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 » Blaze (Blu-ray)
Blaze (Blu-ray)
Shout Factory // R // May 7, 2019 // Region A
List Price: $22.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted May 28, 2019 | 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
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

I'm a sucker for a decent musician biopic, though I will admit that Blaze caught my attention not because of the genre, but because of the hook; an outlaw country musician in the mold of Merle Haggard, who worked with Townes Van Zandt and whose life was cut down before he turned 40 as the result of a bullet. In a sense his life (studio albums reportedly seized by DEA agents, lots of creative influence, dying early) could be a country song in an of itself, and a somewhat unlikely source decided to put his life on celluloid.

Written and directed by Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) and adapted from the memoir by Foley's wife Sybil Rosen, the story recounts Foley's life in various periods from the time he met Rosen (played in the film by Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat) to his life touring and playing music in virtually empty bars. Recounted by Van Zandt (played by musician Charlie Sexton) and Zee (Josh Hamilton, Eighth Grade) during a radio interview done by Hawke, they talk about Blaze's highs and lows and the time leading up to his untimely death.

Foley is played by Ben Dickey, a six-foot plus man with a beard almost as long and a belly from alcohol partaking. This is his first performance and it's magical to enjoy; he's a musician by trade and he handles that portion of it like you'd expect him to; Foley is an almost mystical figure at times and one with an emotional depth in moments with Rosen that Dickey manages to portray convincingly. Even in the moments of friction with the Januarys, Blaze looks like a guy that doesn't want to start nuthin less there be no nuthin. The accomplished cast is up to the task as well; a scene with Kris Kristofferson (playing Blaze's father in an assisted living facility) may be one of the most powerful of the film; a slow close-up, his eyes show the feelings that he eventually expresses.

Hawke tends to lean against some traditional storytelling means; Van Zandt and Zee is the storyline we all return to, but the periods in Foley's life in Blaze drift in and out and eventually merge in the moments leading up to his death, and Sybil's walk through the place where it happened, to the end moments where she talks to him at his gravesite. You can see Foley wants to do what makes him happy, even if it costs him family, financial security or what have you.

The Disc:
The Video:

Blaze is presented in 2.39:1 widescreen and uses the MPEG-4 format and looks beautiful. The film is shot in Louisiana and the browns and greens look sharp as a tack; club scenes include deep black levels and lighting that has a tinge of noise to it. Fleshtones appear nature and the image is devoid of any prolonged smearing or haloing, and the overall transfer looks gorgeous.

The Sound:

DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless to accompany the film. For this particular musician the film score isn't dynamic but you know it can be; the Van Zandt interview gets all the bass in his voice, the music is clear as can be and dialogue is consistent without much adjustment. All in all a quietly convincing soundtrack by Shout!

Extras:

Hawke provides a commentary where he enthusiastically talks about the subject, and provides ample recollection on the scenes and a particular shot or two. He also marvels at particular performances in a scene and why they are so good, and gets into scene breakdown and visual intent a little bit too. There is some watching at times but it's a nice supplement to the film. After that is the making of EPK (7:28), where the cast and crew share their thoughts on the real life characters, Dickey and on Hawke's direction, along with overall thoughts on the film. A trailer (2:11) completes things.

Final Thoughts:

Blaze is a story about a musician few know, told in a heartfelt manner by those acting and telling his story, and the result is a sweet and tragic story about someone you'll want to learn more about. Technically the disc is solid, and the extras are fine, particularly the commentary. Definitely worth checking out if you see it anywhere.

Find the lowest price for 'Blaze (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2 Movie Collection
2. Gremlins (4K Ultra HD)
3. And Soon the Darkness
4. Ida Lupino: Filmmaker Collection
5. Mean Girls (15th Anniversary Edition)
6. Child's Play (2019)
7. Sudden Terror (aka Eyewitness)
8. The Devil Rides Out
9. Vampires (Collector's Edition)
10. Dark Phoenix


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