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Gil Junger
Masi Oka, Nate Torrence, Mitch Rouse, Jayma Mays, Marika Dominczyk, J.P. Manoux,
Writing Credits:
Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember

Loved Get Smart? Get more! Get extra spy-spoof hilarity when Get Smart's bungling inventors Bruce (Masi Oka) and Lloyd (Nate Torrence) stumble into their own comedy adventure in a zany story paralleling Get Smart (and including surprise star cameos from that 2008 movie). The R&D smarties are out of the lab and way out of the lab and way out of their comfort zones as they scramble to find a nifty new invention they've somehow lost - an invisibility cloak - before KAOS does. Of course, the whole invisibility thing really complicates matters. And learning on the fly how to be a spy is a big-time challenge for our heroes. Would you believe you'll have to watch to discover how they do it?!

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 1.78:1/16X9
Fullscreen 1.33:1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 71 min.
Price: $27.95
Release Date: 7/1/2008

• “Bruce and Lloyd’s Confessionals”
• “Cue the Anti-Follicular Device”
• “Bruce and Lloyd Tech”
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Get Smart's Bruce And Lloyd Out Of Control (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 9, 2008)

Plenty of movies get direct-to-video sequels; heck, the American Pie franchise churns out one every year. 2008’s Get Smart big-screen adaptation takes things to a new degree, though, as it puts out a “parallel story” with some of that flick’s supporting characters, and it hit the shelves mere days after the parent film’s theatrical release.

The awkwardly titled Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control focuses on the film’s tech geeks, Bruce (Masi Oka) and Lloyd (Nate Torrence) and takes place during the events of Get Smart. The guys work to perfect Optical Camouflage Technology (OCT), an invisibility cloak. They encounter power problems but eventually solve these.

Problems evolve when the OCT goes missing. They suspect their rivals at the CIA. It turns out they don’t have it, but they want it and will try to steal it.

So where is it? Representatives of a “small, angry nation” called Maraguay have stolen it for the use of dictator Klaus Krause (Ruben Garfias). The Under-Chief (Larry Miller) turns Bruce and Lloyd into temporary agents so they can pursue the OCT.

First things first: the DVD case promises “surprising star cameos” from Get Smart. How surprising can they be if you announce them on the packaging? I understand the desire to advertise them and sell a few units, but it doesn’t make sense to call them “surprising” in this context.

In any case, viewers shouldn’t expect a lot from the “star cameos”. A few of the theatrical film’s minor characters appear, but only one actual “star” deigns to pop up here. I won’t spill the beans on that person’s identity, but the performer makes a quick phoned-in (literally) turn and that’s it.

So without much star wattage to carry it, Control lives and dies based on its own merits. In that regard, I actually think it does okay for itself. I admit I went into this flick with very low expectations. Control smelled of “promotional product”, and I must admit that it’s a clever ploy. If viewers like Get Smart, they’ll want to see it on DVD; since it won’t come out for a few months, this spin-off capitalizes on such interest.

While that’s a bright promotional move, it doesn’t inspire faith in film quality. That’s what makes Control a moderately pleasant surprise, one bolstered by two factors. First, Get Smart itself isn’t exactly a classic. Obviously I’ll say more when I review the DVD in a few months, but I thought it offered a modestly entertaining diversion and that was about it. Though it didn’t besmirch its TV origins, it didn’t create anything memorable.

In addition, those low, low expectations made it easier for Control to satisfy. To be sure, the flick will be no one’s idea of a classic. The DVD’s running time clocks in at an insubstantial 71 minutes, and it’s a padded 71 minutes; the story ends around the one-hour mark, so we get a long credit reel extended by outtakes and short deleted scenes.

Though this means Control barely qualifies as feature-length, its brevity works in its favor. The story doesn’t have much depth to it, and the main characters lack the personality to carry a longer tale on their own. Bruce and Lloyd are your basic science nerd stereotypes, though they don’t degenerate as much as they could, especially in terms of Bruce. He easily could’ve become a cheap Asian gag character, but he actually comes across as the smarter, smoother of the pair. Lloyd is usually just your usual sloppy fat guy, though; he doesn’t stand out as much of a character.

Oka and Torrence show pretty good chemistry, at least, and that factor allows them to make something more fun out of their roles. Torrence seems a little too eager to mug and overact, but he doesn’t harm the part, and he often creates decent comic moments. Oka is more satisfying as the semi-straight man, and he handles his side of things with aplomb. I don’t think Bruce and Lloyd threaten to become a classic comedy duo, but they entertain.

And the same can be said for Control as a whole. There’s not a whole lot of meat to this package, but I think the film provides decent amusement. It zips by at a good pace and throws out just enough humor to satisfy. It may be opportunistic promotional product, but it’s enjoyable promotional product.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 and in a fullscreen version on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only the letterboxed picture was reviewed for this article. The movie offered a perfectly acceptable transfer.

Sharpness was usually positive. At times I thought the film could look a bit blocky, and lettering tended to suffer from some light jaggies. Nonetheless, the flick usually seemed reasonably concise and distinctive. No issues with shimmering appeared, and both edge enhancement and source flaws were absent.

As for colors, Control went with a natural and attractive palette. The hues didn’t leap off the screen, but they showed good clarity and vivacity. Blacks were fairly dark and dense, while shadows looked smooth. Though this transfer never excelled, it rarely disappointed, either.

I encountered similar feelings when I checked out the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Control, though it did falter a little at times. I thought the music didn’t sound as dynamic as it should; the score tended to come across as a bit thick and without much range. Effects showed good clarity, though, and they featured reasonable low-end when necessary. Speech also sounded smooth and concise.

The soundfield remained decent. The forward speakers dominated and offered acceptable movement and activity. Not a lot came from the surrounds, though some of the action scenes opened them up in a modest way. All of this was good enough for a “B-“.

In terms of extras, we find three featurettes. Bruce and Lloyd’s Confessionals runs 14 minutes, 30 seconds as it shows a number of the movie’s characters. They offer “video confessionals” in a booth; the events take place during the flick’s party. It provides minor amusement at best.

Cue the Anti-Follicular Device fills four minutes, 59 seconds with notes from director Gil Junger, make-up effects supervisor Rob Hinderstein, and actors Nate Torrence, JP Manoux, and Bryan Callen. They tell us a little about the shots that use the gadget that renders its victim hairless. We get a few decent shots from the set, but most of the piece sticks with a jokey tone, so don’t expect much info.

Finally, Bruce and Lloyd Tech goes for 13 minutes, 25 seconds and includes remarks from Junger, Chapman University Biological Sciences Professor Frank Frisch, producer Alex Gartner, property master Tim Schultz, UC Irvine Professor of Physics Michael Dennin, writers Matt Ember and Tom J, Astle, and actors Masi Oka, Jayma Mays, and Patrick Warburton. The program looks at various gadgets in the film and tries to put them in perspective in terms of current technology. That side of things makes “Tech” reasonably informative, though a lot of joking still results.

A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Get Smart, Mama’s Boy, The Bucket List, Fools Gold, and 10,000 BC.

One shouldn’t expect much from a spin-off movie apparently created solely to capitalize on a more expensive flick’s release, but Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control proves reasonably successful nonetheless. At no point does it threaten to turn into anything genuinely delightful, but it remains consistently enjoyable and amusing. The DVD provides reasonably good picture and audio along with a few minor extras. With a list price of $27.95, this one’s a little expensive for what it offers, but Get Smart fans should at least give it a rental.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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