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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - May, 2013

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 "Open Road" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-may-2013-open-road

Synopsis

This story follows a young Brazilian woman, Angie (Camilla Belle) as she searches through the American Southwest looking for someone who is missing from her life.  Angie works in a diner during the day and sleeps in a tent in the wilderness where she meets and befriends a fellow drifter Chuck (Andy Garcia).  She leaves this town to continue her search for the missing person, but her car breaks down.  This is when she meets a County Constable named David (Colin Egglesfield).  Angie winds up staying with David while her car is being repaired.  The story unfolds as she continues her search, expands her work as an artist and falls in love.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2013, Color, Not Rated, 1 Hr 26 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring: Camilla Belle, Colin Egglesfield, Andy Garcia, Juliette Lewis and John Savage
  • Directed by: Marcio Garcia
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I think this movie was well acted by all the main players; Egglesfield, Garcia and Belle.  Each turns in a restrained and heartfelt performance.  However, the movie is ultimately undone by the weak script and story line.  I never understood how Garcia's story was the least bit plausible.  Even though Angie is apparently from a wealthy family, one must assume that she is travelling like a vagabond largely because she made the trek to America without the blessing of her mother back home in Brazil but this story point is never fully cleared up.  There is a side story to Angie's history that plays out through a series of nocturnal dreams.  This is used to solidify her back story but it is not connected to the main plot in any way.  I could go on, but the main point is that this is a fun movie and I enjoyed it, but the viability of the story and plot relies too heavily on a series of blanket assumptions by the audience.  Some of these assumptions are downright implausible. 

Technical

Much of this movie is set in Arizona.   To match the setting, the film takes on a characteristically blanched look and a subdued color palette.  I found that the transfer was true to this style choice with about average image detail for a Blu-ray.  The night scenes exhibit crushed blacks at the low end.  All in all, the picture quality is of a passable and pedestrian quality for a modern production.  

The audio also gets the job done in a passable way.  Music and voices sound clear and natural.  There are occasional sound effects that won't exactly test your system, but they are solidly rendered.  This is not a complex audio mix and the dynamics remain subdued in kind.   

Extras

This is a one disc package.  Extras include Digital Copy and Ultraviolet download codes.  Besides the original trailer, there is only one additional Bonus Feature - a 15 minute Making of Featurette.