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A-X-L (2018) - Blu-ray Review

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AXL - Blu-ray Review

Once again, I do NOT get the critical backlash against this Amblin-esque tale of a boy and his dog.  A-X-L rocks.  I mean, for those teens out there that are forever the outcast or picked on by the assholes of the world out there then this movie, and its wicked robotic dog, is DEFINITELY for you.

Starring Alex Neustaedter (Colony), singer Becky G (Power Rangers), and Thomas Jane (The Expanse), A-X-L tells the story of a top-secret military project, a robotic dog, and its escape into the care of Miles Hill (Neustaedter), a perpetual outsider in the motorcross circuit.  This high-tech experiment, named A-X-L (Attack, Exploration, Logistics), synchs up with Miles and the two – after a frightening first encounter among dry hills and garbage piles – become fast friends.

"For ANYONE yearning for the days of classic Amblin entertainment, this tale is what you are looking for."

Alongside Sara (Becky G), this futuristic dog gives Miles the confidence he lacks to deal with motor biking bullies like Sam Fontaine (Alex MacNicoll) and his crew.  Also of note is the military, who are actively seeking their missing merchandise, and force their way into the path that Miles, Sara, and A-X-L are forging. 

Thing is, the scientist who created A-X-L know EXACTLY where their project is; they just want to see what happens when the dog bonds with a human.  Frankly, so do we because once this movie starts, its winning attitude hooks you. And the whole off-road setting of this California adventure is part of its charm; every character here I immediately relatable.

For ANYONE yearning for the days of classic Amblin entertainment, this tale is what you are looking for.  There certainly is a kid-friendly lens by which this movie should be viewed through.  There might be nothing “new’ here, but NONE of what IS here – your standard kid adventure formula – is insulting or weak.  A-X-L simply has a set audience in mind and, trust me, if you have no young one in your life then this slice of sci-fi robotic gloss is probably NOT for you.AXL - Blu-ray Review

But maybe there is a youthful spirit still kicking about you. If that is the case, then definitely check out this movie. It is full of some pretty cool stunts, the tech that brings the robotic dog to life, and moves at a youthful clip, giving some hope for those of us who really like it to think there could be more . . . but probably not. 

By design – AI and all – this is family movie, hearkening back to the formulaic style of the kid’s films released during the late 1980s.  Sure, there’s nothing classic about it but all of its shiny pieces work well enough together to be EXACTLY what it promises to be.  YOU just have to be in the right mindset to enjoy this tale of a boy and his (robotic) dog.

3 stars

AXL - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG for sci-fi action/peril, suggestive material, thematic elements and some language.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Oliver Daly
Writer:
Oliver Daly
Cast:
 Alex Neustaedter, Becky G, Alex MacNicoll
Genre
: Action | Adventure | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Man's best friend has evolved.
Memorable Movie Quote: "What the hell are you?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Global Road Entertainment
Official Site: www.axlmovie.com/
Release Date:
August 24, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 1, 2019
Synopsis: A.X.L. is a top-secret, robotic dog who develops a special friendship with Miles and will go to any length to protect his new companion.

AXL - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- January 1, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode from Global Road is high on specific detail and flush with color.  The early daylight scenes are most vivid and interiors ripple with fine texture.  Faces are warm and speckled with weathered textures and smooth lines.  The vistas are rippling with details and so, too, are the black levels which hold their shapes, edges, and lines.  The tech on A-X-L looks really crisp.  Colors absolutely pop and bubble to the surface with the primary colors being the most vibrant. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is such an immersive thrill ride listening experience that it should be the blu-ray standard.  Crank it up and have FUN!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

AXL - Blu-ray Review