The Ex (2007) - Unrated

Genre(s): Comedy
Weinstein Company || Unrated - 84 minutes - $28.95 || August 21, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-08-20


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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

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jesse Peretz
Writer(s): David Guion & Michael Handelman (written by)
Cast: Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman, Charles Grodin, Mia Farrow, Donal Logue, Amy Poehler, Amy Adams, Fred Armisen


Theatrical Release Date: May 11, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Open
  • Alternate Endings
  • Bloopers
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Originally titled “Fast Track”, “The Ex” ironically was on the fast track to nowhere. The Ex is the latest of the string of flops from The Weinstein Company and was given a limited release of 1,009 screens, a sad $1.4M opening and $3.1M total. The question at this time isn’t why it was tossed in and out of theaters but why The Weinstein’s continue to fund these disasters (see: “The Last Legion”, “Grindhouse”), -- though they have some potential with the upcoming “Halloween” remake. As much as TWC should be applauded for releasing something as risky as “Grindhouse” as a back-to-back feature, they also don’t have the luxury to do so as a new company. Worse yet movies they have in their arsenal, like “The Ex”, are simply bad movies.

Zach Braff plays self-centered a-hole Tom Reilly who can’t keep a job and after getting fired as a cook (with Paul Rudd making a cameo as his boss), he gets a new one through his father-in-law (Grodin) at an ad agency. It was urgent that he get a new job as his wife, Sofia (Peet), had just given birth to their first child. After a gaff or two on his first day, he finds himself working under handicapped jerk-off Chip Sanders (Bateman). Reilly later finds out that Chip and Sofia on the cheerleading team together in high school and even slept together.

As you can tell, the problem with the whole arrangement is neither of these competing characters is likeable. One would assume Chip would and should be the a-hole of the film but Tom isn’t much better -- and I’d even go so far to say he’s obnoxious. Basically, if you take Braff’s character on “Scrubs” and make him even more unbearable -- and I like that show, by the way --, you’d get Tom Reilly. I like Braff, I do, but there isn’t much range in his characters.

The rest of the pack from Jason Bateman of “Arrested Development” (one of the funniest shows ever) to the lovely Amanda Peet to Charles Grodin making his triumphant return to film (why he made it this one is beyond me) fill their slots and say their lines. Bateman as the feature villain is annoying but like the rest, his character one-dimensional and obvious so I have no idea why everyone else would be so in love with him. Also, why put him in a wheelchair? Anything Tom leads to situations that are awkward and not funny at all.

“The Ex” is a downright poor movie and proof why some actors are not meant for the big screen. Braff tries to play the hapless and misunderstood father that was better played previously by the likes of Ben Stiller but it doesn’t work. Instead he’s annoying and takes the movie itself down with him, though the screenplay doesn’t help matters either.

Summing things up, “The Ex” is a turkey with little else that would make it worthwhile. Based on some Internet reading, this “unrated” version makes a few changes including a new ending (the theatrical version is included as an “alternate ending”). The theatrical release had a runtime of 89-minutes while this one is (thankfully) cut by 5-minutes.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Deleted Scenes (6:00) - 8 scenes are included and has a “Play All” option. Most were taken out for a good reason but one, called “Nancy Gives Book to Tom” actually made me chuckle. Of course, in the context of the film, it might’ve not worked.

Alternate Open (1:33) - Dumb alternate opening shows uncompleted CGI underwear flying through the New York skies before landing on Braff’s head. How appropriate. At least the skyline is beautiful.

Alternate Endings (8:40) - 3 alternate endings are provided including the theatrical version which 99% of America never saw. I actually prefer the theatrical one as it doesn’t make Braff look as much of an ass but even so, it wouldn’t have helped the movie.

Bloopers (2:48) - Probably the funniest part of the entire disc has the cast messing up lines and just general on-set tomfoolery.

The theatrical trailer is also available.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks fine. It’s a (so-called) comedy so I don’t expect perfection or anything. The picture is clear and crisp with no noticeable artifacts.

The only available audio is a Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds OK, but I noticed that the levels, especially for dialogue, were off at times. Again, given the genre, it’s not a big deal but it wasn’t perfect.



.::OVERALL::.

Outside of a couple of laughs, “The Ex” has nothing going for it. Zach Braff is miscast, Jason Bateman is the typical a-hole “villain” and as a comedy, there’s very little of it. And it would seem TWC knows it leaving off a director’s commentary or a ‘making-of’ featurette.