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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Miss March: Unrated

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted July 30 2009 - 02:34 PM

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Miss March: Unrated (Blu-ray)

Directed by Zach Cregger, Trevor Moore

Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox
Year: 2009
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1    1080p    AVC codec     
Running Time: 90/93 minutes
Rating: R/NR
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Subtitles: SDH, Spanish, Portuguese
Region: A
MSRP: $ 39.99

Release Date: July 28, 2009
Review Date: July 30, 2009
The Film
A brain dead comedy featuring a mismatched pair of buddies on a spree to get to the Playboy Mansion, Miss March is a charmless, thoroughly resistible movie. Gross-out gags involving various bodily fluids pretty much constitute its low aim for its comedy targets, but if the tantalizing thought of those along with the admittedly dozens of gorgeous babes at the Playboy Mansion sound appealing, then Miss March may well match your search for a goofy, simple-minded ninety minute flick. It’s junk, but for the undemanding, the looniness may capture a few fans and produce a few chuckles.
Friends since childhood, Eugene Bell (Zach Cregger) and Tucker Cleigh (Trevor Moore) are traveling different sexual roads as they end their high school careers. Tucker will basically hop on anything female that moves. Eugene is waiting to consummate his love for longtime girl friend Cindi (Raquel Alessi) after the prom. Unfortunately, he consumes a bit too much alcohol before heading upstairs to Cindi and tumbles down the cellar stairs which sends him into a four-year coma. Upon awakening, Eugene learns that his dad has left town, Cindi has become a Playboy bunny, and Tucker is now seriously dating Candace (Molly Stanton) though they’re currently on the outs since during an oral sex act, Tucker turned on a strobe light that induced Candace’s epilepsy and caused her to bite down necessitating him to stab her in the face with a fork to save his “manhood.” Now Candace is out for blood with the help of her insane fireman brother Rick (Geoff Meed), so Eugene and Tucker go on a wild ride to find some way to get to the Playboy Mansion so Eugene can have it out with Cindi and Tucker can enter the land of his ultimate fantasies.
Writers-directors-stars Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore have set up polar opposite personalities for these characters (never having seen their cable television series, I’m not sure if their characterizations are new here or are extensions of their TV work). Cregger’s Eugene is the soulful, serious, down-to-earth member of the pair while Moore’s Tucker is the absurd, sex-mad, party guy we’ve seen in hundreds of these sex-obsessed comic farces. All of the writing uses sex as a punchline, whether it’s dealing with people’s names (a rapper named horsedick@mpeg.com) or the unending situations where Tucker is on the make. Tucker is such a ridiculous cartoonish presence that mentioning the possibility for a believable friendship between these two polar opposites isn’t worth pondering, but the movie grinds on as Tucker gets them into one embarrassing, dangerous, or gross situation after another. Not helping matters is Eugene’s shaky control of his bowels which, naturally, the filmmakers exploit on many occasions. Hilarious and classy it ain’t.
The two directors do stage one slapstick moment carefully and well: the tumble down the stairs that leads to Eugene’s coma. The stunt fall itself is very impressive, and the writer-directors then build the moment with superbly timed additional objects falling on poor Eugene. They don’t overdo it, and it emerges as by far the film’s most wonderfully staged slapstick sequence. Other moments that attempt a similar comedy of the absurd motif (a dog peeing in a girl’s champagne glass that she couldn’t possibly have missed as it happened; a motel room catching on fire from one spark; a woman in a traveling RV waiting for sex and being bounced out of an open window) fall flat, completely insulting the audience’s intelligence at the mere possibility of such events transpiring in anything like real life. Guy-guys will probably love the two directors for shoving as many big breasted women into the frame as they can cram in, and they even manage to throw in a pair of insatiable lesbians for the boys to leer at. Yes, this is the style of comic filmmaking I like to call open-mouth comedy. Goggled eyed and with mouths wide open as they stumble from one glorious sexcapade to the other, the two writer-director-stars probably had a lot more fun making the movie than any audience will ever have watching it.
Video Quality
The film’s 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio is delivered in an excellent 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Sharpness for the most part is exemplary (only one or two shots failing to deliver the same level of fine object detail), and color saturation levels are wonderfully rich without being garishly overdone. Flesh tones are superbly lifelike. The film has been divided into 24 chapters.
Audio Quality
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack makes far more use of the front channels than the rears. Ambient sounds only sporadically land there, and much of the music is there only through channel seepage. There are a couple of instances where deep bass kicks in, especially during the raunchy music video “Down & Dirty,” but otherwise, the LFE channel is not much exploited.
Special Features
The Blu-ray offers the viewer a choice of the theatrical version or the unrated version of the film. The unrated version runs about three minutes longer, likely due to that very raunchy rap music video sequence with its numerous uses of the F-word and its lyrics about various sexual positions which would have garnered an NC-17 for the movie had it been submitted for a rating.
Unless otherwise indicated, the bonus features are presented in 480i.
There are five “viral videos” contributed by the director-stars: sound design where the directors create their own Foley effects for the movie (4 minutes), auditions for friends who want to be in the movie: Timmy (1 ½ minutes), Darren (2 ½ minutes), Sam (3 ¾ minutes), and a pair of girls auditioning for the lesbian roles and two guys auditioning for the rapper part (2 minutes).
“Down & Dirty with Horsedick” is a faux TV newsmagazine feature on the filming of the vulgar music video for the film. The user has the option of watching the censored or uncensored version of the feature. It runs for 2 minutes.
There are 1080p trailers for Street Fighter, 12 Rounds, and The Marine II.
Disc two in the set is a digital copy of the movie with an enclosed card offering the activation code and instructions for installation on PC and Mac devices.
In Conclusion
2/5 (not an average)
Crude, bawdy, ridiculous, Miss March is not for all tastes. Some may find its blend of the absurd and the crass harmless fun, but I didn’t have a good time watching it, finding the characters empty and irritating and its comedy tired and utterly resistible.
Matt Hough
Charlotte, NC

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted July 31 2009 - 12:41 PM

I finally in a moment of weakness watched this.  I really agree with your rating of the film.  I will say that the viral videos in the extras had some funny moments, more than the movie did.

#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted August 01 2009 - 04:19 AM

Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich ">

I finally in a moment of weakness watched this.  I really agree with your rating of the film.  I will say that the viral videos in the extras had some funny moments, more than the movie did.
And I would agree.  Awful movie, and it doesn't even redeem itself with lots of nudity.  Who makes a movie about Playmates that offers very little skin?<br /></span>

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Colin Jacobson