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Noah Baumbach
Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried
Writing Credits:
Noah Baumbach

A middle-aged couple's career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. MPAA:
Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 6/30/2015

• Four Featurettes
• Two Behind the Scenes Segments
• 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.


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While We're Young (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 5, 2017)

A relationship tale for those of us in our 40s, 2015’s While We’re Young introduces us to married couple Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts). They’re stuck in a middle-aged rut and can’t figure out how to get out of it.

Josh teaches a documentary film class, and that’s where he meets 20-something lovers Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). The two couples become pals and spend plenty of time together. We follow the Josh/Cornelia and Jamie/Darby interactions as well as how they impact the older couple.

Incoherence, thy name is While We’re Young! An odd, unconvincing mishmash of genres and plot elements, the film fails to find its way much of the time.

Maybe I should praise the movie’s grand ambitions rather than condemn them. Maybe I should applaud the filmmakers’ refusal to suffer the constraints of typical storytelling.

Maybe I would if Young didn’t offer such a random, bizarre affair. Based on my plot synopsis, you’ll probably expect the movie to provide a generational tale in which the older Josh and Cornelia try to keep up with the younger Joneses, fail, and learn to love middle age.

And you’d be right – for part of the time. Oddly, though, Young eventually develops into an unexpected Usual Suspects vibe with a Hitchcockian feel. Heck, Watts even starts to look like frequent Hitchcock leading lady Grace Kelly after a while!

This doesn’t work. For much of the film, we get a movie that wants to have its Wes Anderson and eat it too. We find a tale that casts a broad net of mockery, one that makes fun of 20-something hipsters, 40-somethings who refuse to grow old gracefully and baby-obsessed mothers.

Although this creates some amusement, it means we find few sympathetic characters. Jamie, Darby and their Millennial pals exist as little more than smug hipster stereotypes, roles that can’t ever become likeable or realistic. Josh and Cornelia attempt to turn into three-dimensional people, but they don’t quite get there either, partly due to the bizarre plot twists.

As mentioned, the story veers down unexpected paths as it goes. Rather than embrace its logical “generation clash” narrative, the movie turns into a weird thriller in which Josh desperately tries to expose Jamie.

Why? I have no idea. Maybe the filmmakers couldn’t come up with a good ending for the characters so they opted for something kooky.

I do know it doesn’t work. Granted, the more predictable parts of Young don’t fare all that well either, but at least they show internal consistency.

When Young embraces its inner Hitchcock, though, it goes off the deep end. An unsatisfying melange of genres, the film lacks much to make it interesting on a consistent basis.

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

While We’re Young appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but not great transfer.

Sharpness looked mostly positive. A little softness cropped up during occasional shots, but the majority of the film was fairly accurate and distinctive. I witnessed no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. As expected, the film lacked any print flaws.

In terms of palette, Young went with a mix of orange, teal and amber. It didn’t overwhelm us with these choices, but they dominated. Within the stylistic choices, the hues seemed fine. Blacks were deep and tight, and shadows looked smooth and clear. Although the image didn’t dazzle, it seemed satisfactory.

The movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the story. This meant the soundscape accentuated general atmosphere and not much else. A hallucinatory sequence opened up matters but most of the mix seemed pretty restrained. The elements added a little breadth but not much.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without roughness or brittleness. Music was warm and full, and effects came across as accurate. This ended up as a serviceable mix for a character tale.

The Blu-ray offers a few supplements. Under Featurettes, we find four pieces: “The Cast” (2:09), “Director Noah Baumbach” (2:04), “Charles Grodin” (1:20) and “Generation Tech” (1:55).

Across these, we hear from writer/director Noah Baumbach and actors Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. We learn about cast and performances, story/character areas, and how technology functions in today’s life. A few minor insights crop up here but not much that I’d call memorable.

Behind the Scenes offers two segments: “Ayahuasca Ceremony” (1:22) and “Hip Hop Class” (1:05). In these, we hear from Watts, Baumbach and Seyfried. The clips tell us about the shooting of those two sequences. Like the “Featurettes”, these lack substance.

The disc opens with ads for Love and Mercy, A Most Violent Year, Laggies, The Skeleton Twins and Obvious Child. No trailer for Young shows up here.

At times, While We’re Young offers decent comedic entertainment. However, it feels unfocused and lacks the character thrust it needs to become memorable. The Blu-ray provides mostly good picture and audio along with some minor supplements. The movie gives us enough to keep us occupied but it doesn’t deliver more than that.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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