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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Ivan Kavanagh
Cast:
John Cusack, Emile Hirsch, Antonia Campbell-Hughes
Writing Credits:
Ivan Kavanagh

Synopsis:
An Irish undertaker profits when outlaws take over a peaceful American frontier town, but his family comes under threat as the death toll rises.

MPAA:
Rated R.

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

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 5/14/2019

Bonus:
• “Dire Consequences” Featurette
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Never Grow Old [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 29, 2019)

Though he may never catch up with titans John Travolta and Bruce Willis, John Cusack stands in the running for the title of Most Likely to Go Direct to Video. For Cusacks’ latest DTV offering, we check out 2019’s western Never Grow Old.

Set in 1849, life used to be peaceful in the frontier town of Garlow. However, when violent outlaw Dutch Albert (Cusack) arrived, he brought debauchery and crime with him.

On the surface, this benefits local undertaker Patrick Tate (Emile Hirsch), as all the killings give him non-stop business. However, threats start to mount against his family, a factor that forces him to eventually take a stand.

At the start, I implied Cusack’s descent from actual movie star to direct-to-video hack. While Cusack’s decline startles me, I also wonder what happened to Hirsch.

Unlike Cusack, Hirsch never became particularly famous, and that becomes the surprise. With prominent roles in critically acclaimed dramas like Milk and Into the Wild, the young actor appeared primed for stardom.

And then Speed Racer happened. Maybe it’s unfair to blame that notorious flop for Hirsch’s career stagnation, but it seems tough to avoid this potential interpretation, given how Hirsch struggled to land major roles after 2008.

Whatever caused Hirsch’s less than dynamic post-2008 career, Old seems unlikely to re-ignite his prospects, and not just because it suffers from the low profile that comes with its direct to video status. Hirsch simply doesn’t provide an especially compelling performance here.

Without question, Hirsch gets the most three-dimensional part, as Patrick brings a role that goes through a real journey. While the film accords Hirsch the opportunity to demonstrate this path, he tends toward a pretty glum, one-note turn that does little to add to the role.

On the other hand, Cusack does well as our main antagonist. Cusack now seems eager to play villains, and this may be a good thing, as he seems more invested in these kinds of characters.

Cusack’s baddie in 2017’s Blood Money became one of the few highlights in that otherwise forgettable film, and he manages to bring charisma to Old as well. At times he makes Dutch seem a little too glib and “modern”, but Cusack manages to give the part a sense of life that makes his scenes entertaining.

Unfortunately, Cusack tends to function in a vacuum, as not much else about Old feels especially interesting. In addition to Hirsch, none of the other actors come across as memorable, and the story itself lacks impact.

My synopsis makes Old sound more dramatic and action-packed than it is. Much of the tale revolves around the relationship between Dutch and Patrick, but that side of the narrative never forms into anything with much depth or intrigue.

This leaves with a fairly predictable story in which a stereotypical good man eventually finds his nerve and stands up to evil. Despite a fun turn from Cusack, this becomes a largely inert Western.


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

Never Grow Old appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film boasted fine visuals.

Sharpness worked well. While the occasional wide shot betrayed a sliver of softness, the majority of material appeared accurate and concise.

No issues with moiré effects or jaggies occurred, and I saw neither edge haloes nor source flaws.

The movie favored a heavily amber/orange palette, though it threw in more than a little teal as well. Within the stylistic constraints, the Blu-ray reproduced the colors in a favorable manner.

Blacks came across as deep and dense, while shadows – important in such a dark tale – appeared smooth and well-developed. The movie offered pleasing picture quality.

Also good, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio also satisfied. Music showed nice stereo presence, while effects added immersive material.

The occasional action sequences boasted fine use of the side and rear speakers, all of which brought us into the story well. Much of the film opted for general atmosphere, and those moments provided nice immersion.

Audio quality seemed strong. Music was full and rich, while dialogue seemed natural and distinctive.

Effects offered clear elements, with warm, tight lows. Though it didn’t dazzle, I liked the soundtrack for Old.

A featurette called Dire Consequences runs 20 minutes, 22 seconds and includes comments from writer/director Ivan Kavanagh, producers Jacqueline Kerrin and Dominic Wright, production designer John Leslie, costume designer Jackye Fauconnier, and actors Emile Hirsch and Déborah François.

“Dire” looks at story/characters/influences, sets and locations, costumes and period details, cast and performances, photography, and audio. Some fluff emerges, but we still get a reasonable examination of various production domains.

The disc opens with ads for The Escape of Prisoner 614, Hell or High Water, Hostiles and Trading Paint. No trailer for Old appears here.

When he plays villains, John Cusack offers good work, and his turn in Never Grow Old adds value to the film. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie seems less compelling, so this becomes a lackluster Western despite Cusack’s efforts. The Blu-ray brings solid picture and audio along with a featurette. As much as I like Cusack’s villainous performance, I can’t find much else to recommend

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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