The Rocker (2008) - Born to Rock Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy
Fox || PG13 - 102 minutes - $39.98 || January 27, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-02-15


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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: Peter Cattaneo
Writer(s): Ryan Jaffe (story), Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay)
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, Emma Stone, Jeff Garlin


Theatrical Release Date: August 20, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • 12 Featurettes
  • Music Video
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

So I tried watching that show ďThe OfficeĒ a few nights ago, and didnít laugh at all. Iím not sure why, but the humor just wasnít there for me. So when The Rocker landed on my doorstep I was hoping that it would give me a second chance to evaluate Rainn Wilson without the rest of the cast around him. Sadly, that was a mistake, as was this film.

Robert ďFishĒ Fisherman (Rainn Wilson) is a drummer for the band Vesuvius, which also includes the hilarious Lex (Will Arnett) among others. The band just finished their show, and meets with their manager in the bank. The manager asks Fish to go run an errand for him while he talks to Vesuvius about a new record deal that could happen. But the only way that can happen is if they get a new drummer and kick Fish out of the band. So like any money-grubbing band these days, Fish is promptly kicked to the curb, which is where our story picks up once again.

Fish now works at some telemarketing firm, where one of his employees just bought the new Vesuvius record, which enrages him to no end. He gets in a fight with the co-worker and is fired. He leaves his house to his girlfriend only to find out that she is breaking up with him. With nothing left to do and nowhere to go, he moves back home to live with his sister Lisa (Jane Lynch) and her husband Stan (Jeff Garlin). Upon arrival he learns that Lisaís son Josh (Matt Gadman) has a band that just recently lost its drummer.

So after trying multiple people out for the drummer vacancy, Josh, Amelia (Emma Stone), and Curtis (Teddy Geiger) decide to ask Fish to play for them since heís living in the attic. Fish reluctantly agrees to after some pushing around, and the group gets to play the prom for their high school next week. The band, nicknamed A.D.D., plays their first gig together only for it to be a disaster.

The concert goes off decently, but Fish takes the drumming a little bit too far and goes haywire while playing and embarrasses the band and its players. After the show he is yet again kicked out of a band, but he tries to plead with the band to let him stay. He heads over to Curtisís house only to find out he has an attractive mother named Kim (Christina Applegate) who he flirts with and says heís a friend of her sons. Fish is let back into the band after some convincing and tries to get the band some gigs for more practice and hopefully a record deal.

The group gets a gig out of town, and they decide to steal the car to get there. Unfortunately they get pulled over by the cops and they are all grounded by their parents because of it. So Fish comes up with this brilliant idea about putting webcams in everyoneís room so they can still practice together since they are determined to have the band succeed. The bad part of this is that Violet (Samantha Weinstein), Mattís younger sister, spies in on one of the webcam sessions where Fish has little to nothing on and puts it all over Youtube. This gains the band nationwide recognition, and a manager and a contract with a record label. But can Fish let his past go and move on with his new band, and what of Vesuvius? Will they ever meet again?

For a comedy, I laughed at most two times throughout the film. Itís not that the cast is terrible, because they arenít. Emma Stone, Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, Jeff Garlin, Jane Lynch, and Samantha Weinstein are all great actors and actresses in this film and others itís just that their lines are awful. They honestly deserve better than this movie, and I hope this doesnít tarnish their careers in anyway. This just isnít a comedy, and at times is a bit too serious for one. Sorry Wilson, back to office work you go.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are a ton of special features, but most are short and not entertaining.

Audio Commentary with Director Peter Cattaneo and Rainn Wilson: The two on this track keep the pace for the film, and do provide a bit of insight into some of the movie, but itís rather boring after thirty minutes or so.

Audio Commentary with Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger and Emma Stone: By far the better audio track of the two, as the cast is more bright and lively compared to the previous one. They talk about how much fun the movie was, among other things.

Deleted Scenes (16 minutes): Scenes that didnít make it into the film, and normally these are supposed to be funny but these arenít.

Gag Reel (10 minutes): The cast screws up lines or acts differently in scenes. The characters are laughing during them, but I sure wasnít.

We get several short/pointless/painful, featurettes: MTV Panel (6 minutes) where Josh Gad overreacts to what I would assume is a prank that he doesnít get or plays along with; Matt Gags (3 minutes) -- Josh Gadís character flubs and tries different lines out during scenes; Podcasts (11 minutes) -- An interview with Slash from Velvet Revolver, in several different pieces; Vesuvius Gags (4 minutes) -- The fake band from the start messes up lines or adds some in. Surprisingly this is one of the better extras, as it is entertaining and produces some laughter; Behind the Band (3 minutes) -- A mock of the VH1 show, which is about Vesuvius. Why are the Vesuvius featureís funnier than anything else?; Rock Tales (6 minutes) -- The cast talks about their concert experiences; Fox Movie Channel Presents In Character with The Rocker (2 minutes) -- The picture for this feature looks like garbage, as Wilsonís shirt looks terrible. This is about the movie, and thatís it.

Pete Best Interview (7 minutes): A look at how the idea for the movie came to be. Itís interesting to hear how the idea was made, and also a look and interview with Pete Best formerly of the Beatles.

The Music (11 minutes): An incredibly length feature that deals with the music from the flick. The cast and crew talk about how important music was to the film, as though comedy wasnít in it enough.

Plus we have: Vesuvius PSAís (1 minute), Rainn Wilson Office Rocker (3 minutes), ďRock BeatĒ with Fish Fisherman (2 minutes), a Music Video and, on disc 2, a Digital Copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

For a film that isnít about visual effects, the video quality is lacking to say the least. While colors and flesh tones are decent for the most part, there are too many scenes were color varies and flesh tones appear light or darker depending on the scene. There were also numerous grain and contrast issues throughout, and at some points made characters hard to see. This isnít a terrible video quality release, but this just seems to be more on par with a DVD movie, not a Blu-ray.

The audio side fares about as well, as the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is deemed overkill and not needed. Even though the movie has several concert scenes, they donít have the oomph that other films do. Volume is also at times too low to be heard, which causes a problem for a mostly dialogue-centered film. This isnít a terrible track, but it does what itís supposed to do for the most part.



.::OVERALL::.

I canít recommend this enough: do not even bother with this one. Iíve never been a fan of Wilson on the television show he stars in, and this movie cemented the fact that I can never find him funny again. While the special features are plentiful thereís not a lot of substance, and the video and audio side of this disc is rather ďbleh.Ē This is one Blu-ray that doesnít rock.