As part of the Warner Bros. Blu-ray Elite program, Fat Guy Kevin Carr was sent a batch of free comedy Blu-rays to enjoy. Thanks to Warner Home Video for giving him a chance to watch and review Crazy Stupid Love, Horrible Bosses and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas again.
Crazy Stupid Love
What it’s about: Telling the story of two relationships, interconnected by fate but unrelated by age and experience, Crazy Stupid Love goes against the grain of most romantic comedies. Cal (Steve Carell) and his wife are going through a divorce. He meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a ladies man who gets him back on his feet. While Cal soon realizes the emptiness of casual sex, Jacob meets a new girl who makes him want to leave the player game. Meanwhile, Cal’s son has an inappropriate fixation on his babysitter but preaches about true love and soul mates.
The movie: Sucks! – I like a good, formulaic romantic comedy. Unfortunately, Crazy Stupid Love isn’t one of those. Instead, it has the appearance of an anti-rom-com but still slathers on the cheesy messages and unrealistic romanticism of Hollywood. While the characters do feel very real, their lives are intertwined in some of the most contrived ways. Plus, I have a really tough time buying Hollywood – which is known for its fleeting relationships and marriages that are considered amazing successes if they last more than a year – telling me the true nature of love. So much is wrong with the characters’ actions in this movie, from the bitter and cold nature of Cal’s wife to the creepy and borderline dangerous behavior of their son.
The bonus material: Kinda sucks! – There’s only a handful of special features on this disc, which makes it even less compelling to own. There’s a slate of deleted scenes, plus two featurettes: “Steve and Ryan Walk Into a Bar” in which the co-stars discuss their roles and their love lives, and “The Player Meets His Match” in which Gosling and Emma Stone talk about how they got comfortable in front of the camera together.
Notes on the Blu-ray experience: The movie looks good, especially for one that isn’t made for the big screen and hi-def presentation. The colors pop, and the smooth cinematography works well in the format. It’s a subtle quality but well cone.
What it’s about: Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) hate their bosses. After a night of drinking, they actually suggest killing them to make their lives easier. Soon, this fantasy starts to become a reality as they begin planning the bosses’ demises. Of course, they make plenty of incompetent errors, like trying to hire a hit man at a bar and getting more involved in the bosses’ lives than they ever should.
The movie: Rocks! – Forget Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses was easily the funniest movie of 2011. In a landscape of failed raunchy comedies, this one clicked. Part of it was the snappy writing, which was silly and outrageous enough to make me laugh, but not overly unrealistic that it played silly. The other part was the acting, in particular the leads. Bateman, Sudeikis (to a lesser degree) and Day are hilarious and generous. They also work well with others, not hogging the spotlight. Of course, the other great element of the film were the bosses, with both Colin Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston playing against type. Kevin Spacey revisits his same character from Swimming With Sharks, but he’s so good at it, I’ll forgive the retread. Horrible Bosses is a great movie for anyone who has had a little fantasy about bumping off someone that bothered them in the past.
The bonus material: Kinda rocks! – While not loaded, the Blu-ray comes with some neat extra content. There’s a slate of deleted scenes as well as the extended cut of the film. The featurettes “My Least Favorite Career,” “Surviving a Horrible Boss,” “Being Mean Is So Much Fun” and “The Making of the Horrible Bosses Soundtrack” give various insights into the different elements of the film, plus a look into the filmmakers’ and cast’s personal lives.
Notes on the Blu-ray experience: Like Crazy Stupid Love, Horrible Bosses isn’t one of those films that screams Blu-ray, but it looks really slick nonetheless.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
What it’s about: Years after going to White Castle and being sent to Guantanamo Bay, Harold and Kumar have gone their separate ways. However, a mysterious package mis-delivered on Christmas Eve brings them together again. A dope-fueled turn of events send them into New York City to find the last fraser fir Christmas tree left in the state. They end up claymated, chased by drug dealers and in a violent and accidental altercation with Santa Claus along the way, all the while with Harold trying to live up to his father-in-law’s expectations.
The movie: Rocks! – Each time I talk about one of these films, I feel the need to confess that I don’t smoke – and have never smoked – pot in my life. I suppose that’s to show that even if I don’t partake in extracurricular drugs, I can still find these movies pretty funny. This film is much better than the second installment, going all-out with the 3D and literally throwing as much into your face as possible. It’s a gimmick movie that works, keeping the silliness on top of the story. Yet, it manages to actually tell a story, albeit a pretty standard one. Of course, the return of Neil Patrick Harris from the dead makes this movie awesome. Oh, and I want a Waffle Bot for Christmas.
The bonus material: Kinda sucks! – While a fun film, the extra features are somewhat slim. There’s an extended cut of the film and deleted scenes. Additional featurettes include “Through the Haze with Tom Lennon” and “Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation to Life.”
Notes on the Blu-ray experience: Another modern film that isn’t about the eye-popping imagery, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas still looks good. However, the real punch is to get the 3D version, also available from Warner Home Video. After all, the gimmicky nature of the film works best with the full gimmick.