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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Ben Garant
Cast:
Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kerri Kenney
Writing Credits:
Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney

Synopsis:
Based on the hit Comedy Central series, the usual gang of idiot cops head to Florida for a police convention. After creating their typical chaos on the sunny sands of South Beach, they are called into action after terrorists poison all of the other visiting officers. Will Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) and his pack of misfits save the day ... or destroy it?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$10.273 million on 2702 screens.
Domestic Gross
$20.339 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 83 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 9/23/2008

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Robert Ben Garant and Writers Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver
• “The Lost Version” Of Reno 911!: Miami
• Introduction to “The Lost Version”
• Extended Scenes
• Trailer
• Public Service Announcements
• Blooper Reel
• Digital Copy


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EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Reno 911!: Miami - More Busted Than Ever Unrated Edition (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 24, 2008)

While we’ve seen plenty of TV shows adapted into successful movies, this almost always occurs many years after the fact. Hollywood loves to take long defunct series and reworks them for the big screen. On occasion, a current program makes it to the multiplexes. Comedy Central’s Reno 911! stands as the latest show to jump to the silver screen.

As with the series, we meet Reno, Nevada’s incompetent police force. They get an invitation to go to a massive crime enforcement convention in Miami and gleefully head there. However, matters don’t go well on arrival. They find themselves off the necessary entry lists and also get stuck in a crummy, low rent motel.

After all this degradation, the Reno cops get their chance to shine when disaster befalls the convention. A bio-terrorism incident quarantines the entire Miami force and all the other police within a wide distance. This means that the Reno folks must take on the responsibility to patrol the entire Miami area all on their own. The movie follows their misadventures as they try to tend to all sorts of problems and maybe earn some respect along the way.

When I read comments about Miami, the general consensus was that newbies probably wouldn’t get much from it but fans of the series would dig it. My experience says otherwise. I don’t count myself as someone with great fondness for the show, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen. On the other hand, my friend Kevin adores Reno 911! and thinks it’s a real hoot.

Neither of us enjoyed Miami in the least. Kevin probably got a little more from it than I did, but not much. As we saw it theatrically, neither of us laughed more than two or three times, and we found a lot to dislike in this messy effort.

My second viewing doesn’t make me feel greater positivity toward Miami. Indeed, I might even like it less, as even the flick’s minor pleasures evaporate when seen again. One major problem comes from the freedom found here. On TV, the series needs to get creativity to push the envelope of good taste but still present something that won’t get them in trouble with the FCC.

With no such constraints, the folks behind Reno can offend to their heart’s content. Some may view that as a good thing, and sometimes it is. Take the South Park movie, for instance. It used its “R” rating to good advantage and added something special.

In this instance, unfortunately, Miami just turns into an opportunity to get disgusting. We find plenty of gross-out moments that attempt to shock but lack any real spark or creativity. Instead, the filmmakers hope to make us laugh just via the nastiness. That doesn’t work, and the result becomes painful to watch.

Even at only 83 minutes, Miami feels loooooong. Reno works best in small doses, as the more you see, the less entertaining it becomes. That turns into an issue even with the better episodes, so with material this uninspired, it’s even more of a problem.

It’s bad enough when I have to watch something terrible like Date Movie. It’s atrocious, but at least it’s not an actual disappointment, since no one talented worked on it. That’s not the case for Reno 911!: Miami. It possessed plenty of skilled folks behind it, though you couldn’t tell from the final product. Stupid and unfunny, this flick ends up as a dud.

Credits footnote: stick through the end of the movie’s text for a little bonus sequence.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

Reno 911!: Miami appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though the transfer could look very good, it lacked consistency.

All of the issues related to sharpness. Much of the time the movie looked nicely distinct and accurate. However, more than a few shots became rather tentative and fuzzy. There was no rhyme or reason at work here, but the frequent appearance of ill-defined images led to distractions. No jagged edges appeared, but I noticed some shimmering and a little edge enhancement. No source flaws materialized, as the movie stayed clean.

Colors became a strong element. With the dynamic Miami setting, the flick offered a lot of vivid hues. The DVD replicated these well and gave us lots of vibrant tones. Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows were smooth and clear. Really, much of the transfer seemed very good, but the soft spots knocked my grade down to a “B-“.

A few inconsistencies also affected the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Reno 911!: Miami, though it generally worked well. The main issues related to speech, which could be somewhat rough and brittle. The lines always remained intelligible, though, and they seemed reasonably natural much of the time.

The rest of the track sounded very good. Music was lively and dynamic, and effects followed the same path. Those elements showed nice clarity as well as solid low-end response.

Though the soundfield wasn’t especially involving, it opened up matters in a useful manner. Music offered very good stereo imaging, while effects broadened across the spectrum. Much of the movie stayed with general atmosphere, but a few sequences became more active. We got scenes with cars, helicopters and an exploding whale to open up the track and use the surrounds. Overall, this was a perfectly acceptable mix.

Version footnote: this DVD offers the same unrated cut found on the DVD from 2007. Nothing about its presentation differs from what I saw and heard on the earlier disc.

In terms of extras, this “More Busted Than Ever” Special Edition replicates very few of the earlier set’s components. I’ll note old supplements with an asterisk. If you fail to see a star, then that piece is exclusive to the new release.

First comes an *audio commentary with director/writer Robert Ben Garant and writers Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver, all of whom sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion. They give us a light overview of the production with plenty of humor along the way. We find info about cast, characters and performances, the loose nature of the project and improvisation, sets and locations, and various tidbits from the shoot.

The commentary offers a nice combination of facts and fun. All three provide a lot of amusing remarks, and they interact very well. That doesn’t mean the track is a non-stop yukfest without any depth. Instead, it mixes the two sides to give us a decent glimpse of the production and entertaining cracks. It’s an enjoyable chat.

The main attraction here comes from Reno 911!: Miami – The Lost Version. This provides a one-hour, nine-minute and 36-second alternate cut of the film. This acts as a very alternate version of the movie; it tells the same overall narrative but focuses on different events and takes.

Is it any funnier than the theatrical cut? No, not really. It has a smattering of amusing moments, but not enough to sustain our attention. It also loses points because it suffers from choppy editing and boasts an even weaker sense of narrative. The theatrical cut already seems very episodic, but the “Lost Version” ambles about with little sense of story or cohesion. It’s essentially a roughly connected collection of outtakes. For big Reno fans, it’ll be worth a look, but it’s not anything more than a curiosity.

To get into the alternate cut, we find Intro to the Lost Version. It goes for two minutes, 38 seconds and features character comments from Dangle, Junior and Weigel. They tell us what to expect from this “97.7 percent” different cut of the flick.

Next we get a five-minute and 12-second Blooper Reel. Though this presents some of the usual goofs and giggles, it also includes some new gags and alternate takes of shots. That makes it more valuable than usual.

Four Extended Scenes last a total of 12 minutes, 53 seconds. These include “Suge Knight” (4:36), “Junior Talks to Girl At Hotel” (1:50), “Bush Twins” (4:50) and “Dangle and Junior in Alley” (1:37). I liked the extended scenes found on the original DVD, but these are less stimulating. They might offer a couple of chuckles, but not much else comes from them.

We can watch these with or without commentary from Garant, Lennon and Kenney-Silver. As with the commentary, they give us a good mix of laughs and facts. They fill out the scenes in a positive manner.

In addition to the film’s *theatrical trailer, we end with some Public Service Announcements. This area includes three clips that run a total of three minutes, 54 seconds. These apparently ran as teasers prior to some summer 2006 movies. These act to “warn us” about various illegal or rude behaviors and are pretty funny.

DVD Two includes a Digital Copy of Miami. This lets you transfer the flick to your computer, your iPod, your iPhone, or whatever other modern gizmo the youngsters love. I’ll never use it, but it’s there if you want it.

So what does this 2008 SE omit from the 2007 release? Quite a lot, unfortunately. It drops two “in character” commentaries, six extended scenes, four “Public Service Announcements”, and a “World Premiere” featurette. I guess I understand the apparent desire to make this set a complement to the prior DVD, though the inclusion of the same audio commentary makes that choice less logical. Personally, I think the new set should’ve provided all the same extras.

I wanted to like Reno 911!: Miami and I expected to like it, but I didn’t. Monotonous, moronic and mostly unfunny, the movie fails to show the series’ strong points and suffers only from its weaknesses. The DVD presents decent picture and audio along with a good collection of extras. It’s a pretty nice release for a bad movie.

Obviously I don’t recommend this flick to anyone other than big Reno 911! fans, and I’m not even sure it’ll work for them. Only the most diehard of the diehards will want this Special Edition. It offers some new supplements that may entertain serious fans, but that’s about it. The original DVD remains the superior release of the two.

To rate this film, visit the Unrated Edition review of RENO 911!: MIAMI

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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