Dirty Grandpa Blu-ray Review
I’m beginning to wonder if the Blacklist actually means anything anymore. For those who don’t know, the Blacklist is an annual list of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood. You can generally read the list and see what kind of potential hidden gems are out there. I believe there’s also a podcast where actors and actresses get together and read a few. Movies like AMERICAN HUSTLE and ARGO have wound up on the list. And movies like DIRTY GRANDPA have also found their way on it.
If there was ever a reason to doubt the credibility of the list, look no further than DIRTY GRANDPA. Of course PAN, DRAFT DAY, THAT AWKWARD MOMENT and others make solid cases as well. Scriptwriter, John M. Phillips, is either ashamed or pleased. His writing credits are sparse and there’s no clear indication that DIRTY GRANDPA ever was anything more than a predictable road trip movie with foul humor with brief sparks of legitimate comedy.
Jason (Efron) reconnects with his grandpa, Dick (DeNiro) at his grandmother’s funeral. A lot of people mourn the loss of Jason’s grandmother, while reminiscing about the years she spent battling breast cancer. The only one who shows no signs of remorse is Dick. He’s supposedly in mourning and makes sure to reassure Jason that he is, at every chance he can get. Although Jason walking in on his grandpa masturbating and watching Dick hi on college girls says otherwise
Dick claims that his flirtation, filthy, nature is his “hall pass” after sticking out for years in a sexless marriage. Which kind of feels like a dishonest and crude way of saying, “I couldn’t have sex with your grandma when she was going through chemotherapy and battling one of the biggest killers of women.” In fact. I hate Dick. He’s not likeable. Sure there are a few funny lines, but overall he is a scumbag. It doesn’t help that DeNiro has a thoughtless gaze and showed more emotion for Joe Pecci’s death in THE GOODFELLAS.
I did find myself smirking a few times, and laughing out loud. But I inevitably felt guilty. DIRTY GRANDPA doesn’t have the heartwarming nature or theme that other crude comedies have, like BAD SANTA. It also has a predictable storyline where Jason unwinds a little before his big wedding day, rethinking the “love of his life”. Then Dick gets caught in a bunch of lies, but the both of them end up bonding in the end…over…something.
There’s a lot of comedic talent in this; DeNiro and Efron not being either of them. Aubrey Plaza plays the horny college girl that wants to get with Dick. Jason Manztoukas arrives just in time to inject a little bit of comedic originality. His character is mainly used to help move the story forward or provide the characters with an unlikely way to escape their predicament. Other than those two, the forced, guilty laughs had to be sprinkled amongst actors and actresses who deserve way better.
DIRTY GRANDPA is too long and too explicit for its own good. I can only make excuses for Efron for so long until I succumb to the belief that he’s just a bad actor who does bad movies. The soulful young man in HIGH SCHOOL THE MUSICAL and likeable personality I’ve seen THE NEIGHBORS and HAIRSPRAY are still there. It’s hard to hate him even though he’s in a loathsome movie. Maybe I can hate DeNiro. I know for a fact that nobody else would be on board for this dumpster fire if his name wasn’t attached.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) From the Spring Break beaches to the lazy countryside of the East Coast, everything comes through clearly on this blu-ray, but there’s nothing too pretty to look at. Except for Efron’s half naked body.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Lots of slow motion scenes with party music blasting underneath. Other than that, the audio isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it’s well mixed.
Filthy Filmmakers Who Have No Shame Audio Commentary: Director Dan Mazer, writer John Phillips and producer Michael Flynn discuss the movie. These are funny guys who add a little bit more humor to the movie. There are moments of silence by the trio. Surprisingly it’s insightful for a bunch of guys who seems to be more interested in making jabs at each other over beers.
Gag Reel (1:39): It’s your average gag reel. I’m sure they could create a gag reel just off Manztoukas.
The Filthy Truth: The Making of DIRTY GRANDPA (9:50): Making of features are essential to any blu-ray, but only enjoyable if you enjoyed the movie. I believe the feelings of everyone in this are genuine, but I also think they genuinely believed they were making a good comedy.
Lessons in Seduction (3:13): This feature is a series of rules for seduction techniques. It’s wholly unnecessary and a rehash of the moments between Plaza’s character and Dick.
Daytona Heat (3:47): This is a parody of COPS with the two bumbling idiot police officers in the movie. Unfunny.
I Got Nothin’ to Hide: A Look at Daytona’s Most Vibrant Drug Dealer (5:58): This feature should have been a lot funnier with the focus being on Manztoukas’ character, Pam. The best part is a gag reel of Manztoukas trying out different lines. But most of the time is spent giving his character a “serious” looking over.
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