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Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Eduardo Minett
Writing Credits:
Nick Schenk, N. Richard Nash

A former rodeo star travels to Mexico to reunite a young boy with his father in the United States.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio (US)
English Descriptive Audio (UK)
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5 1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 12/7/2021

• “Back in the Saddle” Featurette
• “Macho and the Mustangs” Featurette


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Cry Macho [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 6, 2021)

Every so often, Clint Eastwood threatens to retire from films. However, he never does.

Now a remarkable 91 years old, Eastwood returns for 2021’s Cry Macho. Adapted from N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel, Eastwood does double duty here as director and actor.

Set in 1979, Mike Milo (Eastwood) used to work as a rodeo star, but a back injury forced him to leave that profession. Now desperate for work, he gets a gig offered by his former boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam).

This endeavor requires Mike to travel from Texas to Mexico City to bring back Polk’s 13-year-old son Rafael (Eduardo Minett). The boy lives with his abusive mother Leta (Fernanda Urrejola).

In this setting, Rafael has turned toward crime, and he engages in cockfights with pet rooster “Macho”. As Mike brings Rafael home to the US, the pair encounter various obstacles and slowly bond along the way.

As noted, Macho takes place in 1979, and had Eastwood made it back then, it might work better than it does now. While Eastwood looks pretty good for 91, however, he seems far too old for the lead role.

Although the film doesn’t specify Mike’s age, 91 feels a good 30 to 35 years too advanced to make sense. This character should be early 60s at most, and Eastwood can’t convey the spirit of a younger man.

Sure, Eastwood functions well for a nonagenarian, but he seems utterly unconvincing as a man supposed to be anything younger than 80. Increasingly frail and cadaverous, Eastwood does his best in the part but he should’ve cast someone much younger instead.

Not that I’m sure a different actor would redeem this oddly meandering and dull enterprise. While it aspires to the world-weary tone of loss and redemption Eastwood explored in 1992’s Unforgiven, Macho tends to simply ramble and lack much concise purpose.

The script doesn’t help. The movie’s screenplay fails to find a lot of narrative drive, as it indulges in clichés and dull conversations.

Hoo boy, does Macho stick its characters with trite dialogue! Matters often grind to a halt so various roles can wax philosophical, none of which feels natural or creative.

Some iffy performances don’t help. As noted, Eastwood feels too feeble to suit the meant-for-a-much-younger-man part, and Yoakam comes across barely engaged.

On the other hand, both Urrejola and Minett overact relentlessly. They turn in performances that would seem too broad even for telenovelas.

Macho feels like a slow, predictable journey that concludes with an unsatisfying whimper. Too little about this “bonding road trip” movie comes together to make it a worthwhile experience.

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

Cry Macho appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, this was an appealing transfer.

Sharpness looked strong most of the time. Some wider elements seemed a little tentative, but the image usually gave us a tight, well-defined image.

Jagged edges and moiré effects remained absent, while edge haloes also failed to appear. Print flaws stayed absent as well.

Because much of the film took place in the arid US Southwest, Macho opted for an amber/orange tone as well as some teal. These tones seemed predictable, but they worked fine within the movie’s design parameters and showed good delineation.

Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. I thought this was a consistently strong image.

I also felt pleased with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Though not packed with action, the mix used the channels in an involving manner throughout much of the film.

This meant vehicles and environmental material all around the room, and the elements connected in a concise, smooth manner. Add to that music as a bold participant and the soundscape turned into an engaging partner.

Audio quality always satisfied. Music was dynamic and full, and effects followed suit, so those components came across as accurate and well-developed.

Speech seemed distinctive and crisp, without edginess or other issues. The audio worked fine for the material.

Two featurettes appear here, and Back in the Saddle spans 12 minutes, 13 seconds and provides comments from director/actor Clint Eastwood, producers Tim Moore and Albert S. Ruddy, 1st AD David M. Bernstein, director of photography Ben Davis, 2nd unit director Stephen S. Campanelli, production designer Ron Reiss, location manager Patrick O. Mignano, costume designer Deborah Hopper, and actors Dwight Yoakam, Eduardo Minnett, Horacio García-Rojas, Fernanda Urrejola and Natalia Traven.

“Saddle” looks at the project’s story/characters and path to the screen, cast and crew, photography, costumes and visual design. Too much of the usual praise arrives, but “Saddle” nonetheless offers a decent production overview.

Macho and the Mustangs goes for seven minutes, 19 seconds and features Eastwood, Bernstein, Moore, Campanelli, Minnett, head animal wrangler Lisa Brown and stunt coordinator Bob Brown.

“Mustangs” looks at elements related to the film’s animal performers. It becomes another moderately interesting reel.

Although I admire the fact Clint Eastwood continues to create movies in his 90s, Cry Macho shows him well past his prime as both director and actor. The film feels sluggish and dull. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. If Cry Macho concludes Eastwood’s career, it would finish matters on a forgettable note.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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