The Rambler is certainly one of the stranger movies to come out in 2013 and one where writer/director Calvin Reeder was influenced by the master of oddities, David Lynch. And while this is a unique movie in the midst of sequels, remakes and reboots, it never quite reached its full potential.
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy
Anchor Bay | R – 99 min. – $24.99 | June 25, 2013
Directed by: Calvin Lee Reeder
Writer(s): Calvin Lee Reeder
Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 19.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
Plot Outline: An ex-con credited only as “The Rambler” (DERMOT MULRONEY), just released from prison and kicked out of his trailer home, goes on a cross-country journey to his long-lost brother’s Oregon ranch. Along the way he encounters a depraved American underbelly of dusty towns, bizarre strangers, sudden violence, and a device that can record dreams onto VHS. He also meets a woman we know only as “The Girl” (LINDSAY PULSPHER) at various times throughout.
Quick Hit Review: One of the criticisms of Hollywood is that it’s become creatively bankrupt where more movies are sequels, reboots or straight-up remakes, so when the unusual comes along, I often stop and take notice. The Rambler is pretty much out of the David Lynch playbook and no doubt influenced relatively new filmmaker Calvin Lee Reeder who took his short 2008 short film and turned it into a feature length bizarro world with odd characters and even stranger situations.
Although it never quite was my taste into fantasy-drama, it does offer some interesting situations and a transforming performance from veteran actor Dermot Mulroney who rarely gets to take center stage after mostly appearing in supporting roles over the years. Lindsay Pulspher was refreshing in the female role even if her character, like the main one, is left as the mysterious yet sensual stranger.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
No features were included.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Anchor Bay releases The Rambler on Blu-ray presented with a 1080p high-def transfer and a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. Like most movies today, this was likely shot digitally and although the detail levels are quite good, there are elements that don’t look the best. In darker scenes, evident at the beginning, shows a heavy amount of noise but I suspect this was intentionally giving a certain grittiness to emphasize the harsh road the main character takes.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is probably the highlight of the disc. While it is pretty front-heavy for the dialogue, the other parts from the score/music to the more fantastical parts really come through nicely and will scare the crap out of anyone nearby. Also showing a strong presence is the LFE track which helps highlight certain (strange) scenes.
OVERALL – 2.25/5
Overall, The Rambler is certainly one of the stranger movies to come out in 2013 and one where writer/director Calvin Reeder was influenced by the master of oddities, David Lynch. And while this is a unique movie in the midst of sequels, remakes and reboots, it never quite reached its full potential despite presenting some interesting elements and commentary. Where the film does succeed is with a transforming performance by Dermot Mulroney who doesn’t get a heck of a lot to do with a character who is purposefully kept mysterious.
The Blu-ray unfortunately doesn’t have any features but both the audio and video transfers are well done so for any fans of the movie out there, it’s worth picking up on the cheap.