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Gil Junger
Masi Oka, Nate Torrence, Jayma Mays
Writing Credits:
Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember

Inventors Bruce and Lloyd develop an invisibility cloak that becomes a hot potato among various spy agencies.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 71 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 7/1/2008

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


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Get Smart's Bruce And Lloyd Out Of Control [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 18, 2021)

Plenty of movies get direct-to-video sequels. However, 2008’s Get Smart big-screen adaptation took things to a new degree, as it put out a “parallel story” with some of that flick’s supporting characters that 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 disc’s 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, though 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 home video, and since it wouldn’t come out for a few months after its theatrical exhibition, this spin-off capitalized 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, as it offers a modestly entertaining diversion and not much more. Though it doesn’t besmirch its TV origins, it fails to create anything memorable either.

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 flick’s running time clocks in at an insubstantial 71 minutes, and it’s a padded 71 minutes. The actual 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. This means 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.

Control 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 Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio C+/ Bonus D+

Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a disappointing transfer.

Sharpness was a frequent weakness. At best, the image showed decent delineation, but it often could come across as somewhat soft and ill-defined.

No issues with shimmering appeared, and both edge enhancement and source flaws were absent. The image did tend to feel grainier than anticipated, though.

As for colors, Control went with a natural palette, one that seemed bland. The hues tended to seem bland and without much life.

Blacks were fairly dark and dense, while shadows looked decent. This turned into a surprisingly iffy presentation.

I encountered somewhat more positive 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, as 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 “C+“, one that lost points due to the absence of a lossless track.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Both offered identical audio, which came as a disappointment. Blu-ray releases should provide lossless tracks.

When compared to the DVD, visuals seemed surprisingly similar, which made the Blu-ray a letdown. The format added a little better delineation but improvements seemed minor at best, so don’t expect a real upgrade.

In terms of extras, we find three featurettes. Bruce and Lloyd’s Confessionals runs 14 minutes, 52 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, Fool's 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 Blu-ray provides mediocre picture and audio along with a few minor extras. This turns into an iffy release for a moderately fun movie.

To rate this film visit the original review of OUT OF CONTROL

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