My Life

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Bob Jones (Michael Keaton) has just discovered that he has terminal cancer, which means he will be dead within months. This is a shock to be sure, as Bob seemed to have an almost perfect life, with a great job, beautiful wife Gail (Nicole Kidman), and soon, he was to see the birth of his first child. His years of hard work in the executive ranks means little now and in an effort to leave something for his child, whom he may never even see, Bob has decided to videotape himself and impart all of his wisdom. As the process runs on, Bob starts to discover a lot about himself and his life, not all of which makes him proud. With his time running out, he chooses to make his flaws right again, while still recording his presence, so that his child will know their father, even if he won’t be there in person. So what started as a plan to allow someone else to know him has opened up Bob’s eyes, to the man he was, the man he is, and even the man he could be.

I have seen this movie on cable a few times, but this was the first chance I’d had to sit down and watch it on demand. I admit this is on the overly emotion side and gets a little cliched at times, but My Life is still a terrific film, one I am very pleased on now own. As far as the contrived moments are concerned, I think we expect some cliches from movies like this, so no one can complain too much here. In other words, I simply can’t bash a tearjerker for being a tearjerker, it is just what it sets to be, which is fine in the end. Had the film tried to be something else, then I would raise an eyebrow, but since this one is obviously an emotional rollercoaster kind of picture. Michael Keaton gives a solid lead performance, while Nicole Kidman and a well stocked supporting cast add depth to the entire scheme of the flick. If you’re not into manipulative tearjerkers, then My Life isn’t for you, but you hankie holders should pick up this disc and make sure your box of tissues is at hand. Columbia/Tristar’s disc here is basic, but presents the film well and that’s enough for a recommendation in this case. I wish more extras were tacked on, but I am thankful just to have this one in widescreen.

He has taken on a wide scope of roles in his career, but Michael Keaton is usually able to come up strong, here is no exception. Keaton is given a rather complex character in some respects and handles it with ease, even more so when the material eases up somewhat. His persona changes within the flick and hands down, Keaton has an easier run toward the end of the picture and it shows to be sure. He seems relaxed and in control here, no real stumbles to discuss and if he does trip up, I think it is the material to blame, not his performance. Even when the writing loosens too much and becomes thin, Keaton retains a memorable effort and delivers another more than solid performance. You can also see Keaton in such flicks as Gung Ho, Jackie Brown, Pacific Heights, Mr. Mom, Beetlejuice, and The Dream Team. The rest of the cast includes Nicole Kidman (Eyes Wide Shut, To Die For), Michael Constantine (The Hustler, Thinner), Queen Latifah (Set It Off, The Bone Collector), and Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison, Masterminds).

Video: How does it look?

My Life is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. This is a very good visual presentation, but a couple flaws keep the score down in the end. There’s some grain at times and also some edge enhancement, but these problems never amount to much, so no harsh deductions were made. The colors have a natural brightness, flesh tones seem in order, and contrast is well balanced at all times. This is not the kind of film that has intense visuals, but this transfer is terrific and more than handles the needs of the flick, which is what counts.

Audio: How does it sound?

As you might expect, this flick is not powered by audio and as such, the included 2.0 surround track is more than enough. The musical score by John Barry is the most active element, but even it is more subtle than not, though still very effective in the end. There’s not much to talk about in terms of sound effects, but it all comes through well enough, so no real complaints on that front. The spotlight here is on dialogue and it is presented in fine form, very crisp vocals and not even a hint of volume flaws to contend with. This disc also includes subtitles and language tracks in French & Spanish, in case you’ll need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some talent files, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

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