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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Family > War > Mental Illness > Max (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Max (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: A/B Sound: A/B Extras: C- Film: C+

Boaz Yakin's Max (2015) is a touching story about a young boy, Justin Wincott (Josh Wiggins), and how his brother's dog, best friend, and partner (all the same) in the army comes home and helps Justin (Wiggins) feel reconnected with Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell), the brother, he lost.

The movie is rated PG, which means they are catering it for younger kids, but it still is kind of intense to start out with. However, if you think your kid cannot handle bombs exploding and people being shot and shot at then perhaps skip ahead a few minutes. The war violence does not last very long and does not show all the gore/harsh realities as much as they could, but again, it is rated PG.

Max runs for approximately for 111 minutes and 45 minutes in you find yourself wondering how long is it going to take this dog and boy to finally bond. Then when you start to see them getting along and understanding one another you find yourself in another sense of wonderment on if the relationship between the boy, Justin (Wiggins) and dog, Max, is the only story we are following, because it seemed to be marketed as Max, who is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and was a hero in the army is now a hero back home. It just feels like it drags slightly on.

Another thing that feels off is the acting by Lauren Graham, who plays Pamela Wincott. Graham uses an accent that just does not seem authentic and I prepare myself for it every time I see her on camera. The cinematography for Max also just on par and pretty on the nose. Not many stylistic choices were made for a story they hyped up so much, but that does not mean it should be overlooked.

Max is presented in both Blu-ray high definition and standard definition DVD. The Blu-ray is 1080p widescreen 2.4:1 presentation that looks pretty good when there are explosions or the nice fireworks display the do in the film when Justin (Wiggins) senses something is wrong and rushes to Max. It also has a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, which sounds great during those explosions and other scenes throughout the movie. The DVD presentation with its anamorphically enhanced image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not bad either.

The bonus features include: Working With Max (where you meet the dogs that play Max and see inside tricks) and Hero Dogs: A Journey (a behind-the-scenes look at K9s trained in the military. It also includes a digital copy to watch on the go.

- Jordan Whiteko


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