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Wren's Halloween plans go awry when she's made to babysit her brother, who disappears into a sea of trick-or-treaters. With her best friend and two nerds at her side, she needs to find her brother before her mom finds out he's missing.
For more about Fun Size and the Fun Size Blu-ray release, see Fun Size Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 4, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler, Jane Levy, Josh Pence, Thomas Mann, Thomas McDonell
Director: Josh Schwartz
» See full cast & crew
Fun Size Blu-ray Review
Gimmie a break.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 4, 2013
For those on a strict sugar-free diet (yeah, right), those who lack the willpower to venture down the bagged candy isle and come out without a mountain of sugar in the shopping cart (guilty), or for people who simply haven't gone trick-or-treating in some time (raises hand), "fun size," generally, refers to individually wrapped and very small two- or three-bite (or one, for the very adventurous) candy bars sold either in a big bag only with its own kind or mixed in a bag with other flavors manufactured by the same parent company (the Liebman household loves the big bags from Target that contain miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and single serve Kit-Kat bars. Gimmie a break! Gimmie a break! Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar!). Mmmmm. So much sugary goodness, chocolate bliss, every bite an experience, can't eat just one, wrappers all over the counter, chocolate smudged on the face, bag half eaten, stomach rebelling, can't stop, oh, wait, yes, the movie, sorry. Almost forgot. Fun Size yada yada yada CHOCOLATE! OK. Focus. Focus. Get down off that sugar high, Marty. There's a movie to review. A movie. A "movie." As in, "that was a movie?" There wasn't even any candy product placement! In a Halloween movie! But there was a prominent (fake?) chicken joint. With a mascot that has sex with a car. More on that later. CHOCOLATE! OK, here's the easy lead-in: there's nothing "fun" in Fun Size, the latest Nickelodeon film that's inappropriate for kids, too crazy for adults, and too "uncool" for teenagers. Who is the movie for? Gimmie a break.
Cleveland teen Wren (Victoria Justice) is struggling to make it in a largely dysfunctional household. Things have mostly taken a turn for the worst since her father's death. Her mother Joy (Chelsea Handler) is dating a much younger man, and her little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) hasn't said a word since dad died. Wren desperately wants to escape to college; she has her eye on NYU, but mom wants her to remain local. The one bright spot in her life is her attraction to local high school hunk Riley (Thomas McDonell), and when she's invited to his Halloween party, she and best friend April (Jane Levy) can't wait to go. There's only one problem: mom wants Wren to take Albert trick-or treating while she goes to her own party with her boy-toy. When Wren tries to have it both ways, Albert becomes lost in the Halloween havoc and embarks on an adventure through town, encountering the best and worst Cleveland has to offer. As Wren, April, and two fellow students -- Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau) -- search for Albert, all hell breaks loose in "the mistake by the lake." Can Wren find Albert, and maybe even true love, on the worst night of her life?
Now that the sugar has worn down, on to the review. As alluded to above, it's not quite clear who's the intended audience for this movie. It's a PG-13 Nickelodeon movie, which doesn't jive with what parents might think of the studio or the impression they might get from the colorful poster art and teen and child characters. In the opening minutes alone, there's a completely naked boy sitting on the toilet, a reference to "boobs," and a use of the word "bitch," from the mouth of a child no less. Later, there's even a broken robotic chicken mascot "having sex" with a Volvo, and a few more adult-oriented themes that kids won't get, anyway. Not that it's too much for teens or adults, but parents may want to shelter their young ones from it (the movie is rated PG-13, but that poster art sure does look deceiving). All that said, there's just not much here other than innuendo, strange themes, and a wayward plot. It's a classic "all hell breaks lose" sort of movie, but none of it's fun and little of it is really all that humorous. It finds a few scattered chuckles and tries way too hard to force laughs into its scenes. The drama and romance both come across as sappy and completely devoid of meaning; there's not a single surprise in the entire movie in terms of either. It's a largely woeful experience, but Fun Size is saved by a few random bits of goodness that elevate it a little bit above the bottom of the heap.
Probably the best thing about Fun Size are a few of the performances, namely from little Jackson Nicoll and one of this sidekicks in the movie, Thomas Middleditch, the actor who plays "Fuzzy." Nicoll is really quite charming, even as he says not a word. The expressions and emotions are simple but effective, but he conveys a broad range with a know-how beyond his years and with such natural ease and likability that he just melts the audience down and makes them forget, sometimes, what a wretched movie that has been built around him. Middleditch is quite good too in a part that seems inspired by Jon Heder but not quite so deadpan. The remainder of the cast never really quite excels above the cliché of their characters. Also on the plus side, the production is technically polished; the movie looks quite good and spares no expense in creating an expansive Halloween night free-for-all; good costumes, great decorations, and all sorts of little touches give the movie a nice air of time-and-place authenticity. It's too bad it couldn't pack in a better story, a superior script, and generally better performances to match.
Fun Size Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fun Size, simply, looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Paramount's 1080p transfer produces brilliant colors in every scene. The picture delivers a lively, infinitely diverse color palette that showcases beautiful fall colors, Halloween orange, colorful costumes, and home furnishings with the effortlessness of a top-tier transfer. Details are just as striking. The neighborhood daytime shots practically steal the audience's breath; the perfect definition on leaves, grasses, pavement, home exteriors, clothes, and faces is nothing short of remarkable. Even nighttime shots are no problem for either the colors or the detail; neon signs glow brilliantly and textures remain perfectly crisp in every shot. Light grain remains over the image, and there's a general sharpness and clarity to the transfer than cannot be beat. Flesh tones are perhaps a touch warm, but black levels are perfect. There are no compression issues, no print wear, no digital manipulation; this is a striking image from start to finish.
Fun Size Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Fun Size features a fun and full DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. It plays music with a steady, crisp, entertaining presence along the front, defined by a balanced low end and pure surround support. In fact, the surrounds are quite active throughout, never overly aggressive but capturing a wide array of sounds that spring the stage to life and practically transform it into Halloween night Cleveland. Whether haunted house ambiance, screams, background thunder, or the light, satisfying din of excited children trick-or-treating around town, the track sonically shapes and defines every last little square inch of each of the film's shots, resulting in the illusion of very real sound authenticity. Dialogue is crisp and well-delivered from the center. This is a great little soundtrack that, along with the video, is the pride of this Blu-ray release.
Fun Size Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Fun Size contains the following supplements:
Fun Size Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Fun Size brings to mind a number of other, better teen Adventure/Comedy movies, from Adventures in Babysitting to License to Drive. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as good as most any of them. It's a hopelessly formulaic, dumbed-down movie with transparent plot lines, bad dialogue, and largely forgettable performances. Jackson Nicoll and Thomas Middleditch save the movie to a degree, but even their work can't elevate it too far from the bottom of the pile. Worst of all, it seems like a movie with no, or at best a very limited, target audience. It's too raunchy for little kids, too uncool for teens, and not good enough to please adults. "Fun size" is the perfect descriptor of its audience. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Fun Size does feature dazzling video and great audio. A few supplements are even included. Skip it.
Fun Size: Other Editions
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Fun Size Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Fun Size Blu-ray - January 3, 2013
Paramount Home Media Distribution will release on Blu-ray Nickelodeon Movies' comedy Fun Size (2013). Directed by Josh Schwartz and starring Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler and Ana Gasteyer, Fun Size will be available for purchase on February 19th.
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