Strays Unleashed Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review

3.5 Stars A wholesome dog story that you can (NOT) watch with the entire family. Seriously, this film earns its R-rating.
Strays Review

Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx provide voices for Reggie and Bug, two stray dogs embarking on an epic adventure in Strays, a talking dog movie for adults.

Strays (2023)
Released: 18 Aug 2023
Rated: R
Runtime: 93 min
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher
Writer(s): Dan Perrault
Plot: An abandoned dog teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner.
IMDB rating: 6.3
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Universal
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 Hr. 33 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Case Type: Amaray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 10/10/2023
MSRP: $24.98

The Production: 3/5

Strays Screenshot

From the humans who brought you Cocaine Bear and 21 Jump Street comes Strays.  This tells you that Strays is not your typical dog movie featuring Dennis Quaid(A Dog’s Journey, A Dog’s Purpose).  Reggie(Will Ferrell) is a kind and loving pup who is completely oblivious to the hatefulness and cruelty of his owner, Doug(Will Forte).   (Think Buddy the Elf in the body of a dog.)  After Reggie becomes separated from his owner, he makes efforts to reunite with Doug.  Enter Bug(Jamie Foxx), a street-smart pup who educates Reggie about life.

Reggie and Bug meet up with Maggie(Isla Fisher) and Hunter(Randall Park), a “Will they or won’t they?” couple of dogs.  Together, the dogs embark on an epic adventure.  The four hobbits made a quest to destroy the one ring;  these four dogs embark on a quest to…  do something.  The nature of the dogs’ quest in Strays says a lot about how this film definitely earns its R rating.

Strays is produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller(The Lego Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).  One would think that most of this film is CGI but the special features demonstrate how much was actually filmed with practical effects.  Much of the humor in the film is derived from Reggie’s naivete about his owner and the ways of the world, and the rest of the humor is created by cruder things.

Strays is an irreverent parody of wholesome dog films, with bad language being the least offensive part of the film.  Strays is to dog films what Violent Night(2022) is to Christmas movies.  You will know from this whether Strays is your kind of film.  Brett Gelman(Stranger Things) has an interesting turn as an animal control officer.

Strays Screenshot

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Strays Screenshot

Strays appears on blu-ray via the AVC codec in a 1.85:1 screen aspect ratio.  The 1080p transfer seems flawless with terrific fine detail and excellent shadow detail.

Audio: 4/5

Strays Screenshot

Strays plays by default in English 5.1 DTS-HD audio.  This is a dialogue-rich film, which may be surprising, but this is a talking dog film, after all.  The audio mix performs well with dialogue always audible at normal levels in the mix.

Special Features: 4/5

Strays Screenshot

Special features on the Blu-ray disc include all of the following:

Talk Like A Dog(7:10):  This highlights voice actors Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Jamie Foxx, and Will Ferrell.

The Ultimate Treat: Making Strays(6:34):  Behind the scenes featurette about the film production.

Poop, Booms, and Shrooms(6:41):  The psychedelic mushroom sequence is dealt with here.

Will Forte: Stray Actor(5:57):   Actors and producers discuss the contribution of Will Forte as Doug, the hateful owner of Reggie.

Training to Be A Stray(5:30):  Producers discuss the decisions involved in casting actual dog breeds for the various characters.

A New Best Friend(3:36):  Actors and producers talk about their own dogs in contrast to the canines in the film.

Feature-length commentary with producer/director Josh Greenbaum and producer/screenwriter Dan Perrault.

Also included is a DVD of the film and a paper insert with validation code for digital copy of the film through the MoviesAnywhere app.

This “Unleashed Edition” also comes with a cardboard slipcover with black and red featuring more prominently than on the plastic case, and with a cutout in the back of the slipcover so that the UPC code is visible through the packaging.

Strays Screenshot

Overall: 3.5/5

Strays is a funny but crude dog film for adults.  This is one you will definitely want to screen before deciding whether the kids can handle it.  The video and audio presentation are fine on Blu-ray, and the special features have a fun element to them for those who enjoy the film.  Strays is to dog films what Violent Night is to Christmas movies.  If this is your thing, you will really enjoy this film, but Strays is definitely not suitable for all audiences.

Strays Screenshot

Timothy has worked background in theatrical features and television, just for the fun of it, in films directed by Peter Segal and Christopher Nolan. His favorite film star is Bugs Bunny, and Timothy has discovered that most of the problems in life can be solved successfully (strangely enough) by asking “What would Bugs Bunny do?” Timothy has been involved with the Home Theater Forum since 2007 and has reported from Comic Con, interviewed Bruce Campbell and Danny Trejo, and reviewed classic animation and new theatrical releases on disc.

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