The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Robin Williams, Alexie Gilmore, Daryl Sabara, Henry Simmons
Written & Directed by: Bobcat Goldthwait
Music by: Gerald Brunskill
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 8, 2009
"Lance Clayton is about to get everything he deserves"
Robin Williams stars as Lance Clayton, a man who has learned to settle. He dreamed of being a rich and famous writer, but has only managed to make it as an unpopular high school poetry teacher. His only son Kyle (Daryl Sabara) is an insufferable jackass who won't give his father the time of day. He is dating Claire (Alexie Gilmore), the school's adorable art teacher, but she doesn't want to get serious, or even acknowledge publicly that they are dating. Then, in the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of, if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got there.
World's greatest dad is a thoughtful but outrageous comedy about a man that learns the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy, and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone. This is a darkly comedic and openly expressive film about self examination (in more ways than one) and the pitfalls poor parenting, insecurity, and deceitfulness. I must admit that there were some truly laugh out loud moments in this film. Describing Kyle as an insufferable jackass probably doesn't do justice to his abhorrently loutish behavior. On the other hand his behavior and interaction with those around him, particularly his father, is exactly what provides the most interest. After the opening act the story takes a decidedly abrupt turn which spins it off in an entirely new direction. The focus shifts to Lance and his need for fulfillment which leads to ridiculous and improbable scenarios that result in complications for him. Things change from oddly dark and humorous to impractically strange and even more inappropriate. The comedic flow that was established early on is disrupted and the outcome is a film that flounders but isn't without merit thanks to its rather offbeat script and lead performance by Robin Williams. He is a favorite of mine and his timing and delivery here are right on the money. Later in the film it was harder to gauge his performance as the script delved deeper in the abyss but with him it's all good. Daryl Sabara is credible in the role of the repugnant and thoroughly unlikable Kyle and I appreciated the purposefully solemn/withdrawn but meaningful turn by Evan Martin as Andrew. Quite honestly the jury is still out for me on this one. There were things about the film I liked but others that left me wanting. This isn't a film for younger audiences as it is overtly direct both in dialogue and theme which some viewers may find objectionable. I will rate is accordingly and give it another spin in the future to see if a second viewing bears new fruit.
The rating is for language, crude and sexual content, some drug use and disturbing images.
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:
World's greatest Dad comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 17 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 3 mbps.
A variety of colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene and characters within it. Colors can vary from being sullen and inanimate to breathtakingly vivid with warm vitality. Skin tones looked wonderful with natural tonality and descriptive variation. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible structure. This was regardless of perspective. Contrast was strong and blacks were deep with revealing delineation that provided excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video had a clean, pristine quality that enhanced dimensionality and provided a looking through a window effect.
The lossless audio soundtrack capably delivered the elements within the recording and sounding fine. High level detail provided plenty of depth and audible texture to voices. Subtle background sounds within the soundfield were clearly audible. Being a film driven predominantly by dialogue didn't afford this mix a lot of opportunities for active surround sound. Its use was primarily to create ambient environmental sounds and provide more envelopment for the music score. The subwoofer added sporadic low frequency effects which lent weight to the music featured in the film.
- Commentary with writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait
- Behind the scenes - 18 minute featurette
- 4 outtakes
- 5 deleted scenes
- (HD) HDNET: A look at World's greatest Dad - 4 minutes
- I hope I become a ghost - music video by The Deadly Syndrome
- BD-Live enabled
World's greatest Dad is a darkly comedic, acerbically toned film that offers a different and at times outlandishly direct view that may be an acquired taste. I rated it in the middle of the road because I found that there were things about I liked and others that I didn't care for. It has potential which is why I will hold on to it for a second viewing to see if my outlook on it changes. Magnolia HE has been consistent in the excellent audio/video quality of their offerings on Blu-ray Disc and this presentation is no different as it features crisp high definition video and crystal clear lossless sound. The supplied bonus material includes a decent commentary track and behind the scenes feature that are worth checking out. I would say that depending on your tastes this film is probably a love/hate situation. Regardless, unless you are already a fan, I recommend a rental before purchase.
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