Plot: What’s it about?
We all get angry. It’s one of the most primal emotions that humans experience – right up there with happiness and sadness. There’s not a man or woman on the face of the planet that hasn’t been angry at one point in their lives. But some utilize this emotion more than others. I get angry. Not too often and I don’t go off on people in public, but it’s the little things that tend to grate away at me. Why does the housewife driving her oversized Surburban have to send text messages while she’s driving? Why do some people feel the need to lick each individual finger with that “sucking” sound to get whatever condiment happens to be on there, off (heard of napkins, folks?) Why can’t I hit a golf ball straight 20 times in a row? These are all things that make me angry, albeit on different levels. But I, unlike the character Robin Williams plays, don’t let it ruin my day. Moving the conversation away from me and the things get grind my gears, we find a movie with a director who hasn’t done much in the last few…decades. Phil Alden Robinson is probably best-known for Field of Dreams and Sneakers, both are near 25 years old. Well he’s got a top notch cast and an interesting premise for a movie: does it work?
Meet Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) a once loving father and husband, but after the loss of his son he’s got little to be happy about. His wife (Melissa Leo) do nothing but fight and argue, his other son (Hamish Linklater) has decided that, after college and law school, he wants to be a dance instructor. This doesn’t sit well with Henry who had dreams of adding his son to his law firm along with his brother (Peter Kinklage). On the way to a routine doctor’s appointment, Henry is hit by a taxi cab and, after waiting two hours for his physician, learns that he has a brain aneurism that’s certain to kill him. In a fit of rage his doctor, Sharon (Mila Kunis), tells him that he’s got 90 minutes to live. What do to? Using what little time he has, Henry rushes around Brooklyn in an effort to reconcile with his brother, wants to make love to his wife and make amends with his estranged son. Of course this bogus diagnosis by Sharon isn’t sitting well with her, so she’s running around town looking for Henry. The clock is ticking…
Playing out in a close approximation of real-time, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn reels the viewer right in. It’s got several things going for it, namely the cast which includes two Academy Award winners in Melissa Leo and Robin Williams. Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Louis C.K. and James Earl Jones have smaller parts, but add to the ensemble cast. There are flashes of brilliance in the film, but overall it doesn’t really seem to deliver. Certainly we know the capability of Robin Williams, but to me the movie felt like it wasn’t really sure what it wanted to be – a comedy or a drama. Ultimately I found the film a bit moving at times and was nearly about to tear up at the end, but, well, I’ll just say that the movie took over and erased whatever sympathy I had built up. A bit tired, and predictable The Angriest Man in Brooklyn isn’t nearly all it could be and it’s a shame as this cast of actors could have been so much better.
Video: How’s it look?
Utilizing a 1.78:1 AVC HD transfer, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is indicative of what we’d expect a new to Blu-ray film to look like. Detail is crisp and razor sharp, flesh tones are accurate and on the mark and contrast and black levels work well with one another. Truly, Brooklyn never looked so good. I noticed a slight bit of banding in a few of the arial scenes, but nothing to get angry about (sorry, I had to). I don’t have a lot more to say, running at only 83 minutes it’s not like the movie pushes the limits of the Blu-ray technology, so the included transfer more than delivers.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Boasting a DTS HD Master Audio sound mix, the film doesn’t exactly light up your system. Mainly a dialogue-driven film, even the surrounds don’t really seem to do their fair share. It’s not a bad sounding mix by any means, but there aren’t too many memorable instances that stood out to me. Even the opening sequence in which Henry’s car is wrecked sound kind of muffled. Vocals are sharp and clean and I know I say this every time Mila Kunis is in a film, but if you close your eyes you’ll picture Meg Griffin from TV’s Family Guy. All in all a good, but not great, mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Unfortunately we don’t get a lot on the supplemental side either.
- The Making of The Angriest Man in Brooklyn – A short, six minute featurette with some interviews with the cast and crew as they discuss the original Israeli film and its American counterpart as well as praise for the cast and crew. Yawn.
- Gag Reel – Robin Williams has a few choice moments and some other goofs on the set.
- DVD/UltraViolet Copy