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Dark Horse Blu-ray Review

“Dark Horse” spirals out of control in the last act.

The plot: Abe is a chunky, nerdy, upbeat, temperamental, socially awkward, action figure collecting, pop song loving, loner who lives with his parents and works for his cold hearted father at a job he doesn’t care much about. When Abe meets a depressed woman (Miranda) who seems to reluctantly develop feelings for Abe, Abe thinks his life is about to change for the better. Unfortunately, after a series of unfortunate occurrences, Abe’s life manages to get worse and he slowly begins to lose touch with reality and with those around him.

Director Todd Solondz is best known for making dark, black, sand satirical comedies (or dramedies) about quirky people and American families/lifestyles and he continues to go to the well here again with his latest film (“Dark Horse”). While his early work like “Welcome To The Dollhouse” and “Storytelling” were intriguing indie films, “Dark Horse” feels a bit lazy and mean spirited when it’s all over and done with.

‘Dark’ starts out well enough as the film explores concepts of loveless relationships, escapism, and loneliness, but the film takes a dramatic narrative turn near the end. Without giving away too much, you essentially can’t tell what is real or what is fantasy (or hallucinations). While Solondz is probably trying to tell viewers to decipher what is happening on their own, it feels like an easy and lazy way out. If you’re going to spend the time building up these characters and having the audience try to invest in them, why not deliver a proper resolution instead of clogging the final 20 or so minutes with an outlandish blur of reality and fantasy?

As far as the cast goes, they all deliver top notch work here. Mia Farrow, Christopher Walken, Selma Blair, Donna Murphy, and Justin Bartha are all particularly impressive, but it’s Jordan Gelber as the lead character Abe who really stands out here. Gelber takes a challenging role and really makes its his own here.

Summary: “Dark Horse” is a pretty unpleasant movie to watch, but fans of Solondz’s work might want to give it a spin.

Video/Audio:

The film, which is presented in widescreen 1080p, has a superb transfer. Todd Solondz’s quirky directorial style really shines in hi-def.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is a little soft, but adequate.

No extras here.

November 28, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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