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DVD Release: Aloha

August 25, 2015

By John Corrado

Aloha DVDAfter just being released in theatres earlier this summer, Sony Pictures is releasing Aloha on DVD today.  Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is a military contractor who returns to Hawaii to oversee the private launch of a satellite for Carson Welch (Bill Murray).  The scenic trip allows him to reconnect with his ex (Rachel McAdams) and her new husband (John Krasinski), while falling for Allison Ng (Emma Stone), the Air Force watchdog assigned to him.

Aside from the star-studded cast, and a typically well curated soundtrack, pretty much everything about Aloha feels oddly amateurish, from the awkward tonal shifts and pacing problems, to the overly bright cinematography.  It’s hard to believe this is the work of writer-director Cameron Crowe, the same filmmaker who previously gave us beloved classics like Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous.

The screenplay has few flashes of his original wit, at once guilty of being both predictable and overly convoluted, ultimately devolving into apparent self parody.  Even the great cast can’t really elevate the material.  Bradley Cooper looks great, but can do a lot better, Rachel McAdams isn’t really given anything interesting to do, and John Krasinski is stuck doing this weird mute routine.  I like Emma Stone, but here she is saddled with playing an overeager stereotype, and considering that her character is supposed to be part Native Hawaiian and part Chinese, she seems like a misjudged and even racist casting choice.

Even the great Bill Murray is wasted here, in perhaps the only uninteresting role of his career.  Becoming depressing in its extreme mediocrity, and even offensive to the Hawaiian culture it tries to celebrate by focusing more on the often petty problems of its white stars instead of the island natives, Aloha is a huge missed opportunity for all involved.  I really wanted to enjoy this romantic dramedy, and still hold out hope that Cameron Crowe will some day return to making great films, but this sadly isn’t one of them.

The DVD includes a cast gag reel, and The Untitled Hawaii Project: The Making of Aloha, a feature length documentary about the production.

Aloha is 105 minutes and rated PG.

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