A Million Ways to Die in the West (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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A Million Ways to Die in the West (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of the latest comedy from Seth MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy” and “Ted”, as he transports audiences back to old west in this story about Albert, a cowardly farmer that begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, only to learn that she belongs to most notorious gun-slinger in the region. Filled with witty one-liners, an all-star cast, and featuring MacFarlane’s typically zany brand of humor, see what happens when Albert’s courage is put to the test on the streets of 1882’s one horse town of Old Stump.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2014
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Feature running time: 116 /135 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Geovanni Rabisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Music by: Joel McNeely
Written by: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellsely Wild
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 7, 2014


"Bring protection…"


My Take:


When Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) loses his fickle fiancée (Amanda Seyfried) to a mustachioed dandy (Neil Patrick Harris), he rebounds hard with Anna (Charlize Theron), a gorgeous gunslinger new to his Old West town. What he doesn’t know is that Anna’s ex, Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson), is the most dangerous desperado on the horizon and he’s on his way to reclaim his gal—whatever it takes.

As you might expect from Seth MacFarlane, A million ways to die in the west is lewd, crude and filled with stereotypical western clichés infused with contemporary/pop culture references. Some are hit and some are miss but there is no denying that MacFarlane’s signature bold and bawdy style is front and center. You’re ability to enjoy this film may depend largely on your affection for MacFarlane and appreciation for his quirky sense of humor. I think he is clever and I tend to enjoy his projects especially his penchant for including pop culture references.

A million ways to die in the west is ambitious and the work that went into recreating its western aesthetic is noteworthy. The script is glib and overindulgent which bloats the film’s runtime. There are chuckle worthy moments and effectual situational gags that are aptly delivered by the cast which help elevate the film from what otherwise would have been a wasted effort. There is an unevenness that is hard to miss. For me the first act which essentially consisted of a series of one-liners, pokes/jokes and crassness was scatter-shot and less than funny. Conversely the second act beginning with the hoedown (Love the Mustache song!) flowed much better and while not perfect had a sharp and engagingly fun level of absurdity that worked.

Loved the cast (thank you Charlize Theron!) and the plethora of cameos (I won’t give them away) that are littered throughout. A million ways to die in the west isn’t Seth MacFarlane’s best work but it’s not a complete swing and a miss either. Both the theatrical version and a longer unrated cut are included. I watched the former and plan on checking out the unrated cut when time permits.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong crude and sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug material.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



A million ways to die in the west comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

A million ways to die in the west looks excellent on Blu-ray and features glossy high definition video quality that exhibit high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal as the variety of long range pans of the gorgeous shooting locations (Monument Valley) can be visually arresting. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid-level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are minimally bronzy but otherwise are rendered with natural tonality. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives whites with washing away detail. Blacks are gradational with discerning dynamic range which makes them pop nicely during sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure in backgrounds. This is a pristine encoding and reference quality presentation that looks terrific.

The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it energizes the room and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialogue has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. A large portion of the film has little need for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is conveyed with little fanfare. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that is measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.

Bonus Features:
  • Theatrical and Unrated versions of A million ways to die in the west
  • (HD) Alternate Opening & Ending sequences
  • (HD) 7 deleted/extended/alternate scenes
  • (HD) Once upon a time in a difference west – 10 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Good, The Bad and the increasingly decreasing population – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gag reel – 5 minutes
  • (HD) A fistful of dirt...in your mouth – 10 minute featurette
  • Feature length commentary for each version of the film
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

From co-writer/director Seth MacFarlane A million ways to die in the west is a middling comedy that features his brand of humor spun to a western theme. While it may not be MacFarlane’s best work it has enough merit to warrant the attention of his fans. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring reference quality high definition video, excellent lossless sound and a worthwhile assortment of extras that include two versions of the film with feature length commentary tracks, a look behind the scenes and a host of alternate/extended scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut. When you’re in the mood for Seth MacFarlane’s typical bold and bawdy comedic style {i]A million ways to die in the west[/i] makes for a decent rental on Blu-ray.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 07:47 AM
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I agree with you 100% as usual Ralph.
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post #3 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 09:08 AM
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Pretty good first half, slowed a lot during the second half. Overall a decent movie, probably a little better than Neighbors.

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post #4 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 09:57 AM
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I didn't mind the movie however I don't think Seth has what it takes to carry a movie as a lead actor.
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Pretty good first half, slowed a lot during the second half. Overall a decent movie, probably a little better than Neighbors.
I saw this movie a few days after neighbors and enjoyed it much more. It was a pleasant surprise since I had no idea what to expect. It was one of the better comedies this year.

When watching it I thought, "that barn looks a lot like the one from back...." and thought the cameo was great!
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 11:08 AM
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Ralph

Looks like a movie I might get a few chuckles and at my age, that is always my goal, a few chuckles

Thanks for the review
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Ralph

Looks like a movie I might get a few chuckles and at my age, that is always my goal, a few chuckles

Thanks for the review
Greetings,



I hear ya Jim...


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post #8 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 11:42 AM
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Wow Ralph, you are actually going to sit through this one again! Braver man than me!
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow Ralph, you are actually going to sit through this one again! Braver man than me!
Greetings,

What can I say Joe...


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post #10 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 12:03 PM
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I usually don't rate movies or comment on them, but this one took me by surprise, 5/5
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I usually don't rate movies or comment on them, but this one took me by surprise, 5/5
Greetings,

Glad to hear that and thanks for chiming in with your rating...


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post #12 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 12:34 PM
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Charlize Theron made the movie and the different cameos. Seth is a horrible actor and needs to stay off camera and direct/produce/voice.


Charlize+Flower+Liam=LMAO! If someone else other than Seth was the main character, 5/5 for sure. But as is 3/5.
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-25-2014, 12:35 PM
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This looked like an "AVOID" to me but based on all of the positive reviews from this thread, I'll make a point to watch it. Thanks for the review!
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post #14 of 25 Old 09-26-2014, 06:51 AM
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You guys are made of sterner stuff than I. We tried last night and couldn't make it past the first 15 minutes.

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post #15 of 25 Old 09-27-2014, 11:01 AM
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Thx for the review ! Really enjoyed this movie even tho there a non needed length to it ! Seth is a new actor , not much experience don't be so hard on him haha think he did a great job tho
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post #16 of 25 Old 09-28-2014, 07:24 AM
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I will check it out even though I try to avoid comedy movies

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post #17 of 25 Old 09-28-2014, 08:05 AM
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I'm surprised by the attention this movie has received. I maybe cracked a smile a few times, but this was 1/10th of 1% as funny as 22 Jump Street (which had me laughing so hard, I cried).

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post #18 of 25 Old 09-28-2014, 06:20 PM
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Maybe I am getting cynical in my (old?) age, but I rarely get more than a few laughs from this type of movie. Will probably still put it my Netflix queue though.

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post #19 of 25 Old 09-29-2014, 06:13 AM
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Maybe I am getting cynical in my (old?) age, but I rarely get more than a few laughs from this type of movie. Will probably still put it my Netflix queue though.
This movie is part of the recent trend of aimless comedies. There are movies like the first Hangover, which even if you don't find funny have a certain energy and full plot to them to carry it through from beginning to end, and then there are movies like This is the End and A Million Ways to Die which try to be funny on a scene to scene basis but don't really cohere overall. Sure they have plots, but a majority of the movie strays away from that.

I greatly prefer the plot based movies that happen to be funny over the aping for the camera for 90 minute movies that tend not to be.

This is definitely a "Oh, you know what would be funny? ... Let's put THAT in the movie."
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post #20 of 25 Old 09-30-2014, 10:56 AM
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Absolutely awful movie. Had high hopes for this one, after all, Ted was pretty good. Could not have been more dissapointed. Fell asleep twice, before I gave up. 1/5.
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post #21 of 25 Old 11-10-2014, 02:33 AM
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Saw this the other night and thought the PQ was absolutely marvelous overall. Reference material in my opinion
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post #22 of 25 Old 11-10-2014, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Saw this the other night and thought the PQ was absolutely marvelous overall. Reference material in my opinion
Greetings,

I would agree...


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post #23 of 25 Old 10-08-2015, 05:53 AM
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You guys are made of sterner stuff than I. We tried last night and couldn't make it past the first 15 minutes.
This was my experience as well. Though I may not have even made it past the first 10 minutes.
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-22-2016, 03:37 PM
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You guys are made of sterner stuff than I. We tried last night and couldn't make it past the first 15 minutes.

I agree decided to watch this last night didn't make it past 15 minutes what a load of rubbish. Hate films that try too hard to make you laugh.


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post #25 of 25 Old 02-25-2016, 10:11 AM
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Yikes... maybe I'll pass on checking this out.

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