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June 28, 2010
Old Dogs Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
26/12/200917/5/2010Walt DisneyWalt Becker
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1PGJohn Travolta
Robin Williams

THE MOVIE
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John Travolta and Robin Williams in Old Dogs.

Two-time Academy Award nomanee John Travolta and Four-time Academy Award nomanee (with one win) Robin Williams have teamed up for what could certainly be one of the funniest, most entertaining movies of recent times. Only it isn't. In fact this is one of the most disappointing comedies for some time especially given the cast and cameos featured. So what is this film about, and indeed even the briefest of plot summaries will give you an idea what to expect from start to finish.

Two best friends - one unlucky-in-love divorcee (Robin Williams) and the other a fun-loving bachelor (John Travolta) — have their lives turned upside down when they're unexpectedly charged with the care of six-year-old twins while on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives. The not-so kid-savvy bachelors stumble in their efforts to take care of the twins, leading to one debacle after another, and perhaps to a new-found understanding of what's really important in life.

Make no mistake about it Old Dogs is family friendly, inoffensive, mindless entertainment. The plot is forgettable and much of the comedy is very predictable. If you go into this film expecting something cerebral, or enlightening then you're going to be disappointed. Even if you're a fan of the actors too then you should also be prepared for a movie which doesn't do their talents justice. This is paint by numbers, give me the cash, as it gets.

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John Travolta is after his paycheck.
What is interesting about this film is that the filmmakers had an initial 107 minute edit which was much more adult-oriented then the final product which was editited to a PG-13 rating and chopped back to 88 minutes. While this final film still hasn't become anything great, or good, it would have been interesting to have the longer edit available to see what could have been...

It's so sad to see so many talented actors involved with this film and yet have something so disappointing as a result. If you enjoyed Wild Hogs then you should probably check this out but don't expect something worth of the actors, the price or even your time. Very, disappointing.

VIDEO
Old Dogs is presented on Blu-Ray with a 1.85:1 video presentation using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. I have to admit that this wasn't a transfer that blew me away which is a surprise given Disney's usual high standards. This release looked a bit flat in places and lacked a real depth to the image. I'm not talking 3D of course, but just the overall look of the film.

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Seth Green adds little to Old Dogs...
AUDIO
This Blu-Ray disc doesn't disappoint in the audio department with a very decent lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (16-bit/48Khz). The movie is quite front heavy due to the heavy dialogue nature of the film, but the audio kicks in nicely as do the surround sound channels when required. This, as well as the sub-woofer use, is certainly evident for a few moments with the techno music at the 1:03:34 mark in the karoke bar.

Other audio tracks on this disc include an English Audio Descirptive track encoded with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio at 320kbps as well as French and Spanish DTS 5.1 tracks encoded at 1.5Mbps, each of which will satisfy those that have a need for those languages. Subtitles are provided in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Spansih, Portuguese, Arabic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic.

EXTRAS
Despite the poor reception to the film (critically at least, commercially it did fairly well) there are some decent extras on this disc. Indeed Walt Disney Studios has also included the film on a DVD so you can play it on DVD machines if required.

Young Dogs Learn New Tricks (2:51/HD): The two child actors in the film (one of which is John Travolta's daughter) interview the two "old" actors.

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... but he loves the gorilla!
Bloopers (2:27/HD): Guess what this is... Yes it's the mandatory blooper reel. Actually this is fairly amusing primairly due to the great comedic abilities of the actors involved.

Deleted Scenes (3:32/HD): Three deleted scenes are presented here including "Body Checku", "Pate" and "Alternate End Tag: Tables Turned".

Audio Commenatary with director Walt Becker, producer Andrew Panay and writers David Diamond and David Weissman: Certainly the meatiest extra on this disc is this commentary which, sadly, isn't too enthralling. If John and Robin had participated we could have certainly had a little gem with some great, amusing moments, but while funny at times this is a little dry and they spend too much time saying how "great" certain moments are rather then a lot of details about the actual production.

Music Videos (6:30/HD): Music videos for "You've Been A Friend To Me" by Bryan Adams and "Every Little Step" by John Travolta and Ella Bleu Travolta. Neither is overly fantastic.

OVERALL
Old Dogs isn't a great movie, but it is family friendly and on that count it will get an audience. With so much talent attached to the movie though we expected a lot more. Worth a rental if you're after some mindless, Disney family fun.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
5/10
THE VIDEO
7/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
4/10
OVERALL
6/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Walt Disney. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.