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For Nick, Kurt and Dale, the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers...permanently.
For more about Horrible Bosses and the Horrible Bosses Blu-ray release, see Horrible Bosses Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on October 11, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey
Director: Seth Gordon
» See full cast & crew
Horrible Bosses Blu-ray Review
A totally appropriate Totally Inappropriate Edition...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, October 11, 2011
Most of us have had them. Some of us have been them. A few of us have even enjoyed it. Yes, horrible bosses; those self-absorbed beasties of corporate and commercial nightmares who'd just as soon disembowel you in front of your colleagues than be bothered to help add toner to the copier. They're the stuff of YouTube legend. They've been the go-to sitcom villains for decades. And there's usually one snapping and growling his way through most every big-screen comedy. One... or, in the case of director Seth Gordon's Horrible Bosses, three. More than a lewd, crude working-stiff spin on Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, Horrible Bosses isn't just a wicked casting carnival of leering A-listers and smartly assembled up-n-comers, it's a laugh-out-loud bit of vicarious dark-wish fulfillment and, as comedies go, one of the bigger box office successes of 2011. It isn't one I'll revisit again and again, and it isn't the funniest comedy I've seen recently. But it's infinitely better than Gordon's Four Christmases and it trounces a number of higher profile comedies this year.
Corporate VP hopeful Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), dental hygienist Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) and accountant Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) have a problem. Three problems actually. The president of Nick's company, a greedy, mean-spirited, rage-fueled egomaniac (Kevin Spacey); Dale's boss, an aggressive, vindictive man-eater (Jennifer Aniston) with a penchant for blackmail; and Kurt's new manager, a bitter, self-absorbed, cocaine-addled hothead (Colin Farrell) in the process of undermining everything his late father (Donald Sutherland) stood for. Their solution? To get rid of their bosses. Permanently. Enter Motherf#@!er Jones (Jamie Foxx), a "murder consultant" the three friends meet at a bar after setting their minds to the dark deed. Jones suggests skipping a contract killer altogether and taking care of the situation themselves; a suggestion the trio slowly but surely embrace as they plot out recon runs, scope out their bosses' homes and get sharped up for a bit of the old ultra-violence. Nothing goes as planned, though, and the longtime friends soon find themselves on the run from the police, a gun-happy madman and their own career aspirations.
Horrible Bosses succeeds for one reason and one reason alone: casting. As razor-sharp as its one-liners, verbal jabs and naive quips are, as serrated as its you scratch my back I'll murder your boss premise may be, as cunning as its execution is, it's Bateman, Sudeikis and Day (and Foxx, more in that in a minute) who keep Horrible Bosses clipping along. Oh, I'm sure you've heard that it's Spacey, Aniston and Farrell who steal the show. It's true -- especially in the case of Farrell -- but only to an extent. The film's biggest stars are wisely relegated to juicy but glorified extended cameos, and serve as hilarious but oft-unseen catalysts; little more. There's a real sense of camaraderie between the three leads and it's easy to buy into their lifelong friendship (subsequently the story's biggest hurdle since Nick and his cohorts work in such radically different fields). Bateman sticks within the bounds of his inexplicably endearing cynic comfort zone, sinking snuggly into the role of the group's (relatively) even-keeled mastermind, but no one does righteous indifference like Bateman. Sudeikis is the least likable of the trio (and completely unbelievable as a smooth talking womanizer), but he has just enough confidence to help his FedEx girl hookup, mid-party tryst with Julie Bowen, and string of unwittingly racist comments earn hefty laughs. And Day? Day's the real scene bandit here, perfecting the oblivious man-waif routine Zach Galifianakis has been tinkering with for ten years. Then there's Foxx in the supporting comedy role of a lifetime: Motherf#@!er Jones, currently the leading contender for best character name of the century. Foxx kills, period. Suffice it to say, Spacey, Aniston and Farrell may leave some nasty comic scars, but it's Bateman, Sudeikis, Day and Foxx who cut deepest and really draw blood.
That said, Horrible Bosses is admittedly uneven. Filmfans who can't get enough of Spacey, Aniston and Farrell may feel the film drags whenever Nick and his pals go on the hunt, while those of us who can't get enough Bateman, Sudeikis and Day (and Foxx!) will notice Bosses doesn't quite find its groove until the boys sit down with Motherf#@!er Jones. Even then, not every boss will fracture your funny bone. Aniston struck me as obnoxious and a tad stilted, despite the fact that many critics and moviegoers have praised her turn as a raunchy quasi-rapist. Spacey doesn't do anything he didn't do better in Swimming with Sharks, so fair warning. And Farrell... scratch that. Farrell is brilliant. I don't know whether it's the hairline (or lack thereof), the jittery outbursts, the paunch, the wardrobe, the ties, the wild eyes, the nunchucks or his approach to trimming the fat, but he nails every line and sneer. It's just a shame he isn't given as much screentime as Spacey and Aniston. That might diverge from the critical consensus, but that's my point. With seven colorful eccentrics packed under one high-concept roof, it's inevitable that some characters will leave you in tears while others will leave you patiently awaiting the next boss or disgruntled employee's appearance. How much does any of that matter, though, when you're laughing this hard? Horrible Bosses has trouble building and maintaining momentum, but it knows where it's going and gets there with casting-coup flair.
Horrible Bosses Blu-ray, Video Quality
While Horrible Bosses takes its dark comedy designation rather literally, complete with domineering shadows and occasionally overripe skintones, the resulting toasty-back-alley palette rarely hinders Warner's striking 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer. Colors, richly saturated as they sometimes are, are still quite lovely, contrast is consistent (within reason), delineation is surprisingly revealing, and black levels are nice and deep without disrupting or mangling the film's faint but filmic grain. (Minus the scene in which Sudeikis recounts his run-in with Aniston. It gets ever so noisy.) Detail inherently fluctuates when night falls, but impresses on the whole with crisply resolved, at-times impeccable fine textures, reliable clarity, and clean, carefully honed edges that don't suffer from any notable ringing or aliasing. Artifacting, banding and smearing don't push their way into the party either, and the only nagging issue worth mentioning is some limited crush, which doesn't really result in any major mishaps. All in all, Horrible Bosses' high definition presentation pulls ahead of the comedy pack and stays true to Gordon and DP David Hennings' intentions.
Horrible Bosses Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Horrible Bosses loses some ground with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, but only because it sounds like every other front-heavy comedy mix on the market. While there's some solid directional effects to be had, and while the film's music fills the soundfield neatly and naturally, there isn't a lot going on in the rear speakers, even when Nick and his friends flee the police, wreck their car and get held up at gunpoint. The LFE channel does a decent job with what it's given, though, and dialogue is clear, sufficiently grounded and perfectly intelligible throughout. There just aren't many standout moments to speak of. Chalk it up to the film's original sound design or the conversational nature of the planning sessions, stakeouts and bickering that dominates the soundscape. Either way, Horrible Bosses doesn't sound horrible; not even remotely.
Horrible Bosses Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Horrible Bosses Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Ah, R-rated comedies. One man's Animal House is another man's... well, Animal House. Horrible Bosses doesn't crack the comic code or reinvent the Throw Momma From the Train wheel, but its casting coups, hard-working leading men and side-splitting performances help it outclass the Wolfpack's sequel, among other higher profile comedies of 2011. Sadly, the Blu-ray edition is more uneven than the film. While its video transfer deserves high marks, its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is solid but somewhat underwhelming, and its supplemental package amounts to 35-minutes of coulda shoulda been. Still, with two version of the film (spread across two BD-50 discs) and plenty of laughs to go around, the Blu-ray edition of Horrible Bosses warrants consideration.
Horrible Bosses: Other Editions
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Horrible Bosses Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Warner to Introduce UltraViolet Service with Green Lantern and Ho... - September 20, 2011
Starting with this year's Blu-ray releases of Green Lantern and Horrible Bosses, Warner Bros. will introduce UltraViolet, an industry-wide initiative that will give consumers access to a cloud-based digital locker. The service will provide a digital copy of home ...
• Horrible Bosses Blu-ray - August 31, 2011
New Line and Warner Home Entertainment will release Horrible Bosses on Blu-ray this fall. The comedy stars Jason Bateman (Juno), Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Jason Sudekis (Going the Distance) as three best friends who conspire to murder ...
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