Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star (2011/Sony Blu-ray)/The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret – Series One
(2010/IFC/MPI DVD)/Saving Private Perez
Your Number?: Ex-tended Edition (2011/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)/You & I (2012/Lionsgate DVD)
& C/C Sound: B-/C+/B-/B-/B- Extras: D/C/D/C+/D Main Programs: D/C/D/C+/D
past reviews, I have discussed how comedies do and do not work, but this batch
is grouped together so I can show a new way to define that line.
by Adam Sandler, Tom Brady’s Bucky
Larson: Born To Be A Star (2011) has Nick Swardson (who is always in
character no matter how awful this is) about the physically, emotionally and
highly oppressed (not to mention stereotypical) title character who is an
absolute loser who by many chances (and in the midst of endless gross humor
that is as boring and one note as all the characters) becomes a phony star
success against all odds… or something like that. Horrid, unfunny and insulting to all who gaze
upon it, Stephen Dorff, Don Johnson and Christina Ricci are among the others
sadly wasted (guess it was a quick paycheck, but hardly painless) and it proves
that only Mike Myers and Jerry Lewis should play characters with bad teeth,
because all others fail miserably. Just
awful. Extras include BD Live
interactivity and four mindless featurettes that are among the worst I have
suffered through lately.
(what would not be) is a The
Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret – Series One (2010) just now
being issued on DVD and wants to be a strange combo of a BritCom and U.S.
sitcom as the title character (David Cross) jumps at a chance to fly to England
to represent his company in quiet a jump from being an office temp, but he is
there to fail and do dirty work.
However, this backfires and we start with idiotic moves, an idiot plot
and a show trying to be funny, but being too cartoonish for its own good. The later episodes remarkably pick up
afterwards, but not enough to make this season work too well, though I wondered
if the next season could improve with the developments of the last few
shows. See it for yourself and
judge. Extras include several
featurettes, extended pilot episode, audio commentary tracks on all episodes,
Q&A with Cast & Crew, Bloopers and Deleted Scenes.
back to bad with Beto Gomez’s Saving
Private Perez (2011) which proves that any project that takes its name from
the Spielberg hit, especially as a comedy spoof, is bound to be really, really
bad. Though the clichés are not as bad
as in Bucky (what is?), the mother
of a drug lord gets her son to find his title brother character. From there, it just gets dumber and dumber
and dumber and dumber. I never found
this funny for a moment and it was borderline offensive, though it is an import
foreign comedy. That did not help much
anyhow. A Making Of featurette is the
film on here that should have worked is Mark Mylod’s What’s Your Number? (2011) which is yet another film that fails to
do what could potentially be a funny film all around considering it has one of
the funniest women alive today in it: Anna Faris. Barely opening in theaters and actually based
on a book, Faris is a 20-something who is getting burned out on dating,
especially with her sister getting married and her latest sex partner (a funny
turn by Zackary Quinto) eventually boring her.
Fired from work, she reads an article in a ladies’ magazine that says
any woman after 20 partners will never find true love or happiness. With her latest partner being #20, she feels
her life will be miserable until a revelation has her trying to find and find
out what her previous partners have done with their lives and where they are. Could one of them have grown up and turned
into Mr. Right?
It is a
perfect premise for a high concept Faris vehicle, but there are problems that
keep happening to sabotage the whole thing, even though this has a few big
laughs. For one thing, editing is
surprisingly sloppy and off, as well as off-putting. As well, the script does not let Faris loose
as much as it should, but being such a natural, she is funny in ways that
override the script including when it cannot decide when to use foul language,
which becomes an odd thing here.
backing her really works including Blythe Danner perfect as her mom and Chris
Evans (recently in the highly underrated Puncture
and the new Captain America)
proves he is a fine comic actor without having to play the slick smarty that
helped put him on the map. He and Faris
even have some chemistry, but again the script gets in the way and in shades of
the Halle Berry
Catwoman, it is always a bad sign
when the leads suddenly play a basketball game out of nowhere that stops the
already troubled narrative dead cold.
showing how comedy can be the oddest genre, you can see Faris’ power, energy
and spontaneity grow as she pulls off scenes and moments against all the
troubles here. Even most of the negative
reviews did not go after her and several people all around have been pleading
for someone to give her a good script. There
is something passively bold and progressive about her, her sexuality, her charm
and her assertiveness that picks up where other recent actresses of comic means
(including powerhouses Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock) have sort of left off
in some ways. Sher also plays counter
(without many noticing) to the rollback politics against women since the 1980s,
which is a hidden strength that no one has tapped into yet.
film is messed up even with her co-producing and a top-rate producer like Arnon
Milchan on board, but the writers and director fail through sheer inexperience
and the result is one of the biggest near-misses in recent memory. Still, if you can suffer through the
problems, you might enjoy the bigger laughs.
Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, the extended
& unrated cut of the film, Deleted Scenes (including flashbacks cut from
the film) and a funny Gag Reel.
we have the oddest of all the failures here.
Roland Joffé was once the director of important films like The Killing Fields, The Mission and Fat Man & Little Boy.
Since he put Demi Moore in a bizarre version of The Scarlet Letter, his career has never recovered. It does not help however when you make
strange lesbian teen comedies like You
& I (2012) in which two gals in Russia (!?!) played by Mischa
Barton and Shantel VanSanten get involved (sorry guys, it is not very graphic)
in the midst of stereotypical Russian Gangster, silly global consumerism and
Anton Yelchin once again wasted as a young Russian star of financial
means. Too bad he is recycling his
Chekhov accent in the worst possible way.
This is a comedy, yet is also set up like a drama and cannot seem to
decide which one it is. Guess the
lesbian subject matter threw the makers off, but Joffé has never been so out of
his element and along with feeling like Hollywood wants to reignite some kind
of dumb Cold War, this is an absolute dud with nowhere to go and at the end of
its 101 long minutes is almost as embarrassing as Bucky, but at least that film one does not pretend to be more than
it is. Geez. Extras include trailers.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on both Blu-rays can be soft
and not great, with both having some nice shots, but Number (with its AVC @ 30 MBPS) has a very slight edge overall with
more natural shot sand nice shots throughout, while its anamorphically enhanced
DVD version is very soft to the point where it was more than I expected. However, it has the same softer-than-expected
issue that all the DVDs here have. The
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 on Todd
is this way with some motion blur, but some nice shots here and there, the
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 on Perez
has been styled down (sometimes to look like a Western, et al) in bad ways and
the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 on You is also styled to be the “dark side
of Russia” mixed with some nice shots, furthering its confusion as a complete
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on the Blu-rays have the best audio here
as expected, but they can either be more dialogue/joke based than expected,
more towards the front speakers than one might like and many scenes are simple
stereo. The situation is even weaker
with the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the Number DVD, but the same sound mix on Perez is nice and active. You has a much weaker lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix that is so weak that the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Todd can more than compete with it.
- Nicholas Sheffo