Jun 202019

The Poison Rose is just another failure in John Travolta’s ever fading career, and I say that with no glee or happiness as he has shown to be a fantastic actor so I can only hope a Tarantino or Nolan might re-vitalize his career one more time.



The Poison Rose

Genre(s): Suspense Thriller, Drama
Lionsgate | R – 98 min. – $21.99 | June 25, 2019

Date Published: 06/20/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: George Gallo

Writer(s): Richard Salvatore (written by)
Cast: John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Famke Janssen, Kat Graham, Peter Stormare, Ella Bleu Travolta, Robert Patrick, Brendan Fraser
Features: Commentary, Trailer

Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 23.98 GB
Total Bitrate: 30.33 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 — 1.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Carson Philips (JOHN TRAVOLTA) is a hard-drinking Los Angeles private eye who takes a case that takes him back to his old hometown of Galveston, Texas. While searching for a missing woman, Philips must confront a crime boss (MORGAN FREEMAN), and childhood friend, a shady doctor (BRENDAN FRASER), a sexy club singer (KAT GRAHAM), his former lover (FAMKE JANSSEN) – and his own dark, disturbing past.

Review: The Poison Rose is the latest John Travolta movie to go the On Demand/Direct-to-Video route (with contractually obligated one week limited theatrical release) and I guess he’s now dragging poor Morgan Freeman down the path as well. It is a shame that it was this movie that brought together two legendary Hollywood icons, at least Robert De Niro and Al Pacino did Heat first before the terribly disappointing Righteous Kill, though even that was far superior to this… I was actually rather surprised this had a supporting cast of recognizable actors and the producers didn’t bother advertising their names on the front (could be another contract issue) but after seeing the movie, probably was for the best.

The Poison Rose, as it states on the back cover, is from the writer of Midnight Run and Bad Boys, though he’s not the credited screenwriter and instead is in the director’s chair (my only other films of his I’ve seen were the dark comedy Trapped in Paradise and suspense-thriller Columbus Circle). The screenwriting duties went to Richard Salvatore, marking his debut. Rocky start to say the least, but as poorly written it might have been, the acting didn’t help matters.

Speaking of which, it is perplexing how a film that features some good talent, albeit most probably on the downslide of their careers, could be so bad. First, John Travolta puts on a cartoonish and terrible Texas drawl that somehow was worse than the Bronx accent he did for Gottti. Even as a 1970s-era, Chinatown-esque film noir, the narration he provides was flat as was his performance where we see a little bit more of his soul die. I’m afraid Travolta is entrenched in the DTV realm (still need to watch Trading Paint) and I’m not sure even Quentin Tarantino could help…

Morgan Freeman’s name is prominent but probably better described as an extended cameo, yeah he has more than a few scenes but served more a red herring; Famke Janssen was alright I suppose as was Kat Graham whose “Rose” name was loosely applied to the title; Robert Patrick plays the town sheriff beholden to Freeman’s crime lord character and even Peter Stormare pops in as a drunk.

Then there’s Brendan Fraser. Wow. If there was one actor who went into good bad territory, Fraser was it. I have no f;ing clue what the hell he was doing, but it was horrible and yet also hilarious, perhaps even the lone highlight of an otherwise awful film.



This release comes with a glossy, title-embossed, slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features aren’t exactly plentiful, but there is an Audio Commentary with Director George Gallo and the Theatrical Trailer.


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Lionsgate releases The Poison Rose onto Blu-ray with a 1080p high-definition transfer and a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. Although this is a new movie, I wasn’t entirely impressed with the picture quality, mostly that it wasn’t especially sharp and had an almost TV vibe. Don’t know if it was the camera equipment but at times it didn’t look great. That said, colors weren’t half bad and probably were era-appropriate for the “Texas” environment (seems parts were filmed in Georgia).

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The disc includes a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which I found unimpressive yet still effective enough with clear dialogue coming via the front channel and the rears mostly relegated for the mundane score or any ambient noises.


OVERALL – 1.75/5

The Poison Rose is just another failure in John Travolta’s ever fading career, and I say that with no glee or happiness as he has shown to be a fantastic actor so I can only hope a Tarantino or Nolan might re-vitalize his career one more time. Also a shame he seems to have roped in the legendary Morgan Freeman… who better be careful. The Blu-ray release offers so-so video/audio transfers while the bonus material comprises of a commentary track which has become a bit rare for new releases.




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

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