Jun 172019

Never Grow Old isn’t an especially memorable Western-drama though Emile Hirsch holds his own in the lead while John Cusack I suppose does his best with a thin role, even so, he does come across as bored versus menacing.



Never Grow Old

Genre(s): Western, Drama
Lionsgate | R – 100 min. – $21.99 | May 14, 2019

Date Published: 06/17/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Ivan Kavanagh

Writer(s): Ivan Kavanagh (written by)
Cast: Emile Hirsch, John Cusack, Déborah François, Danny Webb
Features: Featurette

Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 24.83 GB
Total Bitrate: 26.60 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: Garlow 1864. A once-peaceful frontier town becomes a den of vice after vicious outlaw Dutch Albert (JOHN CUSACK) and his gang arrive and begin gunning down their opposition. Undertaker Patrick Tate (EMILE HIRSCH) must now choose between the blood money he makes burying the murderers’ victims and the threats he and his family face as the death toll continues to rise.

Quick Hit Review: Never Grow Old isn’t a terribly impressive Western-drama, and to be fair I’ve never been the biggest fan of the genre, featuring two once respected actors in John Cusack — who has made the foray into DTV territory prior with The Prince, Arsenal and The Prince — and now Emile Hirsch has joined in following his success in Almost Famous leading to many indie projects over the years. This one, while the set and costume designs didn’t seem too bad, the dialogue wasn’t always the best, characters weren’t terribly well written (Ivan Kavanagh) and the direction, also from Kavanagh (first film in five years since The Canal), was sloppy, though doesn’t help when some scenes were so dark, it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on.

In terms of the acting, Hirsch holds his own well enough while John Cusack pretty much sleep walks through the movie, lowly muttering lines of dialogue thinking it was menacing when it came across as more drowsy or sluggish and as such, never was quite the menace. Not just for this movie, but it does make for a better experience when your villain isn’t just evil, but somebody with some actual depth.

I was also a little confused on the message, if there even was one other than the Old West was a time where there wasn’t much daylight between the ‘good’ or ‘evil”. The movie opens with a preacher who was instrumental in turning the town dry with no alcohol or prostitution allowed, until Dutch rides into town, sees the opportunity and re-opens the saloon. On the other hand, you had an almost tyrannical priest who does go down a path of insanity by the end. Perhaps if the script was better constructed, and they got an actor to play the villain with even a modest amount of energy, Never Grow Old might have made for a better Western. As I said, not a fan of the genre outside of a few classics like Unforgiven, A Fistful of Dollars and The Magnificent Seven (and do recall even enjoying the 2016 remake).

Never Grow Old was written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh and although there are some interesting elements behind this western-drama, the characters are undercooked or worse yet, rather uninteresting or clichéd. I won’t say the movie is at all terrible and if you’re a fan of the genre, there’s some things to appreciate, it just doesn’t arise to being anything other than average and forgettable.



This release comes with a slip cover that is made out of some sort of cardboard. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD and the disc only includes a Making-of (20:22) featurette.

Previews: The Escape of Prisoner 614, Hell or High Water, Hostiles, Trading Paint


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Lionsgate releases Never Grow Old onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). This is a really dark looking movie where even the daytime scenes aren’t especially bright either, but it is in keeping with the bleak western atmosphere. As such, detail isn’t always the best but still decent especially on the close-up shots and colors are on the drab side.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track offers up crisp and clean dialogue levels coming via the center channel with the front and rear speakers are mostly used for the ambient noises such as the slopping of mud or the rowdy customers the saloon, as well as the music/score.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Never Grow Old isn’t an especially memorable Western-drama though Emile Hirsch holds his own in the lead while John Cusack I suppose does his best with a thin role, even so, he does come across as bored versus menacing. The Blu-ray has good video/audio transfers but only one featurette.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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