The Motel Life is a somber but well acted drama headlined by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff who both work well together playing brothers. The writing is well done and it’s not your typical, run-of-the-mill film interjecting animation into the storytelling.
The Motel Life
Cinedigm | R – 85 min. – $19.97 | June 3, 2014
Frank (EMILE HIRSCH) and Jerry Lee (STEPHEN DORFF) are brothers who get by on telling fantastic stories and creating rich illustrations. When Jerry Lee is involved in a hit-and-run accident, the brothers are forced across the state to the home of Frank’s old flame, Annie (DAKOTA FANNING). While they seem safe from the law, Jerry Lee’s instability and all-consuming guilt render their future increasingly uncertain.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
The Motel Life Featurette (3:23; HD) is a simple behind-the-scenes feature with promotional interviews by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff.
Also included is an Illustration Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer (2:31; HD).
VIDEO – 4.5/5
The MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer, presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio, actually looks really good in 1080p high-definition. Detail level on this film is quite sharp throughout from far away objects to close-ups; the color scheme though is (intentionally) muted yet still looks sharp and well balanced. Not sure if it’s reference quality, not even sure if a movie like The Motel Life would be one’s first choice to show off anyway, but it is an impressive transfer.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, however, stumbles. It’s not bad per se, but dialogue levels are a tad quiet and even ambient noises and the score come across too soft rather than boisterous, engaging or dynamic. Although not great, it’s serviceable enough, I suppose.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Motel Life is a somber but well acted drama headlined by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff who both work well together playing brothers. The writing is well done and it’s not your typical, run-of-the-mill film interjecting animation into the storytelling. The Blu-ray released by Cinedigm is light on any substantial special features but the video is good and the audio acceptable.