Article first published as Blu-ray Review: ‘McCanick’ on Blogcritics.
A lot of films that play the festival crowd are run of the mill. Some
scream independent although it’s painfully obvious that no studio would
release it, But “independent” has an air of pretentiousness served with
a side of a twist ending that’s both ridiculous and, as in the case of
Josh Waller’s McCanick,
offensive. Once you learn the big twist, it’s even more shameful to
think that this was Cory Monteith’s final film. After years of starring
on Glee, he should have known better than to star in a film that winds up being nothing more than homophobic, to say the least.
Morse plays our titular character Eugene “Mac” McCanick, a Philadelphia
detective who is so disgruntled he forgets it’s his own birthday. Maybe
he’s just distracted by the fact that Simon Weeks (Monteith) has been
released from prison — his lead suspect in the death of a Congressman
seven years ago. Mac begins a manhunt for Simon — who’s trying to get
his life in order — along with his partner Floyd (Mike Vogel). After Mac
accidentally shoots Floyd, he claims it was Simon in order to gain
information into his whereabouts. Turns out, Simon knows a dirty little
secret that Mack wants kept quiet, even if it means taking him out for
Well Go USA blunders McCanick on Blu-ray on a 25GB disc, and
as bad as the movie is, the presentation is just as awful. Filled with
banding in nearly every scene, you could dub this “Banding: The Movie!”
Noise creeps in from time to time in darker scenes with crush taking its
toll on shadows in one shot then disappearing in the same scene. Moiré
shimmer shows up on windowsills and doorframes, but the biggest culprit
continues to be banding. The image blooms continuously throughout when
it’s not making walls appear to be rippling. One shot even makes Mac
look like he has a black eye. It’s just awful.
The audio doesn’t fare any better with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Track. But considering the film’s budget, I wouldn’t expect it to sound
much livelier than the one helicopter passing overhead that sounds like
it was right outside. There are a few instances of decent directionality
as characters move across the screen. Unfortunately, the track is
recorded lower than most films, making some dialogue unintelligible
without cranking up the sound. A 2.0 Stereo track and English captioning
are also available.
special features are sparse, simply including a “Behind the Scenes”
(10:13) where we learn that the screenplay was written back in 1994.
“Deleted and Extended Scenes” (16:31) show just how much longer the film
could have been dragged out including: “Mac & Robin — Don’t Cry,”
“Outside Louie’s Apartment,” “Waiting for Louie,” “Mac and Floyd Follow
Louie,” “Mac Calls the Restaurant,” “Mac & Jenny — “Why Are You
Here?,” “Owen Visits Floyd in the Hospital,” “Mac & Simon —
Chinatown Chase,” and “Simon in the Subway.” The film’s trailer (1:45)
is also included, along with previews for I’ll Follow You Down, Kid Cannabis, and The Truth About Emanuel.
Just one of the storytelling debacles from screenwriter Daniel Noah
is that the film takes a good 40 minutes to make it clear that about
half of what you’ve watched is flashbacks. But Waller never takes the
time to establish it either so they’re both to blame for that. As I said
at the beginning, the end is truly offensive once Mack’s motive is
revealed and a bad cop looks even worse when you find out he’s just
trying to cover up a hate crime. Thankfully, most Glee fans
probably won’t even know this has been released, let alone I’m sure the
R-rating will keep most of them at bay anyway. For anyone curious to see
if Monteith had the chops to branch out from his Finn Hudson persona,
the answer is no. His work on Glee should be what he is remembered for, because there’s absolutely nothing memorable about McCanick.