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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Kevin Smith
Cast:
Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Pollak, Seann William Scott, Adam Brody, Jim Norton, Susie Essman
Writing Credits:
Robb Cullen, Mark Cullen

Tagline:
Rock out with your Glock out.

Synopsis:
Officers Jimmy Monroe and Paul Hodges have their weapons drawn on a gun-wielding killer. They agree to shoot on three. But, wait, does that mean 1 ... 2 ... shoot or 1 ... 2 ... 3 .. then shoot? Punches hit hard and laughs hit harder (or is it the other way ’round?) when action star Bruce Willis and ace comic Tracy Morgan pair as bickering-but-got-your-back Brooklyn buddy cops. Kevin Smith directs the gritty, goofball goings-on as the guys hunt for a stolen 1952 mint-condition baseball card (Jimmy needs it to fund his daughter’s wedding), a hunt plunging them into a gunslinging war with a deadly drug ring. Batter up, fans. The boys are ready to take you out to the ol’ brawl game!

Box Office:
Budget
$37 million.
Opening Weekend
$18.211 million on 3150 screens.
Domestic Gross
$44.867 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 7/20/2010

Bonus:
• “Maximum Comedy Mode”
• Focus Points
• “Wisdom from the Shit Bandit”
• Digital Copy/Standard DVD


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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


Cop Out [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 27, 2010)

Back in 2006, Spike Lee learned that it could pay to be a gun for hire. Ever since he debuted in 1986 with She’s Gotta Have It, Lee only directed movies that he also wrote. After a long series of commercial – and often critical – flops, Lee decided to take on a project in which he would direct and that was it. 2006’s Inside Man did the trick: it made decent money at the box office and earned Lee the best notices he’d gotten in a while.

I don’t know whether or not this rubbed off on Kevin Smith, but I suspect it might, as his career took a similar path. Like Lee, Smith debuted with a small black and white indie flick that didn’t make much money but that launched him as a distinctive talent and that allowed him to make bigger projects.

Which didn’t tend to go much of anywhere, at least not beyond Smith’s cult following. Smith’s flicks would earn $25-$30 million and do well on home video, but that was it; he could never break through to a bigger audience.

After 14 years of independence, Smith decided to go the hired gun route with 2010’s Cop Out, a pretty traditional cop buddy flick. Longtime partners Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) get suspended when a bust goes wrong. This disrupts Jimmy’s plans to pay for his daughter’s (Michelle Trachtenberg) expensive wedding, so Jimmy must sell a rare baseball card to raise the dough.

When Jimmy comes to the local memorabilia store, though, two dopes rob the joint and make off with the valuable card. Jimmy and Paul take matters into their own hands to track down the crooks, and this leads them in the direction of Poh Boy (Guillermo Diaz), the hoodlum who orchestrated the crimes that the guys investigated in the first place.

Is Cop Out an homage to 1980s buddy flicks like Lethal Weapon or a spoof of them? A little of both, I suppose, though Smith goes down the 80s path with a vengeance. He doesn’t want to make a movie that alludes to the 80s; he appears to want to create one that looks and sounds like it could’ve come out in that era. Smith even recruits composer Harold Faltermeyer – best known for Beverly Hill Cop - to do the music!

Whether Smith wants us to laugh at or with Cop Out - or both – doesn’t really matter, as he fails to achieve his goals. The film throws many stabs at comedy our way, but very few register. The movie tends to feel desperate, as its jokes jump in every direction they can to evoke merriment.

Unfortunately, few of them connect. Either they’re obvious at their heart or the movie negates their impact due to excessive explanation. Take the early interrogation sequence in which Paul quotes old movies; the scene itself wouldn’t be great anyway, but the manner in which Jimmy identifies all the citations robs of it any theoretical funniness.

Smith never was a dynamic director, and he shows little talent for the film’s action sequences. That doesn’t surprise, but the lifelessness of the comedy does. That’s his bread and butter, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do with the script. He emulates those 80s flicks and little more; he attempts spoof/homage but can’t do anything other than seem vaguely self-congratulatory.

For the most part, the actors do little to elevate the material. Willis and Morgan demonstrate no chemistry, and Morgan seems totally miscast; he’s utterly unbelievable as a veteran cop. Maybe that’s part of the joke, but if so, it doesn’t work.

Cop Out enjoys one truly hilarious scene: the one that features the cops and their prisoner (Seann William Scott) in a car. Ever since 1999, Scott has attempted to escape the shadow/stigma of Stifler, but he can’t, largely because that’s the kind of role he does best.

As Dave, Scott plays an even more immature/smarmy version of Stifler. Dave is like Stifler at 11, a smutty wiseass who wants nothing more than to annoy everyone he sees. And when Dave gets under Paul’s skin, the results are delightful. Scott grabs the role with glee and wrings every possible laugh out of his character’s juvenile antics.

Then he’s gone, and the movie’s potential evaporates with him. (Dave does reappear a couple of times, but too briefly to really add much.) I like Kevin Smith, but he should probably stick with his own scripts; he doesn’t seem to work as a director for hire.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

Cop Out appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Nothing notably problematic materialized here.

Sharpness looked solid. Even the widest shots came across as tight and well-defined, without any softness to mar the presentation. Jaggies and shimmering stayed absent, while edge enhancement failed to appear. Source flaws were a non-factor, as the movie stayed clean.

Like most modern action flicks, Cop Out often favored a teal tint; other scenes went with an orange overtone. These stylized colors weren’t overwhelming, but they were noticeable. Within their parameters, the hues appeared well-developed. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were decent; they could be slightly dense, but they remained positive for the most part. In the end, the transfer proved to be strong.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Cop Out, it was good but unexceptional. Even with a mix of action scenes, the soundscape never really impressed. Oh, shootouts and car chases added decent involvement and pizzazz, but I simply thought the mix lacked the level of activity expected from a flick in this one’s genre. The surrounds gave us positive reinforcement, but they didn’t really stand out in a memorable way.

Audio quality seemed fine. Speech was crisp and distinctive, with no edginess or other concerns. Music was full and rich, while effects came across as lively and accurate. The track boasted good low-end when appropriate. The somewhat restricted soundfield made this a “B” mix.

In terms of extras, everything on the Blu-ray comes under the umbrella of Maximum Comedy Mode. A spin on WB’s usual “Maximum Movie Mode”, this gives us a variety of materials. The main component comes from director Kevin Smith’s “walk-in” moments. For these, he pops up on screen to offer his commentary and introduce various segments.

“MCM” also throws in deleted/extended alternate scenes, outtakes, footage from the show, text commentary, storyboards, and pop-up soundbites with Smith, actors Tracy Morgan and Seann William Scott and production assistant Matthew Cohen. The “MCM” extends the movie’s running time quite a bit; it goes for two hours, 55 minutes, 18 seconds. Across the piece, we get notes about cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, research, editing, influences/references, editing and storytelling, music, cinematography, and general production material.

That may sound like a long commitment to a mediocre movie, but “MCM” proves to give us a worthwhile addition. Smith seems utterly incapable of being boring, and he throws out a lot of nice notes from the shoot.

The rest of “MCM” works as well. We find tons of cut footage and outtakes, so expect lots of additional material. I must admit I wish we got more of Smith’s commentary; I’d have preferred a traditional track along with a separate section for the deleted scenes and whatnot, but “MCM” still covers the movie well and consistently entertains.

Accessible during “MCM”, nine Focus Points can also be viewed on their own. With a total running time of 21 minutes, 22 seconds, these include “Cop Out, aka ‘A Couple Of…’” (1:05), “The New Buddy Cop Duo” (3:26), “Kevin Pollak: Man of a Thousand Voices and Interests” (1:42), “Improvising: Now That’s Funny!” (3:29), “Poh Boy’s Diamond Vault” (2:07), “Stunts – Brooklyn Style” (3:02), “Tracy Morgan Speaks Spanglish” (2:31), “Dave’s Calling Card” (0:48) and “Kevin Smith Directs” (3:11). Across these, we find notes from Smith, Scott, Morgan, writers Mark and Robb Cullen, producer Mark Platt, stunt coordinator Jerry Hewitt, and actors Sean Cullen, Michelle Trachtenberg, Adam Brody, Guillermo Diaz, Ana de la Reguera, Francie Swift, Bruce Willis, and Cory Fernandez. These look at the film’s original title, cast and performances, shooting action, and general goofy bits from the production.

In the past, the “Focus Points” have fleshed out the filmmaking processes well, but these don’t take that path. Instead, they tend to go for the comedy and lack much depth. A few of them are interesting, primarily due to the presence of a lot of outtakes, but the info provided doesn’t impress.

The disc ends with 10 clips under the banner of Wisdom from the Shit Bandit. These last a total of four minutes, four seconds and feature Scott in character as he dispenses advice. (These also appear during the “MCM” feature.) The clips offer goofy fun.

A second disc provides both a digital copy of Cop Out for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras. Still, it’s a good bonus if you want a DVD version on hand.

I’ve been a Kevin Smith fan for a good decade or so, but he can’t bring much of his signature comedy to the limp buddy flick Cop Out. Though a few sequences muster laughs – mostly due to a terrific performance from Seann William Scott – too much of the film lacks energy or humor. The Blu-ray boasts good technical specs, as picture, audio and supplements all satisfy. The movie itself just doesn’t have much going for it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main