, played perfectly by a genius Cassel.  This French actor is a phenomenon, and we are lucky to have him as a cross-over talent in Hollywood as well, so that we can see him in his native country and also in our more familiar American cinema.  Eastern Promises, Black Swan, A Dangerous Method, Partisan, Tale of Tales; pick up a film starring Vincent Cassel and I guarantee a performance like no other, and more often than not one that steals the show.  He’s a transcendent talent, a natural villain, a complex hero, an actor who can take on any job.  It’s refreshing to see him in a French film, where he seems even more comfortable, is even more impressive, and jumps off the screen as an unparalleled delight.

The Movie

Tony, a single mother of a young boy, is injured in a skiing accident going much too fast downslope.  Her accident becomes a metaphor for her life, as she gradually recovers from an exciting yet traumatic incident that has left her scarred but ultimately stronger.  As she stays for many weeks at a rehabilitation center, she spends her time remembering the most important events of her life; meeting a man named Georgio, having a lovely son together, and separating after many years of boisterous unhappiness.  Tony recalls the past while looking toward the future, using her quiet moments wisely as a way to accept the things that she cannot change, and to plan ahead for a life that still has such promise.

Tony met Georgio at a club, dripping water into his face to spark his memory.  They had actually met before, years prior, when they were both quite young.  Tony, a lawyer and a student, remembers Georgio for his way with women, his smooth manner, and his sharp humor.  Georgio, on his part, doesn’t remember Tony at all, but quickly falls for her, even though she doesn’t resemble the models he is used to dating.  Georgio is a wild man, fast with a joke, but slow with responsibilities, an untamed animal who doesn’t mind using his sex and his charm to convince those who should run away to stay.  So begins a tumultuous love affair between two people who cannot let go, even though they know they should.

If the plot seems too common, believe me, it is not.  There are elements that we’ve seen before, as there are in any love story, but those elements only make the film feel real, not recycled.  A passionate love, two people who aren’t perfect for each other, the inability to ever really move on; yes we’ve seen that before, but perhaps never better, as My King brings a certain frightening truth to the screen in a way that’s not always comfortable, but should be greatly appreciated.  It isn’t the film of the year, but there is so much here that deserves our attention, from the weaving of an alternative romance to the lessons we can all learn about trust, love, and the danger of opening ourselves up to a person who isn’t able to take care of our most delicate pieces.

Perhaps a French film about the difficulties of love doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend two hours, and I might agree with you, if it weren’t for the performance of Vincent Cassel, something that basically blew me away.  He plays Georgio with such complex emotions, making him at once a god and a monster, showing us both the beauty and the horror of falling in love.  And doubtless we all know someone who is a little like this character: a swindler, a cheat, a rebel, a free spirit, the life of the party, but not someone you can depend on.  Imagine falling desperately in love with that person, or better yet, watch it happen here.  My King is a film that brings life to the screen, not needing to reinvent the wheel, because reality is often unfathomable enough.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 Widescreen and shot using a Sony CineAlta PMW-F55 camera with Zeiss Super Speed and Angenieux Optimo lenses, the video quality of the film is quite strong, with a great eye for detail and an ultimate focus on the characters; their faces, their moods, their inner thoughts, their small victories and defeats.  The picture quality isn’t amazing, but it is clear and strong, delivering all we could ask for from a drama.

Audio – The DVD was done in French 5.1 Surround, with an option of French Stereo.  The film is subtitled in English, with no other language or text options than to turn it completely off.  The audio quality was fine, with no magic moments or cringe-worthy issues.  The use of music was subtle, the film is mostly dialogue, and the sound doesn’t really ever become a noticeable technical aspect.

Extras – There are quite a few special features on the disc.  There is a short film called I’m An Actrice, a 24-minute story of an irresponsible mother who wants to make her 10-year-old daughter into a movie star.  One deleted scene is available, a 3-minute cut called Wolves.  15 minutes of outtakes are included for your viewing pleasure.  There are seven trailers to watch: My King, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, My Love Don’t Cross That River, The Ardennes, Breathe, Full Moon in Paris, The Best Intentions.  And you can learn about Film Movement in a short paragraph.

Final Thoughts

Highly Recommended.  Were in not for Vincent Cassel, My King would be a nice but otherwise forgettable bit of French dramatics.  It’s a love story, a difficult one to watch at times, an inspiration at others, but ultimately only a fine film, not anything extraordinary.  Add in Cassel though, and his performance takes it to another level.  His character was well-written and well-played, a lovable asshole who you couldn’t imagine living with but would love to have over for a drink.  Cassel stole the show as Georgio, but I don’t think anyone will complain, since he quickly becomes the #1 reason to watch.  The video of the film was nice, the audio was normal, and there are a few extras, so the technical aspects of the movie don’t let you down.  But the quality is in the acting and the simplicity of the story, in the passion behind the love between these characters, and what each of us can take away from the tale.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Goat

Category : DVD Review

Director: Andrew Neel

Starring: Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper

Year: 2016

Nick Jonas is not an actor, or at least not a good one.  With his teen heartthrob status behind him, he’s attempted to make the push onto the screen, and his moments have come fairly regularly.  Some TV, just getting started in movies; I think we’ll see more of him before we see less, but I also think that is a very bad thing.  The kid can’t act, and nearly brings Goat crashing down around him because of it.  The saving grace; a young man who does have talent, Ben Schnetzer.  Getting his break in 2013 and not slowing down since then, here’s an actor who we can look forward to seeing often over the coming years, a recently-recognized gem who puts this film on his shoulders and very nearly saves the day.

The Movie

Brothers Brad and Brett love the wild life, partying on the weekends with their friends, hooking up with girls, drinking way too much, and basically enjoying their youth while its present.  Brad just graduated from high school and is attempting to decide on his future.  Brett, the elder, attends a local college, where he and his frat buddies are all big men on campus.  As a sibling, Brad’s path in the fraternity is set, if he wants to follow it, with beer and babes waiting for him if he so chooses.  But a random robbery turned assault sets Brad back a step, as getting beat up creates an anxiety in him that he’ll need more than a month to move past.  But rush week is just around the corner, so he’ll have to make a plan soon if he wants to be one of the cool kids.

With his “accident” always in the back of his mind, Brad decides to pledge, joining a group of other goats for hell week, a period of hazing and ridicule that is seen as completely necessary by the brothers of the fraternity, since they all went through the same thing.  To weed out the weak ones, or so they justify it, the brothers torture the goats, making them drink until the vomit, treating them like animals, tying them up together, using them for target practice, and generally making their lives miserable.  Too much of this treatment begins to force Brad to rethink his decision, but it might be too late to back out.  His past trauma, his current debasement, they add up to a terrifying experience that is all too common and all too real.

The best moment of the film is when James Franco randomly shows up at the frat house, chugs some Rhinegeist, and makes a motivational speech.  No, seriously, that actually happens, and it literally feels like he stumbled onto the set to have a drink.  It’s the most realistic scene of the movie, and really adds a nice touch of humor.  On a more serious note, it also helps audiences understand the potentially positives of a brotherhood like this, how young men could want to be a part of it, how they might do terrible things to earn their place.  At its heart, Goat is a story of hazing and why it happens, why anyone would put themselves through it, and why it must be stopped.  The message here is unbearably real, so no matter what else fails about the film, at least there’s that groundwork laid, and perhaps the moral will touch a few lives before the movie fades away.

Picking apart the feature though, there really isn’t much else to brag about.  The concept far outshines the delivery, as the details become falling crumbs as you poke into the center.  The message is what’s important, sure, but we are still audiences, we still need entertaining, and we still won’t forgive obvious flaws.  The biggest one was Nick Jonas, who couldn’t act his way out of a barn with a goat and a mud wrestling pit.  I know he’s still relatively new to acting, but if he doesn’t improve in a hurry, he’s going to become a joke.  Ben Schnetzer won’t, that kid is going places, and he single-handedly saves this film from failure.  His character is both believable and likeable, we root for him, and we want him to make it out of this alive.  The direction, the side characters, the college; it was all OK, nothing special, and the same can be said of the film as a whole, as it fails to impress and should simply be considered a good try.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 16×9 (Widescreen), the video is the least of the film’s concerns.  The picture quality is fine, feeling more like an indie film than a studio feature, with no real attention paid to clarity or cinematography.

Audio – The DVD was done in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, with a choice of Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital as well.  Also, subtitle options are available in English, French, and Spanish.  The audio goes the same way as the video; completely unimpressive.

Extras – There are no special features on this disc.

Final Thoughts

Recommended.  Perhaps if you consider Goat more a lesson on hazing and less an actual movie it can be elevated to a better rating.  It has a clear statement to make, is based on a book, and can be seen as impactful if you look at it in a certain way.  We know this is a problem, this film sheds light on the subject, and so deserves some respect for having the guts to speak out.  However, the film itself isn’t of the highest quality, and can’t be enjoyed in that way.  The dramatic work is so-so, dragged down tremendously by Nick Jonas, and the rest of the cast/crew never really pick it up out of the scrub.  The video is not noteworthy, neither is the audio, and there are no special features on the DVD, so look elsewhere for technical marvels.  This film is important in a certain way, but the topic would have been better left in other hands.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Road to the Well

Category : DVD Review

Director: Jon Cvack

Starring: Laurence Fuller, Micah Parker, Rosalie McIntire

Year: 2016

Road to the Well carries the feeling of five films wrapped into one, and never coalesces into something steady enough to stand upright while it’s being pulled in a star of directions.  It’s a horror movie, a comedy, suspense, bizarre drama, an indie project, everything rolled into 100 minutes with no apologies given for the mess that is the final product.  Jon Cvack definitely has an original idea, brings something darkly wacky to the screen, but ultimately fails to wrap it all up in order to fit it into one package.  Some mistakes from a low-budget team are to be expected, but too many ruin whatever was the intended aim, a goal that I still can’t identify.

The Movie

Frank is moderately happy, though nowhere near the life he had envisioned for himself back in his younger days, when he and his carefree friends used to picture the future, when anything was possible.  He works in an office, has a nice girlfriend, doesn’t really talk to his old pals anymore, and is slowly becoming everything he never wanted to be.  But multiple events in a short amount of time will shake up his boring existence, until his new life resembles his old life not at all.  First, his buddy Jack calls out of nowhere, says he’s in town, wants a ride.  Reuniting with Jack, who is still unfettered, brings a rush of rebellion back into Frank’s life, and when he, that very night, finds his girlfriend cheating on him, the time might be ripe for a change.

The two friends head out for some drinks to shake off the depression of finding your boss’ face buried between your girlfriend’s legs, and, luckily for Frank, a beautiful woman just happens to be at the bar.  They talk, connect, have sex, and then she winds up dead.  Wait, wait, what?  And that’s exactly how Frank feels, as his life suddenly spins out of control.  On Jack’s advice, the two begin a journey to take care of the body, wash their hands of the guilt, and forget the entire experience ever happened.  But all is not as it seems, it’s not that easy to dispose of a corpse unnoticed, and these two buds might not see exactly eye to eye when it comes to the morals of hiding one murder with more.

Road to the Well is definitely an unpolished piece of film noir, an attempt at bringing some darkness into our lives but a ‘good try’ rather than a great final product.  Jon Cvack, who also wrote the screenplay, just didn’t have the magic touch when it comes to making death fascinating, making man’s natural evil appear on screen in a way we want to watch.  The film did get a little better over time, as the action picked up, as the music kept pumping, as the story became weirder and weirder until it crossed some unseen boundary between amateur and audacious.  By the end, I had begun to enjoy the oddity of the story, but by then perhaps it was too late to jump on board.

The characters were at once very skit and somehow almost likeable, like you understood there wasn’t a ton of talent involved but you kinda liked it anyway.  Laurence Fuller as Frank was appreciatively pathetic, but won’t be winning any acting awards any time soon.  Micah Parker as Jack had the brooding look going for him and an air of nonchalance, but can’t support a film entirely on his own shoulders.  Perhaps by favorite actor in the film was Barak Hardley as their friend Chris, a guy who brought some comic relief and who I could see popping up in other films if anyone happens to take notice of this one.  It’s almost worth it, it’s right on the border, but probably can’t be called “quality” and won’t ever get a large audience.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 16×9 and shot using an Arri Alexa camera, the video quality of Road to the Well is nothing to write home about.  Much of the movie is done in the dark, and so the visuals are never very dynamic.  The picture is as good as you would expect from a low-budget, indie film, and won’t attract much attention.  It can be forgiven, but it can’t really be appreciated.

Audio – Done in 5.1 Surround, the audio quality of the disc is about as unremarkable as the video.  There are no audio options or language features on the disc, and, actually, there is no menu on the DVD at all, the film plays straightaway.  The balance between dialogue and background noise was pretty poor, and I kept having to adjust the volume for every different scene, but the music was fairly strong.

Extras – There are no special features on the DVD.

Final Thoughts

Rent It.  Ultimately, Road to the Well is a watchable thriller, but not much else.  It starts out bad, improves, and ends as only OK, so don’t expect much out of this dark drama other than a story that gets better as the action progresses, but never really becomes anything wonderful.  It’s an amateur attempt at, well, something, although it’s difficult to determine exactly what.  A little funny, a bit edgy, featuring a couple well-acted scenes; you won’t hear me heaping compliments on this film, but I also can’t tear it to shreds.  The video was throwaway, as was the audio, and there aren’t any extras on the disc, so look elsewhere for outstanding technical aspects.  Watch if you’re intrigued, but don’t get too excited.

☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – Never Open the Door

Category : DVD Review

Director: Vito Trabucco

Starring: Jessica Sonneborn, Deborah Venegas, Kristina Page

Matt Aidan, Mike Wood, George Troester, Steven Richards

Year: 2014

Never Open the Door plays like an hour-long Twilight Zone episode, and to anyone who has enjoyed that classic show or the variety of more-modern remakes, you know that to be a fine compliment to this film.  For only lasting 60 minutes, for being shot completely in black & white, for including only minimal characters, and for obviously being quite low budget, this movie displays a surprising amount of homage to the old style, all without completely ripping it off either.  My favorite Twilight Zone episodes were the original and the redo of the man on the airplane who could see a monster attacking the wing, though no one would believe him, starring William Shatner and John Lithgow, respectively.  Never Open the Door isn’t exactly done in that same style, it’s more vampirish than impish, but it comes with the same mood and it leaves the same impact of entertainment.

The Movie

Three couples come together in a cabin for the weekend, a reunion of sorts and a celebration of their friendship.  Luke and Maria are married, he a businessman/budding politician, she is lovely wife.  Isaac and Angel are engaged, but just haven’t exactly decided on the date quite yet.  Terrance and Tess aren’t really a couple, though Terrance would like them to be, and will be contended with teasing her about her job as a veterinarian and trying to make her guilty for not wanting to hook up.  At a lovely holiday dinner party, the six friends from college will share their news, present each other with quaint announcements, harass one another the way only long-time friends can, and will generally have a festive evening.

But, of course, that can’t last long, not in a movie like this, and everything will be ruined in the blink of an eye and a spray of fresh blood.  A violent knock at the door prompts some apprehension, and opening it reveals an injured stranger.  He vomits blood on Tess, collapses in the foyer, and then dies, right after uttering a warning not to open the door.  Well, more knocks are then heard outside, with voices varying from that of a little girl to that of the devil himself.  Needless to say, while Tess is upstairs cleaning up, the remaining friends keep the door closed and fret about what to do next.  They will soon find out that indoors isn’t that much safer, as Tess is undergoing some sort of demonic change, and will soon be seeking a few victims.

There’s something about Never Open the Door that should please aficionados of this genre, or rather multiple somethings, starting with the general mood and moving on to the correct injection of smart details.  First of all, shooting the film in black & white was genius, and lent the entire project a classic feel.  That might sound too simple, just eliminating color, hoping that would be enough to transport us back into the past.  But never underestimate our sensory memory, just seeing a film made in this way can be enough to shift us back a few decades.  It was a nice choice, a smart way in which to work, and I applaud the director for making what seems in hindsight to be a no-brainer of a decision.

More worked as well, it wasn’t just the gray gimmick that made the film.  At only an hour, there was never time for the action to turn stale, for the audience to lose interest.  A bit of blood, a flash of boobs; enough of the genre standards were tossed in to make us feel at home.  And the actors were all invested, none of them coming across as pretty faces in a horror flick.  Rather, they seemed like a troupe that had worked together before, knew their own strengths and weaknesses, meshed as a unit.  Some of the jokes, especially early on, were a touch silly, I didn’t really become invested until about halfway through, and no one will be calling this movie the original work of the century.  But there’s enough here to latch onto, to enjoy, especially if you take it with a grain of salt.

The Blu-ray

Video – With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and shot all in black & white, the video quality of Never Open the Door is about as high as a creepy classic transferred to a DVD, which isn’t really a problem, instead just adding to the nostalgia of the style.  For a low-budget horror flick, I’ve seen worse picture quality.

Audio – There are no audio options, choices, or details available on the disc.  The sound quality is unremarkable, but does rely on some tense, dated music to set the tone of the evening, something that can be noted in the film’s favor.

Extras – The special features are where any technical aspects of the movie will be noticed.  The first extra is a trailer for the film.  Also, there are three interview segments: a conversation with actress Jessica Sonneborn, a conversation with director Vito Trabucco, and a conversation with producer Christopher Maltauro.  Lastly, there is a photo gallery accompaniment and a 6-mintute tribute featurette dedicated to Maggie, a makeup artist who died shortly after the film was completed.

Final Thoughts

Recommended.  This is definitely a film for those who already love the genre, the style, the originals, the late-night horror flicks that scared you as a child when you were up watching something you shouldn’t have been.  But there is quality here that’s actually a little surprising, a strong enough nod but with a touch of clever film-making that saves it from becoming something completely recycled.  I actually really enjoyed actor Mike Wood as Luke; he reminded me of a young, funny, awkward, semi-evil version of Wallace Shawn, with a thick-lipped grin that was at once lovable and loathsome.  Anyway, the movie is an hour long, people die in ways that make only a little sense, but everything is in the name of fun, so it’s easy to forgive and hard to fault.  The video is OK, the audio is fine, there are a few extras, but don’t look to this film for any mind-blowing technical details.  Come for a good throwback and stay for a few gross outs, just don’t expect much else.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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DVD Review – The Intervention

Category : DVD Review

Director: Clea DuVall

Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Jason Ritter, Natasha Lyonne

Clea DuVall, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat, Vincent Piazza, Cobie Smulders

Year: 2016

Perhaps the only independently intelligent thing director Clea DeVall did when filming her debut was to cast Melanie Lynskey as the hands-down lead.  Not only is Lynskey the central figure to the story in many ways, she’s also the most talented actor in the bunch and the most capable of taking the entire project onto her shoulders.  That the film required heavy lifting was apparent from the very beginning, and without her, it would have fallen flat on its recycled face.  DuVall isn’t actually even a director, she’s a mediocre actress who specializes in bit parts and bad movies.  So, look to one figure and one figure only when the film as a whole doesn’t (surprisingly) go completely down in flames.  Lynskey runs around putting out fires, both in the plot and out, the cast as an entity is at least likable, and that classic, Big Chill vibe is in full force during The Intervention, a movie that probably shouldn’t have been made but I guess didn’t turn out too terrible.

The Movie

Seven friends, and a Plus One, organize and gather for a reunion at a large, family owned estate in the country where they spent many a happy day, albeit an increasing number of years ago.  Annie is the instigator, a fun-loving “social drinker” who is engaged but never can seem to set a date.  Her fiancee is Matt, a sensitive type, a man who definitely wants kids and a family.  Then there’s married duo Peter & Ruby, a high-stress power couple with large amounts of anxiety and cynicism.  We also have Jessie, Ruby’s sister, along with her long-term girlfriend Sarah.  Rounding out the group is free spirit Jack who has brought much-younger Lola into the fold for the party.  The gang’s all here for a weekend in the country, so exciting that you’ll have to lie down, and don’t think that a little thing like a decade will be enough to fog the memories of this eclectic bunch.

Actually, Annie had an ulterior motive when planning this reunion.  Acting as the leader, but with support from many of the others, she has formed a sort of intervention in order to broach a painful subject.  The friends believe that Peter and Ruby’s marriage is toxic, that they are no longer happy, that it would be best for everyone involved if they would just get a divorce.  Sure there are kids involved, money matters, it would be pretty heartbreaking, but the majority feel that the happiness of their besties is at stake, and that desperate times call for desperate measures.  You can be assured that this little stage show will not go over well, and that’s only if it ever gets brought up at all, since Annie is often too drunk to remember to start the ball rolling, while Jessie has no idea how to confront her sister about her lack of marital bliss.  Well, it’s going to be an interesting three days.

Melanie Lynskey can’t actually be said to steal the show, because I think Clea DuVall might have gone to her secretly and asked her to please save her.  DuVall clearly didn’t know what she was doing, and Lynskey stepped up to the plate to not exactly hit the ball out of the park, but at least to draw a walk and keep the inning going.  If you can’t tell, I already love Lynskey from previous experience, namely Happy Christmas and other bit parts in which she absolutely shone.  She’s a Kiwi, though with her ability with accents, you’d never even know, and that talent allows her to go anywhere, be anyone.  Lynskey really is a special actor, someone to keep an eye on wherever they happen to pop up.  She took over The Intervention, made the film about herself, and we really ought to thank her for that, since otherwise I think we would have gotten a complete mess.

The film was definitely a Big Chill knockoff, which isn’t exactly to its discredit, since many have tried before to copy that timeless movie, to varying degrees of success.  Beside Still Waters is one that worked, About Alex is one that didn’t quite as much, but filmmakers are constantly trying, because they know that there’s a formula available if you can just tap into it.  Clea DuVall tries here, and does well enough writing/directing/starring, her best idea being to get out of the way, to let the story tell itself, to let Lynskey be the star.  Still, the film isn’t wonderful, it’s rather a good remake of a standard premise, complete with the old gang, the old problems, a weekend away, drinking, kissing, making decisions, and ultimately changing paths.  We like watching that plot, to a certain extent, and are willing to forgive a few flaws, which The Intervention sure has, so there’s something here to cling to, if not something that will hold you for very long.

The DVD

Video – With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (Widescreen 16×9), the video quality of the film is fine enough not to notice, not strong enough to impress.  Most scenes were shot in bright light using a lot of color, allowing the characters to demand the attention, not the visuals.  Most action was set in or near the house, so there weren’t a ton of scenes that stand out as visually important.

Audio – The disc was done in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, with an option of Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French.  The audio quality, like the video, is completely unimportant.  The sound quality is fine as far as balance is concerned, but I can’t remember a single song in the background, and there’s no score to speak of either.

Extras – There are only two special features on the DVD: a Tegan & Sara music video and the film’s Blooper Reel.

Final Thoughts

Recommended.  I was surprised that Natasha Lyonne wasn’t utilized in this film more, given that she’s probably the biggest name, since her OITNB role took off.  But I can’t complain that Melanie Lynskey stood in the spotlight for the majority, with the other characters swirling around her.  She was up to the task, which can’t really be said for the director, the result being an average movie with one great actress and a base that, although it’s been recycled many times, always has a place in our hearts.  The video and audio aren’t impressive, neither are the extras, so the technical aspects of this film won’t stand out, but they probably were never meant to.  The story is what’s important, it’s fairly enjoyable, but the movie as a whole is only OK, never wonderful.  The Intervention is a mediocre Big Chill carbon copy, but its lack of success won’t stop us from watching the next one to come along.

☆ ☆ ☆ – Content

☆ ☆ ☆ – Video

☆ ☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ ☆ – Replay

 

 

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