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Mod & Bluray Reviewer
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Disney - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 88 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1:85.1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48 kHz/24-bit), French /Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Seth Green
Directed by: Walt Becker
Music by: John Debney
Written by: Peter David Diamond and David Weisman
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 9, 2010

"Sit. Stay. Play Dad."

Film Synopsis:

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.

My Take:

Old Dogs has gotten a bad rap. I was ready to submit to 90 minutes of terrible family comedy and report back confirmation of all the reviews and word of mouth I have heard. Well I am glad to find that it was not as awful as I was anticipating and actually was pretty entertaining fluff.

Charlie and Dan (Travolta and Williams) have been best buddies for over 30 years. Though professionally successful, both are still single and in their 50's. Charlie is a wanna-be womanizer way past his heyday and Dan is a divorcée who is realizes it's time to try to settle down. 7 years ago, Charlie took Dan on a trip to let loose and have fun after his divorce. After a night of drinking, tattooing and some pretty funny parting, Dan has to annul an impromptu wedding to Vicki, played by Kelly Preston. Long story short, 7 years and a few cliché's later, Dan and Kelly get together after not seeing each other since that night and she springs that they had twins together. I thought the plot device of her about to spend a few weeks in jail as a reason to get new dad watching his new kids a bit contrived. Old Dogs end's up as the exploits of Daddy Dan and Uncle Charlie as they watch the twins. Of course there is a point to it all. What that is...I am not too sure. Maybe it's a coming of age story of 2 men past middle age?

The good is Old Dogs is not as terrible as previous reports tend to claim. I think that is because of the stigma from the terrible midlife crisis flicks that are coming out lately (Wild Hogs). There were a few really funny gags like the tattoo gone bad. Dan convinces drunk Charlie to get "freeman" tattooed on his Wookie-like chest during the divorce trip. The artist didn't quite understand the drunken instructions and Charlie ends up with "Fremont" Tattooed across his chest. Then there is the wrong pill gag where Travolta ends up with a twitch and a joker like permagrin. Unfortunately Old Dogs did meander at times and the emotional side of the story was underdeveloped and not at all convincing. The movie was not confident in its identity. Was it for kids? Adult's? The whole family? A slapstick comedy? A heart-felt cute family film?? It never was sure where it was aimed and I feel that is why Old Dogs has suffered. Cameos galore keep things fresh. Matt Dillon and Justin Long are part of the scout troops in one of the movies better parts. The Late great Bernie Mac has a short cameo as does Luis Guzman. I watched it with my wife and mother-in-law. All three of us enjoyed it and were laughing pretty hard at times. I would never think or speak about Old Dogs again, but if it happens to be on one evening while I am channel surfing, I will probably stop and keep watching.

Parental Guide:

Rated PG for some mild rude humor.

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.**

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

Audio: 88

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 88

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Old Dogs comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an Average bitrate of 25.75 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.

Disney Blu-ray gives us a very nice looking 1080p AVC transfer of this bright and colorful movie. Flesh-tones are a bit too orange and at times the colors can be too much. For most of the crowd interested watching Old Dogs, the slight over-saturation will be welcome and add a bit of 'pop'. Besides that, Old Dogs is another top-notch Blu-ray release with deep blacks, resolved detail in shadows and a sharp yet film-like transfer. The DTS-HD MA track is dynamic and in-your-face. While not the most refined sound presentation I have heard, it did all that was asked of it. All dialogue was clear and up-front. Surround channels were used plenty, yet at times I felt they were engaged just because they could be. LFE was beefy, supporting the mix quite well. Old Dogs presentation is a more than worthy Hi-Def release that is eye and ear candy.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with Director Walt Becker, Producer Andrew Panay, and writers David Diamond & David Weissman

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Young Dogs Learn New Tricks

  • (HD) Music Videos

  • (HD) Bloopers

  • BD-Live

  • Digital Copy

  • DVD Disk

Final Thoughts:

If you need a family friendly flick that isn't too risqué and has some decent laughs, Old Dogs should be on your list. While it's not near the top in its respective genre's, it certainly is not the dog I was led to believe. Disney packed in a DVD Disc as well as a Digital Copy Disc with the less than stellar bonus features (want to fall asleep?? try out the commentary track!). Add in a great looking video presentation and a very capable lossless soundtrack and we have an easy rental that I bet some might purchase.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Pioneer SC27 Receiver

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer

1,190 Posts
Didn't get a chance to see this when it first came out so i'll definitely have to give it a spin.

Thanks for the review Lee!


284 Posts
Bought it, and watched it last night. Was much better/funnier than I was expecting. Had my wife and I laughing out loud, as well as our kids.

Mod & Bluray Reviewer
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Originally Posted by Shane R /forum/post/18293242

Bought it, and watched it last night. Was much better/funnier than I was expecting. Had my wife and I laughing out loud, as well as our kids.

Exactly. I don't get why it was so universally panned!

1,429 Posts
Watched this rental last night and found it to be pleasantly entertaining with some good humorous moments.

The actors performances were by no means stellar, but didn't really deserve the complete trashing that many reviewers gave it IMO.

Thanks Lee for the review.

930 Posts
I just watched this today and later tonight with another family member and I thought it was better the 2nd time around? The penguin scene had me cracking up and I laughed even harder the 2nd time, same with the wrong prescription scene. I agree that the acting wasn't stellar but its a Robin Williams movie and I don't usually expect anything but a silly fun time and thats about what I got. I don't understand the hate for this movie either, must of been a bunch of pups doing the reviewing.

5,134 Posts
I am with you guys. I was expecting the worst and actually laughed quite a bit. Better then I thought..not great...but worth watching.

1,353 Posts
Thanks for the good review Lee.

Maybe I was in the mood for a comedy, but this was much better than I expected. It doesn't have a dramatic storyline, or incredible suspense, or ponderous themes... it's just a fun film to watch.

There were a LOT of parts that had my wife and I laughing out loud. Sure, the story is cliché, and predictable, but it is a funny film. Some characters are cheesy and overplayed, but it's a good Disney family movie. I thought Travolta's daughter did very well and Kelly Preston looked great.

PQ: 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 3.5 out of 5.

1,286 Posts
I didn't think the movie was that bad either. The depth perception problem had me laughing very hard. I like feel good movies too, a much welcomed break from all the violent ones.
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