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ENTERTAINMENT ONE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
J.B. Rogers
Cast:
Matthew Lillard, Tom Arnold, Rachelle Lefevre, George Takei, Jennifer Walcott, Sheena Lee, Brett Davern, Efren Ramirez
Writing Credits:
Julie O'Hora, Justin Ware

Synopsis:
Tired of working dead end jobs, a pool boy and a gardener scheme to get rich quick by turning an empty mansion into a home for the hottest escorts in Beverly Hills. Hilarious comedy starring Matthew Lillard, Rachelle Lefevre, Tom Arnold, George Takei and Playboy's Jennifer Walcott and Sheena Lee.

Box Office:
Budget
$15 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 12/20/2011

Bonus:
• Behind the Scenes Featurette
• “Virtual Lapdance”
• Previews and Theatrical Trailer


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


The Pool Boys [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 13, 2012)

With a significant supporting role in the critically acclaimed The Descendants, perhaps Matthew Lillard’s career will show signs of revival. I doubt he’ll get much of a boost from The Pool Boys, however, a 2007 production that sat on the shelves for more than four years before its late 2011 direct-to-video release.

Alex Sperling (Brett Davern) excels in high school and plans to head to college at Harvard. Unfortunately, he loses his summer internship and needs to scramble for a new one if he wants to keep his Ivy League scholarship.

Alex’s cousin Roger (Lillard) claims to be a rich “aquatic engineer” – but he really means he’s a pool boy who struggles to make ends meet. Desperate for employment, Alex beseeches Roger for help and becomes his cousin’s “pool intern”.

Along the way, they need to vacate Roger’s crappy apartment due to fumigation. One of Roger’s clients is gone for the summer, so they take over his mansion as their temporary abode. They take Roger’s hot neighbor Laura (Rachel Lefevre) with them and Alex quickly learns that she works from home because she’s an escort.

Roger decides to take advantage of Laura’s connection and use their temporary home as a house of ill repute in which he acts as pimp. Alex initially resists this descent into sexual crime but soon decides that it’s the way to go. We watch their wild summer as Alex preps for college.

I suppose the best thing I can say about Pool Boys is that it doesn’t suck. A cheap straight-to-video teen comedy like this is usually a recipe for utter crap – look at the consistent crumminess of the non-theatrical American Pie movies, for instance – and Boys manages to avoid the standard smutty trashiness of the genre.

But does that make it good? No, not really. Boys seems relentlessly, utterly ordinary. It feels like an update on Risky Business but without that film’s charm and character and charisma.

Suffice it to say that Davern is no Tom Cruise. Does Davern possess any talent? Maybe – I’d never heard of him until this Blu-ray came to my house. He shows little skill here, however, as he tends to overact his way through the movie. Alex should be the movie’s straight man and he should ground the story, but he never feels natural or believable; as a result, we don't buy into his story or journey.

And he does the impossible: he makes the often mannered and manic Lillard look subdued. While the jury’s out on Davern, I do believe Lillard has talent – he was simply hilarious in the first Scooby-Doo movie - and he shows some of his merits here. Not a lot of those merits, mind you – the film doesn’t give him a lot with which to work, and he seems vaguely embarrassed to be making a film like this at the age of 40 – but he adds some pizzazz to the proceedings.

Heck, even Tom Arnold delivers a reasonably entertaining cameo – so what goes wrong? There’s just nothing notably creative or dynamic on display. I didn’t cringe at most of the jokes, but I didn’t laugh at them, either. I didn’t dislike the characters, but I didn’t care about them, either. I simply found a film that managed to remain mildly enjoyable for its 88 minutes.

Which won’t go down as one of the world’s great recommendations. Too bad they’ve already printed the DVDs and Blu-rays – I’d really like to see “It didn’t totally suck – Colin Jacobson” slapped on the back of the case. Pool Boys certainly works better than the majority of its teen comedy brethren, but it’s still a mediocre movie.


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

The Pool Boys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. A mixed bag, some parts of the image looked terrific while others looked messy.

Sharpness varied. Many shots looked concise and distinctive, but others came across as soft and without great definition. While the majority of the flick exhibited positive definition, too much of it seemed a bit flat and fuzzy. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes were absent. No source flaws materialized either.

Colors were fine. The movie opted for a natural palette that never dazzled but that seemed reasonably peppy. Blacks tended to be somewhat inky, though, and low-light shots were a bit on the mushy side. Though the image clearly had more than a few strengths, it suffered from enough weaknesses to end up with a “C+”.

I also thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack was a mixed bag at best. Sound quality was generally good, at least in terms of speech and effects. Dialogue was natural and concise, and effects appeared reasonably accurate.

Music was less impressive, though. The songs and score tended to seem lackluster in terms of reproduction. Those components weren’t rough or distorted, but they failed to present much range and punch. The music was decent at worst, though.

The soundfield was the track’s weakest link. It didn’t have much to do in terms of ambition and tended to go with general atmosphere. That was fine, except the presentation never appeared especially natural, and music appeared oddly located; the songs and score used speakers in an awkward way that often didn’t blend together well. The whole package was a strangely distant, pepless affair.

Only a couple of extras appear here. A Behind the Scenes Featurette runs 12 minutes, 29 seconds and provides comments from director JB Rogers, writer Justin Ware, and actors Brett Davern, Matthew Lillard, George Takei, Jay Thomas, Efren Ramirez, Rachelle Lefevre, and Tom Arnold. The show looks at characters and story, cast and performances, Rogers’ work as director, shooting in New Orleans and some other production notes. This is a basic promotional piece without much depth to it.

Virtual Lapdance lets you enjoy the pleasures of strip clubs in your own home! Well, without the presence of actual real-life women, of course. This feature allows you to choose from three different dancers and then watch them shimmy in bikinis for about two and a half minutes each. After two minutes, they take off their tops – to reveal pasties. Seriously? What a waste of time. (And someone needs to tell the blonde dancer to sue the plastic surgeon who gave her the awful fake boobs.)

The Blu-ray opens with ads for A Beginner’s Guide to Endings, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil, Call Me Fitz, and Prom Wars. We also get the trailer for Pool Boys - a trailer you should not watch before you see the movie, as it reveals an absurd number of spoilers.

As a teen comedy, The Pool Boys seems derivative and uninspired but not actually bad. While it lacks creativity and many laughs, it’s eminently watchable. The Blu-ray provides erratic picture and audio as well as minor supplements. “It could’ve been worse” is faint praise, but it’s all I can conjure for this decidedly average romp.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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