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Sebastian Silva
Sebastian Silva, Kristen Wiig, Tunde Adebimpe, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis
Writing Credits:
Sebastian Silva

A close-knit trio navigates the idea of creating life, while at the same time being confronted with a brutal scenario that causes them to take a life.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $26.99
Release Date: 12/22/2015

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director/Actor Sebastian Silva and Actors Kristen Wiig and Tunde Adebimpe
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• Photo Gallery
• 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.


Nasty Baby (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 21, 2015)

Like most Saturday Night Live alums, Kristen Wiig remains best-known as a comedic actor, and that will probably always be the case. However, Wiig shows an eagerness to branch out into more dramatic fare, and she does so again via 2015’s Nasty Baby.

Brooklyn-based artist Freddy (Sebastian Silva) wants to have a baby, so he and his partner Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) enlist the help of their friend Polly (Wiig) to do so. As part of this process, Freddy also feels he should use his career to turn himself into a “baby” for public artistic reasons.

Complications ensue due to Freddy’s poor sperm, as that means Mo needs to be the donor, a task he doesn’t seem eager to embrace. A homeless man who calls himself “The Bishop” (Reg E. Cathey) also creates some disruptions, and those eventually lead down an unforeseen path.

I decided to view Baby solely due to Wiig’s presence. I like her as an actor and was curious to see what she’d do in a small, more personal piece such as this.

Boy, do I regret that decision! Perhaps I should have inspected the movie’s credits more, as I would’ve seen that Silva wrote, starred in and directed Baby. The presence of someone so prominent doesn’t necessarily stand as a bad thing – there have been plenty of movies made with one dominating force behind them – but I think the “triple threat” creates a greater likelihood that the result will be self-indulgent.

That becomes the case for the sluggish, dull Baby. It never does anything to prompt us to invest in the lives of its characters, as it depicts them as little more than the stereotypical Brooklyn hipsters, more fascinated with their own quirks than anything else.

That’s a thin framework for a feature film, and Baby does nothing to explore the situations or personalities. It keeps the characters bland and superficial, so we don’t care about them. They remain so thin that they barely manage to stick to the screen.

The virtual absence of a real story arc doesn’t help. Apparently Silva lacked confidence in the tale about the potential pregnancy so he tacked on the parts with the Bishop. These feel gratuitous and desperate, as though Silva knew the movie suffered from a total lack of substance and wanted to distract the viewers with extraneous attempts at drama.

All of this adds up to a difficult 101 minutes. I kept waiting for something interesting or intriguing to develop in Nasty Baby, but it never occurred. Rambling and largely pointless, the movie fails to accomplish any of its goals.

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

Nasty Baby appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The picture never excelled, but it was acceptable for SD-DVD.

Sharpness was usually fine. Wider shots tended to be a bit soft, but those instances weren’t extreme, and much of the flick offered decent to good clarity. Shimmering and jaggies were minor and edge haloes seemed non-problematic. Print flaws were non-existent, as I detected no specks, marks or other blemishes.

The film’s palette usually opted for a mild amber tint. Within that design range, the colors seemed passable; they weren’t especially strong, but they were okay. Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, but shadows showed reasonable smoothness. Nothing here did much to impress, but this was an acceptable presentation.

Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as we got a mix heavy on music and general environmental material. Even when the material broadened, it stayed restrained and effects could seem borderline monaural. This became a restricted track for 5.1.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score demonstrated pretty good vivacity. Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a passable mix.

In terms of extras, we find an audio commentary with writer/director/actor Sebastian Silva and actors Kristen Wiig and Tunde Adebimpe. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story and characters, music, locations, cast and performances, and other areas.

Irony alert: the presence of Wiig on this commentary did a lot to influence my decision to review Nasty Baby. After I saw the movie, I regretted this, as I didn’t feel excited to listen to 101 minutes of discussion related to Baby. That said, I’ve enjoyed other commentaries for films I disliked, so I held out hope this track would prove to be entertaining.

Alas, that hope went unfulfilled. The commentary starts poorly, as the first third or so seems just as meandering and self-indulgent as the film itself. Silva discusses his bald spot, Adebimpe tells us he doesn't like to appear shirtless, and Wiig sounds like she wants to be somewhere else.

After the initial segment, the commentary does improve, as we get occasional nuggets, usually from Silva. However, the track remains fairly weak, as even the most informative moments seem lackluster. Given that the movie's dialogue was apparently entirely improvised, I suspect there are many interesting details to learn about the shoot, We get very few of those in this dull chat.

A Behind the Scenes featurette lasts 14 minutes, 21 seconds and takes us to the set. It lacks many comments from participants, as it instead shows us the action during the shoot. It gives us a decent overview of the filming process.

Next we locate a Photo Gallery. It shows 19 shots from the set. It becomes a pretty bland collection.

The disc opens with ads for A Brilliant Young Mind, Ricki and the Flash and The Night Before. No trailer for Baby appears here.

Self-indulgent and formless, Nasty Baby delivers a boring experience. The movie simply ambles along without purpose for 101 minutes and never becomes anything even vaguely interesting or intriguing. The DVD brings us generally good picture and audio as well as lackluster supplements. If there’s anything positive in Nasty Baby, I can’t find it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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