Observe & Report Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Observe and Report is kind of funny.  The “gang” is looking menacing, and close to tough.  It is a bright, comedy cover, and it is decent for this type of movie.  As is the case with many of the new Blu-rays, there really is no menu per se.  The movie automatically begins, and the only real menu pops up at the bottom of the screen.

Features: 6/10

  • Basically Training – This 7 minute extra demonstrates the physicality of some of the fighting shots included in the movie.  It was interesting and somewhat insightful, and included some detail about how the stuntmen had to “dumb down” some of their moves for the movie.
  • Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video – This is a short video that tries to be funny, and is not.  Basically an extension of the movie, this uses some new footage and some of the footage from the film to be a fake recruitment video for the mall security team.
  • Seth Rogen & Anna Faris Unscripted – This is a strange 8 minute bit that showcases some of the improvisational takes that were done in the movie.  The was a bizarre inclusion, and it includes a weird Rogen laugh montage.
  • Additional Scenes – There are quite a few additional scenes that are included, which run the gamut form Ronnie getting beaten up by his drunk mom, to more yelling between Ronnie and the middle eastern mall sales guy.  Most of these scenes are just extensions of story lines, and probably are not needed, but I am not sure how the choice to include other shots over these was made.
  • Gag Reel – In this gag reel, we see lots of blown improvised shots of the main characters.  It is actually funnier to me than most of the  movies scenes, which is a bad thing.  I especially like when Ray Liotta blows a line and starts cussing, only to turn around and realize that he has dropped an F-bomb right in front of two kids who are extras in the shot.
  • Behind the Scenes/BDLive – There is also a running video commentary behind the scenes with Jodi Hill (wearing some ridiculous sunglasses) and Seth Rogen and Anna Faris.  it was not particularly insightful ,but entertaining, with tidbits about the movie and the way they attacked the characters.  There are also BD-live features, but I noticed that when I checked it there was only trailers and the ability to share content.  Nothing special here.  There is also a digital copy of the movie included with the Blu-ray.

The Movie: 4/10
Ah, where to start?  Observe and Report is the latest movie to feature Seth Rogen, the funny guy of the moment.  He normally produces a humorous stint as a funny, but quick witted character, who is usually knows where he stands as a person, and makes the best of his lot in life.  In Observe and Report, Rogen plays Ronnie, head of local mall security, who is so over the top and clueless that it makes it hard to identify with Rogen’s character, and hard to believe any of the premise of the movie.  Ronnie is a gung-ho security guy who wishes that he was a real cop, and when a flasher terrorizes some women at the mall, Ronnie makes it his number one priority to catch the flasher, even when local police Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) steps in to handle the case.

Ronnie and his crew are foul mouthed, gun loving goofs who attempt to bring in the flasher, along with a mall thief, and in the process, they do everything they can to thwart Detective Harrison, and his real investigation.  also, Ronnie is hopelessly in love with Brandi (Anna Faris) who is a clueless make-up counter girl, who is a partier and a ditsy slut who wants nothing to do with the dorky Ronnie.  fortunately for us, Ronnie is clueless and keeps trying to get her to go out with us, which of course eventually works.  Once again, the movie assaults us with just over the top story and plot, which is supposed to make this funny.  After Brandi gets drunk and wasted on pills, we are shown a scene where Ronnie is having sex with her as she is semi-conscious, with puke hanging out her mouth.

The movie itself is dark, and flooded with F-bombs, which normally is fine with me, but in this movie is just seemed as if everyone was dialing it in, and the dark nature of the comedy just didn’t sit well with me.  Like I said before, maybe I just don’t get it, but Observe and Report did not have enough funny parts to make me want to sit through the rest of it, which was pretty lame.

It was not until I had seen the film that I noticed that this was done by Jodi Hill, who was responsible for 2006’s Foot Fist Way.  It was at that point that everything made sense, as I did not love that movie either.  Perhaps I just don’t get his style of humor, but I was equally unimpressed by Observe and Report, and it really had potential.  There are some funny parts in the movie, but I just felt like my intelligence was being assaulted by most of the movie.  Ray Liotta was pretty good in the movie, and Rogen has his moments, but overall this was just not very good.

Audio & Video: 6/10
There is nothing special here in terms of audio or video.  The 2.40:1 VC-1 transfer is bright and pretty crisp, but there were no scenes that blew me away.  The audio was basically straight from the front, and the surround sound usage was sparse and underused.   I found the the disc was pretty loud overall, and the mix was very dialogue heavy, but nothing overly bad.

Value: 4/10
Maybe I am too old and just don’t get this humor, but I didn’t really think this movie was all that great.  I had heard a few people who commented that they loved Observe and Report, but just like Foot Fist Way, I thought this movie was a bit dopey, and really not what it could have been.  The humor is forced, as are the awkward characters.  Overall I was not impressed.  Rent it, if you must, but don’t blame me – I warned you.

Overall Score 4/10