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Horrible Bosses (Totally Inappropriate Edition) (2011) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
ImageAs seems to be all too true with comedies, “Horrible Bosses” is destined to be a “love it or hate it” film.  I for one fall in the hate it category.  I love comedies just as much as the next person, but this isn’t comedy done right to me.

There is one law of comedies for me.  Do not allow me to think of what would really happen in the characters’ situations.  This comedy has failed in that regard more than any other film I have seen in recent memory.  Yes, I get that this is a film and it is a no-nonsense comedy, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior.  When a film basis comedy on things that actually happen, it becomes too much a basis for a drama trying desperately to be a comedy.

In “Horrible Bosses,” the three main characters are stuck with bosses that make their lives miserable.  All well and good there.  I think most of us have been in those situations.  Where the film fails is that too much time is spent in a lull, leaving the viewer time to ponder events in the film.  Ultimately, these lulls continue throughout the film making it move entirely too slow for a 105-minute comedy.

During these lulls I could only think of how stupid and contrived the characters’ decisions and actions were.  If you had a boss that was sexually harassing you at work, would plot her murder or simply gather evidence and turn her into the authorities.  I would bet dollars to pesos that you would do the latter.  If you had a jerk of a boss that you know for a fact does cocaine on more than a regular basis, again plot his murder or turn him into the authorities.  The last character has the most difficult situation, a jerk of a boss that is just an inescapable pain.  But once the screenwriters through in a “twist” murder plot, he can effortlessly be sent to jail for the rest of his life.

As such, the film is predictable.  This film is a game of waiting to get to what you already know happens.  The screenwriters give too much away in what are ultimately unneeded sequences.  For example, someone’s cell phone accidentally gets left in someone else’s house.  That someone is an obsessive freak about his wife having affairs and has a temper to boot.  Pair that with the cell phone and you know what is coming.  We just have to wait nearly half and hour to get there.  In conjunction with this idea, the back and forth dialogue among the three characters is just drawn out.  There is a fine line between creating comedic dialogue that is also informative without sounding informative.  In the case of this film the dialogue is unnecessarily informative, another cause of the length of the film. Anyway, I think you get my drift.  However, I know that there are ton of people out there that will eat up this film and that is perfectly okay.  I just couldn’t find the humor amongst all the contrived and predictable scenarios.

Despite the inane humor of the film itself, the video quality is striking.  I was pleasantly surprised.  One expects a “man comedy” to have a standard transfer with an ultimately decent image.  In this case, the comedy has a well-defined image in all respects.  Much of the film takes place in dimly lit spaces or at night.  Despite this fact, the transfer holds up nicely.  Shadows are full but do not swallow details.  Noise is absent, with the exception of one sequence late into the film.  Colors are not overly saturated but still vibrant.  Fleshtones are stable throughout.  Artifacting and compression issues are noticeably absent.  The final image doesn’t have a gloss shine to it, but its clarity is obvious.  Softness doesn’t creep in very much.  This is one of New Line’s best comedy video transfers.

The audio quality unfortunately follows the traditional path of a comedy.  There is no enveloping or immersion in this lossless audio track.  There really isn’t much to say about it.  The dialogue is centered and clear.  Music is forgettable.  The LFE channel is absent throughout.  The surround channels could have been off throughout the film for all I know.  When they were used, they were filled with a jumbled mess making it indistinguishable and passive.  The dynamic range is fairly straightforward.  Overall, there is simply nothing about this track to make it memorable.  You may as well watch the movie on a pair of junky speakers.

“Horrible Bosses” comes in three-disc package.  There are two Blu-rays and a DVD/Digital Copy.  The first Blu-ray contains the “Totally Inappropriate Edition” (whatever that means).  The second Blu-ray contains the Theatrical edition.  The DVD/Digital Copy only contains the theatrical version.

“Surviving A Horrible Boss” has actors giving words of wisdom on the workplace.  “Being Mean Is So Much Fun” has Spacey, Aniston and Farrell discussing their roles as jerk bosses.  “My Least Favorite Career” is yet another actor piece giving words on their experiences.  “The Making Of The ‘Horrible Bosses’ Soundtrack” is an odd inclusion considering I can’t remember one thing about the music.  Finally there are some deleted scenes, including alternate openings, an Ultraviolet Digital Copy and BD-Live functionality.

“Horrible Bosses” is a pass based on my preferences for a comedy.  However, countless viewers out there will gobble this up.  If you think this is your cup of tea in go for it.  The video quality is worth the watch, but the audio quality is dull and uninspired.

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