An interesting film that shows just how lame Mallcop really was.
This movie will continue to be misunderstood.Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie Barnhardt in Jody Hill's Observe and Report. While some might see this character as quirky, crazy, deviant or some mixture of all three, what cannot be denied is just how great and original this film is. Ronnie is a mall cop who takes his job very seriously. However, unlike that unoriginal Kevin James film (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Ronnie is so serious about what he does that it transcends being funny to taking on almost scary proportions. When a flasher starts coming around the mall that Ronnie protects, his only thought is the safety of a lame cosmetic's counter girl (Anna Faris). Ronnie soon finds himself going up against a police officer (Ray Liotta) who is also on the case. What ensues are some amazing scenes of Rogen legitimizing Ronnie, Faris showcasing just how lame people can be, and Ray Liotta having a lot of fun with his tough guy, macho image as an actor.
While Paul Blart may have pulled in almost $200 million at the worldwide box office, I think the fact that Observe and Report was able to make $24 million should be hailed as a triumph.
Basically Training and Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video
This featurette looks at the character of Ronnie Barnhardt via Seth Rogen's interpretation. While some of this plays well there are aspects of it that feel a little too unoriginal. Sure, Rogen is funny and his take on this character couldn't have been played by anybody else. Yes, Rogen is having a lark at the expense of the macho characters that seem to pervade the media (and the bar scene), but too much of this feels like Warner Bros. was trying to be in on the joke.
Now, Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video is something to behold. This short piece seems confused as some of the actors seem in on the joke, and others seems to be in movie promotion mode. That doesn't take away from the fact this thing looks like it was shot was a dying VHS camcorder. That alone gives this piece enough cachet to keep viewers interested for its short run time.
Seth Rogen and Anna Faris Unscripted and Gag Reel
Picture-In-Picture Commentary Track
Seth Rogen, Anna Faris and Jody Hill handle this commentary track with a lot of enthusiasm, even if Rogen and Co. seem a little too self conscious with the camera on them. This thing is funny when they talking about the action on the screen, or relaying on set anecdotes. Sadly, these people seem to be too caught up with all the technology that has gone into making this supplemental feature and as a result they don't seem to ever cut loose.
If you call trailers and potential special feature additions "BD-Live Features" then more power to you. I myself could do without all this crap. As much as I liked this film, I don't really see a need to stuff it with more special features then are on the disc proper. Take that, WB!
1080p High Definition - 16x9 - 2.4:1. The Special Features are in 480i or 480p standard definition. I had the joy of watching this movie on one of the Blu-ray players at the Orange County MovieWeb headquarters. The screen was 55 inches and I felt like I was being swallowed up by the images coming off of it. This movie looked really amazing on this release. The majority of it takes place in a mall so naturally everything had that colorful, dyspeptic fake colorful look. All of this played really crisply on Blu-ray. It seems like director Hill and Director of Photography Tim Orr went out of their way to make clarity of presentation a priority.
Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1 and Portugues 5.1. The special features are in stereo. This film is subtitled in English SDH, French, Spanish and Portugues. The audio on this movie is solid in that I didn't have any problems hearing the audio, or what was happening on screen. My biggest problem with the mix is that there is so much disparity between when the actors are talking, and when there is only music on the screen. Things are entirely too loud and I found myself constantly readjusting the audio to compensate for this.
Rogen and his security team are front and center on this yellow and blue cover. The back features a shot of Rogen and Faris, a description of this movie, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.
I loved this film. I saw it in the theater and I was enthralled with the sort of material that director Jody Hill was able to get on screen. The fact that this movie came out through Warner Bros. only further cements my respect for this director. Having seen The Foot Fist Way, I was wondering how Observe and Report would do having gone through the studio grinder. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Hill's vision, ideas, dialogue and everything else that makes him unique managed to make it through. Make no mistake, Observe and Report has it's flaws. However, I would rather see a movie like this that tries and isn't 100%, than a film like Mall Cop that does nothing but pander to the lowest common denominator.
If you want a viewing experience that will make want to rewatch the film right after you have screened it, Observe and Report is the film for you.
Bruno was released July 8, 2009.