Aug 032020

First Snow might not have the strongest writing but performances from both Guy Pearce and J.K. Simmons, albeit a small role, does make this a worthwhile watch.



First Snow

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
MVD Visual | R – 102 min. – $19.95 | June 16, 2020

Date Published: 08/03/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Mark Fergus
Writer(s): Mark Fergus and Hank Ostby (written by)
Cast: Guy Pearce, Piper Perabo, Rich Gonzalez, J.K. Simmons, Shea Whigham, William Fichtner

Features: Featurette, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 17.40 GB
Total Bitrate: 19.35 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

MVD Visual 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 — 3.25/5

Plot Synopsis: Slick salesman Jimmy Starks (GUY PEARCE) has auto problems in a small New Mexico town and while his car is in the shop he visits low-rent fortune teller Vacaro (J.K. SIMMONS) to pass the time. The supposed seer tells him he will have good fortune soon, but looking deeper relates the information that his future is blank, and he is safe only until the first snow of winter beyond which there is no future to foretell. The act upsets Jimmy and rekindles old transgressions and makes him feel he is on a collision course with destiny especially when an old friend Vincent (SHEA WHIGHAM) returns from a jail sentence that he went to in Jimmy’s place after a bad business deal.

Quick Hit Review: First Snow is a flawed but still decently made character drama with Guy Pearce putting in a great performance alongside, albeit in a small role, J.K. Simmons. This is a slowly developing movie, not a slow burn variety, just slow period. I do appreciate that the film does take its time to develop a character that could’ve been unlikeable yet by the end, kind of cared about him and his unusual circumstances.

The film was co-scripted and directed by Mark Fargus and while the writing and direction weren’t all that bad, no real stand outs from a technical perspective save for some nice cinematography on a couple scenes (one with Jimmy emerging from his hotel and walking across a snow-filled courtyard). If not for Guy Pearce, First Snow would be an entirely forgettable drama.



The original DVD only contained the trailer so this is an upgrade. Included is Final Omen (3:32) featurette, Interviews with J.K. Simmons (1:20) and Actors Guy Pearce & Piper Perabo (6:54), plus the Original Theatrical Trailer (2:00). The cover artwork is reversible.


VIDEO – 3.75/5

MVD Visual releases First Snow onto Blu-ray for the first time in North America, presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. Odd one here, it would appear MVD couldn’t find or acquire the UK version and had to go with the Italian transfer, which means the title card is in Italian and there are two voice over credits at the end. In any case, the picture does look pretty good, colors have a natural appearance and detail was at least halfway decent, especially for close-ups.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The disc does include a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and based on my research, think was also sourced from the Italian Blu-ray. This is a straight-up drama mostly filled with dialogue or the ambient noises of the New Mexican deserts and locales.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, First Snow might not have the strongest writing but performances from both Guy Pearce and J.K. Simmons, albeit a small role, does make this a worthwhile watch. The Blu-ray from MVD is interesting utilization the Italian video but still not halfway bad, same going for the audio.

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