Al Pacino plays Danny Collins, an old rock star from the ’70’s who still tours, capitalizing on his past successes while continuing to live the hard charging lifestyle of a young, vibrant performer. This all changes the day Collins’ manager (played by Christopher Plummer) gives him a letter that John Lennon hand wrote to Danny in 1971. This was the first he ever saw of the letter. The message within resonated enough to inspire Danny to make real changes in his life – reconnecting with his family while also re-prioritizing things in an attempt to achieve greater happiness and contentment.
2015, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 48 mins
DTS-HD Master 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer
Directed by: Dan Fogelman
I love Al Pacino. He makes a great gangster, cop or NFL coach. He just isn’t a very good casting choice to play a rock star. He can’t sing very well and he lacks the kind of charisma you see with real famous musicians. I tried to give him a chance on this film but honestly he came across as some sort of strange three-way cross between Bob Dylan, John Denver and Kermit the Frog. So I think the movie is fundamentally flawed by an underlying decision to cast the wrong actor as the lead. The rest of the cast performs well, especially Jennifer Garner and Christopher Plummer who turn in good performances.
The story was interesting but constrained by a middle of the road approach to this sort of cinematic genre. I frankly lost interest in the characters as the movie wore on and I was glad to see the end credits when they popped up.
I was expecting this Blu-ray to have a colorful and punchy image similar to what you get with most romantic comedies. Besides a few brightly lit outdoor scenes, the image was unfortunately flat and soft looking for the most part. The picture did not show any issues with noise, banding or other artifacts. There were no signs of blown out whites or crushed blacks and in fact the shadow detail was fine. But I still have to deduct a star on the image quality because of the generally soft and lifeless image.
The audio was maybe a little better than the image but was also not of a reference caliber. Voices were legible and the background music sounded fine most of the time. I found the bass to be bloated sounding, especially in the live concert footage. I also wound up using the fader control on my pre-pro to boost the rear speakers which I rarely do.
This is a two-disc set with the Blu-ray, a DVD and a Digital HD Ultraviolet code. The two on-disc extras are in HD: “Behind the Scenes of Danny Collins”, a short overview of the story and the characters and “Danny Collins – Album Covers Through the Years”, a showcase of the album covers that were used in the film.