DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The End (Blu-ray)
The End (Blu-ray)
Olive Films // R // October 27, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted November 7, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

Burt Reynolds was at the height of his powers in 1978, having just starring in Smokey & The Bandit, and at this point he was also dabbling in directing, having helmed Gator two years prior in 1976. The End sees Reynolds in the director's chair once again, though this time there's no action set pieces, this one is a straight-up goofball comedy with oddly timed splashes of (sometimes fairly heavy) drama thrown in.

Reynolds plays the lead, a man named Wendell Sonny Lawson, a Los Angeles based real estate wheeler-dealer who early in the film, finds out that he's got a terminal blood disease. He reacts to the news his doctor (Norman Fell) gives him with range of emotions, but once he gets that out of his system he decides he should start preparing. He visits a priest (Robby Benson) and confesses. He visits his aging parents, Maureen (Myrna Loy) and Ben (Pat O'Brien), a kindly old couple that just aren't good at paying attention to their son's plight. From there? He stops in on his ex-wife, Jessica (Joanne Woodward), a woman who understandably cannot stand the man. Cleary their marriage was not a happy one.

Lawson talks to some more people. He breaks the news to his current squeeze, Mary Ellen (Sally Field), who can't help but weep, and then he talks things over with his best friend, Mary Lieberman (David Steinberg). Lawson comes to the conclusion that it'll save everyone, especially himself, a whole lot of time and energy if he just offs himself. Unfortunately, his suicide attempt backfires and he winds up thrown into an institution where he befriends a schizophrenic man named Marlon Borunki (Dom DeLuise). Still intent on taking his own life, Lawson recruits Marlon to help him make it to the great beyond before his illness takes him.

The End is not a perfect film, but it is at least an interesting one. Reynolds the director seems to have a bit of trouble directing Reynolds the actor, there are moments where you have to question the way that certain scenes are set up and shot, the most obvious example being the opening reveal where the doctor tells him he's dying. Reynolds seems off here when he gets the news. There are other instances throughout the movie where he seems off as well, his love scene with Sally Field standing as another example. That said, there are also moments where he's quite good. The guy has always had a knack for comedy and the scenes he shares with Benson as the priest and most of the scenes he shares with Dom DeLuise are quite funny. The supporting cast, many of whom are ‘Reynolds regulars' are enjoyable enough and do fine work here. The scene in which Reynolds attempts to say goodbye to his daughter is a pretty effective tearjerker, both he and Swanson are in fine form here and have a believable chemistry that makes this scene a bit more real than some of the other ‘goodbyes' that take place during the film.

The film isn't all that fancy in terms of its style. The cinematography is effective and workmanlike but you're not going to walk away from the movie when it's over marveling at any of the shots or the scope of the camerawork. In the context of the story being told the matter-of-fact presentation actually works, however. As Reynolds' character goes through the gamut of emotions, sometimes quite morosely, the focus should be on that experience rather than on flashy set pieces. Moments like this are wedged into the more frequent doses of comedy, however. The humor in the movie is erratic, but usually entertaining. You get everything from snappy banter in the confessional scene to a yucky sour milk gag during a suicide attempt, with DeLuise doing his typically brash shtick with as much bravado and scenery chewing as you'd probably expect.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

The End debuts on Blu-ray from Olive Films framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer. There's a little bit of print damage here and there that probably could have been cleaned up but it's not a serious setback. Detail is good, even if it never hits reference quality levels, while color reproduction is generally nice even if there are a couple of spots where it's a little inconsistent. We get strong black levels and nice skin tones here and the transfer is free of any obvious noise reduction, edge enhancement or compression problems.

Audio:

The English language DTS-HD Mono track is also fine. The dialogue is properly balanced and easy to follow. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion nor are there any level spikes. The score and occasional effects that are worked into the mix sound pretty good here too. No alternate language options or subtitles are provided.

Extras:

The only extra on the disc, outside of static menus and chapter selection, is the film's theatrical trailer.

Final Thoughts:

The End is pretty uneven but despite its flaws, it has enough going for it that Burt Reynolds fans should get a kick out of it. The supporting players do good work, DeLuise does his thing and Burt is fun here, if just a bit off occasionally. Olive's presentation is okay. The transfer is decent if never mind-blowing and the audio gets the job done with no problem. Don't go looking for extras though. Not a masterpiece but worth a watch for fans of the man. Rent it.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

Find the lowest price for 'The End (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Swing Time
2. Day of the Outlaw
3. Fatso
4. Murder!
5. Midnight Lace
6. Alice, Sweet Alice
7. The Front Page
8. Léon Morin, Priest
9. The Wild Heart / Gone to Earth
10. Cold Pursuit (4K Ultra HD)


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use