Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 by Adam Quigley
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
OBSERVE AND REPORT
It’s understandable that Observe and Report would polarize audiences. That the film even received financing remains surprising to me. Generally, studios wouldn’t dare greenlight a film as uncompromising as this without the promise of Oscar nominations down the line. I can only imagine they were banking on the financial viability of Seth Rogen, a casting decision that is both one of the film’s greatest assets and, temporarily, its greatest weakness. That weakness is not an issue with the film itself, but rather audience expectations. As much as I’d like to blame the trailers for misleading viewers, this is not an easy film to market, and as such, most ticket buyers walked into their screening ready for a simple, familiar formula: Seth Rogen + raunchy R-rated comedy. They were not, I suspect, prepared for a dark, cynical satire about American machismo and the country’s absurd obsession with guns, violence, and, to put it bluntly, obtaining satisfaction off inflicting pain on others. Even in watching the film though, these undertones may not be immediately clear; where other directors may have felt the need approach the material in a way that more clearly condemns Ronnie’s actions, writer/director Jody Hill wisely adopts the mindset of his insane lead character, playing the entire twisted tale as an inspirational underdog story. This was a brilliant decision on Hill’s part, but it came at a cost: fail to pick up on those elements, and much of film’s humor is lost. What should be (and is) scathingly hilarious instead comes across as ugly and dumb. Is it really any wonder that the film failed to find success at the box office? Thanks to DVD though, Observe and Report finally has a chance to find its niche audience. This is a movie that’s destined for cult status, where viewers can fully appreciate what Jody Hill was trying to do. The year’s not quite over yet, but as of now, Observe and Report is my pick for funniest movie of the year, as well as a lock for my Top 10 of ’09.
Notable Extras: DVD – No extras. Blu-ray – A picture-in-picture commentary track with Seth Rogan, Anna Faris, and director Jody Hill, three featurettes (‘Seth Rogen & Anna Faris: Unscripted’, ‘Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video’, ‘Basically Training’), additional scenes, and a gag reel.
|BEST DVD PRICE|
|Amazon – $16.99|
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE|
|Amazon – $24.99|