John Travolta and Robin Williams star in "OLD DOGS," now available on blu-ray and dvd from BUENA VISTA. Williams plays Dan, a business partner of Charlie(Travolta) in the marketing firm they own that is about to make it big, so long as the deal they're readying to close with a Japanese firm, goes through without any hitch. When a one-night-stand(Kelly Preston)from Dan's past, shows up, Dan is surprised to learn his encounter with Vicki led to "twins!" Yep, Vicki never saw or needed Dan before, but now that she's about to do some jail time, she needs Dan to help with fatherly duties by taking care of the twins while she's away. The kids are more than a handful and while their pranks are meant to be hilarious, there are times when the film has more in common with "THE OMEN" than a actual comedy! Charlie is happy to help Dan out, and although one hopes for at least part of this duo to provide some decent moments, there are none to be found here. The jokes are either neither funny or original, and some of them are in such poor taste, parents would be well advised to view the film first, before deciding to let little ones view it. There's something in the film to offend everyone. Intelligent people will likely feel insulted that any filmmaker would try to pass off "OLD DOGS" as entertainment, but minority groups and gays are also fair-game in various scenes.
Times are certainly hard, and many of us are needing to find work wherever possible. But, how hard can the economy be hurting Travolta and Williams? While not fair to criticize their reasoning, it's a shame to find gifted talent taking on roles with no redeemable value or challenge. It's hard to believe these actors even had fun filming any of this. It's just such a mess! Cameo appearances, perhaps are meant to drive home the breadth of the economic fallout on Hollywood. Such gifted talent as Matt Dillon, Bernie Mac, and more are also on hand in embarrassing cameos.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this AVC-MPEG 4 1080p blu-ray and 16:9 enhanced dvd. Colors are solid on both formats, but notably more vibrant on blu-ray. Contrast is good, especially in comparison to the dvd, where a lot of detail is swallowed in the shadows of darker moments. Detail on blu-ray is typically impressive, although occasionally soft. The dvd is generally good, although artifacts are noticeable in various scenes.
BUENA VISTA has provided a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix for blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd. There's nothing subtle to be found here. Surounds are engaged and pushed throughout. Those wanting to get a lot from their rear speakers, will surely be pleased. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion, while discrete and panning effects are over-the-top but effective. The Dolby Digital mix found on dvd, is extremely aggressive, but lacking in the dynamic range achieved on the lossy mix.
An audio commentary with the director, producer and two writers is actually harder to sit through than the film. None of these people seem to realize how bad their film is! Worse still, they aren't interesting and they seem as bored as the audience.
Some unnecessary deleted scenes, along with bloopers and more, provide further entertainment for any possible fans of the film.