A lot of films that play the festival crowd are run of the mill. Some scream independent although it’s painfully obvious that no studio would release it, But “independent” has an air of pretentiousness served with a side of a twist ending that’s both ridiculous and, as in the case of Josh Waller’s McCanick, offensive. Once you learn the big twist, it’s even more shameful to think that this was Cory Monteith’s final film. After years of starring on Glee, he should have known better than to star in a film that winds up being nothing more than homophobic, to say the least.
David Morse plays our titular character Eugene “Mac” McCanick, a Philadelphia detective who is so disgruntled he forgets it’s his own birthday. Maybe he’s just distracted by the fact that Simon Weeks (Monteith) has been released from prison — his lead suspect in the death of a Congressman seven years ago. Mac begins a manhunt for Simon — who’s trying to get his life in order — along with his partner Floyd (Mike Vogel). After Mac accidentally shoots Floyd, he claims it was Simon in order to gain information into his whereabouts. Turns out, Simon knows a dirty little secret that Mack wants kept quiet, even if it means taking him out for good.
Well Go USA blunders McCanick on Blu-ray on a 25GB disc, and as bad as the movie is, the presentation is just as awful. Filled with banding in nearly every scene, you could dub this “Banding: The Movie!” Noise creeps in from time to time in darker scenes with crush taking its toll on shadows in one shot then disappearing in the same scene. Moiré shimmer shows up on windowsills and doorframes, but the biggest culprit continues to be banding. The image blooms continuously throughout when it’s not making walls appear to be rippling. One shot even makes Mac look like he has a black eye. It’s just awful.
The audio doesn’t fare any better with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Track. But considering the film’s budget, I wouldn’t expect it to sound much livelier than the one helicopter passing overhead that sounds like it was right outside. There are a few instances of decent directionality as characters move across the screen. Unfortunately, the track is recorded lower than most films, making some dialogue unintelligible without cranking up the sound. A 2.0 Stereo track and English captioning are also available.
The special features are sparse, simply including a “Behind the Scenes” (10:13) where we learn that the screenplay was written back in 1994. “Deleted and Extended Scenes” (16:31) show just how much longer the film could have been dragged out including: “Mac & Robin — Don’t Cry,” “Outside Louie’s Apartment,” “Waiting for Louie,” “Mac and Floyd Follow Louie,” “Mac Calls the Restaurant,” “Mac & Jenny — “Why Are You Here?,” “Owen Visits Floyd in the Hospital,” “Mac & Simon — Chinatown Chase,” and “Simon in the Subway.” The film’s trailer (1:45) is also included, along with previews for I’ll Follow You Down, Kid Cannabis, and The Truth About Emanuel.
Just one of the storytelling debacles from screenwriter Daniel Noah is that the film takes a good 40 minutes to make it clear that about half of what you’ve watched is flashbacks. But Waller never takes the time to establish it either so they’re both to blame for that. As I said at the beginning, the end is truly offensive once Mack’s motive is revealed and a bad cop looks even worse when you find out he’s just trying to cover up a hate crime. Thankfully, most Glee fans probably won’t even know this has been released, let alone I’m sure the R-rating will keep most of them at bay anyway. For anyone curious to see if Monteith had the chops to branch out from his Finn Hudson persona, the answer is no. His work on Glee should be what he is remembered for, because there’s absolutely nothing memorable about McCanick.[amazon template=iframe image&chan=default&asin=B00HSJ2CSE]