New Line beautifully presents Knockaround Guys in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with anamorphic treatment. In true New Line form – whether the movie is good, bad, or indifferent – the studio always gives it their best when bringing a title to the home consumer. While the film may not be as gorgeous as some of the other titles in New Line’s impressive catalog, it’s still better than most, as an average transfer from New Line is a top-notch transfer from most other studios. New Line has also provided a fullscreen version of the film that’s available on the flip side of the disc for those of you who are interested, but for purposes of the review, I’ll only review the widescreen version.
The image was very sharp and detailed, with excellent clarity throughout the film. The film’s color palette was rather generic and subdued, but even so, things were always properly balanced, saturated, and contrasted. There was never any smearing or over-saturation noted and black levels were consistently deep and bold, allowing for excellent shadow detail and delineation. Fleshtones were spot-on and natural and never showed any signs of overt softness or redness.
There were few flaws with the transfer, with only the occasional flake and fleck noted on the print - even so, the master print seemed to be in excellent condition. Edge enhancement was noted on occasion, as was some slight grain and shimmer, although none was seen in distracting qualities. All in all, it’s a fine looking print and New Line handles everything as wonderfully as they always do.
Once again, New Line gives viewers a very solid presentation and it’s hard to find much fault with Knockaround Guys … at least the transfer side of it anyway.
New Line has provided fans of Knockaround Guys with a couple of really nice audio tracks for the film – one in Dolby Digital 5.1, as well as one in DTS 5.1. (However, if you choose to watch the fullscreen version of the film, you’ll only have the Dolby Digital option available to you.) Both tracks suit the material well and either way you go, you’ll be more than pacified. However, as is usually the case, I found myself drawn to the DTS track a bit more so than its Dolby Digital counterpart.
Surprisingly enough, the film doesn’t offer up too many instances for aggressive surround usage, although there are times where the track does get to show out a little bit. There are some pretty nice sequences later in the film that offer up some nice envelopment and antagonistic surround usage, but there’s not enough consistency in the action to keep you impressed from beginning to end. There is some nice split surround usage and separation to be found in the track, as well as some very deep .1 LFE in certain areas as well.
Dialogue in the film was placed firmly in the front surrounds and was always crisp, clean, and easily understood. Distortion and edginess were never an issue and overall, the track contained excellent dynamics and fidelity. Ambience was present in the track on quite a few occasions and New Line has done a commendable job of keeping the rear surrounds engaged if by nothing else other than the score. LFE usage was laudable and while it’s not quite as bombastic as many of the action films I’ve seen, it was certainly welcome.
Also included are English and Spanish subtitles, as well an English track in Dolby Surround 2.0.
Being that the disc is a flipper, you might expect the extras to be identical on either side of the disc. Well … you’d be wrong. However, unlike the recently reviewed Brown Sugar, where the extras were split across both sides of the disc, Knockaround Guys contains extras on the widescreen side only. That’ll learn all you fullscreen folks out there …
First up is a Filmmaker Commentary that is hosted by directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien. In a nutshell, the commentary is rather generic and very screen specific. The duo does a decent job of keeping things lively, but for two people, there were admittedly a few too many dead spots in the track. There were some interesting personal stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes that were shared by the two and they offered listeners a few fleeting moments of joy, but as a whole, the commentary relied a bit too much on relating what we already saw on the screen, as well as other, rather laborious (and obvious) topics.
There are four Alternate and Deleted Scenes that contain optional commentary from Koppelman and Levien. The scenes included are “No Problem on the Green” (3:49), “The Ballers” (2:19), “Working Hard for the Money” (3:25), and “Cereal Stash” (1:42). None of the scenes would have really helped the film one way or the other and the commentary was rather generic as well. Enjoyable somewhat for fans and easily forgotten by others.
The Original Theatrical Trailer follows, as does More From New Line - trailers for other New Line projects including A Man Apart (the new Vin Diesel vehicle where he stars as a DEA agent), Final Destination 2, Dinner Rush (review coming soon), and Friday After Next.
Last up on the disc is some DVD-ROM content that contains a “Script-To-Screen Viewer”, as well as some weblinks. Nothing major included here, although the script viewer is a nice addition to the DVD.
This is a rather disappointing set of extras even by most anyone’s standards – especially New Line’s. However, considering the amount of time the film sat on the shelf – and the relatively small box office take – New Line did what any other studio would have done and put only the minimal amount of supplements on the disc.
Knockaround Guys is definitely better than I was led to believe, but even so, the shortcomings in the film make it hard for me to recommend a sight unseen purchase. If you’re already familiar with the film, or a die-hard fan of one of its principals, Knockaround Guys would be a decent purchase – especially considering the A/V treatment New Line has given the DVD. (Although the asking price is a bit stout.)
There’s no doubt the DVD is solid from top to bottom – even considering the lack of substantive extras - but make sure you like the film before dropping the bone. I’d say a rental is in order unless you saw the film in theaters and loved it.