Two elderly, eccentric, next-door neighbors sustain a rancorous relationship that only a wise observer could recognize as a very special friendship. When a lonely, flamboyant, middle-aged widow moves in across the street from them, the male rivalry begins.
One of the great screen duos of all time — Oscar-winners Jack Lemmon (“Glengarry Glen Ross,” “The China Syndrome,” “Missing”) and Walter Matthau (“Dennis the Menace,” “JFK”) — reunite in this romantic comedy that examines the decades-old love-hate relationship between two neighbors and the way their lives are thrown into total upheaval when a lovely, free-spirited widow moves in across the street. Co-starring the always-seductive Ann Margret (“Carnal Knowledge”), Daryl Hannah (“Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”) and Kevin Pollack (“A Few Good Men”)
Read my review of the Blu-ray after the jump.
Grumpy Old Men
Available To Own On (click to purchase): Blu-ray
Official Site Link: www.wbshop.com
Release Date: July 7, 2009
After all these years — the film was released in 1993 and spawned a sequel in 1995– Grumpy Old Men continues to hold up remarkably well. The film follows two older men: John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau). Next door neighbors, the two have been involved in a 50 year feud and that feud takes on new heights when an attractive woman, Ariel Truax (Ann-Margret) moves in across the street.
Ossie Davis, Buck Henry, Kevin Pollak and Daryl Hannah also co-star.
What follows as an hilarious comedy, filled with tons of humor both from the two leading men, and in bit parts by John’s father (played by Burgess Meredith). The practical jokes the two play on each other are mixed together with the two going after their new neighbor, Ariel.
What also makes the film one of the better comedies, is its emotional angle. These two may seem like they hate each other, but deep down you see that they truly respect and care for each other as friends. That slowly becomes apparent as the film progresses, and it’s great to see a movie so effectively explore what it’s like to, for the lack of a better phrase, grow old when you’re widowed and alone.
Grumpy Old Men remains one of my favorite comedies. It just holds up remarkable well and is a ton of fun to watch all these years later. The end-credits feature some outakes, with actor Burgess Meredith stealing the show with hilarious one-liners. Great stuff.
This Blu-ray is encoded with the VC-1 codec and there’s a slight improvement over the DVD version. Having said that, there’s no doubt that this is the best this movie has ever looked. Interestingly enough, even though there’s not a huge improvement in video quality (it’s on par with movies from its time, but definitely not as crisp as modern material), this is the first time that a wide screen presenation of the film has been released on home video. So that’s a definite plus. In terms of soundtrack options, you’re limited to just basic Dolby Digital 2.0 or Dobly TrueHD 2.0.
- Trailer — Yeah that’s right, the only extra presented here is the theatrical trailer. Very disappointing.
It’s a joy watching these two impressive actors play so well off each other on screen. And even with the unfortunate bare-bones presentation in respect to nearly no extras, this is a easy recommend for me. I give this film and DVD a score of 4/5. It would have rated higher had there at least been some sort of attempt on the extras front.
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