Presented in it's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and given a VC-1 1080P encode, Drillbit Taylor continues the trend of the studio for turning out high quality High Definition transfers - almost...
I had a little problem with the colours on this disc. They just didn't seem natural. For instance, Owen Wilson's natural blonde hair was more of a reddish mousey colour rather than the locks than we've seen before. When the star is stood alongside the lovely Leslie Mann, who is a natural redhead, their hair colours are very hard to tell apart. And this red push is apparent throughout the movie - particularly in skin tones. Where faces should appear rosy pink, they often appear bright red.
It's not all bad news though. The picture itself is pin sharp and the level of detail on display at times is immense. Dark scenes are fine and the detail on show is still highly visible when the light disappears.
As you would expect from such a recent movie, the source print is immaculate and there's no sign of the dreaded edge enhancement. There were one or two compression problems, but they last a matter of milliseconds as scenes fade out so they are hardly worth mentioning.
Had it not been for the slight colour problems, I would have given this disc a solid nine for the picture - but whether or not the hot look is intentional or not, it certainly took the edge off for me and I'll have to dock it a mark.
Quite rightly given the lossless treatment with a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, Drillbit Taylor is not the sort of movie that is going to rock the very foundations of your home cinema.
It's actually quite a low key affair with very limited surround effects and use of the .1 channel. But that's not to say it's a poor soundtrack. Like an actor being booed from the stage, I can only work with the material I'm given...
Dialogue is audible and locked firmly to the centre channel. Owen Wilsons unmistakable nasal Texas drones come through loud and clear on all frequencies.
On the odd occasion that the LFE channel kicks in (mainly during the rap segments of the score), the bass is tight and controlled and never “in your face”. Occasionally, the surround channels will pop into life briefly - usually during a crowd scene, or sporadic sections of the score - and when they do, the emphasis is on the realism rather than the spectacular.
All in all then, a functional rather than explosive soundtrack that serves its purpose well.
At first glance, we get what appears to be a disc bursting at the seams with extra features - but a second look shows us that Paramount have actually cut what could well have been one half decent Making Of doc into a billion tiny, annoying sections - please read on...first up we have:
Directors Commentary - well it's supposed to be a directors commentary - but he's ably assisted by co-producer Kristofor Brown, and cast members Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley and David Dorfman. I must say, it wasn't for reviewing purposes, I think I would have turned the commentary off after the first ten minutes. However, as the cast members get to grips with how to do a commentary, it soon starts to flow and is actually quite funny.
The Writers Get A Chance To Talk. Script writers Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen describe how the film came together over the years. This is a kind of podcast set over a montage of pictures of the duo.
Deleted And Extended Scenes (HD) - a set of nineteen deleted or extended scenes that were left out of the original theatrical cut. A commentary would have been nice here explaining why the scenes were left out in the first place.
Line-O-Rama (04.24 HD). A short collection of clips from the film that appear to be the makers favourite lines.
Gag Reel (04.01 HD) Probably the best of the extras package that shows the kids on the set mucking around with Owen Wilson - with Wilson trying and failing to be the father figure...
And now we come to a collection of 10 vignettes lasting less than an hour in total that could have so easily been put on as one making of featurettes. To be honest, after the first five, I got quite annoyed with having to press the buttons on my remote just to watch a two minute segment of an actor sitting drinking coffee telling us about his character. A bit of thought and clever editing could have prevented this and maybe have made the extras a bit more enjoyable.
For the record, the vignettes cover the following subjects:
The Life Of Don
The Real Don
As you can see from the titles, it's pretty obvious what each one is about - and this becomes even more obvious after watching the film. All of the featurettes are presented in High definition and Dolby digital 5.1 sound.
The extras section is wrapped up by:
Two theatrical trailers - the first one includes all the bodyguards in the film and the second is the international trailer. Both are presented in High definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound
So what appears at first to be a treasure trove of extra features turns out to be mainly padding. Most of them have no background and extras like the line-O-Rama are, in my opinion, a complete waste of time...they just repeat scenes from the film and I really can't see the point.
Drillbit Taylor is a film that would not have been seen by very many people due to a limited theatrical run. The reasons behind the short run are well publicised and are now in the past - thankfully.
As a Blu-ray disc, Drillbit Taylor succeeds on all fronts but doesn't excel. The picture quality, though pin sharp and very detailed, seemed to be a little too warm for my liking - giving skin tones and hair colour a reddish tinge that just isn't natural.
The sound quality is up to the task in hand - and while it's not what some people would call reference material, it's very natural and realistic.
You can pick the bones out of the extras package if you like. Whilst there is loads of information in there, a lot of it is a gargled mess. Ten tiny featurettes that make you lose interest due to persistent button tapping on the remote, could easily have been made into one good one given a little bit of thought and clever editing.
However, what we do have here though is a bit of a hidden gem of a movie.. Owen Wilsons Drillbit Taylor is such a likeable character that you just want him to succeed in everything he does - even if his motives aren't always strictly moral...
The geeky kids are just that - geeks. They tick every box of what a geek should be and you find yourself looking for reasons why they actually shouldn't be bullied in the first place...OK, that's not strictly true and there's probably a little of all three of them in all of us. Drillbit Taylor comes highly recommended by me to geeks and bullies alike...
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