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The Poison Rose Blu-ray Review


The cast makes “The Poison Rose” watchable.

Set in 1978, this neo-noir revolves around a gullible L.A. private eye (Carson) who takes on a case to find a missing woman’s aunt in a sanitarium in Galveston, Texas (where Carson just so happened to grow up). While on the job, he is led to a larger and stranger plot, meets people he once knew(including his former lover), and has hitmen coming after him from another botched job. On top of that, he takes on yet another case that leads him to investigate the murder of a football star.

“The Poison Rose” opens on a shot of “The Maltese Falcon” on a movie theater marquee to remind you of a better movie which feels very appropriate for this movie. Directed by George Gallo and scripted by Richard Salvatore (who also wrote the novel the film is based on), ‘Rose’ is essentially a collection of film noir and neo-noir cliches wrapped together. There’s femme fatales, voice over narration by the private eye, shootouts, plot twists that you can mostly see coming a mile away, escalating troubles for the private eye, a powerful and shady character, secrets, the standard “past comes back to haunt you” storyline, you get the drift. There’s nothing new or challenging here. It’s just a very standard, flawed, but watchable neo-noir.

Perhaps the most puzzling thing about this movie is the 70s time period setting. Not only does it add nothing to the story, but the production values are so poor that you never get the sense that it is set in the 70s unless they beat you over the head with it. If anything, the decision to make it a 70s era neo-noir only cheapens the movie.

The cast is most certainly the main selling point here as it contains Brendan Fraser, Famke Janssen, John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Robert Patrick and Peter Stormare. Travolta has always been a hit-and-miss actor. When he’s good, he’s really good ala “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction.” When he’s bad, he’s really bad (“Battlefield Earth”). Thankfully, he’s pretty decent here. Granted, the material he has to work with is below average, but he commits to the role. Morgan Freeman is incapable of giving a bad performance and indeed he is arguably the highlight here. Famke Janssen is miscast here and sports one of the worst Texas accents I’ve heard in awhile. And then there’s Brendan Fraser. His performance is…something else. It’s by far the weirdest thing I’ve seen on screen in awhile. Fraser definitely made some bold choices with this eccentric Doctor character (to put it lightly) and the results are nothing short of fascinating.


Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? Bland visuals, bland transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A soft 5.1 track.

* Digital copy
* Lionsgate trailers and a trailer for “The Poison Rose.”
* Commentary by director George Gallo and writer Richard Salvatore. A really enjoyable track due to the fact that the two have great banter together.

June 22, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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