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Jonathan Levine
Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael
Writing Credits:
Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah

Journalist Fred Flarsky reunites with his childhood crush, Charlotte Field, now one of the most influential women in the world.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 125 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 7/30/2019

• “All's Fair in Love and Politics” Featurette
• “Seven Minutes in Heaven” Featurette
• “Epic Flarsky Falls” Featurette
• “Secret Weapons” Featurette
• “Prime Minister Steward O-Rama”
• “Hanging With Boyz II Men” Featurette
• “Just Kind of Crushing It” Featurette
• “The First Mister” Featurette
• “An Imperfect Union” Featurette
• “Love and Politics” Featurette
• “Friends Like These” Featurette
• Previews


-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


Long Shot [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 5, 2019)

12 years after Knocked Up made him a star, Seth Rogen acts in a similar kind of rom-com via 2019’s Long Shot. As a teen, Charlotte Field (Aviva Mongillo) babysat for Fred Farkas (Braxton Herda), a youngster who experienced a major crush on the older girl.

As adults, Fred (Rogen) writes for a small newspaper in Brooklyn, while Charlotte (Charlize Theron) serves as the US Secretary of State. When a major conglomerate buys Fred’s paper, he quits in a huff and his buddy Lance (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) takes him to a swanky party to boost his spirits.

At this event, Fred reconnects with Charlotte. She plans to run for president in 2020, and she decides to bring him onto her team as a speechwriter. This eventually leads to a romantic connection as well as complications.

In no way would I call Long Shot a remake of Knocked Up, but as I mentioned at the start, both explore similar territory. In particular, we get the “beauty and the beast” approach to romance, as the not-especially-appealing Rogen manages to woo a radically more attractive woman.

Of course, both movies find a way to explain this leap of faith. In Knocked Up, Rogen beds Katherine Heigl due to massive amounts of intoxicants, while here, the past shared by Rogen and Theron allows for their connection.

Judd Apatow painted that romance well enough in Knocked Up to allow me to suspend disbelief and accept that Heigl would eventually partner with a troll like Rogen. Shot director Jonathan Levine can’t work the same magic, and all the backstory in the world doesn’t allow me to accept that the regal, accomplished Charlotte would want to be with a scruffy oddball like Fred.

Apatow is just better at this kind of film, and the talent involved here can’t pull off a similar story. With Knocked Up, Apatow made a messy movie that worked despite its multiple concerns, but during Shot, the flaws stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Too much of the time, Shot stretches credulity in a variety of ways. For one, why does 13-year—old Fred still have a babysitter?

Because kiddie Fred needs to kiss teen Charlotte and then get a boner. I understand that the filmmakers didn’t want a younger boy. It’s already creepy enough to focus on a 13-year-old’s erection, so a scene with a boy who would still need a babysitter – say, a 10-year-old – would be even less palatable.

Still, there’s a lack of logic in the notion that a 13-year-old still gets babysat, and it wouldn’t have been hard to fix this. Just throw in a line that explains Fred’s parents are ultra-cautious or whatever – disconnect solved.

Shot creates other weird problems for itself, too. For instance, Fred’s e-mail address uses the number “1982”, presumably to signify his year of birth. That’s when Roger was born, so this makes sense.

Except Fred clearly was supposed to be 13 by 1991 or 1992. He and teen Charlotte refer to President Bush and Vice President Quayle, so that automatically dates the story to that era. Why then imply Fred was born in 1982 when this would place his first kiss in 1995 during the Clinton administration?

Because Shot is a sloppy film, one that really exists more as a concept that anything else. The writers appear to have come up with the notion of a Knocked Up-style romance set in the world of politics and they didn’t bother to think out the project much beyond that.

Inevitably, the impact of the current era impacts Shot, and in a gratuitous manner. Though apparently a Democrat, the movie’s President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk) comes across as a clear Trump clone, albeit one more simple-minded and less cruel/odious. (He also seems to prefer Instagram to Twitter for his insults.)

We also meet Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis), the owner of a media conglomerate obviously modeled after Rupert Murdoch’s empire. “Wembley News” offers a simplistic riff on Fox News.

I mention none of this to defend Trump, Murdoch or Fox News, all of whom I loathe. I mention this to indicate the ways in which the film reflects modern media and politics.

If Shot incorporated this material in a witty, insightful way, that’d be fine, but it just takes cheap shots. Nothing here shows intelligence or cleverness, as the movie just aims for the lowest hanging fruit.

Shot also stretches credulity in numerous other ways. It forces characters to behave in crass ways that wouldn’t happen in real politics – not even in the debased Trump era – and much of the story makes little sense.

Some amusement still results, as the cast boasts too much talent for the film to flop entirely. Nonetheless, most of Shot feels like it should be a lot funnier than it is, mainly because it rarely attempts anything other than cliché gags and scenarios.

After 20 years in TV and movies, you’d think Rogen would’ve developed some acting chops by now. Actually, I’m sure he’s a better actor than he was when he started, but not by much, and he’s shown little progress even since Knocked Up.

Rogen’s lack of skill becomes even more obvious when a movie pits him with a real actor, and that becomes an issue here. During the dramatic scenes, Theron mops the floor with Rogen, and she pulls off the comedy better as well, mainly because she manages to create a fairly believable person, whereas Rogen just plays “generic Seth Rogen character”.

I hoped Shot would offer a good mix of comedy and romance with a little political edge, but the end result becomes a messy melange with scant purpose. It lacks coherence and becomes a progressively less interesting tale that only improves when it finally – mercifully – runs the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Long Shot appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a largely appealing presentation.

Sharpness usually satisfied, with only a smattering of soft shots in a few interiors. Instead, most of the movie seemed accurate and well-defined.

The image lacked shimmering or jaggies, and it also demonstrated no edge haloes. Print flaws remained absent as well.

To the surprise of no one, the presentation presented an orange and teal palette. Though these felt tedious, the Blu-ray executed them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks looked dark and dense, while shadows felt smooth and concise. I thought we got a well-rendered transfer.

A dialogue-heavy affair, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Long Shot lacked much breadth to its soundscape. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music showed good stereo presence and some scenes – like at clubs and parties – boasted a bit of involvement, but not a lot added to the sonic experience.

One notable exception occurred: a scene in which Fred and Charlotte dealt with an assault in Manila. This sequence didn’t run too long, but it became easily the most active and dynamic of the film.

Audio quality satisfied, with dialogue that came across as natural and concise. Music showed nice range and warmth.

Effects didn’t have much to do, but they stayed accurate and lacked distortion. Again, this wasn’t a dynamic mix, but I thought it suited the story.

Expect a slew of featurettes here, and we launch with All's Fair in Love and Politics, a 29-minute, 55-second reel with notes from producers James Weaver and Evan Goldberg, screenwriters Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling, director Jonathan Levine, production designer Kalina Ivanov, costume designer Mary Vogt, and actors Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

“Fair” looks at story/characters and the project’s path to the screen, cast and performances, research and realism, sets and locations, costumes, music, and collaborations. “Fair” offers a fairly deep look at the production.

Seven Minutes in Heaven goes for six minutes, 55 seconds and presents a dual chat with Theron and Rogen. They talk about their collaboration and other aspects related to the movie. It’s an enjoyable and semi-informative reel.

Next comes Epic Flarsky Falls, a six-minute, 12 second piece with notes from Levine, Weaver, Jackson, Ivanov, stunt coordinator David McKeown, and stunt double Tyler Hall. We follow the execution of two stunt sequences in this fun program.

With Secret Weapons, we get a 15-minute, 53-second program with Levine, Jackson, Rogen, Weaver, Theron, and actors June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel, and Bob Odenkirk.

“Weapons” examines supporting cast and performances. It can be a little fluffy but we get some decent notes along the way.

A supporting actor comes to the fore via Prime Minister Steward O-Rama. It goes for four minutes, 55 seconds and features Theron, Levine, Rogen, Raphael, and Goldberg.

Here we get thoughts about Alexander Skarsgård’s performance. It seems odd that Skarsgård himself doesn’t appear, but we still wind up with a few useful tidbits.

Hanging With Boyz II Men fills five minutes, 49 seconds with info from Levine, Theron, Jackson, and musicians Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman and Nathan Morris. As implied by the title, this one looks at the guest appearance of Boyz, and it’s a competent overview.

After this we get Just Kind of Crushing It, a four-minute, 13-second clip that shows various behind the scenes shots from the production. It’s awfully random but it shows some decent outtakes.

Via The First Mister, we see a seven-minute, 25-second segment with Levine, Rogen, and artist Todd McFarlane. “Mister” covers the McFarlane-created art seen at the film’s end. It offers an enjoyable take on the topic.

In An Imperfect Union, we locate a seven-minute, 28-second piece with Rogen, Odenkirk, Theron, Raphael, Levine, Weaver, Jackson, Goldberg, Vogt and Patel. “Union” gives us a general look at aspects of the shoot. Other than some good footage from the set, this seems like a pretty mediocre reel.

Love and Politics. runs five minutes, 15 seconds and includes Rogen, Theron, Sterling, Levine, Odenkirk, and Weaver. The show examines the movie’s mix of politics and romance to become a decent but fluffy show.

Finally, we go to Friends Like These, a three-minute, 56-second clip that features Jackson, Levine, Rogen, Odenkirk, Theron, Weaver, Goldberg, Patel, and Raphael. “Friends” discusses supporting cast and feels repetitive since “Weapons” covers the same ground – and uses some of the same soundbites.

The disc opens with ads for John Wick Chapter 3 and Hellboy (2019). No trailer for Long Shot appears here.

At its core, Long Shot sounds like an appealing rom-com. Unfortunately, it becomes preachy, sloppy and unsatisfying. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with an informative package of bonus materials. Long Shot winds up as a major disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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