The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 87 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Seth Rogan, Anna Faris, Michael Pena, Ray Liotta
Written & Directed by: Jody Hill
Music by: Joseph Stephens
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 22, 2009
"Right now the world needs a hero"
Bargain hunters at Forest Ridge Mall get more than they bargained for: a chubby flasher in a ratty bathrobe. They’re repulsed. Security guard Ronnie Barnhardt isn’t: “This disgusting pervert is the best thing that ever happened to me!” Catching the flasher may be his ticket to a real police job and to romance with a hot cosmetics-counter princess. Only one thing stands between Ronnie and destiny: a tall, handsome cop who actually knows what he’s doing. Seth Rogen, Anna Faris and Ray Liotta star in this mall-to-wall comedy covering acres of wild, sometimes raunchy, up-in-your-grill funny – all under one roof.
Seth Rogan is indeed a busy man. Personally I could take or leave him but there have been a few of his films that I have liked. He is of course one dimensional and does much better when surrounded by a good cast and solid scripting. When I saw the trailer for Observe and report its similarities to Paul Blart Mall Cop were obvious. Unlike Blart the trailer for this didn’t leave me with a desire to see it. It would be unfair to say that this movie had no redeeming quality. Enjoyment of it will depend on the style of humor that gets you going. Unlike Kevin James’ Blart Rogan’s Ronnie Barnhardt relies on over the top situations, vulgarity and frequent use of the “F” word to illicit laughs. Rogan’s talents play well toward this but offer little in the way of a meaningful performance. Barnhardt is a bipolar, goofy, and presumptuous nimrod working as the head of security at a local mall. He has a crush on a conceited hussy, Brandi (Faris) that works in the mall as a makeup salesgirl and fails to pick up on the intentions of an attractive/worthy coffee shop employee (Colette Wolfe). When a flasher invades the mall and exposes himself to its patrons Ronnie takes a personal interest in the case after he flashes Brandi. This puts him at odds with the local police detective (Liotta) who is called in to investigate. I tend to like Anna Faris’ characters but found Brandi to be quite annoying. Ray Liotta’s impatient and unforgiving Detective Harrison wasn’t bad but the script left him with little to work with. While I must admit that there are a few funny moments, the majority of Observe and report is bereft of clever writing, interesting characters or quality humor.
The rating is for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Observe and report comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.4 mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, strong contrast, deeply saturated colors, and three dimensional acuity. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are dynamic, boldly colorful, clearly drawn, eye catching and perfectly suited for the source material. The lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtrack presented the film’s source elements with aplomb. The quality of the dialogue was unwavering as voices sound crisp and tonally balanced. Dynamic range was very good which lent subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. A large portion of the film has little need for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is readily conveyed by the front channels. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that was measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but it handily delivers a satisfying experience that didn’t leave me in any was disappointed.
- 17 Additional/Extended scenes
- Gag reel – 12 minutes
- BonusView PiP Commentary with Seth Rogan, Anna Faris, and director Jody Hill
- Seth Rogan and Anna Faris: Unscripted – 7 minutes
- Basically training – 6 minute look behind the scenes
- Forest Ridge Mall: Faux Security recruitment video – 3 minutes
- WB BD-Live access
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc – A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC/Mac to a portable playback device
I like comedies in general and try to go into films like this with an open mind. Observe and report is a film that is typical of the comedic style that has become popular of late. It attempts to elicit laughs with over the top situations, unflattering characterizations and crude humor that has its moments but lacks invention. There is certainly an audience for it however it is not a film that will appeal to everyone. Fans will more than likely enjoy its bonus features, including Blu-ray exclusive content that coincide with the film’s comedic theme as well as its solid high definition audio/video presentation from Warner Bros.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
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Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package