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David Schwimmer
Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, Dylan Moran, Harish Patel, India de Beaufort, Matthew Fenton, Simon Day
Writing Credits:
Michael Ian Black (and story), Simon Pegg

Love. Commitment. Responsibility. There's nothing he can't run away from.

A charming but oblivious overweight guy leaves his fiancee on their wedding day only to discover years later that he really loves her. To win her back, he must finish a marathon while making her realize that her new handsome, wealthy fiance is the wrong guy for her.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$2.340 million on 1133 screens.
Domestic Gross
$5.998 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 2.35:1/16X9
Fullscreen 1.33:1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $27.95
Release Date: 9/23/2008

• Audio Commentary with Director David Schwimmer, Actors Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, and Simon’s Mom Gill Pegg
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
• Outtakes
• “Goof” Featurette
• Trailers
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Run, Fatboy, Run (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 26, 2008)

Each and every one of the Friends lead actors failed to translate their TV stardom into big-time movie fame. Even Jennifer Aniston became better known as a tabloid item than as a performer, and the others settled into supporting work or less.

Given that fate, it makes sense that David Schwimmer apparently has decided to try his hand behind the camera. He makes his debut as a feature film director at the helm of 2008’s comedy Run Fatboy Run. Commitment-phobic Dennis Doyle (Simon Pegg) leaves his pregnant fiancée Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar. Five years later, Dennis figures out that he still carries a torch for Libby. The pair maintain an amicable relationship for the benefit of their son Jake (Matthew Fenton), but Libby seems to feel no romance for her former flame.

In fact, Libby has moved on to a new boyfriend, health nut Whit (Hank Azaria). Even with that obstacle in front of him, Dennis decides he will redeem himself and regain Libby’s love. How will he prove himself to her? Dennis plans to run in a marathon alongside Whit and establish himself as his foe’s equal. One problem: flabby Dennis can’t outrun an arthritic bulldog. The film follows his training and his attempts to win back the heart of his ex.

If we use Fatboy as evidence, Schwimmer might want to reclaim his day job. Perhaps Schwimmer will someday distinguish himself as a director. He does little to nothing to create a distinctive film.

Instead, under Schwimmer’s reins, Fatboy ambles and rambles. At only 100 minutes, it shouldn’t feel quite this long, should it? Perhaps some of that stems from the shallow nature of the plot, as the flick boasts a one-dimensional premise stretched into a feature film; the concept doesn’t leave a lot of room for depth, and the result tends to remain flat.

Nonetheless, I think Schwimmer could have done more with it than he does. Fatboy could’ve used some trims, as even 100 minutes is too long for such a thin project. It also would’ve benefited from a greater sense of pacing. There’s never any urgency or dynamic feel about Fatboy. Granted, it’s not a movie that needs to rush at a breakneck pace, but it sure might’ve worked better with a less lackadaisical tone.

Does Pegg have talent? Yeah, maybe, I suppose. As that last sentence implies, I feel ambivalence toward Pegg as a performer. While he seems adequate, he rarely does more than that. Much of the time he comes across as a poor man’s Ricky Gervais. Pegg doesn’t harm the movie, but he adds little to it.

Really, the only performer who stands out is India de Beaufort as the daughter of Dennis’s landlord. I don’t know if she’s much of an actress, but she’s super-hot. Maybe Dennis should forget about bony old Thandie Newton and go after the much sexier India instead!

Ultimately, Fatboy just comes across a dull, lifeless film. It plods along and never becomes particularly engaging. It had more potential, and it does produce a laugh or two, but other than the delightful sight of de Beaufort in skimpy clothes, I don’t think much of it.

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

Run Fatboy Run appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 and in a fullscreen version on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only the letterboxed picture was reviewed for this article. This was a consistently lackluster transfer.

Sharpness varied. Some scenes came across as a bit blocky, and compression artifacts created somewhat muddy definition at times, but the flick generally seemed reasonably well-defined. No issues with source flaws occurred, but I saw some light shimmering and jagged edges, and moderate edge enhancement cropped up as well.

Colors appeared decent at best. The general murkiness meant that they lacked much vivacity and tended to seem somewhat runny. Blacks followed suit, as dark elements looked muddy, and shadows were too dense. Low-light shots came across as dull and somewhat tough to discern. The image was good enough for a “C-“, but that was it.

At least the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Fatboy worked better. A smattering of sequences brought the five channels to life. For instance, the segments on the river or in the streets added pizzazz. These presented good localization of elements and blended together nicely. The material spread out the spectrum and made this an active setting at times, though most of the flick stayed with music and general ambience.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech sounded distinct and natural, and I encountered no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Effects appeared clean and accurate, and they showed reasonable depth when necessary. Music also demonstrated good dynamics, with bright highs and rich bass. Overall, the audio of Fatboy supported the material well.

We get a smattering of supplements here. Of prime interest is an audio commentary with director David Schwimmer, actors Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, and Simon’s mom Gill Pegg. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss shooting in London, cast, characters and performances, script and story subjects, and various scene specifics.

I must admit that I didn’t expect much from this commentary, but it turns out to be pretty good. Sure, we get some of the usual happy talk, but the track usually focuses on the flick in a satisfying manner. We learn quite a bit about the production in this enjoyable piece.

14 Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 20 seconds. Virtually all of these offer short extensions to existing scenes, so don’t expect anything substantial; they’re mostly just brief gags. We do find more of the thread in which Maya threatens Dennis with eviction via revealing Polaroids. It’s not particularly interesting, but we get some sexy shots of super-hot India de Beaufort, so I won’t complain.

We can watch the “Deleted Scenes” with or without commentary from Schwimmer. In his remarks, he essentially does little more than describe the sequences. Schwimmer has little to say in his inconsequential commentary; he gives us some basic thoughts at times, but dead air dominates.

A collection of Outtakes runs six minutes, 47 seconds. In addition to the usual goofs, it includes some alternate lines and takes. That factor makes it a little more valuable than usual.

Something unusual pops up under Goof. In this two-minute and 54-second reel, we see Simon Pegg in preparation for a promotional interview. However, Thandie Newton rigs things to make it more difficult for him. It’s a mildly amusing bit.

An ad for Be Kind Rewind opens the disc and also pops up under Sneak Peeks. In addition, the DVD provides both the domestic and international theatrical trailers for Run.

While not a bad film, Run Fatboy Run gives us an awfully unexceptional one. The film occasionally threatens to entertain, but it usually just meanders along and never quite engages us. The DVD offers mediocre visuals, pretty good audio, and a decent complement of supplements. I can’t recommend this forgettable flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.7142 Stars Number of Votes: 14
0 3:
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