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MOVIE INFO
Director:
Tom McCarthy
Cast:
Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Ellen Barkin, Cliff "Method Man" Smith, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens
Screenplay:
Tom McCarthy and Paul Sado

Synopsis:
Max Simkin has had enough of working in his little New York shoe repair shop where he quietly envies people with more interesting lives. So when he discovers an old family heirloom with the magical ability to change his appearance and transform into any of his customers, the temptation is too good to pass up. However, his newfound ability to become someone else proves to be as troublesome as it is fun.
MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $34.97
Release Date: 5/12/2015

Bonus:
• “The Making of The Cobbler” Featurette
• Trailer and Previews
• DVD Copy


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EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Cobbler [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 22, 2015)

Every once in a while, Adam Sandler veers from the usual broad comedy that made him a star and does something smaller and quirkier. 2014’s fantasy The Cobbler falls into that category.

Max Simkin (Sandler) leads a dull life as the proprietor of a small New York shoe repair shop. This business has remained in his family for generations, but the work leaves him unfulfilled.

Matters change when Max discovers an old stitcher machine. As Max learns when he uses it, shoes repaired with this device allow their wearer to enter the lives of the shoes’ owners. We follow Max’s adventures as he utilizes this amazing contraption – for good and for bad.

At the start of this review, I referred to Cobbler as a change of pace for Sandler, but that’s not entirely true. While it lacks a lot of the standard Sandler humor, it’s not as big a departure as it may initially appear.

As a story, Cobbler fits in with Sandler fare such as Click and Bedtime Stories, both of which offer comedic fantasies. Cobbler differs mainly in terms of tone, as it lacks the usual slapstick and broad humor.

Bot that Cobbler avoids all forms of wackiness, as the “body switch” concept offers occasionally glimpses of nutty humor. Still, the movie tends more toward whimsy that one expects from Sandler.

This works for a while, largely due to the basic premise. Obviously we’ve seen many movies with similar concepts – stuff like Big and Freaky Friday - but Cobbler boasts enough of a twist to allow it to stand on its own.

While the film comes with a somewhat forced sense of cuteness – the klemzer score gets more than a little cloying – it still delivers reasonable entertainment, at least during the phase where Max discovers his “powers”. These moments offer some fun and we enjoy the ride as Max delights in his new abilities.

After that, however, a plot about an evil land developer (Ellen Barkin) and her henchmen kicks in and The Cobbler loses its way. Initially an agreeable fable, the story goes darker than it should and becomes a mishmash of plot points without a satisfying payoff.

We also get detours related to Max’s personal life. These can be seen from a mile away and feel contrived, so they do more to harm the movie than help. I find them to be unnecessary, even if they do a lot to leave room for a potential sequel.

As Max, Sandler offers competent work. He tones down his usual routine but doesn’t exactly stretch himself too much in the part. While I don’t think Sandler adds much to the film, he doesn’t hurt it, either.

The Cobbler received pretty brutal reviews, and I have to admit I don’t think it deserves them; while flawed, the movie comes with enough entertainment to be mediocre. However, those problems ensure that it remains a disappointment.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

The Cobbler appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked fine most of the time.

Sharpness was solid. Only a smidgen of softness ever occurred, so the majority of the flick offered strong delineation. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and the presentation lacked edge haloes. In terms of source defects, I witnessed no specks, marks or other issues; the Blu-ray gave us a clean transfer.

In terms of palette, Cobbler went with Hollywood Standard teal and orange. That seemed like an odd choice for a comedy fantasy, but I couldn’t complain about the execution of the tones, as they seemed fine. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows showed decent clarity. No notable issues occurred here.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it remained pretty low-key. General ambience ruled the day, as little more exciting than that appeared. Street shots offered decent breadth, and music spread well to the side speakers. Nonetheless, nothing especially lively popped up here. Heck, even nightclub scenes stayed subdued.

Audio quality seemed acceptable. Speech appeared natural and concise, as the lines always remained intelligible. Music seemed full and rich, while effects showed good accuracy. Nothing here stood out as particularly memorable, but the track was fine for a film of this sort.

A featurette called The Making of The Cobbler runs 15 minutes, three seconds and offers notes from writer/director Tom McCarthy, producer Mary Jane Skalski, writer Paul Sado, and actors Adam Sandler, Melonie Diaz, Steve Buscemi, Cliff “Method Man” Smith and Fritz Weaver. The show looks at story/character/screenplay areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, and McCarthy’s impact on the shoot. The program provides a few decent details but remains fairly promotional.

The disc opens with ads for The Rewrite, Paradise and Goats. We also find a trailer for Cobbler.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of The Cobbler. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Parts of The Cobbler entertain, largely due to a fun premise. However, it goes downhill as it progresses and loses our affection along the way. The Blu-ray provides very good picture as well as acceptable audio and minor bonus materials. Although the film has its moments, it lacks enough substance and charm to make it a winner.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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