Jul 202019

The Professor as uneven as it was going from dark comedy to drama and back would’ve been fine but for me the ending really cratered and left a bad taste.



The Professor

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
Lionsgate | R – 91 min. – $21.99 | July 9, 2019

Date Published: 07/20/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Wayne Roberts
Writer(s): Wayne Roberts (written by)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Rosemarie DeWitt, Danny Huston, Zoey Deutch, Ron Livingston, Odessa Young

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: 24.97 GB
Total Bitrate: 30.32 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 — 2.5/5

Note: This review contains some major plot SPOILERS.

Plot Synopsis: Professor Richard Brown (JOHNNY DEPP) is a button-downed college lecturer who learns he only has six months to live and transforms into a rebellious party animal, throwing caution into the wind with reckless abandon and whatever other clichéd terms you’d like to insert. This come to much of a surprise to his wife Veronica (ROSEMARIE DEWITT) who is also have an affair with the school chancellor, Henry Wright (RON LIVINGSTON).

Throughout it all, he wades through a variety of emotions as his time grows shorter, making a connection with his headstrong daughter Olivia (ODESSA YOUNG) who recently came out as gay to her parents, and best friend Peter (DANNY HUSTON).

Review: The Professor is an even film with tones all over the place either wanting to be an outlandish, sarcastic comedy or something a meaningful, if not reflective, drama, bouncing back and forth between the two. However, of all people, Johnny Depp did at least keep the film engaging as it was nice to finally see Depp playing a less over-the-top character yet still retain some of the quirkiness that I tend to enjoy from him. The supporting cast adds to the effort from Rosemarie DeWitt’s infidelity-attractive wife or Danny Huston who plays a genuinely nice guy for once.

I will say, I did legitimately laugh a few times at some great jokes and there were some well done dramatic moments, particularly opposite Huston. That being said, however, the finale where Brown finally comes out and reveals his illness to his daughter, following her telling him that she and her first love broke up, had already packed his bag for a journey I assume going somewhere to die. I don’t know, kind of  a dick move to basically abandon his heartbroken daughter as she reels from some stunning news. Sure, Richard tells her he is proud of her and she’s strong, but his actions left me cold and I have to wonder if Wayne Roberts, who also directed, came up with this ending and got trapped in a corner, because just those few minutes took what was otherwise a fine dramedy (probably 3.75/5) and took it down a notch or two.

Even with the major issue I had with the ending, The Professor at least is worthy of a rental as there were some funny dark comedic moments and the performance from Johnny Depp is a reminder he can indeed be quirky without over-the-top that we’ve seen from him in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the latest Fantastic Beast movie. The supporting cast also was impressive, top lined by both Danny Huston and Rosemarie DeWitt.



This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and includes a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature is Death and How to Live It: Making The Professor (15:36) behind-the-scenes featurette.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases The Professor onto Blu-ray where it’s presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. This is a rich looking movie thanks to Tim Orr’s (Imaginary Heroes) lens work while detail was sharp and nicely defined throughout. Colors are on the damper side in spots mostly showing off during the daytime scenes. There were no obvious signs of artifacting or aliasing making for a clean looking picture.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes with your standard but still effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track but considering the bulk of the movie is dialogue-driven, it’s nothing extraordinary, though the dialogue itself comes through with good clarity and there was some minor depth through the front and rear channels for ambient noises or the score.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

The Professor as uneven as it was going from dark comedy to drama and back would’ve been fine but for me the ending really cratered and left a bad taste, though to his credit Johnny Depp did deliver a fine performance throughout. The Blu-ray offers up good video and audio transfers however the singular featurette was lacking.




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

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