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Brett Heard
Donald Faison, Eva Amurri Martino, Jon Dore, Leah Renee, Tony Nappo. Pat Thornton
Writing Credits:
Brett Heard

Ken is the king of pranks and doesn't hold back when it comes to his friends' stag parties. He's pulled some outrageous stunts that have resulted in some scars ... both emotional and physical. Now he's scared ... it's HIS stag party and payback time. Only something's wrong, his friends aren't doing anything. Ken doesn't know whether to be relieved or dismayed. But the night's not over yet!

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 84 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 8/20/2013

• Trailer and Previews


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.


Stag (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 5, 2013)

With 2013’s Stag, we visit the fertile subject of the bachelor party. On the verge of marriage to Caroline (Mayko Nguyen), Ken (Donald Faison) worries about his upcoming “stag”.

Why does the subject cause him anxiety? Because he led outrageous pranks at prior bachelor parties and he fears that his past will come back to haunt him. Thus Ken enters his own “stag” with concerns that he’ll encounter some serious payback. We follow Ken’s party and the various twists that come along the way, as events don’t proceed as he expects.

That’s true for a viewer who goes into Stag blind: they seem unlikely to find what they anticipate. Given the movie’s theme and its promotional campaign, one would assume Stag would fall into the wild and crazy Bachelor Party vein. Shouldn’t a movie like this come with nutty shenanigans and ample nudity?

With the tag line “one stripper, six friends and a pineapple”, those expectations feel right – but they’re wrong. Really, really wrong, as Stag comes across more like an “R”-rated episode of Thirtysomething. It deals more with guys’ midlife crises than the wild bachelor party antics it promises.

Which seems likely to disappoint plenty of viewers, but it doesn’t make Stag a bad movie. Nor does it mean that Stag produces a delightful experience – whatever expectations one brings to it, I think it delivers a moderately entertaining character piece.

One simply needs to go into it with few hopes that they’ll get Bachelor Party 2013. The movie hints at wild antics and shows the aftermath of craziness from prior bashes – like the disgusting pineapple gag alluded to in the tagline – but very little that one could call “wacky” actually occurs, as the movie prefers its character emphasis.

In that vein, Stag becomes a decent little movie. Do we get to know any of the characters very well? Not really, and Ken – the supposed lead – gets surprisingly little attention/exposition. For the guy at the film’s center, he doesn’t find much to do other than pout. He’s almost a MacGuffin: events revolve around him but he doesn’t have much meaning on his own.

While the others receive more screentime and development, that doesn’t mean they make much of an impact on the viewer. We follow their arcs, locate a little mirth along the way and go on with our lives. The narrative feels sitcom-ish much of the time and lacks much in the way of spark or depth.

That said, it’s not bad – at least as far as low-budget flicks of this sort go. The actors don’t stand out, but they do their best with the paper-thin material, and they manage to produce a few mild laughs.

The whole thing goes down painlessly as well. Does that count as faint praise? Sure, but given that I went into Stag with few hopes of anything other than a crude raunchfest, I’ll take it. Nothing about the film excels but it creates a watchable character comedy.

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

Stag appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only a smattering of fairly minor issues affected the transfer.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Stag tended to stay with a natural palette. Hues took on a light golden tone at times, but that stylistic choice didn’t overwhelm. Instead, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation for SD-DVD.

I thought that the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Stag seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.

Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, though, and some party elements gave the mix a mild jolt. However, most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

The disc opens with an ad for Rushlights. We also find the trailer for Stag but no other extras appear here.

While not the wild sex romp its ads promise, Stag gives us a moderately entertaining “midlife crisis” comedy. The thin plot and thinner characters don’t stand up to scrutiny, but the movie remains reasonably likable and watchable despite its general mediocrity. The DVD brings us very good visuals and decent audio but lacks notable supplements. This winds up as mild entertainment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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