DVD & Blu-Ray Covered In Review
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover image gives an impression of a certain hard edge type flick. I’m not so sure that’s an accurate representation. The menu is just as easily overlooked, so I will.
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Director and DP – As much as I enjoyed the movie, I wasn’t really that much of a fan of listening to the commentary. I guess the director isn’t my type or something. He’s clever and everything, but he’s more interesting through his movie than listening to him directly.
- Sequencing The Lookout Featurette – This is a good feature about how the movie got made including interviews with the cast and crew. We get to see where the story came from, how the sets were found and created, and how the characters were developed. I was pretty happy with this as an extra. It’s a good movie, so it’s nice to see some quality behind the scenes action as a bonus.
- Behind The Mind Of Chris Pratt Featurette – How does the kid from Third Rock From The Sun end up being a brain injury victim plotting a bank heist? Good question. This extra is an overview of how the writer/director and the young man how plays Chris Pratt made the leading character come to life on the big screen.
A young man in the prime of his teenage years is in a car crash that leaves him with a moderate brain injury. Doesn’t sound very dynamic or dramatic, but when you add in that his wealthy image driven family can’t cope with his new less-than-perfect personality and limited abilities it gets more interesting. And then take it a step further, put him in an apartment with a bold and irreverent blind man, played by Jeff Daniels, it gets more intriguing.
THEN, as if that’s not enough, we get bad guys who want to rob a small time bank, sexy girls who want to..um…be sexy (wink), and the brain injury guy himself who happens to be trying very hard to get himself back together after years of coping with the accident that nearly destroyed his life.
See, it’s getting better and better. This isn’t an After School Special kind of triumph over injury story or anything like that. This is a full out drama about a young man dealing with life, love, regret, remorse, limitations, and moving on.
The Lookout is an open honest film. It’s got flaws and weaknesses, like some of the acting breaks the flow now and then, but it’s forgivable. There are a few scenes that seem to go no where, like the one early on with his social worker counselor (or whatever she was). The scene basically has one purpose, to tell us about some of the symptoms of Chris’s head injury.
That would be ok, except that so much of the rest of the movie does an excellent job of showing us how his life is affected that the scene falls flat, and then we never see the counselor again. I felt like that happened a few times through the story, we get introduced to an idea or a character or even an event but then it never gets addressed again. The whole thing keeps moving forward, so that’s what counts. It would have been nice to trim the unnecessary stuff and add more of the quality scenes that it does have.
Jeff Daniels is cool, as always. He has his own style and does take over every scene he’s in, but I like that. His character is a blind man who has no apologies for his forward approach.
I really felt like I went on a long journey with young Chris Pratt. We don’t see a long drawn out tale that covers many years or anything. It’s not even a big adventure that crosses the globe or leaves the planet. What it does do is very effectively plot out the beginning, middle, and end of a section of this guy’s life in which he is injured, 4 years later is coping with the after effects, and then comes to a fork in the road of his life where he decides who he wants to be and how he wants to live. It’s a coming of age story, but the kind where a happy ending may or may not be the payoff based on the choices each person makes. That’s pretty much how life is anyway, but it looks better in a movie:)
Video & Audio: (By Ascully): 6/10
We checked out the standard DVD release and the Blu-ray edition of this movie during the review. This is the first occasion I have not really been mega impressed with the transfer of the Blu-Ray release. This might be down to the content of the movie but I just didn’t see a lot of a difference between the two formats. The transfer was completely free of artifacts and the black levels were spot on, I just didn’t get the crystal clear image and almost 3D look that some HD titles bring to the plate. Audio however on the Blu-Ray release is another thing entirely, the uncompressed PCM track is leaps and bounds above the 5.1 audio on the standard DVD. If you are lukcy enough to choose between the two formats its another case of Blu-Ray all the way baby.
I liked The Lookout. I didn’t love it so much that I would buy it and keep it to watch again in the future. It’s more like the kind of movie you like enough to watch when you find it on cable two years later and say, “Oh yea, I like this movie.” enough to tolerate the commercials 🙂 It is an excellent rental or addition to your online queue/list. Great for a Friday night movie watching session with some 3rd Rock From The Sun DVD’s tossed in with a side order of Jeff Daniels in a movie called Something Wild…seriously, make it happen.
Overall Score 7/10