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


Peter Segal
Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini
Writing Credits:
Justin Zackham, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas

A big box store worker reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street smarts can do.

Box Office:
$16 million.
Opening Weekend
$6,489,983 on 2607 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 3/26/2019

• “Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia” Featurette
• “The Empowering Women of Second Act” Featurette
• “Friendship On and Off Screen” Featurette
• “Working with the Ones You Love” Featurette
• Previews & Trailer
• DVD Copy


-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


Second Act [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 13, 2019)

As she nears her 50th birthday, has Jennifer Lopez reached the point where she’s famous mainly for being famous? Probably not, but she’s getting there, as neither her musical nor cinematic careers inspire a lot of success any more.

Case in point: 2018’s Second Act. Lopez’s first wide-release live-action role since 2013’s Boy Next Door, the movie struggled to find an audience amidst the busy Christmas release season.

With a worldwide gross of $72 million versus a miniscule $16 million budget, Act clearly turned a profit. Still, $72 million doesn’t do much to demonstrate Lopez’s ability to draw audiences.

In Act, Maya Vargas (Lopez) works as the assistant manager at a retail shop. After she gets passed over for a deserved promotion due to her lack of formal education, she finds herself at a crossroads.

When her friend Joan’s (Leah Remini) tech-proficient son Dilly (Dalton Harrod) overhears how this educational “glass ceiling” holds back Maya, he spruces up her résumé. This leads Maya to a new corporate life where she uses her street smarts to succeed.

If I wasn’t so darned lazy, I’d look back at Lopez’s filmography to see how often she played a working class character who finds her way into more “sophisticated” society. Probably not as much as I think, but this feels like the kind of role Lopez has done more than a few times.

However many characters of this sort Lopez has played, Act never offers any kind of challenge to her cinematic status quo. A bland, predictable mix of working class feminism, family drama and rom-com, nothing fresh appears here.

Given director Peter Segal’s history, this should come as no surprise. When Segal produces entertaining flicks like 50 First Dates, he tends to succeed due to the appeal of the actors and the material.

As a director, Segal seems wholly ordinary. That means he can’t do much to help a movie, but if everything else doesn’t click, he can harm a flick.

Perhaps “harm” is too strong, as Segal’s general mediocrity makes it difficult for him to active damage a production. However, he appears to lack the ability to elevate material, so if the script or the cast don’t seem invested, he can’t fix the problems.

The biggest problem with Act doesn’t stem from Segal’s lack of ability to soar as a director. Instead, the movie’s main concerns comes from its poor mix of maudlin melodrama and cheesy comedy.

Even a director better than Segal seems unlikely to do much with such an awful script. Any film that uses a profane little kid to churn laughs sits on rocky ground, and nothing about Act compensates for those flaws.

Scenes feel randomly connected, as if the editor threw the footage in a blender and hoped for the best. The movie lurches from sappy sentiment to tacky comedy without any sense of smoothness, and the various domains butt against each other in an awkward way.

Toss in one of the lamest plot twists you’ll ever find and Act flops in virtually all ways. Lopez boasts talent as an actor, but she wastes her skills on junk like this.

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

Second Act appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a satisfactory presentation.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. A couple of wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but those were the exception to the rule, as the majority of the flick was accurate and detailed.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws were absent, as the movie looked consistently clean.

Like most films of this sort, Act gave us an amber-tinted palette. Some teal appeared as well, but the golden feel dominated. Within those parameters, the hues were positive.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows showed good smoothness and clarity. I felt happy with the transfer.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Act, it lacked a ton of ambition. The soundfield focused on music and ambience, though it opened up on occasion, mainly in terms of store or subway atmosphere. Nothing especially memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music offered good clarity and range, and effects worked well enough.

They didn’t have much to do, but they appeared reasonably accurate. All of this ended up as a perfectly satisfactory soundtrack for this sort of movie.

Four extremely brief featurettes appear: “Connecting with Milo Ventimiglia” (0:55), “The Empowering Women of Second Act” (0:55), “Friendship On and Off Screen” (0:57) and “Working with the Ones You Love” (0:32).

Across these, we hear from director Peter Segal, producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and actors Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Leah Remini. The clips look at cast and characters. They’re promotional and utterly free from content.

The disc opens with ads for The Upside, Serenity, Vox Lux, Welcome to Marwen, Mary Queen of Scots, Ugly Dolls and On the Basis of Sex. We also find a trailer for Act.

A second disc offers a DVD copy. It provides all the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Trite, predictable and devoid of entertainment value, Second Act fizzles on all fronts. Maybe someone gets enjoyment from stale tripe like this, but I can’t figure out who or why. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture as well as adequate audio and minor supplements. Act provides a poor effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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