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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Mr. Woodcock (Blu-ray/New Line)

Mr. Woodcock (Blu-ray/New Line)


Picture: B+     Sound: B+     Extras: D     Film: D



Yet again, here is Billy Bob Thornton wasting his time for a paycheck doing the same angry, ornery, tired, mean so and so that he has already played four previous timers and counting.  This time, he is a gym teacher out to destroy the son (a career out-of-control Seann William Scott) of a woman (Susan Sarandon) he starts dating after targeting the student in the single-entendre titled Mr. Woodcock (2007), director Craig Gillespie’s would-be comedy with no laughs and many problems.


Of course, the whole Michael Carnes/Josh Gilbert screenplay is built on jokes around homophobia, humiliation, incest and people hurting other people beyond damage, then tries to hide it behind a very thin veneer of comedy.  This only became somewhat palatable in the sick family films in the 1980s (like the ongoing incest joke in Back To The Future) but this is on the level of a torture porn film where there is no story, just set-ups for the next sick insanity.  Needless to say this tanked at the box office and New Line hopes this rents consistently for ill thrills.


Unfortunately, this is just flat out bad no matter what and the truth is, only someone in deep denial could find this funny.  This kind of thing is no laughing matter and if it was happening in real life, would potentially be another evening news story if the worst was realized.  Two males in said situation could land up trying to kill each other and it would not be a comedy then, but this is a low grade script with money and it is never secretive about that.  However, since Thornton has already done this kind of thing before, isn’t even the sickest of potentially funny humor now dead?  Amy Poehler and Bill Macy are also wasted.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is clean and clear as shot by Director of Photography Tami Reiker in Super 35mm film, something that is slowly becoming less common in commercial studio comedy releases.  Versus such HD releases (Superbad, Knocked-Up) this looks about on par, but with less redness than the latter.  Too bad the lighting is flat and dull like a bad TV sitcom.  DTS 7.1 HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mix on the Blu-ray is not bad, but seems like a waste for a dialogue-driven pseudo comedy, though I love how New Line has DTS 2.0 for some of their supplements versus the usual Dolby or PCM.  Theodore Shapiro (Idiocracy) has little worth scoring here.  Others are also 7.1 DTS MA or DTS 5.1 to little avail.  Extras include deleted scenes, a making of featurette, theatrical trailer and the annoying “P.E. Trauma Tales” that proves this whole fiasco does not know when to call it quits.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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