Observe and Report Blu-ray Review
PictureObserve and Report comes to us with a glorious 1080p High Definition rendition, in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen, giving us exactly what we deserve from a recent Blu-ray release. Detail is very good indeed, clarity resounding throughout, whether on the close-ups or the longer shots, day or night, and there is little room for noise within this presentation. Edge enhancement is barely noticeable, with no softness and no digital defects. The colour scheme is quite broad and vivid, the New Mexico setting making for tremendous outdoor scenes, whilst the colourful mall lends itself towards plenty of bright reds, yellows and blues. Blacks are solid, allowing for decent shadowing and night time sequences, and overall this - whilst not quite good enough to make it a benchmark vehicle to show off your equipment with - is a solid, high class rendition.
SoundTo accompany the movie we also get a punchy Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Mix which certainly makes the most of this stylish, aggressive comedy. With the witty dialogue coming across clearly and coherently - whether the heartfelt quieter conversations or the more boisterous shouting matches of Seth Rogen and his nemesis Ray Liotta, you can lap up every little bit of the script, and not miss out on any of the occasionally subtle jokes. There are plenty of effects, the mall always brought to life by quite a pervasive ambience that encroaches on you within your living room by igniting the surrounds. Dynamics are given little chance to really show off: perhaps a few gunshots ring out, but this is definitely a movie about atmosphere and then some punchy close-combat sequences. The score is perfectly in line with the material, some truly quality song choices populating the soundtrack and giving the surrounds something further to work with. Bass comes about mainly through the aforementioned tracks, as well as some of the louder action scenes, and overall this is a resounding effort for a comedy, second only perhaps to Hot Fuzz in terms of quality comedy sound presentations on Blu-ray.
ExtrasFirst up we get a superb Picture-in-Picture Video Commentary from Stars Seth Rogen and Anna Faris, as well as Writer/Director Jody Hill, who have a riotous time commenting on their work, talking through anecdotes, laughing at the on-screen antics, mocking themselves and generally not taking things very seriously. Fun.
Basically Training is pitched as 'Hollywood's latest loose-cannon actions star unleashed', and runs as a Making-Of Featurette looking at the production. With on-set interviews with all of the main cast and crew members, who clearly had a great time making this film, this is another enjoyable way to look at the background into this movie.
The Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video is a hilarious mock recruitment video for the job, complete with interviews with the main cast - all in character. It's only 3 minutes' long and purposefully looks like it was shot on dodgy video but is definitely worth checking out.
We get no less than twenty-seven minutes' worth of Deleted and Extended Scenes, all shown in sequence and in one long montage. Although the new scenes are not quite funny enough to make the cut, the extended scenes are normally superb, featuring some great ad-libbing by Rogen as he goes rampant in his role. A few could have definitely been left in in their extended, uncut form.
Seth Rogen and Anna Faris: Unscripted offers up a 7 minute sequence that shows us multiple outtakes of various hilarious scenes from the film. I'm not entirely sure why it is called Seth and Anna Unscripted, and pitched as a look at just their best scene together, as we get to look at some of the work between Rogen and Pena as well, all explained by brief on-set interview snippets from the key cast and crew members, talking about how important the improvisational aspect of the acting process is on a project like this.
The Gag Reel is absolutely superb, offering up almost as many laughs as the main feature itself, with Rogen's improvised dialogue going into overdrive during some of the scenes. The ideas are superb, and you almost wish that some of this stuff could have been included in the final cut, although it is often so funny that the cast themselves mess up the shot by bursting into laughter. 20 hilarious minutes, much of the stuff can be previously glimpsed at as being dissected in the previous 'Unscripted' Featurette.
VerdictObserve and Report is full-on frivolity, a surreal blast, with Seth Rogen taking his cop persona from Superbad and giving it a scary Taxi Driver-esque twist as he patrols a danger-ridden shopping mall, trying to woo his vacuous dream-girl and rid the establishment from a serial flasher. I found it great fun, clearly never to be taken seriously - and also not for the easily offended - it definitely pushes non-pc boundaries in its desire to provoke a chuckle. On Region Free US Blu-ray, this comedy looks fantastic, the video and audio superb. And with a nice bunch of enjoyable extras - including plenty of footage of the cast improvising superbly, this disc comes highly recommended to fans and anybody who likes the sound of it. Recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.31
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