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Walt Becker
Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Durand, M.C. Gainey, Jill Hennessy, Dominic Janes
Writing Credits:
Brad Copeland

A lot can happen on the road to nowhere.

Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy star in Wild Hogs, the hysterically funny comedy about four weekend-warrior friends who decide to rev up their ho-hum suburban lives with a cross-country motorcycle adventure. They don their leathers, fire up their hogs and throw caution and their cell phones to the wind as they hit the open highway. But a lot can happen on the road to nowhere, including a run-in with the bad-to-the-bone Del Fuegos, a real biker gang who don't take kindly to the wannabes. Filled with hilarious misadventures, screwball situations and madcap mayhem, this laugh-out-loud comedy is a movie your whole family will go hog wild over!

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$39.699 million on -unknown- screens.
Domestic Gross
$168.005 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 8/14/2007

• Audio Commentary with Director Walt Becker and Writer Brad Copeland
• “Bikes, Brawls and Burning Bars: The Making of Wild Hogs” Featurette
• “How to Get Your Wife to Let You Buy a Motorcycle” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending
• Outtakes
• Previews


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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Wild Hogs (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 99, 2007)

With five months left in the year, 2007 might produce another hit as surprising as Wild Hogs. A mid-life crisis comedy with one well-regarded character actor and three former stars all apparently on the downside of their careers? That didn’t inspire confidence, and the critics agreed: it stunk. However, movie-goers at it up and delivered a shocking $168 million gross for the film.

Hogs introduces us to middle class Cincinnati middle-agers Doug (Tim Allen), Bobby (Martin Lawrence), Dudley (William H. Macy) and Woody (John Travolta). All led dull lives and they need a little excitement. Their main pleasure comes from their little motorcycle riding club, as they trot out their Harleys to tool around town.

To live up to their hoped-for bad-ass status, Woody suggests a group roadtrip. He eventually gets the other three guys to agree and hit the highways. The flick follows their adventures along the way.

I went into Hogs with exceedingly low expectations. Perhaps due to that factor, I actually found it to be surprisingly entertaining. However, take that as faint praise, for in this case, “surprisingly entertaining” means the film didn’t make me want to slit my wrists.

No, Hogs never caused me to consider suicide, and it offered a little amusement along the way. Not much, but “a little” beats “no”, I suppose. Much of the credit goes to the cast. Not only does the film boast a pretty good roster of leads, but also we get a mix of talents in cameos. I won’t mention them so I don’t ruin any surprises, but the flick fills out supporting parts with many good performers, and that factor bolsters its effectiveness.

Given the caliber of the actors, though, I probably should view Hogs as more of a disappointment. It definitely incorporates an awful lot of talent for not a lot of entertainment. Again, my relatively positive view simply comes from the fact that I anticipated a completely painful experience based on what I’d heard about the film. I still think so many talented folks should be able to make a more effective movie.

Macy gets most of the laughs. He doesn’t stretch his skills to play a shy, nerdy computer programmer. I think Macy could play that kind of role in his sleep, and he may well have done so here. Nonetheless, he brings an endearing quirkiness to Dudley that gives him some mildly amusing moments. The other three leads do nothing to harm their roles, but they fail to elevate them. Only Macy manages to add anything to his one-dimensional part.

Perhaps my biggest complaint about Hogs comes from the predictable – and often really tacky – nature of its gags. We get an unpleasant thread of homophobia that runs through many of the jokes; these feel dated and ineffective. No, the movie doesn’t bash gays, but it uses homoerotic themes for comedy and they prove unlikable. We also find too many gags about the problems of middle-aged men, but at least those feel more natural in this sort of flick.

You know, I could rip apart Wild Hogs. It’s really not a very good movie, and it comes with a mix of flaws. But I won’t attack it, partly because it provided a smattering of amusing moments, and partly because I’ve seen many crummier films. This one never remotely threatens to become memorable, but it doesn’t cause pain either. And at least it never uses “Born to Be Wild” in its soundtrack; I suppose it deserves some sort of award for that.

Footnote: is it just me, or is there something oddly fun about hearing Tim Allen refer to a character named “Woody”? Maybe that’s why I didn’t hate Wild Hogs: I got to flashback to the Toy Story films.

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

Wild Hogs appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. No real concerns cropped up in this positive presentation.

Sharpness was good. A little edge enhancement meant some wide shots came across as a bit soft, but those instances seemed rare. Most of the flick was reasonably well-defined and accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, though, and sources flaws remained absent.

The film went with a natural palette. The hues looked accurate and concise, as the colors consistently appeared clean and distinct. Blacks were good, and shadows seemed clear and concise. Overall, the transfer appeared more than satisfactory.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio of Wild Hogs also worked well. With all the road scenes, the soundfield opened up nicely. Bikes and other vehicles zipped around the spectrum well and created a fine sense of the highway settings. Otherwise we got general ambience that formed the places in a pleasing manner. The surrounds added good info to the mix; they weren’t particularly active much of the time, but they connected with the forward speakers to a good degree.

Audio quality was strong. Speech always remained natural and concise, and the score showed solid range and clarity. Songs followed suit, while effects also came across as clean and accurate. They displayed punch when necessary and always seemed well represented. This was a perfectly good mix.

Hogs comes with a few extras. We begin with an audio commentary from director Walt Becker and writer Brad Copeland. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. We learn about what brought them onto the project, locations and sets, cast and performances, song choices, stunts, motorcycle-related topics, and a few other production notes.

Becker and Copeland provide a competent but fairly banal commentary. They tell us some good details, most of which connect to the actors and their work. However, we get a lot of praise for all involved and the track never becomes terribly involving. There’s enough here to keep fans interested, but the commentary never becomes very stimulating.

Two featurettes follow. Bikes, Brawls and Burning Bars: The Making of Wild Hogs goes for 16 minutes, 18 seconds as it mixes movie clips, behind the scenes bits and interviews. We hear from Becker, Copeland, stunt coordinator Jack Gill, and actors John Travolta, William H. Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence. We learn what attracted Becker to the project, issues related to the cast and performances, motorcycle-related subjects such as actor training, improvisation, stunts, action and general notes.

Though “Bikes” comes with some of the expected happy talk, it does manage to deliver a mix of good notes. I like the discussion of how they got the actors comfortable on their bikes, and it’s also amusing to see Ray Liotta’s intensity on the set. Don’t expect a stellar featurette, but “Bikes” is pretty good.

Next comes How to Get Your Wife to Let You Buy a Motorcycle. In this two-minute and 48-second clip, Gill offers some tips. This mostly acts as a conglomeration of movie clips and has little value beyond cuteness.

Two Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending fill a total of four minutes, eight seconds. In addition to the “Ending” (1:34), we get “Acute Molar Abscess” (1:15) and “Chili Pepper Abuse” (1:19). “Molar” just offers a minor extension of the scene in Doug’s office, while “Abuse” provides a short intro to a confrontation at the Madrid chili festival. Neither are problematic, but they’re pretty extraneous.

At least they’re better than the “Alternate Ending”. Frankly, it’s dreadful. It extends an already poor running gag and would have completed the flick on a truly idiotic note.

The first two can be viewed with or without commentary from Becker and Copeland. They offer some basic notes about the segments and let us know why they cut them. I have no idea why they couldn’t fine the 79 seconds to discuss “Abuse”, though.

A collection of Outtakes runs two minutes, 34 seconds. These feature the usual fooling around moments and various mistakes. None of them are more interesting than usual despite the presence of various comedians on the set.

A few ads open the DVD. We find promos for The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D, The Invisible and The Santa Clause 3. These also appear in the Sneal Peeks area along with clips for Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Third Season, ABC Family programming and Ugly Betty: Season One. No trailer for Hogs appears on the disc.

Wild Hogs provides completely mediocre entertainment. Given my insanely low expectations for the film, that comes as something of an accomplishment; I feared it’d be a much crummier flick. It’s not a good movie, but it could’ve been significantly worse. The DVD offers very good picture and audio as well as a decent collection of extras. Though more enjoyable than I expected, I still think Hogs is forgettable at best. I can’t recommend this DVD to anyone who doesn’t already know they love the film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1818 Stars Number of Votes: 33
3 3:
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