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Logan Lucky (2017)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
4K UHD Released: 11/28/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 11/8/2017
As we've discussed several times in the past, fiction films are not real life and we should not expect them to be. Having said that, if a movie has presented a certain sort of reality, the audience should expect it to stick to those rules. And, if those rules are broken or if the film presents us with something which doesn't gel, it can be distracting. The action in Logan Lucky takes places in Madison, West Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. In real life, these two areas are four-and-a-half hours apart. However, in the movie, they are presented as if they are very close. In short, this made me crazy. But, this was far from the oddest part of this big, yet little, film.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) does his best to do the right thing. He lives in Madison, WV and works on a construction project at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. (You see? That just doesn't make any sense.) He loves to see his young daughter, Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie), who lives with his ex-wife, Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes). When Jimmy is let go from his job, he approaches his brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), who lost a hand in the military and works as a bartender, with an idea. While working on the construction crew, Jimmy got information on how money was moved around the speedway, and has a plan to rob the vault. The two approach incarcerated thief Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) for tips on cracking vault. Soon, a very complicated plan is formed. Can a gang of amateurs from the country pull off a job like this?
Many artists strive for artistic freedom. They would like to reach a point where they can do what they would like to do with little interference. Although most artists would not admit it, that achievement is what is known as power. So, here's the question -- How did Steven Soderbergh amass so much power? I know that he's won an Oscar, but, from the outside looking in, it appears that Soderbergh is one of a handful of directors who simply does whatever he wants to do. Looking at his filmography, he appears to blend small, personal films with television projects, while also doing a big-budget star-studded movie every now and then. The only common thread with his work seems to be that he's doing what he wants to do and that he's having fun doing it.
So, where does Logan Lucky fit into all of this? That's difficult to say. The script is credited to someone named "Rebecca Blunt", with this screenplay being their sole entry on IMDB.com. That same website states that many believe that this person does not exist and that it's a pseudonym for someone else. If I were to venture who that person is, I would like at the various writers who worked on Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven or its sequels, as Logan Lucky is simply a hillbilly version of a film from that series. Despite the unlikely setting and the quirky characters, this is a heist movie from beginning to end, complete with the elaborate plan, the various players, and the finale which shows us what was really going on as we were watching something else.
The problem with Logan Lucky is that it's incredibly hollow. The trailer made the film look as if it were going to be a laugh-riot. Unfortunately, all of the funny moments were featured in that preview. What we are left with is something which feels like a Cohen Brothers castoff, as the movie wants to focus more on the character's odd affectations rather than moving the story along. (I know that the Daniel Craig egg thing comes back later on in the movie, but that felt unnecessary.) The movie also has no suspense. We should be worried that the gang is going to get caught during the heist, but the movie has gone so far out of its way to be quirky, that by the time the robbery begins, any sort of normal rules concerning tension didn't apply. At two hours, the film feels very bloated and it's far too concerned with bringing in every little minor detail which can be trotted back out during the finale. This sort of thing can work in a novel, but too many side-journey's can truly derail a film. Despite having a cast of very familiar faces which seem up for anything, Logan Lucky comes across as a very big, seemingly expensive lark which doesn't care if the audience likes it or not.
Logan Lucky continues Hollywood's odd obsession with NASCAR on 4K UHD courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an HEVC 2160p transfer which runs at an average of 70 Mbps. The image is very, very sharp and clear, showing no noticeable grain or defects from the source materials. Soderbergh has shot the film in a very natural style, so the colors look fantastic. Just look at all of the colorful decals on the race cars and you'll see how 4K can really push colors. With this, the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is excellent, as the picture is never soft, and the characters are clearly delineated from the backgrounds. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Most 4K UHD releases have 7.1 tracks, so it seems odd that a movie which features race cars zipping by would only have a 5.1 track. Whatever the case, we get good sound here. Those cars do a good job of filling the front and rear channels as they go by, but a wreck didn't back the subwoofer punch which I had expected. The audio does a fine job of highlighting sounds which are coming from off-screen.
The only extras for Logan Lucky are two DELETED SCENES which can be found on the accompanying Blu-ray Disc. These two scenes run about 4 minutes and offer one which is apparently a different opening sequence (although it's simply a longer version of a scene which now comes later in the film) and another which is simply a throw-away moment.
Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long