Role Models 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. Though always watchable, the transfer seemed ordinary.
Sharpness varied. Most shots demonstrated good delineation, but more than a few exceptions occurred. Wide shots tended to be somewhat soft and fuzzy, so they created occasional distractions. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but edge enhancement cropped up through the film; I noticed moderate haloes a fair amount of the time. The flick also tended to be a bit grainy, but other source flaws failed to appear.
Colors looked fairly ordinary. The image took on a golden tone much of the time, but the image stayed with a pretty natural impression. The hues seemed acceptable but they weren’t particularly strong. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed decent delineation; some low-light shots were a bit too thick, though. All of this was good enough for a mediocre “C+”.
I also thought the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Role Models remained unexceptional, though it worked better than the visuals. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that.
In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, though I noticed a little edginess at times. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.
We get a pretty good mix of supplements here. The DVD includes both the theatrical and unrated versions of Role Models. The former runs 99 minutes, while the latter goes for 102 minutes. I watched the extended cut here, and I never saw the theatrical edition, so I can’t compare the two. I wanted to mention the presence of both versions, though.
We find an audio commentary from director/co-writer David Wain. He offers a running, screen-specific chat that look at the project’s origins and development, script and alterations made along the way, cast and characters, performances, improvisation and reshoots, costume and production design, editing and deleted scenes, and other production topics.
Expect a fine commentary here. Wain provides a solid look at his movie, as he digs into a mix of interesting subjects. He does so with enthusiasm and humor, so he makes it a fun ride as well. This becomes a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying discussion.
19 Deleted Scenes and Alternative Takes fill a total of 24 minutes, 20 seconds. It’s clear that these weren’t cut for content, as most are quite amusing. Not a lot of plot material shows up here, though some scenes indicate that Danny and Wheeler were fired after their escapade; the final flick allows them to retain their jobs, so it’s clear that’s why those sequences – which include Wheeler at his new job – got the boot. As for the others, I’d guess most were time cuts, and some are alternate versions of existing segments. They prove consistently enjoyable.
More footage appears in Bloopers. This three-minute and 52-second reel offers some of the standard goofs and giggles, but it also includes quite a few alternate lines. That factor elevates it above the usual nonsense and makes it worth a look.
Three featurettes follow. On the Set of Role Models goes for seven minutes, 41 seconds and includes notes from Wain, co-screenwriters/actors Ken Marino and Paul Rudd, producers Scott Stuber and Mary Parent, and actors Elizabeth Banks, Seann William Scott, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Bobb’e J. Thompson, and Jane Lynch. The show looks at script/story elements as well as cast and performances.
At no point does “Set” become a deep program, but it’s a fine view of the production. How can I dislike a featurette that starts with shots of actor Christopher Mintz-Plasse flicking Rudd’s nipples to make them hard? The participants provide a little info and some laughs, and the show throws in enough cool shots of the set to make this a good piece.
Game On: Creating a Role Playing World lasts nine minutes, 46 seconds and features Rudd, Mintz-Plasse, Kenney-Silver, Wain, Stuber, Banks, Scott, Marino, LARP technical advisor Adrianne Grady, fight coordinator Jeff Imada, costume designer Molly Maginnis, assistant costume designer Nanrose Buchman, and actor Ken Jeong. This one looks at the various aspects of the movie’s live role playing scenes. It’s a bit scattershot but it includes enough useful details about the various elements to allow it to succeed.
Finally, In Character and Off Script runs eight minutes, seven seconds, and breaks into three areas. We find “Sturdy Wings Salutes: Martin Gary” (2:41), “Kuzzik: Proud Zanthian” (2:58) and “Davith of Glencracken” (2:30). In these, we get improvised pieces with the various actors in character; in these, we find AD Miles (“Martin Gary”), Joe Lo Truglio (“Kuzzik”), and Matt Walsh (“Davith”). I wouldn’t call any of these classics, but all produce laughs.
The DVD opens with a few ads. We get promos for Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, the Wanted: Weapons of Fate videogame, Kings and the Fast and the Furious trilogy on Blu-Ray. No trailer for Role Models appears here.
At no point does Role Models do a whole lot to differentiate itself from the many other raunchy comedies of recent years. Nonetheless, it proves consistently enjoyable and amusing, largely due to many solid performances. The DVD provides mediocre audio, decent audio and a worthwhile collection of supplements. Neither the disc nor the movie excels, but both satisfy enough to earn my recommendation.