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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Anne Fletcher
Cast:
Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Kazinsky
Writing Credits:
David Feeney and John Quaintance

Synopsis:
An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

Box Office:
Budget
$35 million.
Opening Weekend
$13,942,258 on 3,003 Screens.
Domestic Gross
34,507,079.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
Portuguese
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
Portuguese
French

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 8/11/2015

Bonus:
• “The Womance” Featurette
• “Say What?” Featurette
• “Action Like a Lady” Featurette
• Alternate Ending
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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


Hot Pursuit [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 3, 2015)

Though part of the broader “road movie” genre, 2015’s Hot Pursuit falls into a more specific category: the “mismatched couple road movie”. As exemplified by flicks such as Midnight Run and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, this kind of film takes two very different people and sticks them together for a long journey.

That’s what the story of Pursuit gives us. Ever since childhood, Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) trained to be a cop, and she now lives her dream – sort of. While she works for a police force, she finds herself stuck as a clerk in the evidence locker.

Cooper dreams of more exotic service, and she finally gets her chance when drug kingpin Vicente Cortez (Joaquín Cosio) goes into custody. Cortez routinely offs anyone who threatens to testify against him, so the authorities need to keep the newest witness – money launderer Felipe Riva (Vincent Laresca) – alive.

Riva’s wife Daniella (Sofia Vergara) also will testify and she needs a female escort, so Cooper gets the gig. The assignment goes south when Cortez’s forces attack Riva’s house, so Cooper’s attempts to keep Daniella safe become a bigger challenge. In addition, the tension between the buttoned-up Cooper and the hot-blooded Daniella adds to the adventure.

If you give Pursuit a look on Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll find it earned the unenviable rating of seven percent. Given that my home movie of the time I suffered from toenail fungus earned 12 percent on RT, that’s pretty bad.

I don’t think Pursuit deserves the level of critical animosity implied by a seven percent rating, as the movie’s not that bad; I could easily find worse films that received higher marks. Don’t take that as an endorsement, though, for I can’t discern much about Pursuit to praise, either.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if Pursuit deserved severe pans due to the way it wastes its actors. Witherspoon won an Oscar for Walk the Line, and Vergara got multiple Emmy nominations for Modern Family, so it’s clear they both have talent.

You’ll not find much evidence of those skills in Pursuit, though, as the overactive, shrill script leaves the performers high and dry. Not that either one really does much to stretch themselves, as they offer pretty one-dimensional takes on their characters.

In particular, Vergara gives us work that feels like a carbon copy of her popular Modern Family character. If someone can discern qualities that differentiate Daniella from Family’s Gloria, let me know – I can’t. Vergara already finds herself at risk of serious typecasting, and her appearance here doesn’t help her case.

I don’t think there’s much Witherspoon and/or Vergara could’ve done to redeem Pursuit, though, as it offers such a contrived, barely coherent piece of work. It feels like a series of vaguely connected comedic scenarios without much forethought involved. Someone came up with situations they thought would be funny and built a movie around it.

This doesn’t work, mainly because little humor results. Pursuit throws so much at the wall that the occasional gag sticks, but not in a “laugh out loud” way. The jokes connect more in a “hey, that was almost funny” manner.

Perhaps director Anne Fletcher realized that she found herself stuck with a terrible script and decided to crank the theatrics up to 11. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for the movie’s frantic sense of pacing. Pursuit rarely takes a breath, as it pummels us with its attempts at comedy.

This flops. The relentless nature of the material means that nothing ever gets a chance to succeed on its own terms; one bad joke spills onto the screen and before we know it, we get another. Watching Pursuit makes me feel like I spent 87 minutes on spin cycle in a washing machine.

And it comes across like a long> 87 minutes at that. Desperate to entertain us, Hot Pursuit rarely succeeds. Instead, it pummels us with bad, forced attempts at comedy that leave us disenchanted and worn out by the end credits.


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

Hot Pursuit appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image satisfied.

Sharpness seemed fine most of the time. The occasional slightly soft shot materialized, but nothing too severe occurred, as the majority of the movie looked accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. I also didn’t see any specks, marks or other print flaws.

Colors looked positive. The image took on a teal tone much of the time, and some orange appeared as well. The hues seemed fine within those parameters. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed clear delineation. All of this was good enough for a “B+”.

I also thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Pursuit worked well. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got mostly what I anticipated.

In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. However, occasional action elements opened up the mix in a satisfying manner. Enough of the material focused on characters/comedy that we didn’t get a ton of involving material, but the track managed to provide a reasonably engaging sense of place/location.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, though I noticed a little edginess at times. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a somewhat better than average “comedy mix” and became a nice reproduction of the material.

A few extras flesh out the disc, mainly via three featurettes. The Womance goes for three minutes, five seconds and includes notes from actors Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. They tell us how much fun they had together, and we see lots of footage of them as they joke around on the set. This becomes more of a gag reel than anything else – and not an especially interesting one.

Say What? lasts three minutes, 46 seconds and shows a piece very similar to “Womance”. We hear short comments from Vergara and Witherspoon but mostly view silliness from the shoot. Yawn.

For the final featurette, we find the two-minute, 26-second Action Like a Lady. If you expect it to follow the template set by the prior two programs, you’ll be right. It gives us goofiness from the set and not much else. Like its predecessors, it doesn’t become interesting.

An Alternate Ending runs one minute, 28 seconds. It offers no additional/altered story material. Instead, we just get short “TV interviews” with many of the movie’s supporting characters. It’s cute at best but not substantial.

The disc opens with an ad for The Intern. No trailer for Pursuit shows up here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Pursuit. Other than “The Womance” and previews, it lacks extras.

A frantic, hyperactive action-comedy, Hot Pursuit isn’t as awful as its reviews indicate, but that doesn’t make it good. The talents of its lead actors ensure a couple of minor moments of amusement, but the film flails most of the time. The Blu-ray provides good picture and audio along with insubstantial supplements. Not much about Pursuit succeeds.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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