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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Kevin Munroe
Cast:
Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Peter Stormare, Anita Briem, Taye Diggs, Brian Steele, Andrew Sensenig, Kurt Angle
Writing Credits:
Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Tiziano Sclavi (comic book series, "Dylan Dog")

Tagline:
No pulse? No problem.

Synopsis:
The adventures of supernatural private eye, Dylan Dog, who seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans.

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$754.779 thousand on 875 screens.
Domestic Gross
$1.183 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 7/26/2011

Bonus:
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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


Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 28, 2011)

Some believe there’s a “Superman Curse” that causes misfortune on those connected to the Man of Steel. I think that’s ludicrous, at least as far as anything severe goes, but it does seem tough for Superman leads to get good work in other projects. Sure, Christopher Reeve worked steadily outside of Superman, but he never managed much success in these roles.

Five years after Superman Returns, Brandon Routh’s career has yet to set the world on fire. But he does get work, and he appears as the lead in a low-budget action-horror flick called Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

Adapted from an Italian comic book, Dylan Dog (Routh) acts as an unusual private detective. Working in New Orleans, Dog deals with supernatural cases – or at least he used to, as he’s now moved onto more mundane infidelity gigs due to factors we learn about as the movie progresses.

Until he meets Elizabeth Ryan (Anita Briem), a young woman who claims a furry monster killed her father Alfred. Initially Dylan refuses to accept the case, but when the same creature kills his assistant Marcus (Sam Huntington), he relents. This leads him back into a world of werewolves, vampires and other beasts as he tries to get to the bottom of the situation.

Perhaps so many Superman actors can’t stand out in other roles because they find it hard to develop characters with darker sides. That seems to be the case for Routh, who seems woefully miscast as a haunted, hard-bitten detective. While I don’t think the part requires a traditional Humphrey Bogart or Mike Hammer tough guy sort, it could use someone with more heft to him than Routh. He maintains too much Iowa farmboy in him to play a big city detective who’s seen all sorts of freakiness in his line of work.

Not that I think Routh is bad as Dylan – he just is wrong for the part. He certainly tries his best and I can’t pin the movie’s moderate failure on him, though he doesn’t do anything to elevate the material. Again, that’s more the fault of the casting director than the actor; Routh attempts to play tough guy but just has the wrong personality for the part.

The biggest problem with Night comes from its general aimlessness. To be sure, the movie boasts a cool concept behind it, as the notion of a detective who specializes in cases related to the supernatural creates real intrigue.

Which is what makes it remarkable that director Kevin Munroe found himself so often unable to capitalize on all that potential. Night works best as it explores the seedy realm of vampires and the others; as we learn about this underworld, we’re interested to know more about its workings.

But Munroe can’t do much with the mundane plot. It gets into creatures who want to use an artifact to rule the world – blah blah blah. We’ve seen it before and we’ve seen it better; Night does nothing to deliver a story that involves us.

It also suffers from rather clunky action and movement. Munroe also had story problems with 2007’s TMNT but at least he gave the movie some decent action sequences. That doesn’t occur here, as the scenes tend to wobble and lack much visceral impact. Many of them seem like they should be cool but they’re not; they just look like amateurish attempts to borrow from better films like The Matrix.

All of this makes Dylan Dog: Dead of Night a disappointment. The movie has a low-budget feel and a lack of much to make it zoom. Though it could’ve been fun, it sputters too often.

Casting footnote: I imagine that the decision to pair Routh with Huntington – Jimmy Olsen from Superman Returns - wasn’t an accident. Since the Blu-ray includes no extras, however, we don’t get to hear from the filmmakers about this choice.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.405:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer ranged from excellent to ehh.

Sharpness offered one of the inconsistent elements. Though most of it looked crisp and concise, occasional instances of slight softness affected wider shots. Still, the image usually appeared well-defined, and I noticed no issues with jaggies, shimmering or edge haloes. Print flaws also remained absent.

Colors tended toward the stylized tones one would expect from a modern action-horror effort. Much of the movie came with a sickly blue-green tone, though some shots – usually the more “human” ones – opted for a warm golden feel. The hues looked fine for what they attempted. Blacks were somewhat inky, while shadows tended to be a bit dense; low-light shots were decent at best. I thought the image did enough well for a “B-“ but it wasn’t a consistently good presentation.

I also thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack had ups and downs. The soundfield was an occasional weak link, as it didn’t come across as especially involving throughout the film. Some sequences used the five channels better than others – the climax worked well, and I liked the way bullets flew from the front to the rear – but at times the soundscape felt somewhat mushy. It didn’t always deliver the smooth movement and clean environment I expected, though it still managed to add general pep to the proceedings.

Audio quality was fine. Music seemed lively and full, and effects displayed nice accuracy and heft. Speech was a little metallic but remained intelligible and clear. Nothing much here excelled but the track did enough right to merit a “B”.

The disc opens with ads for Season of the Witch, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No other extras appear here.

With a fun concept at its heart, I hoped Dylan Dog: Dead of Night would provide a good horror-action hybrid. Unfortunately, it lacks much zest; it manifests occasional life but not enough to keep us with it through its lackluster finale. The Blu-ray provides erratic but generally good picture and audio; it comes with virtually no supplements, though. This isn’t a terrible movie but it’s pretty ordinary.

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