Michael Scott

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Good Boys


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Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



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Movie

The raunchy comedy genre is one that I have a love/hate relationship with and have had for many years. Some of my favorite comedies are this highly divisive category, yet some of my most loathed films comes from this as well. I believe it all stems from the fact that you have to walk a delicate tight rope between being overly aggressive and raunchy with your jokes, and being too tame. The whole APPEAL of a dirty comedy is to make the jokes nasty, the situations gross, and the humor that right balance of sweetness and spice (so to speak). If you go too far into the raunchy category you can alienate people (well, MORE people that it will already, as the genre thrives on being gleefully off putting to more traditional folks) and repulse them, and not enough and the jokes don’t strike as heavily. Thus it’s a careful case of balancing how raunchy you can get, with how clever and witty the jokes.

Good Boys looked hilarious from the trailer, and coming from Seth Rogen’s mind I was pretty sure this was going to get down and dirty fast. Director Gene Stupnitsky does a solid job with the production, but sadly the film does something I rarely say with raunch humor. It didn’t push the envelope far enough. Most of the jokes were spot on, but they felt constrained and the situations were obviously played just a bit too delicately, causing them to fall flat. There are some truly hilarious moments throughout the 95 minute film, but the third act tries to go all syrupy sweet on us and leaves the audience realizing that most of the humor was left in the 2nd act when the “molly” subplot ends.

The film revolves around the day in a life of a trio of 12 year old tweens trying to make their way through the pitfalls of middle school. The nerdy little trio of Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) are coasting through Middle School while trying not to be seen as “uncool ‘by the popular kids, and after taking a sip of a beer down by the river, Max is deemed cool enough to be invited to a kissing party (e.g., spin the bottle) later that night at the cool kids house. Looping Thor and Lucas into the mix by association, the three plan on going, but have one problem. None of them know how to kiss a girl. So what’s the logical thing to do? The adolescents decide to use Max’s father’s expensive drone to spy on Hannah (Molly Gordon), the girl next door, because she’s ALWAYS making out with her boyfriend.

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Unfortunately the plan goes hilariously awry, with Hannah and her friend Lily (Midori Gordon) snag the drone with a pool sweeping net, leaving Max desperate to get his father’s drone back. Trying to talk to the two girls proves fruitless, but Thor steals the girl’s purse, unaware that the two have a couple of Molly pills (ecstasy) stuck away in their purse for later that night. Now it’s a full out war as the girls try to get their pills back, while the boys use the leverage they have to get their drone back. It’s wily kids vs. cagey young adults and only the one with the most savagery is going to come out on top. Plus, Max has to make it to the kissing party that night and kiss the love of his tween life there, even if it kills him.

Good Boys has a solid premise and one that is rife for laughs. 12 year old kids are about as naive about the world as they come, but THINK that they know it all. Middle School is a time when kids brag about all the cool stuff that they swear they’re doing (and aren’t), using new swear words and just coming into a whole host of raging hormones. The perfect time for lurid language, hilarious sexual misconception jokes, and all sorts of insanity. The only thing is, Stupnitsky plays the film a bit TOOO safe. The kids spout out obscenities and make hilarious misconceptions about sex and kissing, but the envelope is never really pushed that much, and the jokes feel stilted and stale. Probably the best part of the entire plot line is the war between the boys and the two girls trying to get their molly back. The scene with Max having a “shootout” with their drug dealer trying to score more dope for them is downright funny as all getout, as is the confrontation with the cop in the drugstore. But once that story is resolved the film just gets all tweeny sappy and the emotional baggage from the characters saps it of any humor left. There were one or two funny and smile worthy scenes after the “molly” wrap up, but that really was the driving force for much of the humor, and the whole coming of age thing with the three boys didn’t really resonate with me.




Rating:

Rated R for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout - all involving tweens




Video: :4.5stars:
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Shot using Arri Alexa cameras (at 3.4K) and finished at 2K for the home video release, the 2.39:1 framed Blu-ray looks exceptional. Sadly Universal decided not to put the film on 4K UHD this time, but the Blu-ray is pretty amazing looking. Neutral colors and sharp clarity present a “look through the window” type of image that just pops at every turn. Colors are warm and natural looking, while fine details ranging from the boy’s baby’s butt smooth faces to the individual blades of grass on the ground are superb. Blacks are deep and inky, while shadow detail is abundant. I didn’t notice any overt artifacting throughout the film at all, and except for some minor softness indoors, this is a great looking Blu-ray.








Audio: :4.5stars:
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The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is rambunctious and infectious, being a bit more active and engaging than most comedy tracks. The score adds a lot of environmental noise to the track, with different rock songs and pop songs flowing throughout the mix, and interspersing itself in with the rest of the action. The roar of the drone, or the rumble of cars going across a freeway are appropriately weighty, and the surround channels get a lot to deal with in terms of background noise. It’s an all around very VERY solid track that is loud, aggressive, and generally pleasing in all aspects.







Extras: :3.5stars:
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• UNRATED ALTERNATE ENDING
• UNRATED DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES
- Turtle vs. Tortoise
- Benji Don't Like That
- Customer Service
- Ball Pit Shenanigans
- Tracking Molly
-Stealing a Glance
-Upsell Fail
-Max Explodes
- Best Friends
- Traffic Jam
- First Kiss Heartbreak
• GAG REEL
• BOYS FOR REAL – A look into the casting process and real-life friendships that evolved on-set.
• WELCOME TO VANCOUVER - Watch as Jacob Tremblay shows off some of his favorite things about his home town.
• A FINE LINE – Hear filmmakers and cast discuss how the film's stars delivered such colorful dialogue without necessarily knowing what the words mean.
• ASK YOUR PARENTS – Cast and filmmakers talk about how they were able to navigate adult questions from curious child actors.
• BAD GIRLS – Molly Gordon and Midori Francis discuss how they were able to ramp up the mean, and how Annabelle was able to raise the comedy stakes.
• GUEST STARS – Take a closer look at some of the hilarious guest stars that lent their unique talents to the film.
• FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR & CO-WRITER GENE STUPNITSKY AND PRODUCER & CO-WRITER LEE EISENBERG











Final Score: :3.5stars:


Good Boys is a mixed bag of crass humor, failed jokes, and a moderately funny premise that just doesn’t get pushed nearly as hard as it could have been. I almost NEVER say this with raunchy R rated comedies, but this was a bit too tame for the jokes being told. It had potential, and some parts of the movie are down right hysterical, but Good Boys ends up just being a middle of the road comedy that is good for a few hours of time wasting. The Blu-ray by universal is amazingly spec’d out though, with great video and audio, plus some pretty beefy extras, so those who really enjoyed the movie will love this package. For everyone else I’d recommend it as a decently funny watch.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Izaac Wang, Millie Davis
Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky
Written by: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Universal
Rated: R
Runtime: 95 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: November 12th, 2019
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Recommendation: Decently Funny Watch

 
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tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Looks like it has potential from the trailer. I will check it out once it is available on amazon prime/netflix :)
 
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