The Invention of Lying (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 99 minutes - $28.98 || January 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-01-18


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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: Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson
Writer(s): Ricky Gervais & Matthew Robinson (written by)
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jon Hill, Louis C.K. Rob Lowe, Tina Fey


Theatrical Release Date: October 2, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Short Film
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Video Podcasts
  • Additional Scenes
  • Outtakes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1), French (Dolby Surround 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Iíve never really been a fan of "The Office", either the British or the American version. I just never really ďgotĒ the show and the advertisements never appealed to me. Everyone I know says how great the show is, but I just donít have the free time to watch the show in whatever season itís in at this current time. Ricky Gervais tries yet again to break into American audienceís hearts with his latest farce, The Invention of Lying. Sadly though, like his past films, the movie isnít funny and tanks quickly out of the gate with lame jokes and horrible punch lines.

Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) is a writer in a world where he canít lie. His boss Anthony (Jeffrey Tambor) fires him, the girl heís in love with, Anna (Jennifer Garner), thinks heís fat and will produce ugly children, and his life is going pretty horrible for him. Nothing seems to be going right for him, and once he gets home from being fired and rejected his landlord shows up to let him know he has one day to move out as heís being evicted. He heads to the bank to withdraw money, and somehow his brain thinks of a way to get more money: he lies. The banker believes him and lets him over withdraw money he doesnít have, but since no one can lie in this world the banker lets the transaction continue.

Startled by the fact he can now lie and get what he wants, he heads off to the bar to tell his friend Greg (Louis C.K.) about his newfound talent. Greg doesnít believe him and gets plastered at the bar and decides to drive home with Mark in tow. The two get stopped by a cop, who, after a few minutes of non-funny communication, gives up on writing them a ticket due to Markís innate new talent of lying constantly. Now that Mark realizes the power of his words, he heads back to Anthony and tells him the story of ďthe Black Plague,Ē an idea he originally pitched by Anthony shot him down. Anthony however this time accepts the idea since Mark lets him know that it will make everyone at the company rich. Mark then decides itís time for him to call up Anna and get the girl of his dreams back, despite the fact he is still fat and probably will produce ugly children later on in life. Can Mark use his new talent to win over Anna, or will lying catch up with him and ruin his life yet again?

This movie was just not funny at all to me. I was waiting for the big punch line to the film for about thirty or so minutes until I realized that one was just not coming anytime soon, and I was right. Gervais isnít in the slightest entertaining in this flick, as his character is so dull-witted that tooth surgery would have been funnier to go through than watch this one again. The supporting cast of Jonah Hill, Tambor, and Tina Fey donít mesh well either, as their lines are so mundane and pointless that they donít belong in the film to begin. Whatís the point of having so many supporting characters when their lines are so mundane that they provide zero laughter?

It may just be me, but I donít get Gervaisís sense of humor. The jokes in this movie all fall flat and stem from the fact that he can lie while others canít. When the movie opens up to a ďpoopĒ joke I knew I was in for aÖride. The premise of the movie is a neat idea, but when the jokes are the exact same in every scene thereís just no room for movement in terms of character development. Mark is a stick figure when it comes to feelings, Anna is still heartless (although at the end she does change obviously) , and the rest of the cast just act like complete idiots. What fun is a comedy if itís so plain that you canít differentiate the film from others that you saw a few days ago?

All in all, this is a movie that could have been something really good and instead we get The Invention of Lying. Gervais is now 0-2 for me in terms of me trying to like his films.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Dawn of Lying (6 minutes): Cavemen are shown trying to lie their way through an earlier time in life in a comedic fashion as the cavemen are the actors from the film. This is kind of entertaining, although I grew weary after a few minutes.

Making-of Featurette (7 minutes): Ricky Gervais hosts the short feature that goes through the making of the film with some behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew. The cast praises Gervais for his acting and funny nature, so unless you are Gervais himself odds are you will find this tedious and should skip it.

Meet Karl Pilkington (18 minutes): I have no clue what this was about, and at seventeen minutes long, thereís no reason to watch it. Pilkington talks about having to fly here without his girlfriend and complains the entire time about why he was only an extra.

Ricky and Mattís Video Podcasts (10 minutes): Just as it sounds, as both Ricky and Matt give some humorous looks and spoofs of other television shows. I found this to be quite entertaining in terms of both people doing the podcasts, so I strongly suggest a viewing.

Additional Scenes (7 minutes): Thereís only a handful of scenes here, and nothing really worth watching. They are of poor quality in terms of both technical and laugh quality, so youíre probably better off skipping them.

Corpsing and Outtakes (6 minutes): Iím sure you can guess what this extra is so hopefully I wonít have to go too much into detail about this one. The cast goofs up lines and also some deleted scenes are shown here, although none are really funny or entertaining.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

This isnít a bad transfer if it wasnít for the fact that colors are overblown throughout the movie multiple times. I noticed whiteís being completely overblown several times at odd points during the movie, and even saw other colors literally glowing off the characters. This was disturbing to see for a new release film, and Iím curious as to how no one caught it during the transfer process. I also saw several scenes with vast amounts of grain and noise in them as well, so thatís another feature that was overlooked. Sorry, but this is really unacceptable for a recent release Warner Brothers.

This is one of the lowest audio tracks Iíve heard in quite some time. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is so low that I nearly blew out a speaker when I switched from the main feature to the extras. I had to crank up the volume way louder than I normally do for dialogue-centered movies, and as such, found several things wrong with the audio. The levels are low, and since the movie has no action sequences what so ever youíll be hard pressed to hear anything coming from your surround sound speakers. I only remember my sub turning on briefly during the movie and then shutting off. What an incredibly disappointing track this is, and I hope that errors like these are fixed in the future and this was simply a one-time only thing.



.::OVERALL::.

The Invention of Lying is another attempt for Ricky Gervais to break into the mainstream audience in the United States, but he fails again. The film just isnít funny or entertaining in the slightest although for some reason the extras provided me more laughs than the film itself. The technical package is abysmal, so unless you are a fan of Gervais you can skip out. Iíd be lying to you if I said this was worth anything more than a rental.