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Blu-ray Review HTF Blu-Ray Review: Drillbit Taylor Extended Survival Edition (1 Viewer)

PatWahlquist

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Drillbit Taylor: Extended Survival Edition (Blu-Ray)

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Rated: Not Rated
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
HD Encoding: 1080p
HD Video Codec: VC-1
Audio: English 5.1 TrueHD; Spanish, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese; English SDH+
Time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: 1 SS/DL Blu-Ray
Case Style: Keep case
Theatrical Release Date: 2008
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 01,, 2008


Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson) is a homeless former Army soldier who lives in amongst the shrubbery surrounding the Los Angeles freeways. He gets up each day to beg for a buck or two from the motorists, hoping to get enough to survive from day to day. Three ninth graders, Wade, Ryan and Emmit (Nate Hartley, Troy Gentile and David Dorfman, respectively) are embarking on the toughest part of their lives: the beginning of high school. These self professed geeks know they will be hazed and at the mercy of the schoolhouse bullies, Filkins and Ronnie (Alex Frost and Josh Peck). The boys are barely through the doors before they have been punked out and made the laughing stock of the school. The problems persist, so the boys decide to interview potential bodyguards, eventually deciding on Drillbit. Drillbit, however, has no idea what he’s doing, but he sees the gig as a way to get the $387 he needs to move to Canada and start his life over. Drillbit assimilates into the curriculum, but will his lies be enough to protect those who hired him?

The paper thin plot of this picture is barely held together by the charisma of its cast. Wilson turns a sleep walk of a performance never giving us a reason to care about him or his plight. As the story progresses and we learn the reasons for his homelessness, I found myself caring even less about him. The trio of kid’s characters in the movie borrows heavily from the far more interesting and certainly funnier trio in Superbad. This aspect of the movie comes from the fact that Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow have their creative fingers in the pie producing a watered down version of the far superior Superbad. Drillbit Taylor could almost be considered the freshmen year for Seth, Evan and Fogell as each of the three kids here seem like younger, less evolved forerunners in both word and appearance.

One thing I was wondering as the movie rolled credits is what made this disc the “Extended Survival Edition”. While the movie is unrated, there’s really nothing in it that I think would break the PG-13 barrier.


Video:
Note: I am watching this title using a Marantz VP 11-S1 DLP projector, which has a native resolution of 1080p. I am using a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player while a Denon 3808CI does the switching and pass through of the video signal. I am utilizing the HDMI capabilities of each piece of equipment.

Drillbit Taylor is mastered in 1080p in the VC-1 codec with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The transfer is crystal clear lacking any type of noise, debris or any other detractors. Color reproduction is excellent showing us incredibly detailed and rich outdoor environments where most of the film is set. Flesh tones are generally good, but the actors occasionally look a little waxy. What few measureable black levels there are looked excellent with good depth and details. Detail and sharpness is exceptional.


Audio:
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was attained by the HDMI connection of the PS3 to the Denon 3808CI.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack remains in the fronts for a high majority of the picture. The surrounds rarely engage and I cannot cite one scene where they were actually noticeable. Panning effects across the fronts were good providing a good soundstage for the on screen action. Bass effects were rarely noted and the amps to my subs turned off several times. ADR is noticed at times, but vocals otherwise were normal sounding.


Bonus Material:
The bonus materials are in HD.

Commentary by director Steven Brill, screenwriter Kristofor Brown and actors Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley and David Dorfman: this starts out with Brown and Brill doing their Wilson impressions and the kids joining in later. They all give some background of the individual scenes and the kids seem to be having a good time.

The Writers Get a Chance to Talk: Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen (14:00): Brown talks to Rogen via phone regarding different ways in which Drillbit got his name the structure of the story, Rambo and other aspects of the story.

Line-o-Rama (4:24): a collection of some of the funnier lines in the movie and more that were cut, including a great Lisa Lampanelli rant. It almost seems the editors left in all the unfunny stuff…

Panhandle (3:07): extended versions of Drillbit panhandling along the highway.

Kids on the Loose (2:41): the three kids goof off and play around on set.

Super Billy (2:42): Billy, the kid that’s just one step away from being bully bait and who delivers scene closers gets the spotlight.

Bodyguard (2:55): the bodyguard candidates are interviewed, including a funny bit from Adam Baldwin.

Trading Punches (1:34): the practice fighting session between Gentile and Hartley.

Filkins Fight (7:15): behind the scenes shots of the making of the final scenes in the movie at the Filkins house.

Gag Reel (4:01): the cast busts-up each other.

Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes (23:32): 19 deleted scenes add a little bit to the plot and actually upped the laugh count, especially some of the body guard interviews.

Sprinkler Day (3:24): behind the scenes shots of the shooting of the sprinkler scene.

Rap Off (3:35): a rap instructor (who knew there were such things!) coaches Gentile and Frost on the finer points of rapping.

Bully (2:59): the bullies get the spotlight in these behind the scenes piece.

Directing Kids (3:02): Brill sarcastically talks about his somewhat abusive forms of directing the kids with highlights of flubs.

The Life of Don (2:14) and The Real Don: Danny McBride (5:46): first, McBride explains the Don way, and second McBride explains his character. Both pieces are very similar but McBride is entertaining.

Theatrical Trailers: two different trailers: the international version and another called “Bodyguard”.


Conclusions:
A watered down version of a far better picture left me bored and wishing I could have laughed more. The video transfer is excellent, the extras are plentiful, but the audio track is lacking leaving me underwhelmed.
 

MattFini

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
607
That's a shame about this one. I really like Owen Wilson and just received my copy to review. I still look forward to taking this one for a spin this weekend, but I'll try and keep my expectations in check.
 

Todd H

Go Dawgs!
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 27, 1999
Messages
2,269
Location
Georgia
Real Name
Todd

Uh oh. Looks like we may have another case of too much DNR. :frowning:
 

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