A 1992 comedy that was rather underrated and amusing then, "Captain Ron" still manages a few laughs ten years later, although it can't help but seem a bit dated at this point. Martin Short and Mary Kay Place star as a Chicago couple who find out that they've inherited a boat. Unfortunately, they have to head out to a small island with kids (Meadow Sisto and Benjamin Salisbury) in tow to pick it up.
When the family realizes that they need someone to sail their rather rotten ship, in steps Ron (Kurt Russell), a salty drifter with an eye patch. Although the family isn't too pleased to be stuck with Ron as the film opens, it's not long before he's charmed everyone - with the exception of Short's father character.
The adventures, which include much of the expected - the kids get tattoos, the family runs into pirates - are fairly well-done, if familiar. However, the choice to turn Ron into the character that gets the respect throughout the opening doesn't seem entirely believable, while the Short character's attempts to win back that respect aren't very interesting. Having Short play mild-mannered instead of amusing doesn't make for compelling viewing, either. Thankfully, Russell's performance is a bit more energetic.
"Captain Ron" is a quick, somewhat entertaining adventure, but it's not as fun as I'd remembered it and certainly had the potential to be less cliched.
VIDEO: I've expected the least from Disney's new $9.99 catalog titles, but "Cabin Boy" and "Captain Ron", the first two I've viewed, have actually exceeded my expectations by a sizable amount. "Captain Ron" presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, looks consistently quite good. Sharpness and detail are solid throughout, as no instances of softness appeared and the film seemed well-defined and crisp.
As with "Cabin Boy", this title also offered a pleasant lack of edge enhancement, which made for a smooth, natural-looking image. The print used seemed in largely good condition, aside from a few moments where slight specks or a hint of dirt were detected. A trace or two of pixelation was visible, but this hardly caused any distraction. The film's warm, vivid color palette looked well-saturated and bright, with no smearing or other faults. As with "Cabin Boy", a very nice effort.
SOUND: "Captain Ron" is presented with a 2.0 soundtrack that exists almost entirely to provide the dialogue and the rather bland score.
MENUS: Basic, non-animated menus that essentially use the cover art.
Final Thoughts: A pretty mediocre comedy, I remembered "Captain Ron" being funnier when I originally saw it nearly ten years before. Disney's DVD edition is fine; while there's no extras, the price is right ($9.99 or less) and the presentation is good. Recommended for fans of the film.
The Film **