We're The Millers Blu-ray Review
Largely unobjectionable but also distinctly unremarkable
I bet you came here just to see Jennifer Aniston strip. Well, this is lingerie-catalogue material here - inoffensive but unprovocative as well, with even the Extended Cut failing to strike a chord.Still, thoroughly unobjectionable, We’re the Millers defies expectations in being a mildly amusing, somewhat diverting little escapade which, whilst unlikely to be loved, is also unlikely to be hated either. And these days, given wildly varying, eminently subjective comedic tastes, that really is something of an accomplishment.
Aside from a few too many testicular shots, there’s nothing offensively gross-out in the piece, which instead attempts to offer what is essentially a 90s throwback comedy, only laced with the now-norm R-rated humour. Indeed, whilst we’ve become largely desensitised to repeated f-bombs, Millers is arguably an example of audiences being simply tired of such language – it’s neither shocking nor offensive, just unnecessary.There’s a decent premise behind the piece, but it simply isn’t capitalised upon – we’d much rather spend time with this extremely dysfunctional ‘family’ riff off one another than watch them go down the inevitable us vs. the caricature drug dealers route, but the flimsy plot eventually puts them on this track, much to the detriment of the piece. As comedies go, this is certainly not of the laugh-out-loud variety, with literally only one or two moments in the entire piece that will raise anything audible from your vocal chords. Although, again – and unlike many other Aniston ‘comedy’ outings – at least you won’t be audibly groaning throughout. It’s faint praise when that’s the sort of compliment you have to award a movie, but, in an age of painful-to-watch comedy outings, whilst this isn’t exactly Apatow-controlled territory, it does well to keep its head above the water swimming amidst the rest of its dire brethren.
StunningWe’re the Millers hits UK Region Free Blu-ray complete with a largely stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. It’s a near-pristine image, shiny and clean and almost devoid of negative elements. Detail is excellent, allowing for clarity throughout, both on the longer shots and the close-ups; skin textures, clothing weaves and background elements coming through with fine definition and distinct edges, though not betraying any signs of edge enhancement, excessive DNR application or other digital defects. The colour scheme is rich and broad, dominated by a sun-drenched setting, and black levels are rich and deep, allowing for excellent shadow detail.
Although it does not quite have enough pop or precision to earn a perfect-10 score, it’s nonetheless a demo presentation through and through.
BoisterousOn the aural front the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is pretty boisterous, even considering the material which, whilst being a fairly eventful comedy, is still comedy territory nonetheless. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout, dominating the fronts and centre channels for the majority of the proceedings, whereas effects break through onto the surrounds, although are generally limited to Winnebago-related noises, with a few louder ‘events’ thrown into the mix. Still, there’s a suitable ambience to the piece and some dynamics on offer, with the LFE offering a welcome, deep undercurrent to the proceedings. The score, generic as all hell, is painfully intrusive over much of the movie, but, in terms of technical presentation, gets plenty of room to breathe here.
Not quite demo or reference quality, it comes close, and is a quality audio accompaniment for the piece.
BonusIn terms of extra features, the usual Extended Cut is included, as well as a whole slew of mini-Featurettes – seven of them covering Extreme Aniston, The Miller Makeovers, Road Trippin’ with the Millers, Don’t Suck Venom, Getting Out of a Sticky Situation, I Am Pablo Chacon and Rollin’ in the RV – but all amounting to little over a quarter of an hour in total. There’s far more additional material – 8 minutes of Millers Unleashed Outtakes will probably provoke a few laughs; 4 minutes of Livin’ It Up With Brad spends more time with Ed Helms’s Brad Gurdlinger; When Paranoia Sets In is a 3-minute short; Gags and More Outtakes runs at a further 3 minutes, and that’s even before we get to the 16 minutes of Deleted and Extended Scenes.
The extras tick all of the comedy Blu-ray release boxes: Extended Cut, Bullet-point Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, More Outtakes and yet More Outtakes.
Bottom LineUnobjectionable may be faint praise, but We’re the Millers at least avoids being the some painfully dross that normally sits in the Sandler camp – and that Aniston is generally more than familiar with. With a good premise, it could have been so much better, but will likely raise little more than a chuckle, even if you’re at least not groaning.
The Region Free UK Blu-ray boasts stunning video, very good audio, and all the extras you’d expect from this kind of release; it’ll make fans more than happy; those intrigued by Jennifer Aniston playing a stripper – sorry, I mean, by the movie – should consider it a tentative rental title only.
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