World's Greatest Dad (2009) 
DVD Drama
Written by Noah Fleming   
Wednesday, 09 December 2009

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“World’s Greatest Dad” is another one of the hyped movies on the premium movie channels.  While I don’t believed it lived up to the hype, it is certainly an original film presentation.  With Robin Williams as the lead star, one would expect this to be a ridiculously funny movie.  However, much to the contrary, it is a rather dark and disturbing movie with a comical undertone.

Robin Williams is a high school English teach by day and a wannabe, unpublished writer by night.  He lives with his teenage son, who is probably the biggest pervert and jerk in the entire world.  I don’t find this behavior highly realistic, but just go with it.

Now, I debated on whether or not to disclose this fact, but the second and third acts of the film are all based on it so I have no choice.  In a disturbing and highly unexpected move, Williams comes home to find his son dead by way of erotic asphyxiation.  In order to make his death more respectable, Williams redresses his son and hangs him from the closet.  He finishes it off by writing a suicide not for his son.

It is obvious from that moment where the film is going.  By writing the suicide note, it is going to eventually come out that he is writer and not his son.  The note was sincere and deep, far beyond the moronic capabilities of his son.  Williams digs his hole deeper when he writes and distributes a journal, under the false pretenses that it is his son’s journal.  While everyone loves the journal and helps students deal with their problems, they also act as if Williams’ son was the best thing in the world, when in fact everyone hated him.

It is no surprise that Williams eventually confronts everyone and reveals the truth.  In addition, it is no surprise that everyone goes back to hating Williams’ son and Williams himself.  That’s about it.  That being said, the story, aside from the false suicide, is surprisingly realistic.  The seeding hatred present in the halls of the school is all too reminiscent of high school.  Kudos to Bobcat Goldthwait on his limited successful feature.

The video transfer of this DVD is not horrible by any means.  It certainly does not look as though it were shot with a limited independent budget.  I imagine that the Blu-ray edition looks marvelous.  However, if you must settle for a DVD version of the film, the video quality is still quite good.  Shadow delineation is surprisingly apparent.  Black levels are quite good for DVD standards.  Colors are not vibrant, but are realistic.  Fleshtones remain natural and neutral.  My biggest issue with the DVD transfer is the chroma noise that is present in the red jackets and costumes.  Other source noise is also noticeable here and there.  Overall this is an above average DVD transfer.

The audio is fairly straight forward.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is largely front heavy.  Dialogue is clean and clear.  The surround channels are virtually only used during instances of pop music, which is bled into the surrounds.  The LFE channel also only kicks in at those points in time.  In fact, if you have an auto-sensing subwoofer, it will turn itself off more often than not.  This is a good track, but not memorable in the least.

There is a decent amount of bonus materials on this disc.  There are some outtakes and deleted scenes.  The Behind the Scenes featurette offers standard information.  “HDNET: A Look at ‘World’s Greatest Dad’” is a standard television promo.  “I Hope I Become a Ghost” is a music video by The Deadly Syndrome.  Lastly, there is an audio commentary with director Bobcat Goldthwait.  This is a very talkative commentary and highly informative.  It is a must for any fan.

“World’s Greatest Dad” is highly realistic and unrealistic at the same time.  The contradictory views in this film makes it an enjoyable but also frustrating experience.  The predictability of the film’s progression is kind of bothersome, but overlookable.  Video quality is better than many DVDs and the audio quality is decent but not terrific.
Studio Magnolia Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating R
Starring Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara, Henry Simmons
Director Bobcat Goldthwait
Film Release Year 2009
Release Year 2009
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 1 hr. 49 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby Digital 5.1 • English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles Spanish
Special Features Director Audio Commentary; Deleted Scenes; Outtakes; “Behind the Scenes”; “HDNET: A Look at ‘World’s Greatest Dad’”; “I Hope I Become a Ghost” music video
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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