Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"Old Dogs" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-march-2010-old-dogs

Synopsis

Dan (Williams) and Charlie (Travolta) are lifelong friends and business partners.  Together, they run a successful sports marketing firm.  As the movie opens, they are working on the biggest deal of their career with a Japanese company.  Just as the deal nears fruition, Vicki (Preston) shows up.  She and Dan had been married for a day during a wild trip seven years prior.  It turns out Dan is the (surprise!) father of seven-year-old twins.  Vicki is going off to serve a two-week jail term and she needs someone to care for the kids while she’s away.  Needless to say, chaos and mayhem ensue and both Dan and Charlie are forever changed by their experiences.

 

Specifications

  • Disney Pictures
  • 2009, Color, PG, 1 hour, 28 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: not specified
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston and Seth Green
  • Directed by Walt Becker
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence:  No
  • Sex:  No
  • Language:  No

Commentary

This film is basically an hour and twenty minutes of slapstick gags and shtick tenuously held together by the thinnest of storylines.  Travolta and Williams are very funny in their roles as is Seth Green playing the up-and-coming young executive.  My personal favorite is when Dan and Charlie get their numerous medications mixed up and suffer some hilarious side-effects.  The comedy is very wholesome and will offend no one.  What’s missing is a decent story to tie all the gags together.  It’s nothing that hasn’t been done many times before.  While I’m sure many families will sit down together and enjoy this movie, it doesn’t stand out from the many other films Disney has made using this formula.  The kids will enjoy this one; adults, not so much.

Technical

Image quality is first-rate with naturally saturated color and good dynamic range.  Black levels are slightly elevated on occasion but only enough to reduce the Video rating by one star.  There is also a little use of edge enhancement, though it’s far from the worst I’ve seen.  Why any edge enhancement is necessary for a modern film to video transfer is beyond me.  Most people already have the sharpness set too high on their TVs as it is.

Audio is also excellent with very dynamic music at appropriate points.  One scene at a concert event demonstrated particularly good sound quality with deep bass and well-mixed vocals.  Voices are just a bit recessed in the mix but I didn’t have to play with the volume control to make the dialog clear.  Overall, the soundtrack fit the film very well.

Extras

Bonus features include music videos, a blooper reel, deleted scenes and audio commentary by the director, producer and writers.  The combo pack I received includes both Blu-ray and DVD copies of the film plus a digital copy for computers and portable devices.