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The Other Guys(2010)
Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize -- only things don't quite go as planned.
For more about The Other Guys and the The Other Guys Blu-ray release, see the The Other Guys Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 19, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson
Director: Adam McKay
» See full cast & crew
The Other Guys Blu-ray Review
The other "Other Guys" Blu-ray release.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 19, 2013
Did that go the way you thought it was going to go? Nope.
The Other Guys sells its entire bill of goods on a unique and interesting premise, but the movie only partway fulfills its potential. Taking aim at the hero Buddy Cop pictures of yore, this latest collaboration from the team of Actor Will Ferrell and Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) posits a fascinating question: just who the heck are those other guys who are always standing around in the background when the Hero Cops get all the glory? Are they, too, modern-day superheroes with guns and badges and police sirens who simply didn't get the call to save the day on that particular afternoon? Is the heroism and the glory and the incredible skill and dedication reserved for but a select few, or does the NYPD provide training in the art of the cinematic car chase and perfect shootout to every new recruit? Is everyone on the force issued that magical pistol that never needs to be reloaded, or are they too cost prohibitive and given to only the guys who are assigned the unenviable task of saving the city on a daily basis? Or are they just average Joes, busy handing out traffic tickets, slaving away on the computer, and hoping that they can say, "hey look! there I am in the background!" while Sam Jackson and The Rock flex their biceps, twirl their guns, kiss the girl, and receive the medal? Some of these questions and more are explored in the sometimes uproariously funny but occasionally dragging The Other Guys, a hit-and-sometimes-miss Action/Comedy hybrid that, despite some flaws, is a wonderful little diversion of a movie that's not to be missed.
New York's finest cops -- Detectives Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson, Southland Tales) and P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson, Unthinkable) -- have just busted some thugs for possession of half a pound of marijuana, and managed to cause $12 million in damages along the way. That's not a problem, though; they're the city's top cops, and their heroics have just made the streets a little but safer, if not a little bit more costly. Danson and Highsmith are praised by all in the department, including pencil-pusher Detective Allen Gamble (Ferrell), but Gamble's distraught partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg, We Own the Night), doesn't see the big deal and just wants to do his job. Hoitz has been handcuffed, figuratively speaking, since he accidentally wounded a local hero, and he's yearning to get back into the game and away from both his desk and his dunce of a partner. When things go terribly wrong and Danson and Highsmith leave a gap in the department for the title of "Super Cops," Gamble and Hoitz do their best to seize the moment and prove their worth as the department's best crime-fighting tandem, even if that means pursuing a go-nowhere investigation into a local billionaire (Steve Coogan) for failing to secure proper scaffolding permits around the city. With another pair of wannabe hotshot cops vying for the spotlight, Gamble and Hoitz must not only prove their worth to the department but to one another as their investigation leads them to a troubling discovery that could have powerful repercussions throughout the entire New York Police Department and elevate them from "other guy" status to the city's sexiest top action hero cops.
The Other Guys delivers a faultlessly entertaining first act that's so much fun and so deliciously and perfectly over-the-top that one can't help but wonder if Writers Adam McKay and Chris Henchy can keep the movie going at light speed for its duration. Of course the answer is "no," but Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg hold things together rather well despite a script that loses some steam and some laughs that become a bit tedious and tiresome along the way. The Other Guys falls into the trap of repeating the same handful of jokes over and over again -- Gamble's incredible luck with landing beautiful women and Hoitz's references to flying peacocks among them -- that border on wearing out their welcome and certainly aren't quite as funny the fourth or fifth time through. It's clear that the movie tries too hard in several places -- particularly in building a complete plot that doesn't necessarily hold any weight except as a frame through which McKay plays out the gags and the story of unlikely heroes thrust into the spotlight -- and it has the sluggish stretches to show for it. Still, the humor is generally fresh and offers a nice mixture of the subtle and the over-the-top, giving The Other Guys a nice balance that, combined with the slick action sequences, breathe life into the movie and keeps its blood pumping for the duration, even through those few minutes where the movie practically slows down to a crawl.
Even when things aren't going swimmingly for The Other Guys, the cast holds things together and keeps the picture on an even keel until they're once again picked up by the witty script and further carried by the strength of the idea. Wahlberg and Farrell share an obvious chemistry that's so good that one can only hope the two are paired up again somewhere down the line, maybe in a sequel called The Other Other Guys or something along those lines where they've become the death-defying Hero Cops and have to deal with their own background admirers who are good for little more than hosting "kick me" signs on the seat of their pants. The Wahlberg-Farrell relationship is outstanding in this setting because the characters are such an odd couple but share in common only humiliation and disgrace in the department; the two actors milk the nonsensical characters for all they're worth, with Ferrell in particular deadpanning his part so well that even a Comedic actor of his stature completely disappears into the role. Wahlberg nearly matches him stride for stride; his character is a bit more grounded in reality and is something of an eager beaver hoping to prove that his one major mistake -- one for which the entire city of New York hates him -- wasn't indicative of his worth as a cop. The two primaries are supported by a wonderfully strong supporting cast; Johnson and Jackson are the perfect Hero cops, and Michael Keaton delivers an exceptional performance as the precinct's Captain in what is his best effort in years. Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. are also well-cast as the other tandem that wants to seize the moment and elevate themselves to Hero Cop status.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Video Quality
Sony's commitment to releasing the finest Blu-ray products is evident with every spin of a Sony-branded disc. The consistency of product -- from the latest blockbusters to the most cherished classic titles from years gone by -- is arguably tops in the entire industry, and why shouldn't it be; Sony was a lead Blu-ray design and advocacy outfit, its PlayStation 3 console offered disc playback and instant wide format adoption, and the first wave of titles released back in 2006 bore the Sony label on the spine. Since then, and through a few growing pains and spurts -- a bloody format war, a misstep or two, the transition from Dolby TrueHD to DTS-HD Master Audio -- the studio has emerged as the most trustworthy in the industry when it comes to its Blu-ray product. When it says Sony, chances are extremely high that the movie is going to look (and sound) about as good as the format allows. Now, Sony is recalling the days of its "Superbit" DVD releases with the emergence of "Mastered in 4K" (*) Blu-ray discs. The new transfers are sourced from 4K masters but here's where the giant asterisk comes in: they're then downscaled to standard Blu-ray 1080p resolution. That means buyers can enjoy them on their regular old Blu-ray players and their regular old HDTVs -- no fancy new hardware required. The downside is that viewers aren't really seeing the material in 4K; even those who shell out the large sum of cash for a new 4K TV will be treated only to an upscaled presentation, much the same way today's regular old TV/playback 1080p device combos upscale standard definition DVDs.
Watching the "Mastered in 4K" transfer in 1080p does yield some benefits over the standard 1080p Blu-ray releases, even if it's not a true 4K experience. The discs take advantage of a significantly higher bitrate than regular old Blu-ray discs, meaning more muscle to produce the finest picture quality, revealing superior details and showcasing that perfect cinematic, pleasing grain texturing for pictures photographed on film and more accuracy for those photographed in the wholly digital realm. "Mastered in 4K" discs also promise superior color balance and accuracy, reproducing a more faithful-to-the-source palette that will reveal the sort of natural shading and subtle nuance even the best of 1080p Blu-ray cannot match. More, Sony promises enhanced viewing on its own line of 4K TVs thanks to a proprietary upscaling algorithm that's designed to squeeze the most out of the "Mastered in 4K" line of Sony discs, above and beyond what any competitor's display can offer. Makes sense considering some branch of Sony is at work along every step of the process. Unfortunately, one of Sony's shiny new 4K televisions was not available for review purposes, but suffice it to say that either of the launch displays -- the 55" and 65" XBR-labeled sets -- will undoubtedly offer the best consumer viewing picture to date, whether joined with a Sony "Mastered in 4K" disc or a regular old Blu-ray from any studio.
The Other Guys was no slouch when it was first released back in late 2010, and it shines in its refined "Mastered in 4K" debut. The old transfer left little room for improvement, but this image manages to squeeze out a bit more vibrancy, superior detail, and an astonishing cinematic flair that will dazzle viewers in nearly every scene. The picture clarity is nothing short of exceptional; there's not a dull shot, soft edge, or any detail or color that isn't perfectly resolved. The "Mastered in 4K" transfer showcases incredible details across the board, not only amongst close-up images but of wider shots of offices, stores, and city streets. Clothing and facial textures look fantastic, showing every last stitch, line and pore. Backgrounds and supportive scene elements appear naturally sharp. Very light grain helps to define the entire image and shape it into a beautiful filmic presentation. The color palette is bold and varied. It's perhaps a touch warm here and there, but for pure brilliance, range, subtlety, and accuracy, this image is hard to beat. Urban grays, green foliage, police dress blue uniforms accented with gold-outlined patches, and all variety of colors appear rich and natural in every shot and regardless of location or lighting. There's no evidence of unnecessary digital tinkering or print wear. In other words, this is a flawless high definition image. Like most of the "Mastered in 4K" presentations, it looks straight out of the can, a reference quality Blu-ray in every way.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Other Guys bursts onto Blu-ray with a strong but not quite reference-grade DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Sony's latest highly-proficient soundtrack delivers a quality listen that will leave audiences satisfied but not overjoyed with the presentation; it's generically strong, meaning it's on par with the average upper-tier Blu-ray soundtrack, but it never sets itself apart as an elite presentation. This soundtrack delivers some pulse-pounding LFE in several instances, whether during a blaring Hip Hop tune heard over film's open or in various explosions and powerful weapons fire. Machine guns pound out round after round in one scene with the surrounds sending the rattling and rolling and whizzing bullets all over the soundstage followed by their impacts on various metallic surfaces, but the rear channels aren't used much outside this and similar action scenes. Ambience is quite limited; the track captures a few niceties around city exteriors, helicopter fly-bys, and various scene-specific elements such as idling engines and walkie-talkie chatter, but there's rarely a time when the soundstage isn't being overrun by action effects that the listener feels sonically immersed into the fictionalized world of Gamble and Hoitz. Dialogue, of course, is precisely centered and every syllable perfectly delivered. The Other Guys' lossless presentation is sound, but not particularly memorable.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
This Blu-ray release of The Other Guys contains no supplemental content. Additionally, Sony has included only the theatrical release, not the longer unrated cut found on the previously released Blu-ray. A UV digital copy voucher code is included in the case.
The Other Guys Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Superstar Director Kevin Smith also tackled the Buddy Cop genre in his own Action/Comedy hit Cop Out that also focused on two pairs of cops attempting to outdo one another while trying to solve a case. The Other Guys, despite Smith's superior pedigree, is the stronger of the two for not only its more well-rounded (if not somewhat tiresome in places) humor and superior cast but better pacing and more memorable and more finely-developed characters. The Other Guys has "potential greatness" written all over it, whereas Cop Out never seems to strive to be anything better than average. Unfortunately, this latest from Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg just misses the mark and can't quite take those last few extra steps required to achieve the level of Action/Comedy perfection the film comes so close to achieving. Nevertheless, there's an outrageously fun and supremely well-acted hit here, and it's sure to appeal to a wide range of moviegoers, including Action junkies and Comedy connoisseurs. Other than at a clean and calibrated multiplex, Sony's "Mastered in 4K" Blu-ray disc is the best way to watch The Other Guys. The video is astonishing and the audio very good. Recommended, even considering the absence of supplements.
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