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Long Shot (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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Long Shot (2019)

Unlikely, but not impossible.” That’s the tagline for this farcical odd-couple comedy called Long Shot which stars Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. The tagline speaks to the poor odds of a highly successful, physically attractive, 40-something Secretary of State (Theron) falling for a schlub-ish unemployed man-child (Rogen). But that’s exactly what happens in this comedy that is all kinds of over-the-top absurd, yet is also unexpectedly charming.

"funny, abrasive, tasteless, and almost always over-the-top offensive. But it is the unexpected magnetism between Theron and Rogen that makes the impossible possible in Long Shot."


The tag is also a testament to the not-so-likely probability of Theron and Rogen pulling off the necessary chemistry to make this thing work. But they do. And as a result, Long Shot is a rousing success with a near-constant barrage of crass jokes, brutal pratfalls, and cringe-inducing sight gags, yet it never forgets to deliver the perfect amount of witty charm. As a result, we want to just pat this little film on its head and give it a loving hug.

We really shouldn’t be all that surprised that Theron and Rogen pull this off as well as they do. After all, both actors have displayed, time and again, the tremendous talents necessary to do just about anything on screen. But what is being asked of them here is so unlikely, so very nearly impossible, that it is hard to believe that they make it work.

And lets all stand and give major props to director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50) who knows that chemistry can only take a film so far. He maneuvers his way through this tricky little gem like a master beyond his years, giving the entire experience an invigorating breath of self-awareness. He knows that his central conceit is so far-fetched that we are forced to take it in with a healthy dose of disbelief. Yet he never stops leaning into the ridiculousness of it all. And that’s one of the main reasons it works as well as it does. Well, that and the fact that it is just flat-out funny. In fact, Long Shot deserves to be mentioned along with any of this years’s funniest films.

The story, written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah takes up with current Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Theron), who is jetting around the country hoping to gather international support for her global climate change initiative. Meanwhile, she is also being endorsed for her 2020 presidential run by the doltish sitting president played by Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), who reminds us of someone we all know way too well.

When Sec. Fields learns that her public image could use a boost in the humor department, she teams up with unemployed journalist, and long-lost friend, Fred Flarsky (Rogen) who used to write for an alt-weekly magazine, but whose wicked sense of humor might be just the edgy boost she needs to put her campaign over the top.Long Shot (2019)

Naturally, the hire of Flarsky goes against the advice of her stuffy handlers, led by Maggie (June Diane Raphael) and Tom (Ravi Patel), and when their boss begins to fall for Fred, their attempts to break the couple up lead to hilariously insane results.

With Seth Rogen in its lead, we knew exactly what kind of film we were getting with Long Shot. What we weren’t expecting, was how well Charlize Theron would work down in the trenches where sex jokes, semen sight gags, and raunchy childishness rule the day. And the supporting cast, which features O’Shea Jackson, Jr., Alexander Skarsgard, and an unrecognizable Andy Serkis, totes the note perfectly.

Long Shot is funny, abrasive, tasteless, and almost always over-the-top offensive. But it is the unpredictable magnetism between Theron and Rogen that makes the impossible possible in Long Shot.

4/5 stars

Long Shot (2019)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate
Available on Blu-ray
- July 23, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Lionsgate steps up to the plate with its blu-ray + DVD + Digital edition of Long Shot that features a solid 1080p transfer in addition to a healthy stock of extra features (about a dozen in all totaling nearly an hour of bonus material). Comedy lovers and Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron fans alike will find plenty to love on this two-disc set that comes packaged in a eco-case and slipcover.

Video
While we don't necessarily think of popping a rom-com disc into the blu-ray player to blow our socks off with incredible visuals, one could certainly do a lot worse than what we are given on this 2.39:1 transfer. Director Jonathan Levine frames many of his shots with close-up of faces allowing us to immediately notice that details always remain sharp with skin tones that stay true throughout. With no whiz-bang CGI or intricate set pieces to play around with, the engineers had a fairly easy go of it with this transfer and the quality of the output shows with a perfectly handled 1080p transfer that any cinephile would be happy to own.

Audio
Being a dialogue-heavy film, your center channel will, as expected, carry the majority of the audio load with directional sound appropriately sliding left to right as needed. HOWEVER, this release really shines when the banging soundtrack comes to life with such artists as Blondie, Cameo, The Cure, and Bruce Springesteen. Turn it up and let the Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1 sound fill your room with pure audio delight. The release also comes with a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Lionsgate certainly did not scrimp on the details with seven extra features that total more than an hour of bonus material.

All's Fair in Love & Politics: Making Long Shot (29:55) - Producers, screenwriters, crew, and director Jonathan Levine sit down to discuss the characters, details of shooting on location, set design, costume design and nearly all other aspects fo making Long Shot. This is unquestionably the signature piece of the bunch.

  • Seven Minutes in Heaven: Seth and Charlize Uncensored (06:55) - Rogen and Theron sit for an interview and answer questions about what it was like to work with each other.
  • Secret Weapons (15:53) - The film's producers sit to discuss the secondary cast.
  • Epic Flarsky Falls (0:12) - The film's stunt coordinator take us through the stunt work.
  • Prime Minister Steward O-Rama (04:55) - A behind-the-scenes look at filming of Alexander Skarsgård's bits in the movie.
  • Hanging With Boyz II Men (04:49) - A brief visit with the band and the shooting of the film's opening scene.
  • Just Kinda Crushing It! (04:13) - An unedited behind-the-scenes visit to the set.
  • The First Mister: A Portrait (07:25) - A Discussion about using Spawn creator Todd McFarlane to create the Presidential portrait used in the film.
  • An Imperfect Union (07:28) - Another look at the chemistry displayed between Rogen and Theron.
  • Love & Politics (05:15) - Cast and crew discuss why Long Shot isn't your typical romantic comedy.
  • Friends Like These (03:56) - Levine discusses casting and working with the cast

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

 

Long Shot (2019)

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, language throughout and some drug use.
Runtime:
125 mins
Director
: Jonathan Levine
Writer:
Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah
Cast:
Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline: "
Unlikely, but not impossible."
Memorable Movie Quote: "Charlotte, you've been a great secretary."
Theatrical Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site: https://longshot.movie/
Release Date:
May 3, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 30, 2019.
Synopsis: When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.

Long Shot (2019)

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