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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

    May 7, 2001
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    Honkytonk Man

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1982
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 123 Mins.
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Enhanced Widescreen
    Audio: DD 5.1
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Thai & Korean.

    The Feature:
    The recent release of Honkytonk Man is among one of a recent group of Clint Eastwood movies that were released on September 2nd. This is said to be one of Eastwood’s personal favorites in which he and his son Kyle star together. Red Stovall (Clint Eastwood) wants to make it big in the country music business where he’ll venture to Nashville in pursuit of his dream. He’s no spring chicken, he likes his women almost as much as likes his booze, he can’t drive very well and he is gravely ill suffering from tuberculosis. And did I mention he doesn’t have a plug nickel to get there…? He’s the quintessential poster boy for mediocrity and he has but one chance left.

    Set during the depression era, the story starts off at Red’s sister’s family farm in Oklahoma. After a fierce windstorm has literally decimated the crop and destroyed virtually everything in its path, the family decides to head west to California in search of a successful cotton plantation. Red, on the other hand, decides to head east to Nashville Tennessee in search of success of a different form.

    After a lifetime of playing in two bit Honkytonks for little or nothing, Red has received an invitation to play at the Grand Ole Opry. Red’s nephew Whit (played by Kyle Eastwood, Clint’s real life son) asks if he can tag along as he too wants to eventually “be somebody” one day. While his mother is reluctant to send the young boy, she knows her brother needs someone to watch over him. Not only wanting to see her brother make it to Nashville in one piece, she also wants her son to do something with his life other than picking cotton. She concedes, and allows the boy to go along. Grandpa (played by the late great John McIntyre) also tags along, wanting to go back to his birthplace to spend his final days.

    Along the way, we witness several unique ways to fund the Nashville trip that includes everything from a chicken coop pinch, to a so-called staged armed robbery that’s not so staged and a poker game that loses its steam… Though, young Whit and his uncle form a unique bond along the way, the young boy gets a crash course lesson in life and has many curves thrown to him that many adults never ever have to face.

    Red and Whit finally make it to Nashville but success isn’t as easy as they originally planned. After the bond that has formed between the two along the way, Whit must now perform beyond his years to care for his uncle. As fast as he is closing in on success, his health is finally closing in on him.

    For the most part, the video presentation is most impressive and pleasing. While the image had its soft spots, the majority was sharp offering exceptional detail. Colors were nicely saturated and black levels were acceptable. As I have noticed with a few of Eastwood’s recent movies, skin tones seemed somewhat reddish in nature. I don’t believe it is transfer related.

    There were many stunning shots of the Oklahoma backdrop during the trip, and many of the scenes were not only gorgeous but very dimensional and “film like”.

    There was some very slight video noise present as well as the odd scratch here and there. The opening credits were plagued with light shimmer and I did detect slight edge enhancement in a few scenes, albeit a rather insignificant amount at best.

    Fans are sure to be pleased.

    Remastered as a 5.1 track, when the movie started playing, I thought I popped in the wrong disc by putting in Twister. Honkytonk Man starts off with a ravaging windstorm which is presented similar to that of the aggressive audio track located on Twister… for those unfamiliar with that movie, that’s high praise indeed. I certainly wasn’t expecting it.

    Admittedly, the most aggressive part of the soundtrack occurs during the opening scene while the windstorm is blowing through, that is not to say the entire disc isn’t active and alive throughout the entire movie. It is. In particular, I was extremely pleased with the crispness of clarity of the audio e.g. wind blowing through the leaves and grass, the crunching of the gravel and the sharpness of breaking glass. Outstanding. The clarity of dialogue was equally as impressive and hiss free. The surround use was exemplary, usually very active and always employed tactfully. There were a few crashes, gunshots, and action scenes that always delivered in a robust way.

    Directionality was also demonstrated equally well with various cars or trains passing by. LFE was rather minimal but effective when used.

    I really can’t say a bad word about the audio presentation… Its by no means reference, but I think you’ll be impressed.

    Special Features:
    Cast & Crew which is merely a text listing of the players. Also included is a five page filmography highlighting Clint Eastwood’s successful career.

    A Theatrical Trailer is also included which is in pretty decent shape.

    That’s it for special features.

    Final Thoughts:
    Clint Eastwood is without question, one of my favorites. He brings a lot of talent to whatever project he embarks. But make no mistake about it. Clint Eastwood can’t sing a note. He can’t carry a tune to save his soul! And when you get over that, you’ll enjoy the movie for what it is. On the surface, this is an account of a bond that forms between Red and Whit. However, we all have aspirations, and this is, in actuality, the depiction of a man’s last chance who simply wants to “make it” before it’s too late.

    Honkytonk Man is truly an exceptional movie combined with an A/V presentation that is sure to bring pleasure to any Clint Eastwood fan wanting to add this to their collection. Recommended..!

    Released: September 2nd, 2003
  2. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

    Dec 13, 1999
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    No other comments on this movie? I loved this movie when I was a kid and have not seen it in years. I guess this will be another to add to my list of dvd's tomorrow.

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