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Karzan Kader
John Travolta, Toby Sebastian, Kevin Dunn
Writing Credits:
Gary Gerani, Craig R. Welch

A father and son racing team split and compete against each other.

Rated R.

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

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $22.99
Release Date: 5/21/2019

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Trading Paint [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 12, 2019)

A new film in the driving genre, Trading Paint heads to the world of dirt racing. Sam Munroe (John Travolta) earned success as a racer and he now acts as crew chief for his son Cam (Toby Sebastian).

However, they struggle, largely due to poor funding, and eventually they split up, as Cam agrees to drive for a competitor. Upset with this decision, Sam gets back behind the wheel and finds himself in competition against his son.

Serious question: has there ever been a really good drama related to professional auto racing? Sure, you can find plenty of notable movies that involve driving, but when it comes to flicks that deal with actual racing, I come up blank.

I enjoyed 2006’s Cars and Talladega Nights, but both embrace comedy. Maybe someone else can come up with a quality drama related to this topic, but I can’t.

Does Paint change this situation? God no – it offers a thoroughly cliché and silly stab at car-based drama.

Paint enjoys a perfect zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes, though based on a mere 11 reviews. On one hand, this seems harsh, as zero percent seems to connote an unwatchable classic of poor filmmaking, and Paint never becomes that awful.

On the other hand, for Paint to rise above zero percent, it’d need to earn a good review, and I find that tough to fathom. While it might not give us a horrific cinematic enterprise, it sure doesn’t do anything to make it enjoyable.

At 87 minutes, Paint barely qualifies as a feature film, especially because it rushes through characters and circumstances in a hurried manner. The semi-Biblical nature of the father vs. son tale comes packed with potential drama, but the movie doesn’t seem interested in these themes beyond the most basic clichés.

Paint barely makes any attempts to develop its characters. Sam and Cam come with the most basic backstories and never change or grow much along the way.

The actors fail to flesh out the roles as well. Saddled with a corn pone accent and another in a long line of bad wigs, Travolta over-emotes his way through the lead part, and Sebastian barely shows a pulse as the prodigal son.

Perhaps Paint would muster some enthusiasm if it created exciting race scenes, but the filmmakers do nothing to succeed in that domain. Oddly, they shoot most of the driving in close-ups, so we never get a sense of the thrills or danger involved in the action.

I suspect the film’s low budget impacted these sequences. I get the impression the production couldn’t afford more than five cars at a time, so they needed to shoot around their lack of vehicles.

This doesn’t work, and the budget also means that the “big race” comes with nearly empty stands in the background. I guess the producers couldn’t afford any kind of CG patrons – or maybe they just didn’t care.

All these factors make Paint a downright boring movie. Between its one-dimensional characters and its lackluster stabs at racing scenes, the film falls flat.

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

Trading Paint appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness seemed solid. Occasional instances of slight softness materialized, but these remained fairly modest.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects. Both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

To the surprise of no one, Paint opted for a standard orange and teal palette. The hues worked fine within those constraints and created no concerns.

Blacks appeared pretty deep and dense, while shadows seemed clear and concise. I thought the image worked fine and reproduced the source well.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it used the spectrum in the active manner I expected. The movie’s many driving-oriented sequences fared the best, as they allowed the vehicles to zoom and zip around the room in a convincing manner.

General atmosphere also worked well, and the mix used all five speakers to bolster the score. This became an involving soundscape.

Audio quality seemed good, as music was bold and full. Effects appeared accurate and well-defined, with deep low-end as well.

Speech seemed natural and concise, without edginess. The soundtrack added pizzazz to the proceedings.

The disc opens with ads for Speed Kills, A Vigilante and Dragged Across Concrete. No trailer for Paint or any other extras appear here.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Paint. It also lacks supplements.

Cliché and borderline amateurish, Trading Paint seems as uncreative as its title. The movie suffers from a surfeit of flaws and virtually no positives. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. The film sputters and never gets out of neutral.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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