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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Ben Falcone
Cast:
Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Kathy Bates, Peter Dinklage
Writing Credits:
Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory

Synopsis:
A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.

Box Office:
Budget
$29 Million.
Opening Weekend
$23,586,645 on 3,480 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$63,077,560.

MPAA:
Rated R/Unrated.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5..1
French DTS 5.1
English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 99 min. (Theatrical)
105 min. (Unrated)
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 7/26/2016

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Versions
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted Scenes
• Extended/Alternate Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Michelle Darnell” Original Sketch
• “Origin Story” Featurette
• “Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point” Featurette
• “Everybody Loves Kristen Bell” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Boss [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 6, 2016)

Five years after 2011’s Bridesmaids turned her into a movie star, Melissa McCarthy seems to have established a certain level of “box office comfort”. This means that even her less-successful efforts still manage to do okay.

Into this category falls 2016’s The Boss. With a US gross of $63 million, it didn’t exactly set box offices on fire. Nonetheless, the film cost relatively little to make, so it did okay in the long run.

Financially, that is – in terms of creativity, the results seem less positive. Due to insider trading, business mogul Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) goes to prison for five months. When she gets out, she tries to rehabilitate her image, but she finds this difficult to do.

Left high and dry, Michelle lacks anywhere to go other than the residence maintained by her long-suffering assistant Claire (Kristen Bell) and Claire’s daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). From there Michelle uses unconventional methods to reclaim her position at the top.

Boss represents McCarthy’s second collaboration with director Ben Falcone – also McCarthy’s husband. The first came with 2014’s Tammy, a misguided and unfunny comedy.

Does Boss work better than Tammy? Yeah, but that’s what we call a “low bar”. Most of the film bores more than it amuses.

I wanted to blame the movie’s lack of actual laughs isn’t its biggest problem, as I initially thought its story and character issues create the most prominent drawbacks. Boss comes with a pretty unlikable lead, and as Michelle inevitably redeems herself, she remains a less than compelling personality. Claire never rises above the level of basic “straight women”; she exists more as a plot device than a real human.

The story proceeds along predictable lines. Michelle finds her humanity – and the family the orphan never had – while she comes back to wealth. That narrative seems inevitable from minute one, and the movie does nothing fresh with it.

So as I noted, I first felt inclined to blame the movie’s banal story and characters for its drawbacks, but ultimately, the lack of clever comedy becomes the biggest issue. I’ve seen plenty of films with trite tales that still amuse and entertain.

Boss doesn’t count as one of those efforts, however, as it can never rise above its tedious roots. Maybe McCarthy needs to be paired with a strong director to succeed – or maybe she just requires Paul Feig, as her three films with him easily offer her best work. Without Feig, McCarthy found herself mired in crap like Tammy or Identity Thief.

Sans Feig, McCarthy finds herself adrift again. She works her tail off to carry the show, but she doesn’t find her way to the comedy. McCarthy never connects with the part – she manages a few small laughs but nothing more.

This seems like a shame, as a decent movie could’ve emerged here. Despite the story’s trite elements, it comes with a few decent twists, so potential exists to deliver something amusing.

However, nothing much works. The Boss boasts good talent involved and occasionally threatens to entertain, but it usually seems slow and unfunny.


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

The Boss appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie boasted a generally good presentation.

Sharpness looked fine most of the time. Interiors occasionally seemed a little soft, but those weren’t a major concern, so the movie usually appeared well-defined. The image lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to materialize. Print flaws also didn’t show up in this clean presentation.

Like many modern movies, Boss opted for a palette with a teal and orange tint. Within those constraints, the colors seemed well-rendered. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows were fine. Overall, the movie demonstrated appealing visuals.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it went with pretty typical fare for a comedy. Music spread to the side and rear channels, and occasional “action elements” opened up matters in a moderate manner. Nothing here really excelled, though, so don’t expect a particularly involving track.

Audio quality was fine. Music seemed full and vivid, and effects showed good replication; those elements demonstrated solid clarity and heft. Speech was always distinctive and concise. Again, this wasn’t a memorable soundtrack, but it suited the movie well enough.

The Blu-ray delivers two versions of The Boss. We get both the film’s R-rated theatrical edition (1:38:48) and an unrated cut (1:44:14). How do the two differ?

Almost none of the added footage appears during the film’s first two acts. For the movie’s opening 75 minutes, we get just one 45-second scene in which Michelle harasses employees who work in her building’s lobby.

The next added segment doesn’t appear until the one-hour, 15-minute mark, at which point we see more with Michelle’s mentor (Kathy Bates) and her unusual “family”. Finally, the climactic heist segment adds a significant bit in which Claire tries to get past a security guard.

Of these changes, the scene with the mentor works the best. I wouldn’t call it great, but it adds some decent material, and it also allows for a cameo from Kristen Bell’s real-life husband.

Overall, though, I don’t think either cut works better than the other. Both are pretty forgettable, so the longer version fails to improve the experience.

Plenty of cut footage appears, and we start with an Alternate Ending. Called “Falcon Rangers”, it runs two minutes and shows a competition between “Darnell’s Darlings” and a new group of scouts. It doesn’t offer much amusement.

10 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 14 minutes, 10 seconds. One gives us a behind the scenes intro to Michelle and Claire before her speaking appearance, and another shows that Michelle owns the Chicago White Sox. We see Claire’s job interview, and a few other segments that expand characters a little. These seem decent in the context of the rest of the film.

We also find seven Extended/Alternate Scenes. These take up a total of 16 minutes, 15 seconds. The sequences indeed elongate or change existing segments, and a few mildly interesting bits pop up along the way. For the most part, though, they seem less than scintillating.

A Gag Reel goes for three minutes, 54 seconds. It offers the usual goofs and giggles, which makes it a disappointment – I hoped it’d throw out alternate lines. (Note that much of this material also appears during the movie’s end credits.)

For a look at the character’s roots, we see Michelle Darnell Original Sketch. This seven-minute, 25-second clip lets us view Melissa McCarthy’s 2005 performance as part of the “Groundlings” comedy troupe. It’s cool to see this precursor.

On the same topic, Origin Story lasts seven minutes, 16 seconds and involves writer/actor Melissa McCarthy, writer/director Ben Falcone, and actors Larry Dorf, Michael McDonald, and Steve Mallory. We get some observations about McCarthy’s Groundlings experiences and how these developed into the movie. It’s a short but useful overview.

Two featurettes follow. Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point fills eight minutes, 41 seconds with remarks from Falcone, McCarthy, Mallory, producer Chris Henchy, stunt coordinator Todd Bryant and actors Peter Dinklage and Timothy Simons. This gives us a look at Dinklage and his work on the film. It tends to be pretty superficial.

Finally, Everybody Loves Kristen Bell runs six minutes, 50 seconds and features Falcone, Mallory, McCarthy, and actor Tyler Labine. As implied by the title, the program lauds Bell. It includes some decent shots from the set but doesn’t tell us much.

The disc opens with ads for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Hardcore Henry, Kindergarten Cop 2, Honey 3 and Kubo and the Two Strings. No trailer for Boss appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Boss. It offers the deleted/alternate/extended scenes and the gag reel but lacks the other extras. It does include both the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film.

Every once in a while, The Boss shows glimmers of promise. However, it usually remains mired in clichés and lackluster attempts at comedy that don’t do much to amuse. The Blu-ray presents pretty good picture and audio as well as a few supplements and a longer cut of the film. The Boss bores more than it entertains.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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