The Front is a welcoming drama seeing Woody Allen playing it mostly straight and sans his quirky persona he’s relied on over the years, albeit most of the time with success.
Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
Twilight Time | PG – 95 min. – $29.95 | February 11, 2014
Howard Pierce (WOODY ALLEN) is a nebbishly cashier/part-time bookie who, during the McCarthy-era communist witch-hunt, does a favor for an old school friend, a blacklisted TV writer (MICHAEL MURPHY). As his pal’s “front”-representing the scribe’s work as his own and collecting ten percent of the profits — the apolitical schlemiel is soon enjoying not just the money but the perks, including the love of a sophisticated young producer (ANDREA MARCOVICCI). But in an atmosphere of fear, nobody’s above suspicion, and Howard’s growing friendship with another unfairly accused blacklistee (ZERO MOSTEL) brings down the wrath of HUAC — and a confrontation with his own burgeoning conscience.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
TThe only features included are an Audio Commentary with Actress Andrea Marcovicci and Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman and the Theatrical Trailer (1:53; HD). The commentary is pretty informative if not low key.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Twilight Time releases The Front onto Blu-ray with a 1080p/AVC high-definition transfer and in its original 1.85 widescreen transfer. The picture has some sharp detail levels and colors are bright and have a nice pop to it albeit it’s a tad drab in places. There are no major signs of artifacting, pixilation or dust specs.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track offered up is effective enough yet since it’s all relegated to the center channel, there’s not much depth to it. However, considering this mostly dialogue driven, it is crisp and clear with the music and score coming through well enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Front is a welcoming drama seeing Woody Allen playing it mostly straight and sans his quirky persona he’s relied on over the years, albeit most of the time with success. The Blu-ray released by Twilight Time has good quality video/audio transfers although the bonus material is limited to a high-quality commentary track and the theatrical trailer.