- View New Content
- Blu-ray, DVD, Streaming Video and Digital Downloads
- Home Theater Hardware
- Theaters, Remotes and Accessories
- Equipment Reviews
- DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Other Diversions
- Bargains and Deals
- Feedback and Testing
- Latest Blu-ray Deals
- Shop Amazon & Support HTF
- Theater Photos
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Equipment Reviews
Blu-ray Release Listings
- Shop Amazon
DVD & Blu-ray Deals
Categories See All →
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Insomnia Blu-ray Review
Jul 27 2014 06:48 PM
Insomnia (1997), Director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut feature, is an absorbing and isolating narrative. Bright and harshly lit settings wash the dark and broodi... Read More
Need for Speed Blu-ray Review
Jul 27 2014 02:05 PM
Great car stunts and high speed street racing with a stunning array of muscle cars and super cars mostly done in real time are the reasons for the existence... Read More
Dom Hemingway Blu-ray Review
Jul 24 2014 02:03 PM
You can’t keep a good crook down, or at least that’s what the title character in Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway would like to think. Loud, brash, egotistica... Read More
Immortal Sergeant DVD Review
Jul 23 2014 01:38 PM
With his innate acting talent and a couple of long term contracts, Henry Fonda assured himself of acting some great roles: sometimes famous (Abraham Lincoln)... Read More
Bad Words Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray Universal
Jul 05 2014 09:32 PM | Kevin EK in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Universal
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DTS
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 29 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
- Case Type:
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: ABC
- Release Date: 07/08/2014
- MSRP: $34.98
The Production Rating: 3/5Bad Words probably wants to be a meaner movie than it actually is. The movie follows the efforts of Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), an eighth grade dropout with a score to settle, as he crashes a spelling bee competition in what can charitably be described as a large temper tantrum. Along the way, he gets help and support from an eager reporter (Kathryn Hahn) and a precocious young competitor (Rohan Chano) while taking every opportunity to undercut his opponents and humiliate various officials. (Allison Janney turns in a fun cameo as one of the brittle authority figures Trilby targets on his journey.) There are certainly a few rough moments along the way – whenever Trilby is challenged by an angry parent or teacher, the gloves come off – but the movie is actually fairly sweet at heart. At his core, Trilby is not really that bad of a guy and while his actions are ridiculous, he usually doesn’t go all the way to a dark place. (Of course, there is that one bit with the poor young girl that has the misfortune to be seated next to him at one appearance…) As a director, Jason Bateman keeps the movie fairly simple to follow – albeit with many long-lens shots and moving perspectives that indicate more of a wish to use the equipment at hand than to have a reason for doing so.
SPOILERS: Bad Words works best when it allows Guy Trilby and his co-conspirators their moments to have minor victories over the various slings and arrows that life and authority figures throw at them. At its core is a man who simply never had a father, and is simply acting out in the only manner he understands. It’s ironic that Trilby, a man without a family, actually makes a family of sorts between the reporter he keeps bedding and the boy he’s unknowingly mentoring. To the movie’s credit, there’s never a scene where this is directly voiced. Instead, one keeps wondering how Trilby is going to justify crushing this poor kid – until the fateful moment happens and we see both man and boy act in a manner that’s in character but not vicious. Trilby essentially has won the competition in spite of all the authorities’ attempts to stop him. And that’s the point that the movie reveals its soul. If this were as mean of a movie as the filmmakers might wish it were, Trilby wouldn’t think twice about stepping on the boy while achieving his goal. But Trilby can’t do it – he even acknowledges that he’s probably already accomplished his goal and has no need to drag the kid through the rubble too. To the kid’s credit, he refused to let Trilby off the hook, thus setting up a conclusion I honestly didn’t see coming. The movie’s aftermath is satisfying in that we finally see Trilby deal with his father issues in a manner that is believable but not too pessimistic. (It’s important to see that Trilby’s note to his father, the note that provides the narration we’ve heard throughout the movie, is torn up in front of him, but then pieced back together again AFTER TRILBY IS GONE. Which means that Trilby is unaware that his father got the message. And yet, maybe it’s not important for Trilby to know that – he’s accomplished his task just by getting in the championship and getting that note to the person who he needed to confront.) The movie’s final moment, of Trilby and the boy chasing down teenage bullies in a former police car, doesn’t provide a pat happy ending, but it does fit with Trilby’s basic character and it tells the audience that in his own way, he’s making the effort. (By the way, none of this is meant to endorse Trilby’s actions of taking a child to skid row or driving recklessly with a minor in the car…)
Bad Words will be released on July 8th on Blu-ray and DVD. The Blu-ray includes the movie in high definition picture and sound, along with a commentary by Jason Bateman, a few deleted/extended scenes and a short featurette. The Blu-ray also includes the DVD edition in the packaging, along with instructions for downloading a digital copy.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
Bad Words is presented in a 2.40:1 1080p AVC encode (@ an average 34 mbps) that presents the movie in a satisfying manner. It’s important to remember this movie was intentionally shot in a muted palette – with a brownish look and desaturated colors.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5Bad Words has an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix (@ an average 3.5 mbps, going up to 4.7 mbps in the bigger moments), that’s fairly clear with the dialogue and the unobtrusive score. The movie is also presented in a DTS 5.1 mix in Spanish.
Special Features: 3/5Bad Words comes with a scene-specific commentary by Jason Bateman, a few deleted scenes and a short featurette on the making of the movie. It’s not a lot, but it does provide as much of a look at the movie as one could wish for. All the special features are available both on the Blu-ray and the DVD editions.
Commentary with Jason Bateman – (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – Jason Bateman provides a scene-specific commentary, in which he recounts many stories about the making of the movie. He’s fairly dry at times, and even goes silent for patches of the movie, but then he’ll pipe up with an interesting account of how the action at hand got into the movie. Some of his observations are a bit telling – he admits having placed much of the action at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Los Angeles due to it being convenient for his real-life parenting needs. (He could drop his son off at school and then come to work for a couple of weeks of the shoot…) He notes how some of the footage of kids at the spelling bees in the movie was actually shot without any of the kids knowing they were being filmed. He repeatedly thanks his fellow cast members for agreeing to do the movie – considering this was a low budget movie and his first directorial effort. There are moments of silence, but when Bateman talks, it’s interesting to hear his perspective.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (6:37, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – Several deleted scenes and scene extensions are provided here, including an added coda to Trilby’s opening confrontation with some prissy schoolteachers and an extra scene with Allison Janney. There’s nothing particularly critical here, and it’s easy to see why the material was cut in the first place. The scenes are presented in an unchaptered pile, so the only way to see them is all at once.
The Minds and Mouths Behind Bad Words (10:32, 1080p) (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – This is a pretty basic featurette covering the making of the movie, including interview soundbites with Jason Bateman, screenwriter Andrew Dodge and some of the cast. Several pieces of footage are included to show Bateman working both as an actor and a director at the same time, along with some outtakes of sequences where people either cracked up (a love scene between Bateman and Hahn, for example) or where Bateman encouraged ad-libs to see what would work best.
Previews (AVAILABLE BOTH ON BLU-RAY AND DVD) – Trailers for six other movies are presented here: The World’s End, For A Good Time, Call, Beginners, Moonrise Kingdom, A Haunted House and Hit & Run. The trailers can be viewed individually or via a “Play All” option.
DVD – The Blu-ray packaging includes the DVD edition of the movie, presenting it in standard definition with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and Spanish (@448 kbps). The DVD includes all the special features from the Blu-ray, including the previews, albeit in standard definition.
Digital/Ultraviolet Copy – The packaging has an insert that contains instructions for downloading a digital or ultraviolet copy of the movie.
Subtitles are available in English, Spanish and French for the film itself, as well as for the special features. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference.