Old Dogs (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 17-May-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Outtakes
Deleted Scenes
Interviews-Cast
Music Video-x2
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 88:16
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Walt Becker
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring John Travolta
Robin Williams
Kelly Preston
Conner Rayburn
Ella Bleu Travolta
Lori Loughlin
Case Amaray Variant
RPI $44.95 Music John Debney


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
French dts 5.1
Spanish dts 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It's Three Men and a Little Lady, with fewer men and more kids...

     Charlie (John Travolta) and Dan (Robin Williams) are two middle aged playboy publicity agents on the verge of cracking the biggest deal of their careers. The pair are lining up a big promotional deal with a Japanese company trying to crack the US market and preparing to send their apprentice Craig (Seth Green) to be their point-man in the Japanese office. In the midst of the final junket to clinch the deal, a woman Dan had married years earlier on a drunken impulse only to annul the next day, Vicki (Kelly Preston), turns up on his door step to tell him that he is the father of seven-year old twins. And she's headed off to a 14 day gaol stint with nobody else to dump the kids on. Add into the mix the fact that Dan can't have kids in his singles only apartment and the three have to move into Charlie's trendy joint. Odd-couple parenting hilarity (arguably) and laboured gay-parent confusion (painfully) ensues.

     Old Dogs is a terrible movie. The story is choppy and frequently utterly illogical. Not only is the premise of the film a cliché, the way the story has been written has enormous gaps in logic that one can only guess the filmmakers assumed audiences would simply fill in themselves as they've seen the same story a hundred times before. The behaviour of the characters, and the way they are played, varies wildly between scenes, particularly in the case of Travolta. In fact, the general shoddiness of the final product makes you wonder how studio execs viewing the dailies could have let the production go on. Despite all the glaring flaws the film somehow manages to be consistently amusing, and once or twice laugh-out-loud funny. As such, Old Dogs is a hard film to review since at every moment of the film it is painfully apparent just how woeful it is, but at no point is the film unenjoyable.

     Rent before you buy, but don't be afraid to give it a shot.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio in 1080p. The transfer is mediocre. Whilst it is certainly a step up on the DVD, the image doesn't look great. It is marred by frustratingly apparent edge enhancement, and never really looks as sharp as it should be. The colours look slightly paler than seems natural and lack real depth. There is a reasonable level of shadow detail.

     There are no issues with grain, no film artefacts or compression artefacts visible in the video.

     The film features English subtitles for the hearing impaired. Based on the portion sampled they appear to be accurate and well timed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features an English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track, French and Spanish DTS 5.1 and an English descriptive audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. The audio is quite decent, particularly for a family comedy that does not need to rely on bombastic sound to sell itself. The mix is clean and well balanced. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand.

     The score is functional but forgettable, though presented well in the mix.

     The surrounds are put to good use throughout. The mix primarily opts for a natural, immersive mix that uses the surrounds for background audio, although there is a number of amusing over-the-top audio effects thrown in to mix things up. The subwoofer doesn't feature prominently in the mix, which is the way it should be.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A mediocre array of extras, all presented in HD.

Audio Commentary

     Director Walt Becker, two writers and a producer chime in with a painfully dull commentary. The only remarkable thing about it is how the four seem oblivious to the crappiness of the movie, offering only the highest praise for the end product and its stars in this dry bore.

Young Dogs Learning Old Tricks Featurette

     A three minute interview with the kids from the film. Ugh!

Bloopers

     A couple of minutes of kid-safe bloopers - the worst kind! Pass.

Deleted Scenes

     Two brief deleted scenes (each a couple of minutes long) that represent failed gags. Pure padding.

Music Videos

     You've Been a Friend To Me by Bryan Adams (yes, apparently he still exists) and Every Little Step by John Travolta and his kid (who is one of the kids in the film). It is honestly hard to say which is worse!

DVD Copy

     A DVD copy of the film is included, which ostensibly seems to be the single disc DVD edition of the film. It includes the bloopers, deleted scenes and one of the music videos that are present on the Blu-ray disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A and Region B versions are virtually identical. Region B gets an English descriptive audio track in place of a second Spanish track and the non-English tracks on the Region B are DTS rather than Dolby Digital. The Region A edition includes a third disc containing a Digital Copy of the film, although the benefit of a third copy of the film is questionable. Everything else is identical.

Summary

     Old Dogs is an awful movie in virtually every regard, but still manages to be consistently amusing (albeit a bit laboured) for the duration. Rent before you buy, but don't be afraid to give it a shot if the premise floats your boat. The video doesn't look great, but is a significant step up from the included DVD. The audio is decent. The extras are forgettable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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Comments (Add)
Got to admit it was a dog of a film - Michael