Tags: Bruce Greenwood, David Walliams, DreamWorks, Jay Roach, Jemaine Clement, Kristen Schaal, Larry Wilmore, Lucy Punch, Paramount, Paul Rudd, Ron Livingston, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephanie Szostak, Steve Carrell, Zach Galifianakis
has an average rating of 6.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are ALL in Hi-Def & hilarious
– 114 minutes
– DreamWorks (Paramount)
This uses 32.1GB for the movie out of 39.7GB total.
Overall Verdict – A Recommended Laugh
— Review written by: Danielle Byington —
The Movie Itself was directed by Jay Roach, with the writing credits of David Guion, Michael Handelman , and is based on the premise of the French film “Le Diner de Cons” by Francis Veber.
The movie centers on executive-ambitious Tim (Paul Rudd), who has just obtained his opportunity to impress his boss and gain the promotion he has been eager to earn. However, this chance to move up the ladder does not exactly pertain to office work or networking; Tim‘s shot at graduating to the seventh floor involves impressing his boss, Fender (Bruce Greenwood) at his monthly dinner party. The catch is that all of the attending businessmen must find an “extraordinary” guest to bring to this party, someone so “extraordinary” that they are the talk of the party; and by “extraordinary”, Fender means a totally bizarre idiot.
One of Tim‘s sources of motivation in his quest to reach the executive level is his girlfriend, Julie (Stephanie Szostak). Tim has actually proposed to her a few times, but she declares that she feels they are not ready for that step. While Tim hopes that his promotion would convince Julie that his is settled and ready for marriage, he also discloses to her how he actually has to impress his boss at the dinner party to earn the promotion. Julie is definitly turned-off by such a socially cruel act, and demands that Tim refuse to play the game.
After having promised to his girlfriend that he will not go through with submitting an “idiot” to Fender‘s game, the next day Tim literally runs into, or basically almost runs-over, a very eligible gentleman. The oblivious man, Barry (Steve Carrell), was diving into traffic to resume the corpse of a dead mouse in the street before Tim smashed its lifeless body with his expensive sports car. Having bumped Barry pretty good with his vehicle while talking and texting on his phone at the same time, Tim quickly sees the opportunity at hand as the man wants to offer him money for the accident instead of the other way around. Barry‘s friendly notions quickly reveal to Tim how he was proceeding to the taxidermy shop for supplies, as he is a creator of “Mouseterpieces”; re-creations of well-known works of art, in which he places stuffed mice in the places of the human subjects. Barry seems like a message from the universe for Tim to proceed with his attendance of Fender‘s biggot-minded party, and so the leather office chair-craving schmuck sweet talks the mouse-stuffing goof to get him in line to attending the dinner party by his side.
However, with a far from genius mind in his life now, Tim becomes victim to Barry‘s heart-intended, but failing methods of solving dilemmas. After another argument about the attendance of the dinner party with Julie, Tim very unwillingly gains a visit from a psycho ex-date, crashes a good presentation with an exceedingly wealthy Swedish client, and has to translate the insanity that is the excessively bizarre artist known as Kieran (Jemaine Clement).
“Dinner for Schmucks” proved to be a pretty strong comedic effort from all involved. When it comes to the imaginations that write/create films, you may wonder at times if some situations are based on the artist’s own experiences, and in this case, I think we’ve all encounter a breed of Barry on some scale; even if they didn’t make “Mouseterpieces”. On another sector within the film, underneath the giggles you may have regarding a goofy soul like Barry, the same bit of human in all of us that wants to laugh at how ridiculous the character is also feels sympathy for how they don’t easily fit in socially. On that note, the film does a terrific job as a comedy, but also allows room for a bit of heart, and overall receives a “4 Star Rating“.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This release lends a very impressive video quality, with a significant amount of well distinguished detail. The general look of the picture is very clean with a mostly neutral color palette; which does provide a nice leveled vibrancy throughout the runtime. Many great examples of this clarity and moderately vivid contrast can be seen in not only exterior shots, but interiors as well. As is the case with some films, interior scenes in this case really do not lose their visual “pop” or become more subdued to the eye as a result of the lighting conditions and such. The nice looking set designs of, for example, Tim‘s apartment, the dining room of “the dinner”, and so forth, all bare a rich and well balanced sharpness in each scene’s on-screen playback. Also regarding the topic of the color palette, fleshtones translate accurately, leaving no unnatural hints of orange or red hues.
This Blu-ray release is also very true to the term “High Definition”, as it bares an often incredible amount of fine detail in all varieties of shots. The most obvious example I would have to point out regarding this topic of video quality is undoubtedly the numerous shots of Barry‘s “Mouseterpieces”. The intricate detail within these crafted props exhibits the “dedication” that such a man in love with his hobby would commit; the well rendered definition of this release shows-off each strand of fur, and even the very fine detail of the tiny accessories of the rodents. This same detail is retained in other standard subjects of video quality, such as the facial features of the cast, from pores, fine lines in the skin, and strands of hair and/or beard stubble. Textures of fabrics in the wardrobe and some set props are also rather distinguishable. Overall, the video quality on this release proves itself to be worth an impressive “4.5 Star Rating“, while even pushing a more perfect rating at times.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. This film opens with an introduction to the “Mouseterpieces” created by Barry, and is suitably accompanied by “The Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles. The mellow harmonies and melodies of the song are a nice precursor to the general experience to be had from the audio track on this release. This, as well as other music within the film, is presented with a clean brightness in its range of dynamics, and also makes for the majority of subwoofer usage. More intense sequences naturally merit a bit more livelihood from the soundscape, though the rear channels do not wait on these scenes to do their job. There are many instances of subtle Foley making itself known from assigned or multiple channels as it accompanies the on-screen actions, though there are really no significant instances of actual panning through the soundscape. Some sound effects are more bold than others, such as the shattering of wine bottles being thrown against the wall by Darla and Barry. Overall, the audio track on this release provides a pleasing delivery of sound with not complaints to be had, and its performance earns a solid “4 Star Rating” for audio quality.
Bonus Materials are ALL presented in 1080p Hi-Def video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps — unless otherwise noted below.
- “The Biggest Schmucks in the World” (15:05 – HD 1080p) is basically a behind the scenes montage with a few interviews from the cast and crew.
- “The Men Behind the Mouseterpieces” (11:36 – HD 1080p) interviews the three Chiodo family members responsible for the elaborate Mouseterpieces.
- “Meet the Winners” (3:45 – HD 1080p) interviews with the eccentric characters from Fender‘s dinner party.
- “Schmuck Ups” (8:16 – HD 1080p) is basically a gag reel, and certainly worth the watch.
- “Deleted Scenes” (9:13 – HD 1080p) includes 6 scenes which are as comical as the gag reel.
- “Paul and Steve: The Decision” (3:50 – HD 1080i) is a clip of Paul and Steve’s skit at the ESPYS awards.
Overall, the bonus materials are a a decent compliment to the release itself. Fans of the film will probably favor the hilarious “Schmuck Ups” supplement, and for those curious about those special Mouseterpieces, the supplement featuring the look behind the scenes into the creation of the tiny artistic props will sooth that unusual curiosity. On the other hand, I am somewhat surprised and disappointed that there was not a sort of spoof-supplement featuring Jemaine Clement‘s bizarre character, but what you do get is generally pleasing.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Be PATIENT with the loading times, as you should keep in mind that these files are (on average) at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.