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Seth Gordon
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey , Donald Sutherland
Writing Credits:
Michael Markowitz (and story), John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein

Ever wish your boss were dead?

Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness

Box Office:
$35 million.
Opening Weekend
$28.302 million on 3040 screens.
Domestic Gross
$116.943 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 98 min. (Theatrical Cut) / 106 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 10/11/2011

• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
• “My Least Favorite Career” Featurette
• “Surviving a Horrible Boss” Featurette
• “Being Mean Is So Much Fun” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Making of the Horrible BossesSoundtrack” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD/Digital Copy


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.


Horrible Bosses [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 5, 2011)

Perhaps I’m lucky, but I’ve never hated a boss. I realize that plenty of people encounter more difficult situations, though – and that list is long enough to make a flick like 2011’s Horrible Bosses a hit.

We meet three buddies who all have issues with their bosses. Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) slaves long hours for Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) and puts up with massive amounts of crap because he anticipates it’ll earn him a promotion. Nope: Harken takes the promotion for himself and leaves Nick beaten and humiliated.

Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) loves his job – until his boss Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland) suddenly dies. This leaves Jack’s ne’er-do-well, douchebag son Bobby (Colin Farrell) as the new chief – and makes Kurt’s previously pleasant work life miserable.

As for Dale Arbus, he works as a dental hygienist for Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). He’s happily engaged to Stacy (Lindsey Sloane) but Julia relentlessly demands sex from him. He declines so she ups the ante. She took naughty pictures of the two of them when she worked on Dale’s teeth, so she’ll show Stacy the pictures and claim she and he slept together unless Dale actually bangs her.

One night at a bar, the guys start to think they should kill their bosses. Initially they resist the notion, but then it grows on them and they decide to do it in the interest of the benefit to society. They don’t know how to do this, though, so they head to a rough neighborhood and meet “murder consultant “MF” Jones. He gives them tips to do the deeds, and we follow their attempts to rid themselves of their horrible bosses.

Most movies run into “the trailer problem”. That’s when the film’s previews tell us too much about it and we don’t enjoy the end product as much. This becomes especially notable for comedies, as we often hear most of the good jokes before we see the final flick.

When I saw Horrible Bosses theatrically, I thought it suffered from a severe case of “the trailer problem”. I felt like I already knew most of the funny gags in advance, and I ended up playing Waiting for the Joke, as I checked off the trailer moments in my head and found myself distracted as I anticipated each one.

Because of this, my theatrical viewing of the film disappointed. Not that I thought it was a bad movie – I still found some pleasure from it. But it didn’t live up to my hopes, as I kind of felt like I’d already seen the best parts.

Watching Bosses a second time, though, I can better appreciate its charms. I don’t have to worry about the inevitable approach of the next trailer moment and can enjoy the film for its own merits.

Of which it boasts a fair number, most of which connect to its cast. The film offers a generally strong roster of actors, and the majority of them are pretty good. On the negative side, I think Day comes across as awfully annoying. He still contributes to the humor, but I can’t stand his shrill, screechy voice; I guess that was a comedic choice, and it doesn’t work.

Farrell and Spacey are also a little hit or miss in their roles, though for opposite reasons. Spacey seems too intense as Harken and occasionally feels like he’s in a different movie, while Farrell – never anyone’s “go-to” comedic actor – tries too hard to channel the funny. He delivers such an overtly goofy performance that he seems forced at times.

Nonetheless, both are usually okay to good in their roles, and both Bateman and Sudeikis are solid. Neither does anything to stretch himself – Bateman’s deadpan takes are typical for him – but they’re strong professionals who add spark to their parts.

And then there’s Aniston, who’s a borderline revelation as the horny dentist. Though I find her to be likable, she tends to be monotonous in films; Aniston usually plays characters who feel like little more than variations on Rachel.

That doesn’t happen here, as Aniston plays totally against type – and clearly revels in the chance to be a bad girl. Like Farrell, Aniston leans hard toward broad comedy in the role, but unlike Farrell, she has a strong background in the genre and can handle the choices much better. From start to finish, Aniston is an unhinged hoot and the best thing about Horrible Bosses.

As for the story, I can’t call it the freshest tale ever told. It clearly nods in the direction of 9 to 5 and also makes self-conscious allusions to Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.

No matter – even when the story feels predictable and you can sense what kind of gag will come next, it still amuses. The actors are usually good enough to carry the script’s issues, and they help make Bosses a mostly winning comedy.

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

Horrible Bosses appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No issues emerged in this satisfying presentation.

Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness appeared, as the movie was always crisp and accurately defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. Source flaws also remained absent.

Colors looked good. The image took on a slightly golden tone much of the time, but the image stayed with a pretty natural impression. The hues seemed vivid and full. Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows showed nice delineation. Across the board, this was a strong image.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Bosses was unexceptional, though it worked fine for this sort of film. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. A few of the more action-oriented scenes – like a car chase – managed to spread out the spectrum a bit, and bar sequences used the speakers to demonstrate a slightly more active sense of place. This remained a pretty standard comedy track, though.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, without edginess or problems. Effects seemed appropriately clear and accurate, with good range and punch. The music worked quite well, as the score and songs were pretty peppy and warm. Nothing here really impressed, but it all sounded good enough for a “B-“.

With that, let’s move to the set’s supplements. The package includes both the film’s theatrical cut (1:37:43) and an extended version (1:45:36). In an unusual step, they appear on different platters. The extended version sits alone on Disc One, while Disc Two includes the theatrical cut and various other supplements.

What do you get in that extra eight minutes? A bunch of short extensions that pop up across nine sections of the film. Only one – in which the guys chat before the police interrogate them – almost counts as a true deleted scene; the rest are clear additions/alterations to existing sequences.

Do these make the movie better or worse? I think they allow it to work a little better, though they’re so minor that they don’t create a huge impact. Still, they tend to allow the various scenes a little more room to breathe, and they include enough funny moments to become good additions.

Seven Deleted Scenes run a total of 10 minutes, 22 seconds. The first two show alternate openings, while the other five lean toward extensions to existing sequences. We see Kurt ask out the hot Fed Ex girl and then chat with his boss. There’s an extension to the opening exchange between Kurt and Bobby, an alternate version of Nick’s fantasy, a shot of Bobby at the pharmacy, and tape of Kurt with Harken’s wife.

The alternate openings are the most interesting of the lot, though they’re not particularly great, as they start the film in a way that’s not a radical departure from the actual opening. The others provide some decent comedy, though the bit between Kurt and his boss is nothing more than slow, unnecessary exposition.

A few featurettes finish the set. My Least Favorite Career goes for five minutes, one second and offers notes from director Seth Gordon and actors Jamie Foxx, Julie Bowen, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day. They discuss their worst bosses in this fluffy but fun piece.

Surviving a Horrible Boss goes for six minutes, 29 seconds, as we hear from Bateman, Sudeikis, Day, Gordon and stunt coordinator Sean Graham. The director tells us why he came onto the project and we also hear about cast, characters and performances as well as some story and production notes. “Surviving” doesn’t give us a deep look at the flick, but it throws out a smattering of decent thoughts.

During the seven-minute, seven-second Being Mean Is So Much Fun, we find notes from Spacey, Aniston, and Farrell. They cover their characters and performances. This one acts as a complement to “Surviving” and does pretty well for itself. Actually, it’s a little deeper than its predecessor and a nice look at the actors.

Finally, we go to The Making of the Horrible Bosses Soundtrack. It lasts six minutes, 22 seconds and provides comments from Gordon, composer Chris Lennertz, and musicians Money Mark, Mike McCready, and Stefan Lessard. They tell us a bit about the movie’s score and its recording. As a Pearl Jam fan, it’s fun to see McCready, and we get a smattering of decent details here.

The theatrical disc opens with ads for Shameless Season One and A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. No trailer for Bosses shows up here.

A third platter provides both a digital copy of Bosses 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.

Like most comedies, Horrible Bosses lives and dies with its actors. Despite a few dodgy moments, the film usually prospers due to its cast – especially Jennifer Aniston, who nearly steals the movie as a sexually-charged dentist. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals, fairly good audio and some minor extras. While I don’t think this will ever become a comedy classic, it’s an amusing flick that holds up through multiple viewings.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.125 Stars Number of Votes: 16
3 3:
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