Cover Art: 4/10
I try not to be so negative about cover art, menus, and all that DVD packaging goodness. However, when I come across a cover that exceeds the bore level to the point of coma, I have to open the flood gates, vent, let it all out, and thus the negativity shall flow. Hmm, on the other hand, does it do any good to complain about the lame factor of these DVD covers? I have to admit that I’m sure no one, other than a few of us out here in the world even care what DVD covers look like. Being mostly alone in the universe I will direct my comments at any like minded individuals who may be reading this review. Dontcha’ just hate it when they air brush aging action stars to make us think they have gone back in time and are now as young as they once were when they won our hearts in other block buster flicks they starred in? Isn’t it so annoying when you see a DVD cover with images that are supposedly in the movie, and then you see the movie, and they are all just manufactured for the cover art, and not in a charming interesting way, just because images from the movie are not intriguing enough to begin with? Ugh, it’s not worth any more keystrokes to be honest. The cover sucks. The menus are not any better.

Features: 3/10

  • Firewall Decoded A Conversation With Harrison Ford & Richard Loncraine – If you like the Actor’s Studio on Bravo, you will appreciate this little extra blurb. It’s an intimate little discussion with Ford and the director which at times seems a bit tense, or at the least they seem to disagree on their film making theories and philosophies. Ford has always been an icon to me, I’ve thought highly of him for whatever reasons, but this kind of shows him to be a bit of a diva when it comes to directing him or working with him at all. I could have gotten the wrong impression, so watch it for yourself and see what you think.
  • Firewall Writing A Thriller – I can’t say that this was very enlightening to be honest. From the interview with Harrison Ford (listed above) you get the impression that the script, the story, the whole project wasn’t very good and they had to rework it as they went along, and then the DVD authors turn around and do a whole extra with the screen writer being all proud of his script. It’s kind of embarrassing to watch him talk about the whole writing process and how the story came together when you have just heard the star and the director complaining about it all.
  • Theatrical Trailer – If you don’t have time to watch the movie, just watch the trailer instead. 🙂

The Movie: 4/10
Sometimes I’m in the mood for an action thriller. When I see a new one with Harrison Ford, well, I get in the mood right away. (Here’s where I give away the ending of this review.) Unfortunately, yes UNFORTUNATELY this time around my need for some action thrills was not satisfied. It’s hard to pinpoint why a movie doesn’t leave a good impression, but I’ll do my best.

The story, a banker’s family is house jacked and held hostage while good old dad has to siphon a bunch of cash into the bad guy’s bank account. These days a good old fashioned bank robbery just doesn’t seem to come around much. This is a technical bank robbery with software, internet, and other gadget related tricks. While it’s always fun to see some of that clever computer hacking and stuff, it’s not as dynamic as guys with guns making some stuffy banker dude open the vault. I know, it’s so old school, but when the technological approach isn’t done well, it makes me want to watch Dog Day Afternoon, or Killing Zoë, or Scorched just for some excitement and good solid drama.

So, along with the semi-drag techy bank robbery approach there’s the snoozaroo bad guy. He’s supposed to be more civilized and less psycho than your average villain. I guess that’s to make him more modern, or intellectual. Well, it doesn’t work when you don’t think the bad guy is very interesting, or bad. Yea, he might kill a couple of his henchmen and threaten the kids, but I never felt that he was truly villainous. I’m a sucker for a seriously evil bad guy. I want to feel the threat of his motivation to get what he wants. I want that moment when you go, “Oh my God, I can’t believe he just did that!” and then reel from it for the rest of the movie, knowing the guy is truly in need of being destroyed. Firewall didn’t have any of those moments. Blah.

I did love Virginia Madsen. She does a really fine job of being the dutiful mother. She is believable and is the strongest element of the whole movie. I looked forward to her scenes while I was trying to keep focused on the not so interesting moments. The kids were ok, but I didn’t get attached to them enough to really care what happened to them. I know that sounds awful, but it’s not down to me, it’s the writing. HONEST! They actors did alright, but the story just kind of zipped around and never took the time to make the kids endearing.

I won’t discuss the ending, even though I don’t think it would be spoiling much. I mean, these movies aren’t exactly unpredictable. Do you think Harrison will save his family and give the bad guy a good butt kickin’? My lips are sealed. I will say that if the ending of an otherwise humdrum movie were to be spectacular or dramatic, or unexpected, it could salvage an otherwise forgettable movie experience.

Which movie was I talking about?

Value: 4/10
I personally wouldn’t have this DVD in my collection. It’s a good rental if you like these shallow predictable action flicks. It’s not worthy of a Ford collection. In fact, you could wait for it to be on HBO or Spike TV for that matter.

Overall Score 4/10