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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Cast:
Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen
Writing Credits:
Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Synopsis:
Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 11/12/2019

Bonus:
• “Zack’s Story” Featurette
• “Images form The Peanut Butter Falcon
• Trailer & Preview


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RELATED REVIEWS


The Peanut Butter Falcon [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 4, 2019)

Despite its title, 2019’s The Peanut Butter Falcon involves neither food spreads nor winged predators. Instead, it gives us a quirky character tale.

Born with Down Syndrome, Intellectually Disabled Zak (Zack Gottsagen) dreams of fame as a professional wrestler. To achieve this aim, he flees the residential facility when he lives, as he plans to go to the wrestling school operated by his hero, the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church).

Given his cognitive and adaptive limitations, this becomes a challenge for him, but he gains assistance along the way. As he wanders on his way, Zak meets low-level criminal Tyler (Shia LaBeouf).

Despite some misgivings, Tyler agrees to help, and the pair progress on their way. Challenges arise, especially when residential facility employee Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) catches up with them.

Though Falcon got great reviews, I avoided it theatrically. I maintain a severe allergy to schmaltzy “inspirational” stories, and this becomes especially true when they involve characters like Zak.

For half my life, I’ve worked with kids who have various cognitive and/or educational disabilities. When I see a movie like Falcon, I fear they’ll get used in a patronizing way as cutesy props and not much else.

To some degree, that becomes the case with Falcon, though not to an extreme. Still, the movie tends to treat his disability as a novelty, as attempts to humanize Zak feel somewhat half-hearted.

Gottsagen does his best, but his cognitive limitations impact his performance skills. What the use of an actual Down Syndrome brings in verisimilitude, it loses in the stiff nature of Gottsagen’s clear struggles to recite the lines.

And that’s where I get back to the gimmicky feel of Falcon. While we’ve seen some solid acting from disabled performers in the past, Gottsagen doesn’t join that club. He brings some warmth and charm to the part but he can’t work with the role’s emotional challenges.

Falcon gets a boost from rest of the cast, at least. In addition to the actors already named, we find talents like Bruce Dern, John Hawkes and Jon Bernthal. All manage to help ground the project, even if their skills remind us of Gottasgen’s restrictions.

At its heart, Falcon fancies itself as a modern-day Mark Twain tale, but instead, it often feels like a riff on Rain Man. We get road trip stories in which a cynical character shepherds and bonds with a cognitively disabled one.

Of course, differences emerge, and Falcon feels more emotionally honest than the manipulative Rain Man. Still, I can’t help but see the similarities, and Falcon fails to find enough character or narrative depth to make it shine.

Those behind Falcon seem to bring good intentions, but the end result feels fairly stale. We get standard feel-good material without much else to create a memorable tale.


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

The Peanut Butter Falcon appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely satisfactory presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.

Like most films of this sort, Falcon gave us a mix of amber and teal. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, but shadows could be a little too dense. Still, this was generally an appealing image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Falcon, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion, mainly in terms of outdoor atmosphere. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough.

They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.

Called Zack’s Story, a featurette spans six minutes and includes notes from writers/directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, producers Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros, and actors Shia LaBeouf, Bruce Dern, John Hawkes, Thomas Haden Church, Yelawolf, Zack Gottsagen and Dakota Johnson.

They tell us about the movie’s roots, development and production. A few minor insights result but this clip mostly feels puffy.

Under Images from The Peanut Butter Falcon, we find 12 elements. These mix movie shots, pictures from the set and ads. This feels like a lackluster collection.

The disc opens with an ad for Judy. We also get a trailer for Falcon.

As an inspirational story, The Peanut Butter Falcon tends to hit the expected notes. At times its cast can give it charm, but it lacks much real narrative or character depth. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio and it lacks much in terms of bonus materials. Falcon turns into a mediocre mix of comedy and drama.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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