Living & Dying, but the scenes with Arnold Vosloo and the police command center are just painful to watch.

You can put me down for a good hostage-situation-gone-wrong flick anytime, but while Keeyes shows himself not shy about pumping rounds into anything that moves (a plus!), the dialogue here is the real killer.">
  08/21/2014  
Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD Aug 26The Twilight Zone: The Complete '80s Series on DVD Aug 26Trust Me on DVD Aug 26The Midnight Special Collector's Edition on DVD Sep 9Revelation Trail on DVD Aug 26Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD Aug 26Varsity Blood on DVD Aug 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Mo'ne Davis strikes out six, allows three runs against ...
Billy Crystal will honor Robin Williams at the Emmy Awa...
Murder, revenge, lust and rampage take over 'Sin City' ...
Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Video: Review Revue ...
Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD Aug 26...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

HBO presents
Living and Dying (2006)

"We had it all timed out. It should have worked."
- Sam (Edward Furlong)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: February 22, 2008

Stars: Edward Furlong
Other Stars: Arnold Vosloo, Bai Ling, Michael Madsen, Tamer Karadagli, Jordana Spiro, Monica Dean, Brandy Little, Libby Villari, Hayden Tweedie, Yelda Renaud, Trent Haaga, Curtis Wayne, Tom Zembrod, Brady Coleman, Deniz Akkaya, Matthew Posey
Director: Jon Keeyes

MPAA Rating: R for (violence, language, nudity)
Run Time: 01h:29m:34s
Release Date: December 26, 2007
UPC: 026359360022
Genre: crime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ CB-B- C+

DVD Review

In Living & Dying, Edward Furlong and Bai Ling lead a small group of armed robbers who hit the payroll vault of a powerful businessman, only to find themselves thrust into a somewhat askew and violent hostage situation at a nearby diner. Arnold Vosloo is the exasperated detective-turned-negotiator, while Michael Madsen eventually saunters in as a cocky Federal agent ready to shoot first and ask questions later.

Not a bad premise—and the film does its best to toss out a steady volley of gunfire and mayhem—but there's a hard-to-ignore degree of unintentionally awful dialogue and a low budget minimalism that makes too many scenes look noticeably barren, where in reality they would be chaotic.

There's a nice Tarantino-lite edge to the more violent aspects of the story—though I really could have done without the rape sequence later on. The bad guys are genuinely bad (even their names sound mean) and the first act twist sets up an edgy middle portion that unfortunately gets too tilted for its own good. That's a lot of plates for a young director to keep spinning for 90 minutes, and writer/director Jon Keeyes comes out of the gate pretty well, only to have any modicum tension diluted by out-of-place accents and some cheesy dialogue (one character actually says "I've got a bad feeling about this...").

I don't want to carelessly run this one through the meat grinder, because I'm sure what we're seeing is really all that we could get. There's the makings of a fairly fun plot underneath the sloppy stuff, but the dialogue really could use some tweaks—most notably the unintentionally awful lines uttered by every member of law enforcement. Curiously, the bad cop dialogue just makes the neatly coarse flow of the bad guys' conversations sound richer. Keeyes was clearly working with very little overhead, and that's where a Furlong, Madsen, and even a Vosloo should be kicking the whole thing up a notch.

Well, one out of three ain't bad. Furlong does give a fun performance, kind of like a foul-mouthed Michael J. Fox, while somehow Madsen seems to be in full-on caricature mode, seemingly doing an impression of Madsen doing an impression of Madsen. And no offense to Vosloo; the cornball dialogue that falls out of his mouth probably couldn't have been saved by the most eloquent thespian. As is often the case with a genre title like this, the villains get the best lines, but the stuff Vosloo's detective character has to mutter is hopelessly cliché.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: HBO has issued Living & Dying in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with bright colors—yep, there's lots of very red blood. The transfer is marred slightly by a few instances of speckling, but otherwise a rather decent offering.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix makes the most of the gunfights, bringing the rear channels into play frequently. Most of the weapons have a nice deep pop to them, lending some elevated suspense to the action bits. No issues with voice clarity, and there's a nice sense of directional pans, too.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 11 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Rush Hour 3, Shoot 'Em Up, The Number 23
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Jon Keeyes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Writer/director Jon Keeyes provides a commentary track that didn't make me like this film all that much more, but it did make me appreciate his intent, at least. Keeyes gives a nice backstory on the project and its development, and if anything made me appreciate a little of the whole indie production process.

Of less interest—and somewhat more generic—is A Day In The Life Of Living & Dying (12m:39s), with cast and crew offering their remembrances, serving up platitudes and general happy talk.

The disc is cut into 11 chapters, with optional subs in English or Spanish.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

I'm putting Jon Keeyes in my imaginary "look for him in the future" pile, when I'm guessing he'll maybe have a bigger budget and a tighter script to work with. I can't fault the guy for not having much cashflow, and I liked a lot of the plot machinations in Living & Dying, but the scenes with Arnold Vosloo and the police command center are just painful to watch.

You can put me down for a good hostage-situation-gone-wrong flick anytime, but while Keeyes shows himself not shy about pumping rounds into anything that moves (a plus!), the dialogue here is the real killer.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, movie, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, music, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, comedy, box office, movies, teenage mutant ninja turtles, guardians of the galaxy, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966, horror, celebrity, tiburon ca, mara buxbaum, susan schneider, robin williams, hazelden addiction treatment center, aladdin, happy feet, robots, fern gully., 2014 teen choice awards, sarah hyland, tyler posey, ansel elgort, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, kylie jenner, drama, basketball, san antonio spurs, kari gallegos-doering, colorado state, greg popovich, the big bang theory, kaley cuoco, haircut, johnny galecki, jim parsons, ruam sweeting, documentary, victoria beckham, south africa, mothers2mothers, 600 items, auction, lucy, chris pratt, zoe saldana, bradley cooper, scarlett johansson

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact