The Other Guys (Blu-ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES B+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 7.6
(OUT OF 10)
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as two inept cops in what is easily one of the year's funniest movies. Directed by Adam McKay, Ferrell and Wahlberg are a fantastic comic duo; both show a flair for comic rage and man-boy behavior.
Michael Keaton shows up as their chief—who moonlights at Bed, Bath and Beyond—and Eva Mendes even gets a few laughs as Ferrell's hot wife. Steve Coogan plays the bad guy, and the bit during which he repeatedly bribes the two cops into going away is priceless.
This is classic Ferrell/McKay work (along with Anchorman and Step Brothers), and it's actually better upon the second viewing. The moment when the cops have a physical fight while having to whisper at a funeral is genius, as is the moment when Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson jump off of a building (my pick for the funniest shot of the year).
Look, if Ferrell is simply standing there, I'll laugh. As for Wahlberg, he is an underrated comic talent (see I Heart Huckabees), and God bless McKay for figuring that out. I would love to see these guys work together again.
SPECIAL FEATURES: You get the theatrical and unrated cuts, as well as commentary featuring the mothers of Ferrell and McKay. (Yep!) The unrated cut isn't drastically different, although it does contain a hilarious scene during which Wahlberg's cop goes to an art museum and does not like what he sees. You also get plenty of deleted and extended scenes, a gag real and funny random stuff, like footage of the movie crew picking on the DVD guy who suffers abuse as he tries to film behind-the scenes stuff for home entertainment.
And Soon the Darkness (Blu-ray)
SPECIAL FEATURES D
DVD GEEK FACTOR 2
(OUT OF 10)
I took this one out of the box, saw pictures of Amber Heard and Odette Yustman in swimsuits, and promptly decided to watch it.
I'm kind of sorry I did.
Oh, I enjoyed the swimsuit scene ... very much so. But there's an actual movie surrounding that scene, and it isn't very good. In fact, it stinks.
Heard and Yustman (who are both among the 158 most-beautiful people on the planet) play two American girls touring Argentina on their bicycles. The message of this movie is that American girls should not be touring Argentina on their bicycles, especially if they are going to wear their swimsuits at some point.
This is a remake of a 1970 British film in which a girl disappears, and the other must search for her. In this case, it is Yustman who disappears, and Heard who walks around screaming the name of her lost friend while clad in rather alluring denim shorts. Believe me, folks, I am focusing on the revealing and/or tight garments because they are the only things worth noticing.
Heard's character is assisted by a potentially evil American played by Karl Urban (the new Bones on Star Trek). He's just as irritable here, probably because he knows he took a suck-ass gig. He probably read somewhere in the trades that Amber Heard was in the movie, and it was rumored that she would be wearing swimsuits and alluring denim shorts. Shit, who wouldn't take that gig?
Things don't end well for a variety of characters—including those who have chosen to watch the film. Were the swimsuit scene 30 minutes long, I might be able to provide a robust recommendation, because I'm cheap and easy that way. As it stands ... don't watch this thing if you like yourself.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A poorly thrown-together video diary by the director that shows that Heard is a nice person, because she used her days off to visit needy children and bring them presents. It's actually very sweet.
SPECIAL FEATURES B+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 7.5
(OUT OF 10)
That Ben Affleck fella can direct.
In his second feature-length effort behind the camera, Affleck assembled a killer cast—including Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively—for a tense thriller about a Boston suburb where bank-robbing is a family business. When a washed-up hockey player turned robber (Affleck) knocks over a bank and kidnaps a hostage (Hall), he kind of takes a liking to her, and all sorts of problems ensue.
Renner is great here as the loose cannon in the robbery crew, as is Hall as the girl who has no idea that her new beau is a total thug. The action scenes pop and contain some of the best movie heists since Michael Mann's Heat.
After making this movie, Affleck turned down a chance to direct the next Superman. I'm kind of bummed about that.
SPECIAL FEATURES: You get an extended cut, and Affleck provides commentaries for both versions of the film. He also takes you through the moviemaking process in his hometown of Boston.