Review: Horrible Bosses Blu-ray

Horrible Bosses Blu-raySTUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon | CAST: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell
RELEASE DATE: 10/11/2011 | PRICE: DVD $28.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $35.99
BONUSES: “Totally Inappropriate” unrated version, featurettes, deleted scenes, more
SPECS: R/NR | 98 min./106 min. | Comedy | 2.40:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Three disgruntled employees (talk about a trio of contemporary but still timeless characters!) take their kvetching to the next level when they plot to murder their bosses in the dark-but-not-too-dark revenge comedy Horrible Bosses.

Horrible Bosses movie scene

Charlie Day (l.), Jason Sudeikis (ctr.) and Jason Bateman come up with a devilish idea in Horrible Bosses.

Let’s see what we have here: Jason Sudeikis (Hall Pass) must deal with  his nepotistic cokehead boss (Colin Farrell, The Way Back) as he snorts the company’s profits up his nose; dental assistant Charlie Day (TV’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is constantly resisting the advances of his sexpot boss (Jennifer Aniston, Love Happens); and rising exec Jason Bateman (Paul) is receiving no respect — or career advancement — from his tyrannical supervisor (Kevin Spacey, American Beauty).

At its best, Horrible Bosses is an uneven comedy that clicks when the titular bosses are onscreen in a trio of roles that were surely enjoyed by Aniston, Farrell and Spacey (whose studio executive Buddy Ackerman in 1995’s Swimming With Sharks remains the movies’ all-time nastiest employer). Aniston tosses her romantic comedy image aside and has a few raucous scenes where her sexed up dentist lets loose with some deliciously vulgar language, while Farrell gets a lot of mileage out of his coke-twitchiness and combover. For his part, Spacey’s ugly reaction to a surprise party thrown by his wife is the film’s finest moment.

As for the three employees who set the high-concept story into motion, Jasons Bateman and Sudeikis are fine but never rise above the material, which includes a lot of one-liners with some occasionally cruder quips and gay jokes thrown in. There’s an extended sequence involving a whole lot of cocaine that’s quite funny, but there aren’t really any other bits that stay with you. Day’s whiney voice grows annoying (though it’s appropriate for the character, I suppose) and is best ingested in smaller doses on his TV show.

Director Seth Gordon’s (TV’s Modern Family) set-ups and pacing are fine but undistinguished.

The Blu-ray’s sound and vision are also acceptable — the dialog doesn’t get lost in the music or audio effects and the image is well-detailed and sharply colored.

The extended, unrated version of the film that’s also part of the package — the Totally Inappropriate one — is eight minutes longer than the theatrical. The added material runs around the same temperature as the rest of the film and it’s nothing special, though a flashback explaining how a character named “Muthafuckah Jones” earned his nickname is sorta cute.

As in the film proper, the bonus featurettes on the Blu-ray that are the most fun are the ones that include Spacey, Aniston and Farrell. They pop up in two out of three: one where they reminisce about the worst bosses they’ve ever encountered and, better, a seven-minute piece where they talk about how much they enjoyed digging into their nasty roles.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.