Brian Cox stars in "RED," available on dvd from MAGNOLIA. The trailer to the film is actually much better than the film, even though it (unfortunately) gives too much away. Brian Cox stars as Avery Ludlow, an amiable guy, whom, when not dropping by the small town supply store he owns, is complacent sitting back on a chair by the lake, fishing, with his beloved dog, "Red", by his side.
Unfortunately, one day, shortly after the film begins, Avery is set upon by three really despicable teens, with nothing but crime on their minds, and Red is killed in a brutal, senseless act. The rest of the film follows Avery's plight for justice, ultimately having to take matters into his own hands. The acting, by all, including Tom Sizemore, is fantastic. The direction, even with "TWO" directors, TWO!) is uneven and even sluggish at times.
The biggest problem with "RED" lies in the script's decision to convey too much with subtlety about Avery's tortured past. While this may have worked in the original source material, it just doesn't fit at all with the story as told here. The horrors that plagued Avery, should've been completely left out, and the film would've felt much tighter and generally better. There are other narrative problems as well, a major one, having to do with a journalist.
Ultimately, "RED" is worth watching due to Brian Cox's performance. However, there's just not enough else impressive about the film to highly recommend it.
MAGNOLIA FILMS has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this 16:9 enhanced release. Many have criticized the transfer and colors as being too drab, but the dvd looks close to the same quality as the recently aired "HIGH DEF" satellite debut of the film on HDNET(owned by the same owner of MAGNOLIA) While colors don't scream out "vivid," they're adequate. There are some artifacts popping up, but detail is impressive throughout. Contrast is adequate, although lacking some detail in darkest scenes.
MAGNOLIA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's surprisingly more active than this modestly budgeted, low-key atmosphere, would suggest. Discrete and ambient effects are aplenty, and add to the film. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed, uneven direction provides some silly effect moments too, as when Avery is feeling a piece of children's playground equipment, and we hear the distance voice of a child's past, and.....it's just too heavy-handed.
An interview with Cox is included as well as some brief, deleted scenes(all of which are unnecessary.)