Old Dogs appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though never a bad presentation, the transfer lacked consistency.
Some of the ups and downs connected to sharpness. Much of the movie displayed good clarity and accuracy, but occasional exceptions occurred; more than a handful of shots appeared a bit soft and fuzzy. Nonetheless, the majority of the flick was concise and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and the presentation lacked edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to mar the image.
In terms of colors, the flick went with a moderately subdued set of tones. Hues stayed on the natural side, with a mild golden feel to things. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were fairly deep and firm, but shadows were erratic. Low-light shots came across as somewhat dense and too dark. None of the transfer’s issues were major, but they impaired the presentation enough to knock this down to a “B-“.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and that was about it. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that. A few wacky comedy effects cropped up from the rears and that was it.
In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects seemed appropriately accurate. There usually wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct, and bass was good in a couple of loud scenes like some at the zoo. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a positive reproduction of the material.
When we shift to the set’s extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Walt Becker, producer Andrew Panay, and writers David Diamond and David Weissman. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific chat about sets and locations, music, cast, characters and performances, story areas and script changes, music, stunts and effects.
A bad movie inspires a decidedly mediocre commentary. While we find a decent amount of movie-making information, we also discover lots of praise for the film. I suppose it’s helpful that they tell us what’s funny; I certainly couldn’t tell that when I watched the flick. The commentary’s generally decent, but it’s not especially interesting.
A short featurette called Young Dogs Learn Old Tricks runs two minutes, 51 seconds. Hosted by young actors Ella Travolta and Conner Rayburn, they ask “tough questions” of Robin Williams and John Travolta. They shoot out some forgettable queries in this fluffy promo piece.
A collection of Bloopers goes for two minutes, 26 seconds. With noted improviser Williams in tow, we get a couple of minor chuckles here. It’s still mostly the same old goofs and giggles, though.
Three Deleted Scenes last a total of three minutes, 30 seconds. These include “Body Checku” (1:40), “Pate” (0:38) and “Alternate End Tag: Tables Turned” (1:12). “Checku” and “Tables” just extend existing scenes; none of the additions make the sequences any funnier. “Pate” is tacky and stupid like everything else in the movie. I don’t know why the scenes were cut, as they’re no worse than anything found during the final cut.
Next we find two Music Videos. Bryan Adams’ “You’ve Been a Friend to Me” won’t revive his long-dormant career, but the video is more interesting than most. It takes the same path as McCartney’s “Coming Up” and casts Adams as all the members of his band. It also lacks any of the expected film footage, which makes it significantly more enjoyable than most videos from movies.
As for “Every Little Step”, it comes from John and Ella Travolta. Aided by a whole lot of AutoTune, they remake the Bobby Brown tune in horrifying fashion. (Ella doesn’t actually sing; she does a little spoken-word bit but mostly is there to look cute.) Maybe fans will be happy to see John dance again, but I think the video’s a serious embarrassment.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Beauty and the Beast and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with promos for Genuine Treasure: Tinker Bell, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, The Princess and the Frog, When In Rome, ESPN World Cup 2010 and James and the Giant Peach. No trailer for Old Dogs appears here.
A second disc offers a Digital Copy of the movie. This allows you to transfer the film to a computer or portable gadget. Super-dee-duper!
Finally, a third platter provides a DVD Copy of Old Dogs . If you want to own Old Dogs but aren’t yet Blu-ray capable, it’s a good bonus.
Never did I think I’d look back fondly on Wild Hogs, but Old Dogs is so relentlessly stupid and insulting that it makes its predecessor look like a classic. Heck, Dogs almost makes the atrocious Three men and a Baby look good; while insipid, at least that 80s hit managed to sustain a level of internal consistency absent from the incoherent, pointless Dogs. The Blu-ray provides decent picture and audio along with fairly mediocre supplements. Do yourself a favor and avoid this awful film.