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Guy Shalem, Cathryn Michon
Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cathryn Michon
Writing Credits:
Cathryn Michon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, W. Bruce Cameron

Amateur "chefs" from around the country compete for a million dollar prize in the ultimate food fight.

Rated R.

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

Runtime: 98 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 1/16/2018

• “The Ultimate Food Fight” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


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Cook Off! [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 16, 2018)

A comedy set in the world of cooking competitions, Cook Off! follows the “mockumentary” path. Set in the fall of 2004, we view the build-up to the famed Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest.

The story opens three weeks prior to the competition, and we get to know a mix of contestants. We trace their paths to the contest and see how they fare along the way.

In other words, we find Best in Show with food. Cook Off! follows a nearly identical structure and attempts to milk same sort of comedic shenanigans.

Unfortunately, the two films display few other similarities, as Cook Off! offers nearly none of the wit and creativity of the 2000 Chris Guest movie. Instead, it becomes a real chore to endure.

This surprises me due to the quality of the film’s cast. Cook Off! boasts a solid roster of actors, as we get talent like Melissa McCarthy, Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Phil LaMarr, Stephen Root, Cedric Yarbrough, Diedrich Bader and a slew of others.

Every once in a while, these actors generate a small chuckle or two, but any mirth remains minor and rare. Much of the film focuses on obvious jokes and often beats them to death.

For instance, we meet contestant Sharon Solfest (Cathryn Michon) and her fiancé Lars Hagerbakke (Gary Anthony Williams). A black man adopted by Scandinavians, the movie sucks that gag dry, and it then constantly attempts laughs via Lars’ obvious homosexuality.

Those comedic components go nowhere, and they’re not alone. Cook Off! drags from beginning to end, as it fails to find any kind of rhythm or humor.

Editing doesn’t help, as the movie suffers from a choppy, erratic pace. Cook Off! seems haphazardly edited and oddly structured, without much coherence on display.

If one looks at the film’s production date, its poor quality becomes less of a surprise. Cook Off! wrapped in 2007 and sat on the shelf for more than a decade.

It should’ve remained hidden from public consumption. Cook Off! wastes a ton of talent and fails to become anything more than a witless mess.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Cook Off! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with decent presentation.

Sharpness was acceptable. Wider shots tended to be a bit soft, but those instances weren’t extreme, so much of the flick offered appropriate clarity.

Shimmering and jaggies were absent and edge haloes seemed non-problematic. Print flaws were non-existent, as I detected no specks, marks or other blemishes.

The film offered a fairly natural palette, and the colors usually looked good. However, a few elements could appear a bit heavy, such as at a club. Overall the hues remained acceptable, though.

Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, but shadows showed reasonable smoothness. Nothing here did much to impress, but this was a decent presentation.

Don’t expect fireworks from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as we got a mix heavy on music and general environmental material. Some cooking and crowd scenes added a bit of involvement, but these remained unexceptional. This became a restricted track.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and music demonstrated pretty good vivacity.

Effects did little to tax my system but they were clear and accurate enough. Overall, this ended up as a lackluster mix.

As for extras, we get a featurette called The Ultimate Food Fight. It runs 14 minutes, 27 seconds and includes comments from director/writer/actor Cathryn Michon and actors Jordan Black, Paul Willson, Cristine Rose, and Gary Anthony Williams.

The actors discuss their characters and experiences during the film. Michon gives us some background about the production and offers the most substance, whereas the others mostly veer toward fluff.

11 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 16 seconds. These tend to provide more attempts at humor, though a couple also add some story/expository elements. Don’t expect amusement from them.

We also get three minutes, 10 seconds of Outtakes. All of these come from the sequence with Lars and the Solfest sisters in the hotel. Pretty much the same material appears during the end credits, so “Outtakes” feels redundant.

The disc opens with ads for They Came Together, How to Be a Latin Lover, Don Verdean and Killing Gunther. No trailer for Cook Off appears here.

When a movie sits on the shelf for a decade, there’s usually a good reason. Cook Off! boasts a good enough cast that it generates a couple of minor laughs, but most of it feels witless and disjointed. The Blu-ray provides mostly good picture and audio along with minor supplements. Despite ample comedic talent behind it, Cook Off! fizzles.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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