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Judd Apatow
Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, LeBron James, Tilda Swinton
Writing Credits:
Amy Schumer

Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.

Box Office:
$35 million.
Opening Weekend
$30,097,040 on 3,158 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 125 min. (Theatrical)
129 min. (Extended)
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 11/10/2015

• Audio Commentary with Director Judd Apatow, Writer/Actor Amy Schumer and Associate Producer/Sister Kim Caramele
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Versions of Trainwreck
• Deleted Scenes
• Extended/Alternate Scenes
• “Secrets of the Wu” Featurette
• “The Dogwalker” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Line-O-Rama
• “Directing Athletes: A Blood Sport” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• “Trainwreck Comedy Tour” Snippets
• Previews and Trailer
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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.


Trainwreck [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 2, 2015)

In the lead-up to the July 2015 release of Trainwreck, star Amy Schumer became virtually unavoidable. For a few weeks there, I felt like Schumer appeared on every magazine cover I saw, and she made the rounds in many other forms of media as well.

I guess this worked, as Trainwreck managed to do pretty well at the box office. With its modest $35 million budget, it earned $110 million in the US, so it counts as a success.

Commercially, at least. Creatively, Trainwreck has its moments but it becomes a definite mixed bag.

In a prologue, Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn) tells his young daughters Amy (Devin Fabry) and Kim (Carla Oudin) that “monogamy isn’t realistic”. Adult Amy (Schumer) embraces this lesson, as she digs into a life of boozing and one-night stands. This contrasts with Kim (Brie Larson), who settles down with Tom (Mike Birbiglia) and his son Allister (Evan Brinkman).

Amy writes for a men’s magazine and she takes on an assignment to profile sports surgeon Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). As she pursues this task, Amy and Aaron connect to form an eventual relationship, one that challenges her preconceived notions of commitment.

Trainwreck doesn’t offer Schumer’s debut as a film actor, but it might as well have. A trip to IMDB reveals that she played small roles in a few indie films but she never took on any major parts. Until Trainwreck, Schumer was best-known as a stand-up comic and the star of her own Comedy Central series.

I’ll be interested to see where Schumer’s film career goes from here, partly because of the strengths and weaknesses she displays in Trainwreck. On the positive side, Schumer is a genuinely funny person, as demonstrated by her excellent stand-up work. She boasts a wicked sense of humor, and her sensibility pervades Trainwreck. As an actor, she exhibits solid comic timing.

Unfortunately, Schumer doesn’t do particularly well when she actually needs to act. Given that her career has largely consisted of stand-up and sketch TV comedy, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does mean that Trainwreck suffers from a void at its center.

When the movie embraces “drunken slutty Amy”, that’s not an issue. Schumer brings out the humor in those scenes and makes them work, even if I never really buy Amy as a true “trainwreck”. She holds down a good job and is considered for a promotion there, a sign of career success. Sure, she boozes it up and sleeps around, but that doesn't make her a "trainwreck".

The film hints at more psychological damage as it progresses, moments that attempt to develop Amy as a severely flawed character. In the hands of a better actor, they might have succeeded, but Schumer lacks the dramatic chops to pull off those scenes. She seems out of her depth when she needs to do much other than deliver quips and wisecracks. Those comedic moments amuse, but she can’t handle the rest, and Schumer becomes a weak link in her own movie due to her inability to act on a high level.

Schumer also wrote Trainwreck, and here she continues to demonstrate the drawbacks of her inexperience. Trainwreck represents Schumer’s first screenplay, and she attempts to pack too much into the tale. If the movie concentrated on Amy’s relationship with Aaron, it would’ve been tighter and probably more successful.

However, Schumer crams in a slew of other subplots, largely connected to her relationships with her father and her sister. These take up far too much of the film’s running time, and they really cause it to drag.

Not that I solely blame Schumer for this issue. Director Judd Apatow doesn’t know how to make concise movies, and his inability to pare down stories hurts Trainwreck. When a neophyte screenwriter meets a director who can’t edit, the result becomes long, erratic and inconsistent.

That said, Trainwreck offers enough laughs to keep us with it – during the first half, at least. The film goes more dramatic as it progresses. Combined with basic “enough already” ennui, the second hour fares much less well than the first, but I still think the movie’s comedic highlights ensure it entertains much of the time.

While Schumer lacks much acting talent, the film surrounds her with others who handle their parts well. Actually, the movie’s best moments tend to come from athletes/amateur actors John Cena and LeBron James.

Especially LeBron James. Playing a skewed version of himself, James delivers a simply sensational performance that creates more laugh out loud moments than possibly the rest of the cast combined. The script sticks him with some potentially dopey conceits – mainly that the uber-rich athlete is a cheapskate – but James digs into his part with such gusto that he’s a consistent delight.

If the rest of Trainwreck was as funny as James’ sequences, it’d be a great film. As it stands, the flick comes with plenty of funny moments, but it also sags more often than I’d like, especially in its second hour. That makes it a sporadic pleasure without consistency.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus A

Trainwreck appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a generally positive presentation.

Sharpness appeared acceptable but not great. Softness was never a major concern, but I thought the movie didn’t always display particularly good detail. The movie tended to be reasonably concise and that was about it. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and edge enhancement remained absent. Print flaws never caused distractions.

In terms of colors, the flick went with a subdued set of tones. Hues opted for the usual teal and orange, without much beyond that. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image seemed generally good, but the slight softness made it a “B“.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and that was all. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of drama/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. A few locations added some zip, and crowd scenes used the channels acceptably well. That was about the extent of the soundscape, though.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural; I heard a little edginess at times but nothing serious. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as the best part of the track, as the songs and score were pretty lively and full. This was a decent reproduction of the material.

The disc offers two cuts of Trainwreck. We find the theatrical release (2:04:45) as well as an unrated version (2:08:46).

With that extra four minutes, we find a handful of small additions to existing scenes. By my count, we get longer versions of six sequences, all of which add comedy bits. No exposition or character development comes from the new snippets.

Do these extensions improve the film? Not really. They can be enjoyable and funny, but they make the movie no better - or worse, for that matter. Whichever version you choose, the end result feels about the same.

Next we find an audio commentary from director Judd Apatow, writer/actor Amy Schumer and associate producer/Schumer’s sister Kate Caramele. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas and real-life influences, cast and performances, music, sets and locations, editing/deleted scenes and various anecdotes.

Though not deep, this becomes a satisfactory commentary. The participants cover a good array of topics and do so in a witty, engaging manner. I’d like to hear more about the real-life influences on the film and the Kim/Amy relationship, but I still find a lot to like in this track.

Like all Apatow movies, this one offers copious amounts of cut footage. We locate 17 Deleted Scenes (45:44) as well as 12 Extended/Alternate Scenes (49:06). Normally I’d specify the scenes/changes, but not when confronted with 29 sequences, so I’ll just summarize.

Across nearly 100 minutes of material, do we find any substantial changes? Yes, though only in the “Deleted Scenes” domain. The “Extended/Alternate” clips offer exactly what that implies: longer/different versions of existing sequences. Some comedy results, but most go on way past their expiration date. I’m glad we get to see them, but those bits get tiresome after a while.

The “Deleted Scenes” prove to be more enjoyable. We find a cameo from Ryan Phillippe as well as a moderately interesting coda. A few other reasonably substantial pieces appear as well. Given that the movie already runs too long, I can’t claim the movie should’ve included them, but they do become interesting.

With the two-minute, 21-second Secrets of the Wu, we see actors Method Man and Norman Lloyd talk about Method’s Wu Tang career. It’s an odd clip, as it plays like a deleted scene, but it clearly wouldn’t have fit the film. It provides mild entertainment.

For a glimpse of the movie within the movie, we go to The Dogwalker. It runs four minutes, nine seconds and offers a better view of the phony Marisa Tomei/Daniel Radcliffe flick glimpsed in Trainwreck. It’s a fun extra.

Two Gag Reels last a total of 12 minutes, 42 seconds. A few alternate lines appear, but mostly we find the standard goofs and giggles. That makes the reels less enjoyable than I’d like.

More unused material shows up under the two-part Line-O-Rama. Across eight minutes, 11 seconds, we locate a slew of alternate lines. Lots of amusing bits result.

A comedic featurette, Directing Athletes: A Blood Sport goes for nine minutes, 54 seconds and provides comments from Apatow and actors Tony Romo, LeBron James, Marv Albert and Kenny Mayne. This depicts Apatow as a ball-buster toward the athletes in the movie. It’s a one-joke reel but it can be fun.

A collection of segments, Behind the Scenes occupies a whopping one hour, 28 minutes and 40 seconds. It offers remarks from Apatow, Caramele, Schumer, James, choreographer Danielle Flora, production designer Kevin Thompson, dog owner Trudy Wisner, and actors Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Method Man, Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer, Amar’e Stoudemire, Randall Park, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jim Norton.

“Scenes” covers the project’s roots and development, story/character areas, cast and performances, choreography, sets and locations, S’nuff Magazine and The Dogwalker, and some scene specifics. “Scenes” doesn’t attempt to be a coherent documentary, but it digs into a variety of movie elements. Though it can be fluffy at times, it gives us a lot of fun details and covers various production elements well.

Lastly, the Trainwreck Comedy Tour takes us on the movie’s promotional jaunts. Six video snippets total 22 minutes, five seconds; we also get an audio-only “SiriusXM Town Hall”.

In these, we follow a stand-up tour that featured Schumer and other actors from the movie as well as Apatow. The tour acted to help promote the film as well as move tickets in its own right. It sounds like it would’ve been a good show, but these snippets tend to be pretty forgettable.

As for the XM chat, it goes for 53 minutes and features Apatow, Bayer, Schumer, Atell, Quinn and Mike Birbiglia. They take questions from an audience and discuss the movie. Nothing especially substantial results, but it’s a decent chat.

he disc opens with ads for The Gift, Pitch Perfect 2, Ted 2, Dope, Jurassic World and Furious 7. We also get the “red band” trailer for Trainwreck.

A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Trainwreck. It includes both cuts of the film as well as the commentary, two deleted scenes, “Line-O-Rama”, gag reel 1 and “Secrets of the Wu”.

Comedian Amy Schumer leaps to the big screen with Trainwreck, but the results seem inconsistent. While the movie provokes a mix of laughs, it bogs down too much of the time and also suffers from Schumer's lack of dramatic skills. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture and audio along with an extensive array of supplements. Trainwreck entertains but sputters a little too much.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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