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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast:
Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn
Writing Credits:
Bob Fisher (and story), Steve Faber (and story), Sean Anders, John Morris

Synopsis:
David Burke (Sudeikis) is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids-after all, he has his scruples. After his stash and his cash are stolen, leaving him in major debt to his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms), he must become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad's latest shipment in from Mexico. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny RV later, the Millers are headed south of the border for a Fourth of July weekend that is sure to end with a bang.

Box Office:
Budget
$37 million.
Opening Weekend
$26.419 million on 3260 screens.
Domestic Gross
$149.221 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Chinese
Latin Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 110 min. (Theatrical Cut) / 119 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 11/19/2013

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts of the Film
• “Millers Unleashed – Outtakes Overload” Featurette
• “Stories from the Road” Featurette
• “Livin’ it Up with Brad” Featurette
• “When Paranoia Sets In” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• “Gags and More Outtakes” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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


We're The Millers [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 11, 2013)

In the category of “sleeper hit” comes 2013’s We’re the Millers, a little heralded August release that became one of the year’s biggest comedy successes. After some punks rob him, middle-aged pot dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) finds himself in debt to drug kingpin Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms). David gets one shot to redeem himself and avoid a terrible fate: if he goes to Mexico and smuggles a “smidge” of marijuana back to Denver, Brad will consider the situation closed.

Worried that he looks too much like the drug dealer he is to get past security, David concocts a plan: he’ll bring a fake family with him. He recruits a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a virginal neighbor named Kenny (Will Poulter) and an edgy runaway named Casey (Emma Roberts) to become “The Millers”, an all-American clan.

At first, this ruse seems destined to succeed, as “The Millers” enter Mexico with nary a raised eyebrow. However, matters complicate when they pick up the drugs: instead of a “smidge” of pot, they get an RV packed full of dope – which turns out to belong to one of Brad’s rivals, to boot. Many additional problems arise along the way as David and crew attempt to safely make their way back to Denver.

I wanted to like Millers. I expected to like Millers. I was bored by Millers.

It seemed curiously pedestrian, like some the Scripto 5000 Automaton wrote it. Gags felt like they should score but they didn't. I sensed no chemistry between Sudeikis and Aniston - or among any of the others, either.

Everything felt canned and contrived, as I suspect the writers - or even the Scripto 5000 - knew that they provided an unsupportable premise. The movie has to work so damned hard to force "the Millers" to stay together that none of it works.

The characters grow to love each other because the screenplay says so, not because of any clear sense of bonding or affection. The actors all feel like they just met each other that morning - each scene plays like it's among performers who just said "hello" for the first time.

Sometimes you laugh at movies because you really, really want them to be funny - you find amusement where none actually exists because you wish it to be so. That trait carried me through the first 30 minutes or so of Millers, as I hoped and prayed it'd be a riot.

Eventually, I figured out those laughs I so desired would never come. Instead, I was stuck with a slow, tedious, unfunny, illogical, contrived and predictable comedic vehicle with precious little redeeming value.


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

We’re The Millers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie consistently looked positive.

Sharpness was fine. A handful of wider shots could be a little tentative, but those remained in the minority, as most of the flickl appeared concise and accurate. Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t occur, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to present any problems, as the movie offered a clean image.

In terms of colors, the film favored a mild golden tint. This was a light overtone, so the colors were solid within the design parameters. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were good. I thought this was a high-quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed satisfactory. It favored the usual “comedy mix” and didn’t present many chances for the soundscape to explode. We did find a few action scenes – most of which took place on the road – but the track usually opted for stereo music and general environmental material. Though these didn’t seem exciting, they opened up the piece in a satisfying manner.

I thought audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed distinctive and natural, with no rough tones or other issues. Score and songs displayed clear, warm music, and effects functioned well. Those elements were reasonably realistic and full throughout the movie. Again, nothing here dazzled, but the mix accentuated the action in a suitable way.

As we hit the disc’s extras, we find both the film’s theatrical cut (1:49:53) and an extended cut (1:58:43). What does the added eight minutes, 50 seconds buy us? Nothing whatsoever for the movie’s first 21 minutes, as both versions remain identical until the “Millers” get to the airport.

Once they go through security, we see a short clip in which Casey sets off the metal detector. After that, the two cuts stay the same until 30:45, when we get a quick interchange between Kenny and One-Eye, and we also see Brad making an ice sculpture; a tag at the end of that scene offers more comments from Brad about his work.

This accounts for 50 seconds of additions, and we wait until 55:05 to get another change. At that point, we locate more of the camping scene with the Fitzgerald family; it runs about 80 seconds and shows a campfire singalong.

The next bonus segment shows up at 1:06:05 and runs about 25 seconds; it shows an argument between David and Rose after their sexual encounter with the Fitzgeralds. At 1:10:50, David and Don discuss how to reinvigorate the Fitzgeralds’ love life; for about 90 seconds, we get a mix of theatrical and “new” footage.

That gets us about three and a half minutes toward the eight minutes, 50 seconds of added material. At 1:14:15, we find some short additions to the Pablo Chacon sequence, and there’s a little more to Rose’s strip scene. We then see a couple of minor extensions to the scene in which David negotiates with Brad.

Around 1:26:30, the Scottie P interrogation adds a good 90 seconds. At 1:35:15, we see David call Brad with an update, which interrupts Brad’s music lesson with Ben Folds; it goes for about a minute. 1:38:35 brings us more of David’s return to the “family”; over about two minutes, 20 seconds, it mixes old and new material. Finally, we get a few more outtakes that run during the end credits.

So there’s your eight minutes, 50 seconds – do these moments help or hurt the movie? I think they harm it for the most part. They tend to either reiterate information we already know or focus on extraneous details like Brad’s life; on their own, some of those bits are fun, but they slow down the movie.

And given that I thought the theatrical cut dragged and went too long, more footage doesn’t become a good thing. Of all the additions, I’d probably keep the Scottie P stuff, mainly because he’s the movie’s funniest character. The theatrical cut remains the superior version, though.

From there we go to some featurettes. Millers Unleashed – Outtakes Overload runs seven minutes, 38 seconds and includes comments from director Rawson Marshall Thurber and actors Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Will Poulter, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman and Jason Sudeikis. They tell us about the acting/improv processes used in the film and we see plenty of alternate takes. The notes don’t add much, but I like the various line readings.

Next comes Stories from the Road, which breaks into seven segments: “Extreme Aniston” (2:20), “The Miller Makeovers” (3:44), “Road Trippin’ with the Millers” (2:48), “Don’t Suck Venom” (2:18), “Getting Out of a Sticky Situation” (2:42), “I Am Pablo Chacon” (1:38) and “Rollin’ in the RV” (1:53). Across these, we hear from Aniston, Sudeikis, Hahn, Roberts, Offerman, Poulter, Thurber, costume designer Shay Cunliffe, tarantula wrangler Michael Scott McKenzie, executive producer Marcus Viscidi, producer Chris Bender, and actors Ed Helms, Tomer Sisley and Luis Guzman. The programs cover cast and performances, costumes and hair, sets and shooting in an RV, and a few scene/character specifics. These tend to be basic and promotional, so don’t expect much from them, though a few good details and shots from the set pop up along the way.

Livin’ it Up with Brad goes for three minutes, 46 seconds and features Helms, Sudeikis, Thurber, Bender, Viscidi and Cunliffe. This one looks at the Brad character, with an emphasis on his orca fixation. It’s a decent piece, though I’m not sure why it’s not part of “Stories from the Road”, as it’s just like those featurettes.

For the final featurette, we find When Paranoia Sets In. In this three-minute, 16-second piece, we hear from Thurber, Sudeikis, Offerman, Poulter, Roberts, Hahn, and actor Matthew Willig. They all discuss the possibility that the movie is a ruse and they’re really smuggling pot. It’s not particularly entertaining.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 16 minutes, 18 seconds. The first three offer variations on the sequence with the Mexican police officer, so they’re alternate segments, not deleted ones, and they take up much more than half of the overall running time.

The other five mix little expository bits with some extensions to existing scenes. For instance, Edie tells Rose how much their experience meant to her. We also see Helms, Sudeikis and Ben Folds play “Waterfalls”; this should fall into “outtakes” since it clearly never would’ve appeared in the film. None of the additions offer much in the way of entertainment or substance.

Under Gags and More Outtakes, we get… gags and more outtakes. The collection occupies three minutes, one second and shows exactly what the title implies. They’re reasonably amusing.

The disc opens with ads for Man of Steel and Clear History. No trailer for Millers pops up here.

A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Millers. It provides the theatrical cut and three featurettes.

On the surface, We’re the Millers looks like a comedy winner, with a fun premise and good talent involved. Unfortunately, the movie rarely connects, as it mixes forgettable characters and gags in a slow, draggy package. The Blu-ray comes with good picture and audio as well as a mediocre set of bonus materials. Millers includes a few minor laughs but usually leaves us without much enjoyment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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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