Drillbit Taylor (2008) - Extended Survival Edition [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Comedy
Paramount || Unrated - 109 minutes - $39.99 || July 1, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Steven Brill
Writer(s): Kristofer Brown & Seth Rogen (written by)
Cast: Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann, Danny McBride, Josh Peck, Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley, David Dorfman


Theatrical Release Date: March 21, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director, Co-Writer & Cast Commentary
  • The Writers Get a Chance to Talk
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Line-O-Rama
  • Gag Reel
  • Rap Off
  • Sprinkler Day
  • Bully
  • Directing Kids
  • The Real Don: Danny McBride


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Drillbit Taylor stars Owen Wilson as a homeless ex-military guy who is hired by three high school freshman boys after they continue to get picked on by the school bully. Drillbit tries to teach the boys how to defend themselves and fight, but after numerous failed attempts, he winds up posting as a substitute teacher where he can protect the kids under his watchful eyes.

The film feels like a reworked script from Apatow's best creation and possibly one of the best shows to have ever aired, “Freaks and Geeks”. The school that the kids attend happens to be named McKinley High School and few characters who played small bits on “Freaks and Geeks” are present here including Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann (who has been cast in nearly all of Apatow’s films) and even Shaun Weiss (who plays the bus driver here).

Easily one of the funniest moments in the film is a short cameo by Adam Baldwin who interviews for the part of being the kid’s bodyguard. The younger audience probably has no idea that he played a bodyguard in the 1980 teen film My Bodyguard; and here he comes dressed up just like he appeared in that film 28 years ago. While he only has one line, it produced one of the biggest laughs of the film for me.

The Blu-ray version boasts the fact that it’s the 'Extended' version but I am having a hard time figuring out exactly what additional scenes have been added or extended. The run time on IMDB shows 109 minutes... just like the back of the Blu-ray case. I'd love to comment on any additional footage that has been added back in to the film, but without the Theatrical version to compare it to, I can't.

Like most Apatow productions, the film runs just a little bit too long. While most comedies typically last 90-95 minutes long, this goes on for nearly two hours. Luckily, Drillbit Taylor does not feel as long as The 40 Year Old Virgin which just stretched out jokes long past being funny. Just as the film starts to drag on a little too much, it quickly comes to its conclusion.

Compared to Owen Wilsons last comedy (You, Me and Dupree), this one is pure gold. While Dupree was stale and unfunny, Drillbit has a great cast of fresh young actors and is consistently funny.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in HD.

Feature Commentary (with Steven Brill & Kristofor Brown) - An entertaining track that could have been better had Owen Wilson been involved. Obviously due to his more recent complications, he may have been unavailable. There are some odd cuts here and there, and the three teen actors do join in randomly.

The Writers Get A Chance to Talk - This little feature has Seth Rogen and Kristofor Brown discussing ideas (over the phone) for the film.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes - A huge selection of deleted and alternate takes, with only a few being really funny (the first in particular). For some its just an alternate scene with a few added words or a different take on a scene.

Line-O-Rama (4:25) - Not sure why this couldn't just be put into the Deleted/Alternate scenes section, but it’s pretty much just the actors using different lines for scenes.

The following are exclusive the "Extended Survival Edition" available only on Blu-ray and 2 Disc DVD:

Rap-Off - A general overview of the "rap" scene that was done in the film.

Sprinkler Day - A look at filming the scene where Drillbit lights the kids school project on fire.

Bully - A look at the two kids who play the bullies with outtakes.

Directing Kids - Another short, lame feature where the Director Steven Brill talks about the child actors.

The Real Don: Danny McBride - Pretty much just a promotional type thing for the film Foot Fish Way.

Also includes is a short Gag Reel as well as a few trailers (including the new Star Trek film!)



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Drillbit Taylor is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB disc. For being a comedy, Paramount really took the time to make this release shine. Colors are very rich and vibrant and the film is clean of any grain. Considering this is a recent studio release it’s not much of a surprise.

Paramount has included a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Track as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. While not a bad sounding mix, the film is mostly dialog driven so you won't get much action out of the year speaks sans a few times when there is some of music being played. Dialog comes off being very clean. Including a TrueHD track may seem like overkill for a comedy, but at least Paramount is giving us the option unlike some of the more recent Blu-ray releases from Warner Bros.



.::OVERALL::.

Drillbit Taylor may not be the greatest comedy produced by Judd Apatow (Superbad and The 40 Year Old Virgin are clearly superior), but it’s much better than his last few outings with Dewey Cox and Talladega Nights. Owen Wilson and the teen cast deliver laughs and fans of “Freaks and Geeks” will feel right at home.