$5 A Day Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover, I hate it. People, it’s chopped together without humor or any personality whatsoever. It’s just, well, chopped together. If they were going for the snappy chic look with a very poorly conceptualized jumble of star-power heads, well, they missed it by going too far below the tacky bar. I would not have this as a poster. What a shame too, there were a lot of opportunities in this movie for some classic images to be tugged out and put on a cover that is more representative of the story. Alas, they failed. As for the menu, it’s slightly designed to have some personality, but not much. The thing I do love is that once you put in the movie it skips right to the boringish menu without any previews, so that’s cool with me.

Features: 4/10

  • Director & Cast Interviews – The interviews are pretty good. They talk about some interesting bits and pieces about the characters, the making of the movie, the director, etc. They are fairly packaged, but relaxed at the same time. There isn’t much more to know about making this movie. It’s a comedy with life drama and the director is pretty straight forward so no fancy pants stuff to talk their way through.
  • Trailer – Ugh I just do not care about trailers and they are not worthy of the title “extra”. It’s a commercial for the movie you just rented or bought..hmmm
  • Still Galleries – Normally I wouldn’t mention the galleries of photos, and there’s no good reason this time either, except that we looked at them all. There aren’t many and most are simply shots from the movie. There are a handful behind the scenes, but that’s it. I dont know why anyone thinks this is an extra. It’s like looking at a viewfinder, without the fun of 3D and that clicky sound it makes when you use all your finger might to pull down that little lever to turn the lovely circular cardboard slides.

The Movie: 9/10
I don’t care about father son relationships. I don’t care about father daughter relationships for that matter and I am a daughter with a father without much of a relationship. It always kind of bores me, the dynamic of trying to mend a broken past between the shitty father and the brooding son/daughter. I must say in this movie, I’m turned around. The story isn’t Earth-shatteringly original. I think we can all agree that a road trip movie with a father and son trying to mend their broken past sounds fairly ordinary. The best part of this movie is that you think you know, but you don’t know.

The people are all just right for their parts. I know it’s easy to say when I haven’t seen anyone else do these roles, but believe me, they are all good. I’m not a fan of Sharon Stone, and she’s just a bit over the top,but then again her character is too so fair enough. She’s an aging petty con/scam chick who is too tan, too thin, and has taken too many men down the road of heartbreak/wallet shrinking. I like the character, so by default I like Stone.

Walken is Walken in that wonderful way. You know exactly what I mean, although he is so well balanced it’s like he has matured completely into the semi-nutbag roll but with enough savory charm and wisdom to pull it off as a dude who is eccentric, not just Walking in THAT role again. I wouldn’t say he’s subtle, but there are moments, as the dad of a grown man who resents the scamming and conning he learned in his youth from his father, he could not be more convincing.

Alessandro Nivola is just awesome. I mean, every little turn of his head, grin, grimace, he’s lovely to watch. He stands his ground with the likes of Walken and Stone. You know full well he’s shaking in his boots when he first started performing with those two Hollywood staples. Nivola plays a 30 something dude who has a lot of bitterness and resentment about how he was raised. Walken was on his own with the boy and did what he does best, scams, cons, pety theft and taught the kid all he knew. Now as a grown man faced with a journey with his unappetizing father he gets a new perspective on his childhood, as we all do as we get older.

The scams are funny. The thieving is pretty creative. The con artistry is supreme and you hope you never come across the mostly harmless duo and Walken’s proud accomplishment of living without making a living. The look at America as they drive from the north east to New Mexico is beautiful and real and I love it. They encounter hotels, corportatization, the hidden past behind the chain restaurnnts and new face of things. It’s a roadtrip I would dig.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone. It’s funny, sweet, moving, funny, sad, funny…love it.

Audio & Video: 5/10
$5 A Day is quite a poor Blu-Ray presentation, featuring crushed blacks and a soft muted picture which is hardly much of an upgrade over the DVD. Fortunately, I liked the movie a lot but it’s probably better to enjoy this one on the cheaper DVD format.

The Audio fares a little better with use of the surround speakers during the films score. As usual with “Talky” movies dialogue sounds crisp and clear in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Value: 4/10
In an ideal world $5 a day on Blu-Ray would actually cost $5, unfortunately it costs $23.99 and for such a bare-bones release that doesn’t cut it. Sure the movie is great but with the transfer issues I would recommend you stick to the cheaper DVD edition and save yourself a few bucks.

Overall Score 6/10