Observe and Report (2009) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy --> Dark
Warner Brothers || R - 87 minutes - $35.99 || September 22, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-18


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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

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jody Hill
Writer(s): Jody Hill (written by)
Cast:


Theatrical Release Date: April 10, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • PiP Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Additional Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Seth Rogen’s latest comedy, about a bi-polar, self-important mall security officer, actually was much better and funnier than I had expected. A word of warning, however – and this is partially the reason for some of the film’s backlash –, this is very much a morally corrupt and extremely dark comedy. This does not have the heart of The 40-Year-Old Virgin or Knocked Up, it’s filled with extremely offensive language, unapologetic sexual content, extreme violence and graphic nudity (and not in a good way).

The so-called “story” is about mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), a man who takes his job way too seriously and when a pervert starts flashing women in the parking lot, he takes great offense but when the perv goes after his dream girl, Brandi (Anna Faris), who works in the mall, he makes it his mission to find the man and bring him to justice! Ronnie receives competition from Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta), a real cop. Ronnie then ponders that perhaps he could become a real officer as well, make something more of his life. But when he decides to go off his meds, after a “date” with Brandi (in which he gave them for her own personal high), crazy and violent things begin to happen and his career as both a police officer and in mall security are threatened.

Observe and Report makes no bones about it: it is offensive. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. No central moral to the story. No “heart”. No big kiss, happy ending. It’s a dark comedy that you either will either find absolutely hilarious or utterly tasteless and disgusting. Personally, and coming from someone who normally fails to find the humor in dark comedy, did laugh quite a few times and consistently throughout. Yes, it is an uncomfortable movie. Between Rogen having sex with a semi-passed out Anna Faris to a finale where... well, I’ll leave that out, needless to say it contains nudity and not of the female variety *shudder*.

Seth Rogen, even this darker version, is still Seth Rogen. Despite the dark comedy, if you’ve seen him in his previous endeavors, you are basically getting the same style. One of the other things that will turn off viewers is his utter cockiness and self-centeredness. Even as someone who liked this movie, the character can be downright unlikeable, so if the comedy turns you off, his character will finish the job and make you hate and absolutely detest the film.

One of the brighter spots, and probably because I’ve always been a fan, is Ray Liotta. No matter how many crappy direct-to-video movies he does, he gets a lifetime pass because of Goodfellas, kind of like Al Pacino for The Godfather. He can release utter shit but I still enjoy the hell out of every scene he is in. Liotta basically plays the same role, the tough guy and what makes it work this time is it’s a distinct contrast to Rogen’s opposite and softer persona that play well off of each other. Rogen’s character tries unsuccessfully to be a tough guy against Liotta’s real toughness.

I will say this again: If you do not like dark, dark, dark humor, an obnoxious central character and a story that serves only to offend than to pander, Observe and Report is not for you. It’s an all around unapologetic, insane comedy that will split audiences down the middle. For myself, I did laugh consistently for the duration of its thankfully short running time (87-minutes) and could tolerate Seth Rogen’s ugly character (morally and physically).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This is Warner’s first foray into 100% Blu-ray exclusive territory. The DVD version only contains the widescreen and full frame versions while the Blu-ray gets a couple featurettes and more... So these are all ** Blu-ray Exclusives **.

Note: All features are presented in 480i/p standard definition.

Picture-in-Picture Commentary – This video commentary with stars Seth Rogen and Anna Faris and director Jody Hill. The three are sitting in what looks like a studio screening room and they seem to go the extra mile with 3 camera angles (Hill-Rogen/All Three/Rogen-Faris) but can zoom-in/out depending on who’s talking. Funny moment 25-minutes in, there was legal concern by the producer over Jody Hill wearing a pair of pineapple glasses.

Additional/Extended Scenes (27:11) – There are several scenes taken out for various reasons, most likely for pacing. Most of these are extended scenes, already shown in the film. One scene explains how Ronnie manages to stay out of jail despite assaulting several police officers.

Gag Reel (12:17) – Obviously when you have a Seth Rogen movie, you will get plenty of flubbed lines, prop malfunctions and just uncontrollable laughter.

Seth Rogen & Anna Faris: Unscripted (7:38) feature outtakes between the two actors for especially during their dinner date and spliced in Rogen and Faris (along with other cast members) talk about their impromptu style.

Last up is the Basically Training (6:48) featurette (standard making-of with cast/crew talking about the plot and characters) and the Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video (3:01).

There is also a BD-Live portal where you can check out some of Warner’s standard features and a second disc with the digital copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Observe and Report comes with its original 2.40 aspect ratio and on a 50GB Blu-ray disc and in 1080p high-definition. Overall, the video isn’t anything special but is crisp, clean and clear. It’s not a visually vibrant or that impressive picture but not too bad. Some scenes seemed a bit oversaturated though I assume this isn’t an issue with the transfer, just stylistic choice by the director.

The movie comes with a lovely-sounding Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless track. Listen, despite some of the “action” scenes, this is mainly a dialogue heavy film with some well placed songs and black comedic score. In any case, the dialogue is quite clear and easy to understand while the songs sound good. You’re not going to get a whole lot out of the rear channels but this is a decent audio track.



.::OVERALL::.

Observe and Report succeeds or fails based on expectations. This is not the Seth Rogen of Knocked Up, it’s more akin to Jim Carrey’s The Cable Guy, which was also lauded, perhaps partially on expectations that they did not get the goofy Carrey of Ace Venture.

Although the picture and audio aren’t exactly outstanding, Warner has given the Blu-ray a boost with all exclusive features so if that’s your thing, there is only one option. The featurettes are fairly mundane but the PiP commentary is pretty cool.