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    We're The Millers Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray Warner

    Dec 03 2013 05:45 PM | Ken_McAlinden in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    Director Rawson Marshall Thurber's We're the Millers is a twist on the traditional family road trip comedy. The "family" at its center is a group of underachieving misfits assembled by a small time drug dealer who is being forced by his supplier to smuggle marijuana from Mexico into the USA. The cast is top-lined by Jennifer Aniston, continuing in the decidedly un-romantic comedy vein she successfully mined in Horrible Bosses, and Jason Sudeikis, her prolific co-star from that movie.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Warner Brothers
    • Distributed By: N/A
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, Other
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
    • Rating: R
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 50 Min. [Theatrical]; 1 Hr. 59 Min. [Extended Cut]
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet
    • Case Type: Standard Sized "VIVA Elite" case with two hubs and a cadrboard slipcase with lenticular motion image of "before" and "after" Millers.
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer), DVD-9 (dual layer)
    • Region: A, 1
    • Release Date: 11/19/2013
    • MSRP: $35.99

    The Production Rating: 3/5

    Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber

    Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Quinn, and Ed Helms

    In We're the Millers, Jason Sudeikis plays small-time drug dealer David Clark. When David is robbed, leaving him severely in debt to his supplier Brad Gurdlinger (Helms), he is in no position to object when Brad suggests that he can make things right by transporting some marijuana across the Mexican border for him. David comes up with a plan that involves convincing a group of fellow underachieving misfits in his neighborhood to travel with him in the guise of a squeaky-clean all-American family. He eventually convinces stripper Rose (Aniston), homeless runaway Casey (Roberts), and clueless neighbor Kenny (Poulter) to join him in his venture, but things do not go smoothly.

    Director Rawson Marshall Thurber bites off a bit more than he can chew when he spends his first act establishing three of his major characters as unlikeable and one as clueless and then tries to win viewers over to their side as the film progresses. Sympathy is initially generated by piling adversity on to the characters and having them face down even worse human beings than themselves, but the arc of the film and its characters ultimately feels unearned and unconvincing.

    While this results in the film as a whole falling flat, there are still numerous laughs to be had from individual scenes, helped tremendously by a comically gifted cast. Sudeikis and Aniston are dependably funny throughout with a nice acerbic "anti-chemistry". Emma Roberts is solid although not entirely convincing in her early scenes as streetwise runaway. Will Poulter is a revelation as the dimwitted Kenny and steals nearly every scene in which he appears. The supporting cast is also loaded with comedic ringers including Luis Guzman, Ken Marino, and Thomas Lennon in small but memorable parts. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn are hilarious as a married couple who cross paths with the Millers multiple times throughout the film. Ed Helms is a bit over the top, but at least seems to be having fun as the narcissistic drug supplier who sets the plot in motion.
    "We're the Millers" Playlist


    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film is presented in 1080p via an AVC encoded transfer letterboxed to its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1. For the most part, the presentation is quite bright and colorful with excellent sharpness as one would expect from a modern digitally shot production. A few of the exterior shots do seem to suffer a bit from contrast being pushed a bit further than the digital medium can seamlessly render, resulting in an ever-so-slightly washed out appearance to certain shots. To be fair, such instances are few and far between and the effect is subtle.

    Audio Rating: 4/5

    The film's main audio track is presented on disc as a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track which serviceably renders an unambitious mix. Sound is focused almost entirely on the front hemisphere of the 5.1 field, with only light ambient effects and occasional musical support showing up in the rear surrounds. Fidelity is quite good. The front-focused mix is likely consistent with the theatrical presentation and is typical of "talky" comedies, but I still feel compelled to dock it a star for lack of ambition in the mix. The Theatrical Cut of the film includes alternate Dolby Digital 5.1 language tracks in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

    Special Features: 3.5/5

    When the disc is first played, the viewer is greeted with the following promos presented in 1080p video with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
    • Man of Steel Home Video Trailer ( 3:06)
    • Clear History Home Video Trailer (1:36)
    Exclusive to the Blu-ray release of the film is an Extended Cut of the movie which adds about nine minutes to the running time. It is billed as “unrated”, but there is nothing that would likely change the R-rating of the theatrical cut in the additional material. The Extended Cut has all of the same subtitle options as the Theatrical Cut, but does not include any alternate language audio tracks. Listed below are the additions to the Extended Cut that I noticed in chronological order as they appeared:
    • New bit of business at airport where Casey has trouble getting through airport security
    • Extended conversation between David and Brad
    • More campfire interactions with the Fitzgeralds including an “I Fought the Law” sing-along
    • Extended argument between David and Rose outside the Fitzgerald’s tent followed by some interesting sounds emanating from the tent
    • Extended goodbye sequence between Don and David involving Don sharing uncomfortably intimate information
    • Extensions to the scene where the Millers are held at gunpoint inclusive of a more protracted “lap dance”
    • Short extensions to the “spider bite” scene
    • Another extended conversation between David and Brad
    • Extended interview of “Scotty P” by David and Rose
    • New scene featuring Brad and musician Ben Folds with David on the phone.
    • Slightly extended conversation between David and the rest of his “family” at the fair
    • Additional credits outtakes
    • Additional “Extended Cut” title card after credits.
    From the disc's "Special Features" menu, the viewer may choose to view the following materials presented in 1080p video with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound:

    Millers Unleashed - Outtakes Overload (7:08) blends talking head interview segments discussing the improvisation-friendly filmmaking style with outtakes/alternate dialog that resulted from the latitude given to the actors. On-screen comments are provided by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber, Jennifer Aniston (“Rose”), Jason Sudeikis (“David”), Kathryn Hahn (“Edie), Nick Offerman (“Don”), Emma Roberts (“Casey”), Will Poulter (“Kenny”)

    Stories from the Road is a collection of featurettes with the following titles:
    • Extreme Aniston (2:20) - Focuses on Jennifer Aniston and the character of Rose. Comments are provided by Aniston, Hahn, Roberts, Offerman, Poulter, and Sudeikis,
    • The Millers Makeover (3:44) - is a featurette on the film's costumes. Comments are provided by Thurber, Costume Designer Shay Cutliffe, Sudeikis, Roberts, Aniston, Poulter, Hahn,
    • Road Trippin’ with The Millers (2:48) looks at the RV and the shooting that took place in it. Comments come from Sudeikis, Aniston, Poulter, and Roberts,
    • Don’t Suck Venom (2:18) looks at the spider bite scene with comments from Poulter, Sudeikis, Aniston, and Tarantula Wrangler Michael Scott McKenzie
    • Getting Out of a Sticky Situation (2:42) Looks at the Mexican motorcycle Police stop sequence. Comments come from Luis Guzman ("Mexican Cop"), Sudeikis, and Aniston.
    • I Am Pablo Chacon (1:38) is a Spartacus-like montage of cast members claiming that “I am Pablo Chacon”. Participants include Sudeikis, Offerman, Aniston, Ed Helms (“Brad”), Tomer Sisley (“Pablo Chacon”), Poulter, Guzman, Hahn, and Roberts
    • Rollin’ in the RV (1:53) covers operating the enormous RV. Viewers hear from Poulter, Executive Producer Marcus Viscidi, Producer Chris Bender, Offerman, Sudeikis, Aniston, Thurber
    Livin’ it Up with Brad (3:46) is a featurette on Ed Helms’ narcissistic d-bag drug millionaire character of Brad Gurdlinger. Orcas, ice sculptures, and a killer whale shaped piano are discussed. Comments are provided by Helms, Sudeikis, Thurber, Cunliffe, Bender, and Viscidi.

    When Paranoia Sets In (3:16) Winkingly discusses the “prop” marijuana and whether the film was just a pretense for smuggling pot. Uneasy comments come from Matthew Willig (“One-Eye”), Thurber, Sudeikis, Offerman, Poulter, Roberts, and Hahn.

    Deleted Scenes (16:18) is a collection of deleted, alternate, and/or extended sequences.
    • Go Stall Him: The Emergency Fund (Alternate police stop scene 1)
    • Go Stall Him: I’ll Enjoy This More than 1,000 Pesos (Alternate police stop scene 2)
    • Go Stall Him: David, Go Pay Him (Alternate police stop scene 3)
    • Chacon Finds Transmitter
    • I’m Never Going To Wash These Hands Again (Extended argument after the tent scene)
    • You'll Always Be My Special Lover (Extended goodbye scene between the Millers and the the Fitzgeralds)
    • Cuz We’re the Millers - Retrieving Kenny from the Hospital
    • Waterfalls - Brad and Ben Folds (as himself) jam to “Waterfalls” on the Orca piano and then are joined by David
    Gags & More Outtakes (3:01) More alternate takes as well as some bloopers and broken takes.

    Ultraviolet Digital Copy

    An insert in the packaging includes a code to unlock an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of the film. Using the code to redeem the digital copy allows viewers to access high definition streaming versions of the movie on portable devices, smart TVs, and set-top boxes connected to streaming services such as Flixster, Vudu, and CinemaNow.

    SD DVD
    This blu-ray combo pack comes with an SD DVD copy of the Theatrical Cut of the film on a second disc. The film can be viewed in a 16:9 enhanced SD presentation with Dolby Digital 5.1 ausio tracks in English, French, or Spanish. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, or Spanish. All of the special features from the Blu-ray (except for the extended cut of the film) are reproduced on the SD DVD

    When the SD DVD is first played, the viewer is greeted with the following series of promos:
    • Ultraviolet Digital Copy Promo (1:20)
    • Anti-Smoking PSA Parodying Energy Drink Ads (1:03)
    • Man of Steel Home Video Trailer (3:06)
    • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Theatrical Trailer (2:09)
    • Getaway Home Video Trailer (2:06)
    • Clear History Home Video Promo (16:9 enhanced - 1:35)

    Overall Rating: 3/5

    We're the Millers falters in its plotting and character development, but includes enough individually funny scenes to justify at least a rental for fans of modern R-rated edgy comedies. It is presented on Blu-ray with solid rendering of its digital cinematography and a faithful rendering of its unambitious front-focused 5.1 audio mix. Extras are large in number but shallow in depth.

    Reviewed by: Ken_McAlinden
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    1 Comments

    Photo
    Adam Gregorich
    Dec 04 2013 06:40 PM

    This was actually a lot better than I thought it would be.  My wife and I had fun watching it!