‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is a phenomenal piece of filmmaking that hits all of the right marks. Touching, frequently funny and downright beautiful in its approach, surroundings and tone, it comes together into a massively enjoyable tale that’s drastically unlike nearly everything else you’ll see this year
Directors: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen
Release Date: November 12, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
The Peanut Butter Falcon follows Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome who runs away from a residential nursing home to fulfill his dream of attending the pro wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). On the road, Zak meets Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a small-time outlaw who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together, they set out on a wild, life-changing journey and try to convince Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a kind nursing-home employee charged with bringing Zak back, to join them.
‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ tells the moving story of Zak (Gottsagen) a young and unusually strong man with Down syndrome who runs away from the senior living home he’s forced to reside with the intention of becoming the next great wrestler after repeatedly watching a videotape of his hero The Salt Water Redneck (Church) who runs a wrestling school. After crossing paths with a young thief and struggling worker named Tyler (LaBeouf) the pair quickly build a strong bond, setting out together to realize both of their dreams together. But as this pair of new friends begin their journey, they’ll have to either outwit Zak’s caregiver and friend Eleanor (Johnson) who is out looking for the missing Zak or else convince her to join them on their adventure.
Written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz who make their feature length filmmaking debut (aside from co-directed documentaries, etc.) with ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ and the duo does a magnificent job at the helm guiding along their own touching script and capturing a perfect tone and beauty that consistently compliments the sweet story within. The film also owes a good chunk of credit to the talented individuals that comprise the cast including Shia LaBeouf (Fury), Dakota Johnson (Bad Times at the El Royale), John Hawkes (Deadwood: The Movie), Bruce Dern (Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood), Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver), Thomas Haden Church (Daddy’s Home) and of course Zack Gottsagen in his feature film debut, along with more; nearly all delivering fitting and highly capable performances in each of their respective roles and helping this incredibly human story to work as beautifully as it does.
‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is a phenomenal piece of filmmaking that hits all of the right marks. Touching, frequently funny and downright beautiful in its approach, surroundings and tone, it comes together into a massively enjoyable tale that’s drastically unlike nearly everything else you’ll see this year and also one of the finest films of 2019 by a long shot. It’s not often that films like this come around these days, but ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is nothing short of amazing, almost guaranteed to leave you feeling fulfilled and moved from start to finish. Even with the high expectations I already had for this unique movie, I couldn’t help but still find myself blown away by its unabashed kindness and just plain sweet demeanor; the real challenge here would be managing to not fall fully in love with this remarkable tale of friendship, hope and love. With the behind scenes story that built to the film itself nearly as touching as the content within (to briefly summarize; the filmmakers became friends with Zack at a camp he attended and created this film for him at his request after being told he might have trouble making it as a Hollywood actor. The included Featurette goes much more into depth on it and I’d strongly encourage checking it out after the film). I wholeheartedly urge everyone to try and go out of their way to check out ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’. It’s a remarkably sweet and touching film that should have something for everyone and is definitely not to be missed.
Overall, ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is nothing short of amazing, and hands down one of the year’s absolute best. It’s one of those rare and unforgettable films that gives you some hope for humanity in these troubled times with its touching portrayal of friendship , hope and ability, leaving you warmed to the core in a manner that’s a true rarity in filmmaking these days. ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ easily earns my highest possible recommendation. It’s a thoroughly beautiful and moving adventure filled with heart and humor that shouldn’t be overlooked. At the absolute least, it should have zero trouble proving worthy of your time and the price of a rental one evening when you just want to relax with a movie that will leave you feeling happy, satisfied and almost rewarded by the beauty and kindness it manages to exude in spades.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a smooth, sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no problematic elements or notable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up smoothly even during the few darkly lit and fast moving sequences, always making certain nothing onscreen becomes negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should thoroughly satisfy both the fans and those checking it out for the first time.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a clean, crisp and solid overall audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels (even if in a calmer manner than many films) to send nature elements, music and bits of dialogue along with more throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a nice 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it, while nicely complimenting this heartwarming tale throughout.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ doesn’t include a great deal in the way of extras, although it includes a couple decent bonuses. Included on the release is a behind the scenes Featurette ‘Zack’s Story: The Making of The Peanut Butter Falcon’ (running 6 minutes in length) which includes behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew discussing how the film came about. Also included are an ‘Images from The Peanut Butter Falcon’ Still Gallery and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (running approximately 2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Roadside Attractions & Lionsgate Home Entertainment