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Pawn Shop Chronicles Blu-ray Review

Pawn Shop Chronicles Blu-ray

Despite boasting an all-star cast, “Pawn Shop Chronicles” is little more than a Tarantino wannabe.

Taking a cue from “Pulp Fiction” (well, maybe more than just A cue), “Pawn Shop Chronicles” is an anthological esque film with interconnected stories. All 3 of the main stories are tied into a wrap around story involving a southern pawn shop run by a character named Alvin. In fact, Alvin himself even has an ongoing story throughout the film.

The first main story involves 2 (well, technically 3) dummies planning to rob the pawn shop. Unfortunately, their plan goes to hell when the 3rd dummy is left for dead after a misunderstanding. Naturally, this comes back to haunt the other 2 idiots later on. The second story involves a man discovering the wedding ring that belonged to his first missing wife. He sets out on a journey to find out how the ring wound up in the pawn shop with the hope of learning where his wife is. I could say more about this story, but I don’t want to give away the twisted ending. The third and final story involves a down on his luck Elvis impersonator who is performing at the local county fair of this strange town.

On paper, “Pawn Shop Chronicles” sounds like a sure thing. Not only is ‘Pawn’ cashing in on the pawn shop TV series craze (and Tarantino obviously), but the film also has an impressive cast that features Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rachelle Lefevre, DJ Qualls, Thomas Jane, Chi McBride, Lukas Haas, Norman Reedus (although he doesn’t show his face), Matt Dillon, and Paul Walker. Unfortunately, the cast and subject matter can’t save this Tarantino clone.

The disappointing thing about ‘Pawn’ is that it doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s such a blatant rip-off of “Pulp Fiction” (and perhaps unintentionally even Jarmusch’s “Mystery Train”). It’s so clearly trying to emulate the style of “Pulp Fiction” that I’m shocked a character wasn’t named ZED. Really, the only thing this movie has going for it is the cast and even they are mostly wasted in this project. Some of the cast members barely have any screen time and, in the case of Reedus, he doesn’t even show his face! The only actor who seems to be having the time of his life here is Paul Walker who plays a druggie thug hick. He’s completely unrecognizable in this movie and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Walker in a non robotic role.

Video/Audio:

If there’s one thing I can say about “Pawn Shop Chronicles” it is that it’s well shot. The film, which is presented in 1.78:1 1080p, may have many flaws, but the tone and location shooting are first rate.  

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track delivers. From the Elvis singing to the curse filled dialogue, the track does its job.

The only extra is a DVD copy.

September 5, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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