Danny Collins Blu-ray Review

     Director: Dan Fogelman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: June 30, 2015
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016

  •         Danny Collins is a crowd-pleasing film, as it should be. Though the premise of the film may have been loosely based on a real event, writer and first-time director Dan Fogelman approaches the material with a mild genre mentality. This makes for extremely predictable and passively entertaining film, however safe and unimpressive the experience feels. There may be a great film in here, but this feels like the watered down version of that movie.


            Fogelman apparently had Al Pacino in mind when he wrote the screenplay, and the aged star gives his most charismatic performance in years. There are moments that Pacino hams it up a bit much, some of which is a result of the screenplay’s contrivances, but the film ends up feeling more like a success because of how enjoyable the entire cast is to watch. Aside from Pacino in the title role, Danny Collins also gives us the opportunity to watch Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Plummer banter like the best of them against. Bobby Cannavale also co-stars as the rock star’s long-lost son.


            The basic premise of the movie is that aging 1970s rock star Danny Collins decides to give up his lavish lifestyle and tour in order to take a trip to meet his son and family. This sudden change comes after his manager (Plummer) gives him the gift of a long-lost letter from John Lennon to the young singer in the 1970s. This 40-year-old letter inspires Collins to fly to New Jersey and take up semi-permanent residence in a small franchise hotel managed by Mary Sinclair (Bening). Melissa Benoist (“Supergirl”) plays the behind the desk, Josh Peck is the valet attendant, and Nick Offerman even has a small role at the beginning, just so that Fogelman has scattered every inch of the movie with likeable and attractive people.


            When Collins checks into the hotel and makes his first attempt at meeting his son for the first time, the film falls into a predictable routine. The twists in the narrative only fall deeper into the abyss of cliché emotional storylines, saved only by a steady cast. Maybe Fogelman did know what he was doing as a director, though it was only necessary to make up for the shortcomings of his own screenplay. The emotional payoff doesn’t feel fully earned, but the film is charming enough for this to be dismissed.


            The Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD and Digital HD copy of the film, along with a couple special features. The brief collection of extras includes a generic making-of featurette and a look at the album covers created to show the progression of Collins’ fabricated career.  


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance:  4/10

    Special Features: 4/10

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