The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated/R
Feature running time: 95/91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Will Forte, Ryan Philippe, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe, Maya Rudolph
Directed by: Jorma Taccone
Music by: Matthew Compton
Written by: Will Forte, John Solomon, Jorma Taccone
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 7, 2010
"The ultimate Tool"
Only one American hero has earned the rank of Green Beret, Navy Seal and Army Ranger. Just one operative has been
awarded 16 purple hearts, three Congressional medals of honor and seven presidential medals of bravery. And only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet . . . MacGruber! In the 10 years since his fiancée was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns that his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, Dieter Von Cunth, MacGruber figures he's the only one tough enough for the job.
The mullet/vest wearing MacGruber, once a decorated government operative with a go-to-guy reputation has been out of the game for years and believed by many to be dead. The truth is he dropped out of sight after the death of his wife at their wedding at the hands of his arch nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth. Cunth has recently resurfaced and hijacked a nuclear warhead with diabolical intentions. MacGruber's old boss Colonel James Faith and his latest protégé Lt. Piper track MacGruber down at a monastery to enlist his aid due to his extensive knowledge and personal background with Cunth. MacGruber agrees to come back but refuse to work with Lt. Piper who he considers wet behind the ears. He assembles his own team but has to reconsider after an unfortunate incident obliterates them. He ultimately teams up with his one time assistant turned singer/songwriter Vicki St. Elmo, and Lt. Piper. Together they go in search of the elusive Cunth and become embroiled in a series of confrontations with his minions before coming face to face with him. The final showdown will require teamwork and MacGruber's special talents in order to diffuse the situation and bring Cunth to justice. The trouble is the variable's are many and our hero's an inept nincompoop with a strange idea of how best to use a stalk of celery. Meanwhile the fate of Washington hangs in the balance..
Let me start off by saying that as an SNL fan who got a kick out of the MacGruber shorts that parody the MacGyver TV series I looked forward to seeing what a full length movie based upon them would be like. Knowing writer/star Will Forte's penchant for buffoonery and inappropriateness I went into this with guarded and low expectations. Even with that I found MacGruber to be asinine, over the top and crass. I watched the Unrated version which adds three plus minutes to the theatrical cut. I suspect much of that only elongates some of the more ridiculous sequences and adds little. The script is essentially a conglomeration of gags and situational humor that plays out very much in an in your face comedic style. There is no doubt that this hinges on the film's premise which is derived from a skit that never runs more than a couple of minutes. It isn't conceptually clever or substantially worthwhile however there are moments that it just cracked me up. Ryan Phillippe steals the show as the straight man and only one who sees MacGruber for the terrific bungler that he is. That isn't to suggest that Forte, Wiig, Boothe or Kilmer aren't worthy of note because each adds their share of facetious gayety which makes this film more tolerable that it would be otherwise. So the question of the day is whether or not MacGruber is worth seeing? The answer from me is, that depends. If you can tolerate its thinly veiled plot that relies on over the top situational humor and crass laden gags you may find that there are entertaining performances and laughs to be found (my take). Otherwise MacGruber will be nothing more than an insipid, annoying attempt at comedy/action that is best left on the shelf.
The film contains strong crude and sexual content, violence, language, and some nudity.
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:
MacGruber comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.
MacGruber looks excellent on Blu-ray Disc and features reference quality imagery that exhibits high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera's lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional depiction. Contrast is bold applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives whites with washing away detail. Blacks are rich, gradationally strong and dynamic which makes them pop nicely during sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure in backgrounds. This is a rewarding and pristine encoding that looks great in high definition.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack makes regular use of the entire system and delivers near reference quality audio. This is a well balanced and active soundtrack that features deep, pulsating bass that reaches far into the room to augment the dynamic impact associated with the films action based elements and music. The surround channels are actively engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience that weaves an aurally stimulating sound field that traverses the room. Dynamic range is extended and augments the high level of sonic detail present in the recording. I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds that were mixed into the background. The mix facilitates seamless integration of the front rear channels and creates a stable and well proportioned listening experience that is complimented by rich, room resonating bass that has excellent palpability and tight extension.
- Theatrical and Unrated versions of the film
- Feature commentary with Will Forte, John Solomon, Jorma Taccone
- (HD) Gag reel - 8 minutes
- (HD) Deleted scene
- pocket BLU: Experience Blu-ray in an exciting new way with the pocket BLU app for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Blackberry, Android, PC and Macintosh computers to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player
- BD-Live enabled
- D-Box Motion Code enabled
Based on the short SNL Skit of the same name which is a parody of the MacGyver TV series, MacGruber isn't conceptually clever or substantially worthwhile as a feature film. I found its conglomeration of crass gags and over the top situational humor to be overtly silly but occasionally hilarious. As a fan of the SNL skit I was probably more tolerant of its shortcomings but that may not be the case for everyone. While the film may be a swing and a miss its presentation on Blu-ray Disc release from Universal HE knocks it out of the park with stellar high definition video quality and room shaking DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound. The bonus supplements consist of an audio commentary, deleted scene and gag reel none of which prove overly interesting. If you're a fan this is worth picking up. If you're curious a rental should suffice.
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