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David Wain
Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney, A.D. Miles
Writing Credits:
Paul Rudd, David Wain, Ken Marino, Timothy Dowling (and story), W. Blake Herron

Danny and Wheeler were just sentenced to 150 hours mentoring kids. Worst idea ever.

When two salesmen trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender, the court gives them a choice: do hard time or spend 150 service hours with a mentorship program.

After one day with the kids, jail doesn't look half-bad.

Box Office:
$28 million.
Opening Weekend
$19.167 million on 2792 screens.
Domestic Gross
$67.266 million.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:
French Runtime: 99 min. (Theatrical Version)
101 min (Extended Cut)
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 3/10/2009

• Both Theatrical and Extended Versions of the Film
• Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer David Wain
• Deleted Scenes and Alternative Takes
• Bloopers
• “On the Set of Role Models” Featurette
• “Game On: Creating a Role Playing World” Featurette
• “In Character and Off Script” Featurette
• “U-Control” Interactive Feature
• “Ye Olde Crest Maker” Game


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.


Role Models [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 22, 2015)

Today’s biggest surprise: Judd Apatow played no role in the production of 2008’s Role Models. One look at the film and it screams “Apatow”. It’s a hard-“R” comedy, stars Apatow regular Paul Rudd, features Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Superbad, and includes other Apatow staples like Jane Lynch and Ken Jeong. How could it not come from the Apatow factory?

Role Models introduces us to energy drink salesmen Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott). Wheeler loves the job, but after a decade with the company, Danny worries that his life is going nowhere and he’s stuck in a rut.

To break out of this, he proposes to long-time girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks), but this doesn’t go well. She’s fed up with the cynical misanthrope he’s become and she dumps him.

Hopped up on “Minotaur” – their energy drink - Danny responds poorly to an attempted towing of the company truck. Damage ensues, so both he and Wheeler get sentenced to community service to work off their crime.

This lands them as “big brothers” through a group called “Sturdy Wings”. Program leader Gayle Sweeny (Jane Lynch) assigns Danny to Augie (Mintz-Plasse), a nerd totally devoted to fantasy role-playing. Wheeler gets Ronnie (Bobb’e Thompson), a foul-mouthed budding sociopath. The guys try to cope with the challenges presented by their “littles” and escape unscathed.

If you desire a deep, intricate plot, Role Models isn’t the place to look. In truth, the story exists as little more than a general framework to set up a variety of wacky episodes. Sure, Danny gets something of an arc, but even that’s nothing more than a conceit created to plop him in his dire straits.

And all of this offers good fun much of the time. Of course, we get stuck with the inevitable sappiness when Danny and Wheeler grow fond of their “littles” and undergo personality growth. That side of things made the film’s second half less enthralling, as Models amuses best when it stays simple and crass.

A fine cast helps make the flick more entertaining. Will you see Rudd, Scott or any of the others break a sweat? No – all of the participants have played enough similar roles that nothing here requires them to stretch horizons.

But that’s fine, as the various participants mesh well and create amusing performances. Rudd gets some of the best material, though Lynch gives him a run for his money. She’s stolen many a movie, and she darned near does it again here. The way she spouts bizarre platitudes and recovery mumbo-jumbo means that all of her scenes entertain.

Role Models follows a lot of predictable paths and never quite emerges as a great comedy. Nonetheless, it boasts more than a few funny sequences, and it creates an enjoyable experience. Don’t expect anything great, but you’ll get good comedy here.

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

Role Models appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the image mostly satisfied.

Sharpness seemed fine most of the time. The occasional soft shot materialized, but nothing too severe occurred, as the majority of the movie looked pretty accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. I also didn’t see any specks, marks or other print flaws.

Colors looked positive. The image took on an amber/orange tone much of the time, and the hues seemed fine within those parameters. Blacks appeared reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed clear delineation. All of this was good enough for a “B”.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Role Models remained unexceptional but acceptable. 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.

How does the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio was a bit peppier, and visuals seemed tighter and more film-like. The DVD suffered from bland picture quality, so this became a nice upgrade.

Like the DVD, the Blu-ray includes both the film’s theatrical cut (1:39:01) and an unrated version (1:41:07). 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.

40 Deleted Scenes and Alternative Takes fill a total of 49 minutes, 49 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.

Note that while the DVD also included deleted/alternate material, the Blu-ray presents much more of this footage. The DVD came with 19 scenes and that collection ran 24 minutes,

More footage appears in Bloopers. This three-minute and 55-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, 43 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” (2:40), “Kuzzik: Proud Zanthian” (2:58) and “Davith of Glencracken” (2:29). 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.

Two Blu-ray exclusives come next. Ye Olde Crest Maker gives you a few options for tour own role-playing shield. It’s a pretty pointless exercise.

Under U-Control, we get a picture-in-picture program. It delivers a mix of behind the scenes shots and comments from Rudd, Scott, Wain, Parent, Lynch, Mintz-Plasse, Banks, Stuber, Marino, Miles. Kenney-Silver, Thompson, Lo Truglio, prop master Tony Bonaventura, story writer Timothy Dowling, Wain’s parents Norman and Nina, and actors Louis CK, Carly Craig, Keegan-Michael Key, Vincent Martella, Seth Herzog, and Nicole Randall Johnson.

We get info about story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and related topics. The remarks offer decent material, but the best aspects of “U-Control” come from outtakes, as we find lots of alternate lines/improv moments. Those make this a pretty good extra.

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 Blu-ray provides generally good picture and audio as well as a nice set of supplements. With superior visuals/sound and more bonus materials, this becomes a fine step up from the movie’s DVD.

To rate this film visit the original review of ROLE MODELS

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