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Mortdecai - Blu-ray Review

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Mortdecai - Movie Review

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3 stars

If you are tired of Johnny Depp or think he’s “played out” then you should stop reading this review right now.  In fact, don’t step foot anywhere near Mortdecai because you won’t be amused with anything you see.  I’ll give you a minute to collect your things and vacate the premises.

…. 

Still with me, dear reader?  Good.  Let's begin.

Mortdecai, written by Eric Aronson and directed by David Koepp, is actually a fun and breezy affair.  The comic caper harkens back to the celebrity-filled madcap pictures of a bygone era.  It’s totally harmless, definitely slight, and more aligned with another time and another period of filmmaking.  With no press screenings and very little buzz about it before the film’s opening (usually marks of a big disappointment), the film is surprisingly satisfying.  Lionsgate doesn’t seem to be sure of what they have on their hands.  While it won’t compete with people still wanting to see Selma and American Sniper, Johnny Depp’s new comedy certainly holds it together.

Based on a series of comic crime novels written by English author Kyril Bonfiglioli in which Mr. Charles Mortdecai impresses with his moustache, Mortdecai traverses the globe, dodging angry Russians and MI5 as he searches for a missing painting that contains information about a secret bank account.   Depp mugs for the camera and everyone else – a stellar cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jonny Pasvolsky, Paul Bettany, and Jeff Goldblum  – tries to keep it together.  If you aren’t a fan of Depp or find him tiresome, then don’t see this.  You will be annoyed and I don’t really want to hear you complain. 

Depp is funny in a hit-and-miss sort of way.  Audiences will both groan and laugh at his antics – especially in the first 20 minutes or so – but it is how everyone responds that keeps the film buoyed when Depp stumbles (only a bit, mind you).  Keep that tongue in check and in cheek.  Because of its farcical antics, t is my belief that Koepp’s film will play better in Europe than here in America.  In fact, its success may rely on how well overseas audiences respond to the film as it will probably be ignored here.  With a total of four novels in the series, Depp has the potential to return as the bumbling scoundrel.  Is Mortdecai’s adult-summoning romp enough to garner that sort of attention?  I believe so but, since it isn't teen-centric, it is a huge hill to climb. This is a fantasy crime picture situated in a lavish setting that is all about the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The film – with no ounce of seriousness in its body – is a welcome sight for anyone clamoring for a return to how star-studded event pictures used to be made.

Once the plot – involving the murder of an art restorer and the tracking of a missing piece of art – takes off, Mortdecai gets to demonstrate his art knowledge and becomes more than just another comic character in Depp’s resume.  He’s comically inspired, for sure, but Mortdecai really isn’t like anything Depp has done before.  Maybe some comparisons can be made to previous Tim Burton concoctions but, for the most part, the moustache-obsessed fellow/persona is unique to this film.  Some will find Depp grating and others will not.  For both crowds, I submit this: Mortdecai works as an adult-situated risqué romp in spite of how one may or may not feel about Depp and yet I still don't want to hear from the Depp-haters. 

With a film this packed with celebrities, it is wise to go in knowing that some players – Goldblum especially – get very little screen time.  The action is centered upon the fantastical separate investigations of Mr. and Mrs. Mortdecai (Depp and Paltrow) with Bettany stealing some great laughs along the way.  The film is not to be taken seriously but, if you give it a chance, you may find yourself swept up in the madcap world of Mordecai and hope for another throwback farce from Depp, Paltrow, Koepp, and Aronson in the near future.

Give Mortdecai a chance.  I mean, why so serious?

Mortdecai - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for some language and sexual material
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: David Koepp
Writer:
Eric Aronson
Cast:
Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
Sophistication has a name
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm afraid I'll have to put my foot down, darling."
Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site: http://mortdecaithemovie.com/
Release Date:
January 16, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis:He will thrill you, he will dazzle you, but most importantly he will grow on you. Spend a little time with Mortdecai (Johnny Depp).

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

Mortdecai - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 12, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p High Definition transfer, while viewable, is just not the best representation of what the format offers. Lionsgate definitely dropped the ball on this release. The “look” of the transfer already feels ten years too old. Where it should be detailed, the film is not. There’s a certain blurriness to the image quality that definitely should not be there – especially for a film put together last year. Colors don’t quite liven up the picture either but black levels, while inconsistent, are pretty solid. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix offers strengths where the picture does not.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

You get a whopping two featurettes. There’s one that features behind the scenes moments and combines them with interviews from the cast. The other featurette looks at the actual scoring of the picture, filled with interviews from composers.

  • Stolen Moments (12 min)
  • The Art of Noise (16 min)

 

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