Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 100 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Rennie’s Landing is a very average film that fails to repay the faithful viewer. The main problem is simple; it’s not sure what sort of film it wants to be. In varying degrees it is tries hard to be a road film, teen drama, character study, bank heist/action flick and, occasionally, one of those warm, fuzzy dramas with a surprise ending that ultimately fails to elicit the empathy that it tried so hard to eke from viewers.
"'One size fits all'. Are you sure?"
The four young university graduates - the wannabe actor, Trevor (Ethan Embry), the humanitarian, Samantha (Charlotte Ayanna), the wannabe Hollywood producer, Alec (Peter Facinelli) and the guy that doesn’t know what he wants to be, Casey (Scott Foley) - graduate from university with big dreams, and are keen to share them. Meeting at Rennie’s Landing after graduation, just like they have for years, each delights in predicting their future.
Jump forward a few years, and it seems that reality has dealt the fearless four some difficult hands at the poker table of life. Alec is being pushed around and trying to have his film script taken seriously only to see it pinched from under his nose, Samantha finds that being a humanitarian went out with the ark, Trevor is learning that acting is about who you know and are prepared to sleep with, and poor ol’ Casey is still bumbling along without aim.
"No, not John Howard. Care to guess again?"
Reuniting and discovering their lives have not taken the paths they predicted, Alec receives some life altering news, and convinces the others that life is too short to invest your future in the faith of others; the key is to take charge yourself. How? By robbing a bank, of course, just as described in his recently hijacked film script.
All goes to plan, and the $5M booty appears to hold the answers to all their futures, but of course nothing has gone right for the fearless four so far, so why should anything change now?
ZZ Top's new look failed to catch on.
As said, Rennie’s Landing tries hard to be all things to all viewers, but fails in many areas. The first two-thirds of the film are spent building characters and trying to elicit empathy. It drags a little and appears to be heading in several directions, when suddenly it finds its purpose and several of the subplots terminate abruptly, while the main storyline takes over and comes to a less than neat end.
The basics such as acting are fine, though Peter Facinelli is so like a young Tom Cruise that at times he looks, sounds and delivers his lines just like him. The supporting cast is fine, the direction is mostly good, though partly to blame for the meandering of the film, and events do at last come together, but it is still the kind of film that you will have forgotten by the time the credits stop rolling.
As is typical, this looks great, and the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 is 16:9 enhanced to boot. Sharpness is never a problem, and colouring and skin tones are spot on. There is no evidence of bleeding, noise or grain, and few, if any, instances of edge enhancement, aliasing or shimmer.
There are a small number of minor film artefacts in the form of black splodgy bits, but black levels and shadow detail are very good. There is no layer change in this single sided, single layer disc and, all in all, things score high points in this category.
Like the video transfer, the audio transfer is pretty fine, but limited to one option, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. There is regular, but mostly subtle, use of the surround channels for ambience and the occasional sound effect, while most dialogue is placed in the centre channel. The subwoofer likewise gets the odd look in, especially when there are vehicles on screen, and there is some noticeable panning and separation of sound.
There are no problems with synchronisation, volume or clarity.
Bah! The only extra included is a theatrical trailer that does what it has to do, and is hardly likely to sway the undecided.
Rennie’s Landing falls fairly and squarely into the ‘Bland’ category of films. It is not so bad that it deserves to be shredded, but neither is it a gem that will stay with you after the credits roll. Unfortunately there's as good as zip in the way of extras, and while the audio and video are great, that alone is unlikely to be enough.