DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Observe and Report - Blu-ray Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Ronnie Barnhardt is a dangerous man; he is friendly enough, but there is something darker lurking about in his gut. He is racist and mean-spirited, yet he is also fairly charming and somehow inexplicably innocent-natured. He is unsatisfied with his life and has delusions of grandeur reinforced when he takes himself off his prescribed medicine. His world is a small one as he lives with his drunken mother and works as head of mall security and he struggles with the smallness of this world by tugging at its frayed corners looking for something more. And when the opportunity arises thanks to a streaker preying upon the unsuspecting shoppers of the mall then Ronnie and his gang of merry mall security honchos seizes the moment and turn the mundane into the morbidly funny.

Observe and ReportDirector/writer Jody Hill (co-creator of HBO's new hit series Eastbound & Down) introduced audiences to his brand of dark and delusional comedy with The Foot Fist Way back in 2006. While The Foot Fist Way failed to do much business, Observe and Report with Seth Rogan playing the part of Ronnie should correct that failure to perform. Hill's new work is an unpolished, uncompromising, and unparalleled look at the mundane life we at one time or another - all dream to escape from. It is uncomfortably funny and, at times, so shocking that audiences especially the one I saw the film with -seem to be ashamed of their own laughter. Oh, and be warned, it is violently brutal in some shocking scenes that might seem out of place for your average comedy, but not here because there is nothing average about Observe and Report.

Rogan plays the part of Ronnie with such conviction and boyish honesty that you can't help but feel sympathy for him. Yes, he is pathetic, but in that patheticness is a human quality that shines through in Ronnie's smile; he is caring individual who dares to dream impossible given his own circumstances. You would be this man's friend even if his drunken mother (perfectly captured by Celia Weston) might proposition you for a night of rough sex. The people in Ronnie's life are nearly as delusional as he is nearly and they certainly don't help him stay rooted in anything that closely resembles reality. The Yuen twins (Matt and John Yuan), Charles (a somewhat awkward Jesse Plemons) and Dennis (hilariously played by Michael Peña) all assist Ronnie with his blunderous efforts in outsmarting the local detective Detective Harrison (a cool Ray Liotta) - assigned to the deal with the criminal issues plaguing the mall and to get Ronnie's crush, Brandi, the pretty girl at the make-up counter (played by Anna Faris) who Ronnie visits/annoys on a daily basis.

Hill's writing and casting choices pay off because this film never comes across as Hollywoodish. It isn't glossy and glamorous at all. It's rough and ready for the next street brawl. Its hero is flawed tragically enabled yet somehow you can't give up on Rogan's performance. He is dedicated to playing Ronnie with just the right mannerisms, so that audiences can cheer for him and wish him the best despite his personal flaws in character and circumstance throughout the film. In a world where one's weight is a constant struggle and never a joke, Observe and Report is a dark comedy that shows how the â"Man of the Hour" doesn't have to be lean to be mean...


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

Blu-rayDVD Details:

There are Additional Scenes that add more humor and fill in some of the holes of the story, but essentially don't add much and it's easy to see why they were trimmed or flat-out deleted before the final product was sent to the press. The additional footage of the janitor's interrogation is a fun bit that should have been included.

The Gag Reel is hilarious and simply not to be missed. At. All.
In the Basically Training featurette, Rogen is unhinged and out of control and in true vigilante mode as this featurette combs the making of the movie and depicts the grueling â"training" Rogen was privy to while filming. This highlights the action scenes and the stunts which Rogen filmed for the role.

There's a hilarious Forest Ridge Mall Security mock recruitment video that shares the comic tone of the film. It's unnecessary, but all the more funny because of its un-necessity.

In Seth Rogen and Anna Faris Unscripted both the actor and the actress get â"exposed" as this highlights all the unused scenes from their controversial and hilarious â"date".

Wrapping up the special features is a commentary from director Jody Hill and Rogen. It's funny stuff especially the picture-in-picture factor which adds to the overall â"character" of the film.

Screen Formats: 2.4:1 1080p High Definition 16x9.

Subtitles: English SDH; French; Spanish; Portuguese; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1 (Dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 5.1, Portuguese 5.1.

Other Features
: Color; interactive menus; scene access; featurettes; outtakes; gag reel; BDLive features.

Supplemental Material:

Commentary - Meeting-of-the-mall-minds picture-in-picture commentary track with Seth Rogen, Anna Faris and Writer/director Jody Hill

Featurettes:

  • Basically Training - Hollywood's Latest Loose-Cannon Action Star Unleashed
  • Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video
  • Seth Rogan and Anna Faris: Unscripted

Deleted Scenes

  • Seth Rogen and Anna Faris: Unscripted - Multiple Outtakes of this Imperfect Couple's Funniest Scenes.
  • Gag Reel
  • Additional Scenes

DVD-Rom features:

  • Exclusive features via BDLive (requires a BD-live-enabled Blu-ray Disc Player, a working broadband internet connection and local storage (memory card, internal hard drive or other storage device) with sufficient capacity and free space.

Number of Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set, Digital copy BD-Live.

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