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Jeff Baena
Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll
Writing Credits:
Jeff Baena

After his engagement suddenly ends, Joshy and a few his friends decide to take advantage of what was supposed to be his bachelor party in Ojai, California.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/4/2016

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jeff Baena, Producer/Actor Adam Pally and Actor Thomas Middleditch
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Joshy [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 9, 2016)

Best known as the lead on HBO’s Silicon Valley, Thomas Middleditch jumps to movies with 2016’s Joshy. Josh (Middleditch) plans to marry Rachel (Alison Brie), but this relationship ends in an abrupt – and permanent – manner when Rachel kills herself.

Four months later, Josh confronts the time period that should’ve encompassed his bachelor party. To stave off depression, his pals take him on the weekend extravaganza anyway, which leads to partying and attempts at emotional healing.

Call it déjà vu, but didn’t I just watch a Middleditch movie in which hijinks followed the end of his character’s wedding plans? Yes, I did, as Search Party places Middleditch in semi-similar circumstances. Heck, we even get Adam Pally as one of the Middleditch role’s buddies in both.

That said, the two films don’t enjoy truly analogous plots, as they take off onto different paths. Search Party feels more like The Hangover with a splash of The Graduate.

Joshy goes for a less slapstick/broad comedy vibe, as it takes on more of a quirky “indie” feel. Whether or not that comes as a good thing depends on the viewer’s POV, but I appreciate it, as I’m not wild about the “potty humor” of Search Party.

Though this puts Joshy more in my wheelhouse, I can’t claim that it does a lot to explore its themes or roles. While the film launches from a dark place, it fails to dig into the aftermath especially well, as it prefers to focus on off-kilter stabs at character portraits to the exclusion of anything else.

Much of Joshy came from cast improvisation based on a scripted outline, and this loose framework shows. Films like that can succeed – This Is Spinal Tap remains king of that construct – but the technique flops in the meandering, aimless Joshy.

The movie includes a good cast, but they don’t take advantage of the improv framework, and director Jeff Baena can’t corral all the different elements into anything vaguely coherent. We find ourselves stuck with loosely connected character bits that lack real depth, humor or entertainment value.

Because it lacks much of an actual narrative, one could argue that Joshy comes with a greater sense of realism than the average film, but it also saddles the viewer with a lot of contrived drama. It’s bad enough that Josh ended up single due to tragedy, but the film also gives us other characters going through Significant Life Events. These elements feel forced and artificial.

The movie’s biggest problem remains its lack of drive or character investment, though, as well as its rampant self-indulgence. Joshy ambles through its 93 minutes with little focus or reason for the viewer to care about its events. Add in a lack of amusement or emotion and Joshy becomes more of a failed experiment than an actual movie.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Joshy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great transfer.

Sharpness looked mostly positive. A little softness cropped up during occasional shots, but the majority of the film was fairly accurate and distinctive. I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.

In terms of palette, Joshy went with a subdued take on orange and teal. Though it favored these tones, they went with an intentionally pale orientation. Within the stylistic choices, the hues seemed fine. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. Although the image didn’t dazzle, it seemed satisfactory.

The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the story. This meant the soundscape accentuated general atmosphere and not much else. Outside of bar sequences, I couldn’t detect much that added particular dimensionality. The elements brought a little breadth but not much.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness. Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate. This ended up as a serviceable mix for a character comedy.

The Blu-ray comes with one extra: an audio commentary from writer/director Jeff Baena, producer/actor Adam Pally and actor Thomas Middleditch. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and development, story/character areas and the improvised nature of the shoot, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and connected areas.

Given the unusual use of improvisation, I hoped this would become a great look at how the shoot came together. While we do get a handful of notes in that realm, much of the track focuses on self-congratulation and happy talk. Throw in Middleditch’s penchant for silly voices and bad stabs at comedy and it becomes a chore to get through this track. A self-indulgent movie presents a self-indulgent commentary.

The disc opens with ads for Dirty Grandpa, Casual, Life After Beth, Natural Born Pranksters and Sundown. No trailer for Joshy pops up here.

With its introverted, character-based take on a genre dominated by bawdiness, Joshy displays potential. Unfortunately, it fails to explore its themes in a satisfying way and it lacks coherence or entertainment value. The Blu-ray brings us generally positive picture and audio as well as an annoying commentary. Joshy delivers a sluggish snoozer.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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