Hot Tub Time Machine Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover is about as uninspired as most of the movie, so I’m not going to be saying lots of fluffy nice things about it. The function of displaying the main players in a semi-comedic manner is fullfilled, well, if you consider it semi-funny that is. The ‘unrated’ half naked chick has nothing to do with the movie, by the way. So, if you think it’s a romp of sexy and nudity, think again. The menu is the same, just functions and knocks back the hint of yucks.

Features: 5/10

  • Theatrical & Unrated Versions – There isn’t much difference in the two, just some sexier this and that, so just watch the unrated version.
  • Production: Acting Like Idiots – Do you think the name might give you a clue? This and the other extras are just produced promotional shorts for the movie.
  • Chevy Chase The Nicest Guy In Hollywood – This is, as I mentioned previously, a promo thing that just tells prospective viewers that Chevy Chase is in the movie. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Totally Radical Outfits: Dayna Pink – How do you go all the way back to the 80’s for those crazy fashions? Dig around in somebody’s closet:) I’m sure it wasn’t that hard to get a good grasp on the style of that decade.
  • Crispin Glover: One Armed Bell Hop – A bit of a short interview, but not really.
  • Deleted Scenes – Hmmm I have to say it doesn’t matter to me if they cut two hours of scenes from this movie, I don’t think anything would have smoothed it over enough for me to love it.
  • Theatrical Trailer – Ugh
  • Digital Copy – Copy

The Movie: 5/10
Hot Tub Time Machine gets a 5 out of 10 because it was such a neutral experience for me I can’t budge higher or lower with a good conscience. I won’t say I didn’t have fun. I did. I laughed several times. I liked a few of the bones of the story, the idea of growing up finally, wanting to fix your mistakes, etc. but because it was all too goofy, there wasn’t enough heart for me. It was like they were making fun of making fun of the 80’s movies that I grew up worshiping. I know they were not great movies, I’m not an idiot. The thing is, they had a certain flavor, a way about them that was so specific to that decade of fashion, movie making, culture, politics, ecomomics, even our level of innocense as a culture at that time that can’t be duplicated.

I like the cast well enough. I won’t say they were all great because it’s like playtime for actors I think. There were so many poor taste lines and gags that they needed to be at least extra clever, or comedic, but it’s mostly a slapstick fest and gawky looks, cheap laughs and some falling down. I know, I know, it’s a funny movie. I get it. It’s not funny enough to carry so much over the top antics. I need a good mix of actual funniness and the wide eyed big action comedy bits, and this movie just doesn’t do it for me.

The music is awesome, of course. The clothes are utter perfection for the decade. I was a fat girl so I didn’t indulge in the flashy pink leg warmers, they would have made my round little legs look like tree trunks. I didn’t do the tight pants or crop tops, no explantion needed. I did, however, have huge shoulder pads in my very 80’s jackets I wore with rolled up sleeves and button up shirts. So, looking at the fashions is very cool, I just don’t have any Hammer pants lingering in my closet waiting to be freed for the current flood of eightie’s love. The nostalgia factor is huge for this movie, and that counts for A LOT.

Nostalgia, what’s it worth? I’ll tell ya what it’s worth. I watched a movie that, if not for the references to my teenage years (i.e. 1980-1989) it would have been a pile of dog poo. It’s not very interesting. The characters don’t do much for me. There is the asshole who ignores his friends, the asshole who is obnoxious, and the asshole who is so afraid of being along he “lets” his wife cheat on him, oh, and the young asshole who plays Second Life all the time and lives in his uncle’s basement. They aren’t unbearable, and at times each has a moment of comedy goodness and even a touching line or two that elevates it all enough, just enough. It’s the whiff of my youth that’s keeping me hypnotized through it all.

I said I laughed, and I did. There are some fun moments, no doubt. There are not enough FUNNY moments. Too much duffus dialogue, and the love interest for Cusak, well, it’s like a total dud of a subplot or whatever you want to call it. That alone makes me still go, “What the frick-a-frack were they thinking when they made this movie?”

I’m not party pooper, but this ain’t no party! If you are 40ish and want to giggle at shit that you remember so vividly from your high school years, go for it. If you are a John Cusack lover from Say Anything (I put my hand up), watch it and look for those good moments, they do exist. Or, if you just want to have a laid back chuckle at a hot tub time machine, this is the movie for you.

Audio & Video: 8/10
I was prepared for the worst with this movie, but actually had a few laughs along the way. FOX/MGM have a great looking AVC encoded transfer here, that once the movie hit’s the 80’s really shows off the vivid color palette of this awesome decade. Shadow detail is good but occasionally loses a little detail during some of  the night shots. The CGI used in the movie particularly the skiing scene near the beginning look awful not a fault of Blu-Ray though just plain old shitty special effects.

Audio on a situational comedy such as Hot Tub Time Machine is usually up front and center and nothing to write home about. This movie though uses a crazy 80’s soundtrack that really comes alive in parts, there is also liberal use of  surround during the many party scenes.

Overall Hot Tub Time Machine fares well on Blu-Ray, for a silly comedy the presentation is well above par, if your looking for a few laughs on a Saturday night and are in one of the demographics this movie is aiming for (18 or 40) you could do far worse than Hot Tub Time Machine.

Value: 5/10
I had a good time, but I don’t want to own it. This is a definite rental, along with several actual 80’s flicks to make a fun weekend of movie watching. If you see it for 5 bucks, sure, grab it. If they think over $20 is going to come out of my pocket for a movie that never really captured my little 80’s heart they are mistaken.

Overall Score 5/10