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We're the Millers - Blu-ray Review

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We're the Millers - Movie Review

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4 stars

In a summer chock-full of underwhelming tentpole features, superhero misfires, and a general box office malaise threatening to change how movies are made, it’s refreshing to find a bit of relief in the least likely of places: a film that stars Jennifer Aniston - the sweet and wholesome Jennifer Aniston - as a stripper. That’s right, Jennifer Aniston stars in the funniest movie of the summer.

But let’s back up a bit. Aniston isn’t the main reason We’re the Millers is so raucously funny. Nor does her notorious striptease alone make it worthy of such high praise. In addition, the plot is rather simple and routinely formulaic, playing out like any typical road trip movie... albeit with considerably more raunch. We’re the Millers gets its success from the collective winning performance of all involved who work from the brilliantly hilarious script of Bob Fisher and Steve Faber. You may know Fisher and Faber as the brain trust behind 2005’s The Wedding Crashers. A lot of things have to come together perfectly to keep this runaway train on course, and credit director Rawson Marshall Thurber for keeping it on the tracks.

SNL alum Jason Sudeikis is David, a low-rung pot dealer who, while committing an act of seemingly random kindness, has his stash and personal savings stolen by a gang of thugs. Holding him accountable for the entire 40 large is David’s self-centered distributor played by Ed Helms who offers David a deal to keep his both his job and his head. With no other options at his disposal, David takes his boss up on the offer and agrees to drive south of the border to pick up a “smidge” of weed, and return it to the U.S. for a clean slate plus a $100,000 commission.

Realizing the odds of successfully crossing the border with illegal drugs are not in the favor of a long-haired pot dealer with a sketchy past, David comes up with a plan to smuggle the weed across the border by pretending to be The Millers, a fake, ready-made, All-American “family” traveling to Mexico in an RV.

There’s a big problem with David’s plan, however. Actually two big problems. First, David doesn’t have a family, so he employs the services of Rose (Aniston) the stripper who lives in his apartment building to be his wife, and as his two kids, he recruits Kenny (Lee Poulter) the dorky kid next door, and gothy teen runaway Casey (Emma Roberts). Together they come up against David’s second big problem: the “smidge” of weed they load up actually turns out to be two metric tons of the stuff... and it belongs to an angry drug lord who is not to happy to find it missing. Let the hijinx begin!

Most of the humor in We’re the Millers is the kind with a high degree of difficulty. It’s extremely raunchy and can come off as offensive and distasteful if not handled correctly, but the cast delivers perfectly making all parts work, even the vulgar sight gags. Aniston seems to be having fun with her naughty girl role, and Sudeikis is right at home wallowing in the filth. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn provide a few laughs as a pair of fellow RVers (although we could use a bit less of them), but the standout is Poulter who steals nearly every scene he’s in as the virginal bumpkin with the heart of gold. His rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls” is worth the price of admission alone, even though we’ve watched the scene many times in the trailers.

We’re the Millers will never go down as a great comedy, nor will it likely even be remembered once the calendar rolls over into the new year. There are just too many flaws for it to have much staying power, namely that it often feels like a drawn out series of independent - but funny - sketches. But you will laugh at the jokes, cringe at the awkwardness, and by the time the end credits roll around, you’ll even be touched by the story’s tenderness as the fake Millers remind us what it’s like to be a real family.

{2jtab: Film Details}

We're the Millers - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and brief graphic nudity.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer
: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber
Cast:
Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
We're the Millers
Memorable Movie Quote: "Don't get too close. The guy smells like asparagus pee and he's got a hook hand."
Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
werethemillers.warnerbros.com/#home
Release Date: August 7, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 19. 2013.

Synopsis: David is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids—after all, he has his scruples. So what could go wrong? Plenty. Having been jumped by a trio of gutter punks who steal his stash and his cash, they leave him in major debt to a drug lord. In order to wipe the slate clean, David must now become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad's latest shipment in from Mexico. Twisting the arms of his neighbours including a cynical stripper, a wannabe customer and a tatted-and-pierced streetwise teen, he devises a fool proof plan. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny campervan later, the "Millers" are on a roadtrip that is sure to end with a bang..

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

We're the Millers - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 19, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

The fake family of misfits arrives on blu-ray courtesy of Warner Bros.  Multiple cuts of a two-hour film plus nearly an hour of bonus features on one disc might push compression too far on DVD, but the dual-layered Blu-ray fits everything without any concerns. The 2.40:1 widescreen transfer looks perfect, boasting the detail and polish you expect of a 2013 film in 1080p. The digital photography is consistently crisp and clean throughout, boasting bright, vivid colors whenever it has half a chance.  Clarity and detail leave no room for complaint. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio is similarly satisfying, with needle drops helping to keep the mix spirited and engaging.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

The improv continues with a healthy amount of supplemental material that – to be honest - is brief but solid.  Warner's combo pack makes for a satisfying release, with a fine feature presentation, your choice of cuts on the Blu-ray, and an occasionally diverting 50 minutes of extras.  First, we get alternate improvised lines, then we get a series of interviews in Stories from the Road.  These seven short featurettes tackles Jennifer Aniston, before and after looks of the family, the tarantula bite scene, Luiz Guzman, and the huge RV used in the film.  Ed Helm gets his own short and so does drug smuggling.  The eight deleted scenes are mostly extended existing ones in ways hinted at in bonus feature clips.  The extended cut pushes the film to the two hour mark with additional moments featuring Ben Folds, more Luiz Guzman, and more swollen penis shots.

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