|Run Fatboy Run|
|Blu-ray Romantic Comedy|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Thursday, 02 October 2008|
David Schwimmer, who played Ross in "Friends," directs "Run Fatboy Run." Previously David had directed a few TV episodes, but this film is his first major directing job. While the directing is fair, it is not memorable by any means. The actor performances are sub-par, the cinematography is bland, and the story is trite and boring.
The tagline for the film says it all: "Love. Commitment. Responsibility." Dennis (Simon Pegg) runs away from his wedding, leaving his pregnant girlfriend standing at the altar. Why? Well, because he is a stereotypical cliché – afraid of being a father. Flash-forward five years, and now Dennis is pretty much a loser, working as a security guard at women's retail store. Somehow, Dennis' ex-fiancée, Libby (Thandie Newton) allows him back into her life and his kid's life. Dennis is a big screw up, always late to meet with his son, completely absent-minded, etc.
One day he meets Whit (Hank Azaria), his ex's new boyfriend. And of course, now he realizes what he did five years ago. Now, he wants Libby back. Not really understanding what he did, leaving her at the altar, he thinks he can just walk back into her life.
Somehow, it comes to fruition that running the charity marathon, along side Whit, will get Elizabeth back. Somehow, Libby is just going to drop Whit, also running marathons, because Dennis finally completed something in his life. Yeah, right. Struggling to find a charity to sponsor his running in the race, a tragic accident happens to occur, disabling a runner for the Erectile Dysfunction Group. Low and behold, who should take the man's place? Why, Dennis of course.
Anyway, the movie continues in this fashion. Save yourself the time and watch something else.
On top of the film being a drag, the video quality is dismal. The color palette is odd, and only increased by the overblown contrast. The over-saturation of the colors makes the film look cartoony. However, primary colors can be vibrant. The deep blacks and soft whites, make the image and colors multi-dimensional. Details are ok, but softness does prevail throughout the film. The image also suffers from some minor edge enhancement and noise reduction. Grain and banding is also apparent. Shadow delineation and crushing in the blacks is also problematic. But the Blu-ray does offer an upgrade form the simultaneous DVD release.
The audio quality however, is fairly good. The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master 7.1 Audio (although not true 7.1). For such a romantic comedy, the surrounds are utilized well. Discrete effects are well placed and balanced. The ambiences in the surrounds are stable and convincing. The LFE channel is not potent, but it does add warmth to the dialogue track. Dialogue is crisp and clear. It wavers from being totally consistent, but you will never struggle to hear the dialogue.
The special features on the BD-50 disc are minimal. There is an audio commentary track with director David Schwimmer and actors Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and Gill Pegg. The commentary is standard, with David providing a dissection of the production and the Simon keeping the chat amusing. There are also 14 deleted scenes, none of which are of any interest. They do include optional commentary by David Schwimmer. The outtakes are not original and are pretty boring. "Thandie's Goof" covers a practical joke pulled by Thandie Newton on Simon Pegg. As sad as it may sound, this is the best feature of the all the bonus materials. And finally, there are a couple of theatrical trailers. Oh, and there is also a separate disc with a Digital Copy of the film.
"Run Fatboy Run" is a typical romantic comedy that swerves all over the place. At one moment it is all about the kid. At other times it is all about Dennis and Thandie. At other times it is all about the marathon. Nothing really ties all the threads together. You will be disappointed by the video quality, but the full sound of the audio track counter balances that problem. Still I would have to recommend this film as a rental only.