Danny Collins (Blu-ray Review)

danny-collins-blu-ray-cover-sideDanny Collins is the kind of film that is easy to watch for adult audiences in need of some simple fun with actors they enjoy. Al Pacino gets a chance to ease back on the throttle a bit and just be an entertaining presence in a film about an aging rock star looking for redemption. The film was in limited release for a couple months back in the spring, but now it is available on Blu-ray for more people to discover. It is a good thing too, as this is a really likable film.




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Pacino stars as Danny Collins, an aging rock star who peaked in the 70s. That merely means he has stopped making music he cares about. Since then, Collins does just fine living the life of a rock star, as he still performs to his adoring fans hoping to hear his greatest hits, does plenty of drugs and lives with a much younger woman.

The plot heats up when Danny’s manager (Christopher Plummer) gives him the ultimate birthday present, an undelivered letter written to Danny by John Lennon. This allows Danny to have a change in heart, causing him to head from LA to New Jersey and rediscover a family he has never gotten to know.

This means meeting his estranged son (Bobby Cannavale) and his wife (Jennifer Garner) and granddaughter. It also means Danny will be taking up residence at a hotel. The hotel manager (Annette Bening) is someone Danny immediately connects with, though she is not so interested in his charm. That said, Danny still gets the push he needs to start working on music again.

The premise for this film is based on a real life situation where Lennon did actually write a letter that was ultimately never received by folk singer Steve Tilston until a few decades later. It’s an interesting setup and the film does a fine job of keeping up the tone of a light drama. There are some heavier moments here or there, but Danny Collins is mostly here to entertain.

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As stated already, Pacino does fine work here. He gets some moments to go big, but it comes off in a very likable way, which is basically when he feels like turning the charm off. Many moments involving him actually show him in a contemplative state, given what his mission in the film is. It also helps that he has great chemistry with this whole cast.

Pacino and Benning are great together. Cannavale (who Pacino requested to play his son) does a great job playing the conflicted son who does not know whether or not he can trust this man that has suddenly arrived in his family’s life. Then you have Christopher Plummer, who makes you wish that he and Pacino could do a lot more together.

Writer/director Dan Fogelman has made a film that is fairly familiar in a lot of ways, but it is still easy to like. A lot of that comes down how solid the cast is. Even with some easygoing drama, this is a film that does plenty with the stars to make the film charming. Sometimes that is really all you need.


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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Danny Collins is not the splashiest looking film, but it is made well enough have plenty of neat details fit for a Blu-ray release. The various locations allow for a nice study of the clarity that can be found in the film throughout.

Depth: There is plenty here to provide a nice handle on the dimensionality of the film.

Black Levels: Black levels are solid, deep and inky.

Color Reproduction: There is a lot of good balance in the colors on display here. Given Danny’s lavish life, the opening act presents a lot of glitz and glamor. Later on, the film finds a nice way to balance the imagery seen in the various Jersey locations.

Flesh Tones: Facial textures are solid here. There is a lot of great detail to be found in each of the characters.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing to be found.



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Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Danny Collins has an impressive audio track, which is fitting for a film about a rock star. The film is mainly dialogue-driven, but there is plenty to hear, with a soundtrack that does fine with all the various auditory sources.

Low Frequency Extension: There are some fine musical moments that do a good job of making use of the LFE channel.

Surround Sound Presentation: Plenty of good work has been done to bring a fine sense of balance to the lossless audio track. The dialogue is center channel-heavy, which is expected, but the ambient noise, score, and other elements all work to a great extent.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone comes through loud and clear.



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Danny Collins is unfortunately not loaded with more extras, which is a shame. It would have been nice to hear more from the cast about the making of the film.

Features Include:

  • Behind the Scenes of Danny Collins (HD, 3:44) – A brief look at the making of the film.
  • Danny Collins – Album Covers Through the Years (HD) – A look at the history of Danny Collins’ musical career.


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Danny Collins is good fun. Pacino leads a solid cast in a film that has a sweet story that is plenty entertaining for many to watch. The Blu-ray has a great presentation to go with the film, though it does sorely lack in the way of extras. The film is worth checking out though, so give it a rental, if given the chance.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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