Director: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.
Military Contractor Brian Gilcrest (Cooper) is coming back to Hawaii where he resided during the height of his career, returning for a potential career jump start following some issues with his wealthy employer (Murray). Upon returning Brian is forced to give this task his all and do whatever it takes in order to make it succeed without issue, while simultaneously dealing with the love of his life (McAdams) now back in his life after so many years and married with children, in addition to his military watch-dog (Stone) who he may just be unexpectedly falling for. With numerous critical decisions that could affect his entire future in play, Brian must decide the correct course of action on numerous fronts both personal and professional during his stay back in Hawaii and it soon becomes clear that the only certainty is that nothing will be the same when all is said and done.
Acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) wrote and directed ‘Aloha’ and Crowe does a solid job guiding his own script, which while it may not be anything monumental, is still an enjoyable and emotionally fulfilling journey. Crowe does do a fantastic job of capturing Hawaii and making it as much a part of the story as any of the lead characters. ‘Aloha’ also benefits from a remarkable cast comprised of numerous incredibly talented individuals including Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin, Danny McBride and more, all of whom deliver quite solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Aloha’ is a fun spirited and often emotional journey of one man through what develops into possibly one of the most critical points of his life. While ‘Aloha’ may not manage to bring anything phenomenal or extraordinary to the table, paling in comparison to many of Cameron Crowe’s phenomenal past efforts, it’s really not the mess so many would have to you believe. For those seeking a simple and enjoyable film that’s relatable on numerous levels and often very funny, then ‘Aloha’ is easily worth checking out and a perfect selection for a lighthearted weekend film to relax with.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Aloha’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, delivering a rich and beautifully detailed presentation throughout with no notable faults of any kind noticeable on my end. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that looks gorgeous from start to end and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds fantastic, providing a sharp and clean audio presentation, utilizing all five available channels on a number of occasions to surround the viewer with the films soundtrack in addition to a number of suitably placed auditory elements including helicopter noise, crowd chatter and more; hitting surprisingly hard at a few points, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become negatively affected or rendered inaudible at any point. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and should easily please the masses.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Aloha’ is jam-packed with an impressive collection of extras. Included on the release is an Audio Commentary with writer/director Cameron Crowe, along with an ‘Original Opening’ (approximately 19 minutes), an ‘Alternate Ending’ (4 minutes) and a couple of ‘Deleted Scenes’ (11 minutes in total), all of which also feature optional commentary with Crowe. The release also includes ‘The Untitled Hawaii Project: The Making of Aloha Feature Length Documentary’ which runs approximately 74 minutes in length and explores in depth the process of bringing the film to life and includes behind the scenes footage, comments and interviews with the cast and crew and more. We are also treated to a number of short videos/featurettes including a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘The Awe of Space’ (3 minutes), ‘Ledward Kaapana: Music is Everything’ (15 minutes), ‘Uncle Bumpy Talks about Hawaii’ (6 minutes), ‘Mitchell’s Film’ (2 minutes), and lastly, an ‘Aloha Photo Gallery’.