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Jay Roach
Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Stephanie Szostak
Writing Credits:
David Guion, Michael Handelman Synopsis:
When he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, a rising executive questions it when he's invited, just as he befriends a man who would be the perfect guest.

Box Office:
$69 million.
Opening Weekend
$23,527,839 on 2911 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 114 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 1/4/2011

• “The Biggest Schmucks In the World” Featurette
• “The Men Behind the Mouseterpieces” Featurette
• “Meet the Winners” Featurette
• “Schmuck Ups” Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Decision” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Dinner for Schmucks [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 17, 2020)

With 2010’s Dinner for Schmucks, we get a high-concept comedy focused on the belittlement of unusual individuals. Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd) works at a financial firm with a slew of other highly-competitive colleagues.

A man of great ambition, Tim lives beyond his means, all with the expectation that he’ll get a promotion that will bring with it significant monetary reward. Everything Tim does works toward this step up at his job.

Tim’s boss Lance Fender (Bruce Greenwood) hosts a monthly “Dinner for Idiots”, at which each invitee needs to bring a quirky guest. Fender and others then mock these folks behind their backs.

Tim initially resists an invitation to this party, but when he feels he might benefit from it at work, he decides to go. He brings IRS employee Barry Speck (Steve Carell), but he grows to question this choice when he starts to like his “idiot”.

Back in 2010, I went to see Dinner theatrically and expected a fun time. With Austin Powers’ Jay Roach behind the camera and Rudd and Carell in front of it, this seemed like a can’t miss proposition.

Alas, it did, as Dinner whiffed in a big way. 10 years later, I thought perhaps I misjudged, so I gave it another shot.

Strike two! Despite all the potential to excel, Dinner becomes a largely laugh-free endurance test.

At 114 minutes, Dinner goes long for a comedy. A better-constructed movie could handle that running time, but because this one lacks good basic assembly, it stretches itself too thin.

Though it sets up the concept early, Dinner doesn’t reach the titular event until way into the proceedings. If it used the prior time wisely, that would seem like less of an issue, but man, does the movie dawdle.

Granted, comedies don’t need taut plots like other genres, so a loosely built film could do just fine if it brought the laughs. However, we find surprisingly few funny moments, partly due to one fatal flaw: Barry.

For Dinner to succeed, we need to like Barry and care about his journey. Unfortunately, the film paints Barry as such an annoying moron that we openly dislike him.

Carell doesn’t make Barry a lovable oddball. Instead, he creates a shrill, persistently irritating character who annoys much more than he entertains.

Since Barry becomes the focal point of the film’s comedic conflicts, these scenes fall flat. Barry turns into such a grating personality that most potential laughs evaporate.

It also seems wholly illogical that – spoiler alert! – Barry would win the “Idiot Competition”. Sure, he shows odd social skills and a quirky hobby, but the dinner includes a ventriloquist married to his puppet and a woman who channels dead animals – there’s no way the simple dopiness of Barry would top that crew.

Not that Dinner comes devoid of amusement, as the sheer talent of the cast keeps us with it for a while. Make no mistake: we get a stunning roster of talent here.

In addition to Carell, Rudd and Greenwood, Dinner brings Zach Galifianakis, Chris O’Dowd, Lucy Punch, Jemaine Clement, Kristen Schaal, Larry Willmore, Ron Livingston, PJ Byrne, and honest to God Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer!

By any definition, that accounts for a tremendous cast, so inevitably, some humor results. However, the hilarity seems much less prevalent than one would expect from such a talented group.

Again, the movie’s length acts as a problem, especially because it seems unclear that anyone bothered to edit it. Various scenes go on and on, and they run out of steam well before they conclude.

The same goes for Dinner as a whole. The movie boasts a ton of comedic potential that it squanders badly.

Footnote: a tag scene pops up at the conclusion of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Dinner for Schmucks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a decent image but it seemed a little iffy for something from 2010.

Sharpness could feel a little inconsistent. While most of the film appeared reasonably well-defined, a few soft spots emerged along the way.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects emerged, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to materialize.

Colors favored a lot of teal and amber, both of which seemed decent and that’s about it. While the hues looked fine, they didn’t present a lot of life.

Blacks were reasonably dense, and shadows felt pretty well-depicted. Though this never turned into a weak image, it seemed a bit drab.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it showed a fairly typical “comedy mix” that didn’t present many chances for the soundscape to do much. This meant the audio usually opted for stereo music and general environmental material.

A few bits – like during a car crash – opened up the track in a decent manner. These made the mix vivid when necessary, though these instances didn’t pop up frequently.

I thought audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed distinctive and natural, with no rough tones or other issues.

Score and songs displayed clear, warm music, and effects functioned well. Those elements were realistic and full throughout the movie. Again, nothing here dazzled, but the mix accentuated the action in a reasonable way.

A handful of extras fill out the set, and The Biggest Schmucks in the World fills 15 minutes, five seconds. It brings comments from director Jay Roach, producers Laurie MacDonald and Walter F. Parkes, executive producer Amy Sayers, writers Michael Handelman and David Guion, editor John Poll, and actors Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, David Walliams, Ron Livingston, Patrick Fischler, Stephanie Szostak, Jeff Dunham, Chris O’Dowd, Jemaine Clement, Lucy Punch, Bruce Greenwood, Octavia Spencer and Rick Overton.

“World” discusses cast and performances. A few decent notes emerge, but most of “World” revolves around praise for the actors.

The Men Behind the Mouseterpieces runs 11 minutes, 36 seconds and features Roach, Parkes, MacDonald, and projects designers Stephen Chiodo, Charlie Chiodo and Edward Chiodo.

Here we learn about the “taxidermy mice” seen in the film. This becomes a pretty informative look at the work of the Chiodo brothers.

Next comes Meet the Winners, a three-minute, 45-second featurette with the “Idiots” actors in character. It proves mildly amusing.

A gag reel called Schmuck Up spans eight minutes, 16 seconds. It shows the usual goofs and giggles, though a few improv lines add some mirth.

Six Deleted Scenes take up a total of nine minutes, 13 seconds. These mix small comedic bits and extensions to existing sequences, so don’t expect much useful footage.

Finally, The Decision brings a three-minute, 50-second short. In it, we see Carell and Rudd offer a parody of LeBron James’ choice to change teams. It seems moderately entertaining.

Despite an enormous roster of talented actors, Dinner for Schmucks fails to hit the mark. While we get a few laughs along the way, most of the movie feels annoying and plodding. The Blu-ray comes with acceptable picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. I still can’t figure out how many accomplished folks churned out such a forgettable flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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