Detention Blu-ray Review
Writer/director Joeseph Kahn, who’s noted mostly for his work on music videos, took his second attempt at feature film with 2011’s DETENTION. His previous work in 2004, TORQUE, was not well received by any faction of fans, cult or otherwise. Unfortunately it seems that the unfocused mind of Kahn has not settled much in the last 6 years, as his newest film is a schizophrenic mess of pop culture and movie genre. DENTENTION tries to stuff horror, comedy, parody and science fiction into 90 minutes of teen angst that you couldn’t care less about even if it had melodramatic vampires in it.
A killer named Cinderhella is killing members of the student body at Grizzly Lake High School. While all serving detention, a group of students deduce that there has also been a disturbance in the space time continuum and they must correct it before a cataclysmic event destroys the entire world, of course all the while avoiding being slaughtered by the unknown killer.
If Kahn had put the same amount of effort into the script that he did into the film’s opening title sequence, he might have actually put together a coherent thought. This film goes from being SCREAM, to CAN’T HARDLY WAIT to THE BREAKFAST CLUB to FREAKY FRIDAY to HOT TUB TIME MACHINE and then finally back to SCREAM without any true homage and shockingly void of a single moment of genuine humor.
Josh Hutcherson (THE HUNGER GAMES) has a very promising career on the horizon, but this film will be one that he files in the “young and hungry” category when telling stories of how you take any role when you’re starting out in Hollywood. And Hutcherson might not be the only one; DETENTION makes it very evident that there is a slew of untapped talent willing to accept just about any role they can get if it means a speaking part in a real film. Even through the muck of a script, many of the young actors are able to exhibit some polished skills that will help advance their career should they get future opportunities.
Bringing what’s probably the highest star power to the film is comedian/actor Dane Cook as principal Verge. Cook is already a polarizing figure in the comedy word but even his die hard, super finger wielding fanatics have to cringe while watching their stadium-filling demigod utter unfunny line after unfunny line. And he certainly gained no ground with his detractors in what’s been an extremely disappointing film career thus far.
DETENTION is the kind of film you probably know you’re not going to like about 5 minutes into it, but for some reason you keep watching and waiting for it to turn around. It seems to constantly walk on the edge of potential, teasing you that it will transform into and edgy cult classic that you’re just dying to share with friends. But instead, DETENTION takes on the literal quality of its namesake, sitting in a room staring at whatever it is in front of you, trying your best to take your mind elsewhere just to pass the time.
Video: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1: The video quality in this film is very adequate. It’s not going to be a demo reel for a new HDTV or anything, but it is very clean and crisp with even small details in the actor’s skin noticeable.
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The audio was very even throughout the film and the background music never overwhelmed the dialogue.
Cheat Mode: The Unbelievably Mind Melting Making of Detention: This is a different take on the standard commentary track most DVD’s and Blu-rays utilize. Instead of cast and crew simply speaking over the film, there is an inset window where they can be seen speaking about their experiences making the film and more windows appear to visualize the discussion as different topics come up. Sadly it was actually more entertaining than the film itself.
Fight Rehearsal (2 min): Stunt coordinators run through the fight scenes in the film with some added special effects and music. Mildly amusing, so it’s already better than the actual film.
Riffing with Dane (4 min): Actor/comedian Dane Cook shows some of his improve during shooting scenes for the film. Unfortunately, adlibbing to extremely unfunny material creates extremely unfunny ad-libbing.
Screen Tests (8 min): Actual screen tests of the actors reciting lines as they audition for roles in the film. Possibly the only thing more mind numbing than watching Detention is watching it’s preliminary material