DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Taylor Hackford
Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward, James Woods
Writing Credits:
Eric Hughes, Daniel Mainwaring

A gangster hires an ex-football player to find his girlfriend. When he finds her, they fall in love, and the twists start to appear.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,766,128 on 976 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby 4.0
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

121 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 12/14/1999

• Audio Commentary with Director Taylor Hackford and Actors Jeff Bridges and James Woods
• Audio Commentary with Director Taylor Hackford and Writer Eric Hughes
• Seven Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• Music Videos
• Trailer
• Talent Files


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Against All Odds (1983)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 1, 2018)

Almost 35 years after its theatrical release, 1984’s Against All Odds seems destined to spend most of eternity remembered better for its hit title song by Phil Collins than for anything that happened onscreen.

Appropriate fate or unfortunate victim of neglect? Not really either, though I lean more toward the former. While a decent film, Odds offers little that makes it memorable.

Pro football player Terry Brogan (Jeff Bridges) gets injured and then cut from his team. In need of money, his club-owner/bookie friend Jake Wise (James Woods) offers him a quick fix.

Jake’s girlfriend Jessie Wyler (Rachel Ward) – also the daughter of the team owner – dumps him and disappears on him. Though she injured him, Jake still craves Jessie, so he wants someone to find her.

In this case, that someone is Terry, who grudgingly accepts the gig. He travels to Mexico, where he eventually finds Jessie – and falls for her. The pair launch an affair that hits a variety of snags and complications.

Odds actually remakes 1947's Out of the Past, although the filmmakers take pains to stress that the newer movie differs a lot from its inspiration. Since I never saw Past, I can't comment on whether or not this is the case. As such, I can only take Odds on its own merits, and I generally find it to be a competent but somewhat dull little film.

It's supposed to be a film noir and it provides a mild level of intrigue. Still, I couldn't help but feel uninvolved in the characters and disinterested in the situations.

Suspense movies should pull you in and keep you on the edge of your seat, but I remained fully reclined during this film. I felt a little curious to see how things would ultimately conclude, but not very.

I don't have any serious problems with Odds. Taylor Hackford is a competent director who makes the film go at a solid pace.

With the possible exception of Ward as the "femme fatale", the acting seems fine. (Ward does sexy and seductive well, but can't quite achieve other emotions.) Jeff Bridges and James Woods appear well-suited for their roles and perform them effectively.

But in the end, Against All Odds just doesn't do it for me. I watched it, I found it slightly interesting, but I pretty much forgot it as soon as it ended. I've hummed the title song all day, though.

The Disc Grades: Picture D+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Against All Odds appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 monitors. This became a problematic presentation.

Sharpness was mediocre at best. Close-ups showed passable delineation, but wider shots came across as somewhat mushy and flat.

The presence of moderate edge haloes added to the lack of definition, and a little shimmering and moiré effects also appeared. In terms of print flaws, I saw a mix of specks and marks. Though not heavy, these cropped up pretty persistently.

Colors were bland, as they lacked range or vivacity. Blacks seemed inky, while shadows were dull and too thick. This ended up as a weak transfer.

As for the film’s Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack, it seemed dated but decent. The soundfield tended to emphasize music, as score and songs cropped up from the side and rear speakers.

Stereo presence was reasonably good, as the music spread around the room. Effects displayed less concise imaging, though this varied.

Some elements – like vehicles – moved around the room in a reasonably satisfying way, but other sequences bordered on monaural. Overall, the soundscape tended to open things up in a moderate manner.

Audio quality was fine for its age. Music tended to be a little boomy, but the score and songs displayed decent clarity.

Speech seemed natural and concise, and effects were fine. They didn’t boast great accuracy, but they showed fair range and definition. Given the track’s age, it seemed pretty positive.

The set’s extras launch with two separate audio commentaries, the first of which features director Taylor Hackford and actors Jeff Bridges and James Woods. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, music, cast and performances, story and character areas, and related topics.

At times, Hackford tends to simply narrate the movie, but that ends up as a minor concern. Instead, most of the track moves at a nice pace, with a good mix of facts and charisma.

In particular, Woods adds humor – mainly via a running gag about Richard Widmark's love of hotcakes – and the three men combine well. Even with some slow spots, the commentary becomes a winner.

For the second chat, we hear from Taylor Hackford and screenwriter Eric Hughes. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the same subjects as the prior commentary – often literally.

And that becomes a flaw, as Hackford repeats an awful lot of the same notes and stories from the other track. We get some new information, but not as much as I’d like/expect. On its own, this becomes a solid chat, but after the other commentary, it seems redundant.

We find seven Deleted Scenes. We get “Terry’s Redundant But Doesn’t Know It” (2:33 plus 1:20 intro from Hackford), “A Coyote Saves Terry at Riviera” (2:25), “Jake Gives Terry a Mexican Surprise” (5:28), “Jessie Obsesses in Chichen-Itza” (7:32), “Tommy Challenges Jake on Freeway” (1:10), “Terry Watches Jake Bed Jessie” (0:50) and “Terry and Jessie Play Rough” (1:47). The clips themselves are in kind of rough shape, but they're interesting and are more compelling than most excised segments.

The scenes can be viewed on their own or along with commentary from Hackford and Hughes. While I would have liked to know more about the reasons behind these scenes’ deletion, their remarks are useful.

Two music videos appear. We get promos for Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” and Kid Creole’s “My Male Curiosity”. The Creole video just shows performance snippets from the movie itself. It’s a dull video and I don’t like the song – honestly, I always hated Creole’s “hipster Cab Calloway” act.

As for the Collins video, it’s a very good song, but the video bores. It just mixes melodramatic lip-synch shots of Phil with movie snippets.

Under trailers, we discover clips for Odds as well as Bridges films The Last Picture Show, Starman and Arlington Road. Talent Files also provides basic bios of Hackford, Bridges, Woods and actor Rachel Ward.

An attempt to update the film noir genre, Against All Odds works to a moderate degree, but that’s the best I can say. While it delivers decent entertainment, it never becomes anything memorable. The DVD brings us weak visuals along with generally good supplements and audio. This becomes a flawed release for a mediocre movie.

To rate this film visit the Blu-ray review of AGAINST ALL ODDS

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main