She's Out of My League (US - BD)
Gabe thinks looks-based number ratings are cruel, because he's a 3 1/2...
Pittsburg Airport security officer Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel) dreams of becoming a pilot, and obsesses over his self-obsessed ex-girlfriend Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), who lives with Kirk’s parents with her current boyfriend. Kirk’s friends beg him to move on, but even after two years he can’t let go. One day Molly McCleish (Alice Eve), a beautiful, young and successful event planner comes through Kirk’s security line, where he rescues her from his co-worker’s aggressive sexual harassment, then finds her lost phone. The two arrange a meet-up in order to pass off the lost phone, and before he knows what’s happening, Kirk and Molly are in an honest to God relationship. Now Kirk is beset with paranoia as he tries to figure out what Molly sees in him, and how to keep her.
She’s Out of My League is another perfectly charming entry in the predictably charming romantic comedy for men genre. Unlike recent surprises like 40 Year Old Virgin and I Love You Man it doesn’t quite transcend the minor expectations that come along with the sub-genre, but there are some laughs, and enough sweet characters to make the whole experience generally entertaining. There aren’t any surprises, at all, but assuming you’re expecting clichés there are much more painful ways to absorb them. There isn’t so much a plot as there’s a series of dialogue heavy scenes that create the semblance of a storyline, and many of these scenes appear to have been largely improvised by the cast. This isn’t a unique structure, but it allows the actors to control the basic thrust of the film, and for the most part this group of relative unknowns (I’m only familiar with a few of them myself) shines above the convolutions and clichés. Like most of these movies the third act crisis is pretty weak (apparently men don’t enjoy a lot of drama in their romantic fantasies), but the moral ending is a little bit sweeter for involving the supporting cast, and funnier for kicking the hero, and the cliché in the shins a bit.
She’s Out of My League comes to Blu-ray with no frills or fuss, but no major problems to flag either. The 2.35:1 transfer sits somewhere in the middle of the road, with warm skin tones and colourful highlights. Like most modern comedies vibrant hues are the major reason for the HD upgrade, though details are generally sharp enough, with minimum artefacts. Wide angle, day light shots (such as establishing shots of the airport) can be a bit muddy, and feature some noticeable edge noise, though the night-time establishing shots are pretty close to perfect. Colours aren’t too overtly stylized, but there are plenty of poppy acrylic elements in the costumes and set design, and like just about every comedy I’ve seen in the past several months the whole of the film has a yellowish post-production tint. There are a few scenes with strangely softened lighting schemes that don’t quite match the rest of film. These scenes are softer on details and a little muddier in terms of colour separation, but still feature clean whites and deep blacks.
There aren’t any surprises on the video front, but She’s Out of My League, but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound is a solid step above most unassuming rom-coms. The crowd and street noise is more immersive than expected, and there are some pretty loud highlights throughout, like an air show, and a concert scene. The score is oddly old-fashion and ‘whimsical’, but it smooths over nicely with the rest of the mix, slithering under the more important aural elements. The pop music additions are quite loud, and often feature an effective rear channel presence, and a LFE punch that doesn’t overpower everything else. Occasionally the soundtrack music and effects create a fun effect together, such as the moment we’re first introduced to Molly, and the sound of exhaling breath envelopes the front channels, or when a slow motion puck hits a brick wall, and the sound ricochets into the rear channels, but these moments are few and far between.
The extras begin with a solo commentary featuring director Jim Field Smith. Smith is charmingly British, genuinely funny, and fills the time alright, but his insights mostly amount to narrating on-screen elements, stating the obvious, and praising the cast and crew. Smith also has a clear affection for American location shooting. The track is good for pointing out the better moments of improvisation, including Kirk’s friend Devon’s penchant for referencing Disney films, which actor Nate Torrence apparently came up with on his own. ‘Devon’s Dating Show’ (07:30, HD) is a brief mock-television show with Torrence and Kyle Bornheimer giving entirely different dating advice. This is followed by a series of five deleted and/or extended scenes, with optional Jim Field Smith commentary. These include little incidental character moments, and an alternate ending, which is code for ‘deleted joke from the end’. Things are completed with a blooper reel (06:20, HD), which features many alternate improv bits.
I apologize for the brevity of this review, but I’m finding myself unable to muster much more positive or negative discussion on this particular film. It’s not as if She’s Out of My League is any more generic or any worse than the parade of studio romantic comedies I’ve reviewed over the last couple years, it just doesn’t inspire lot of discussion. I imagine fans and despisers alike would agree that there isn’t much more I can say, aside from prattling out a list of the film’s successful and failed gags, which wouldn’t only be boring, but would spoil the good bits for prospective viewers. She’s Out of My League is the kind of film that is fairly and appropriately summed up by its trailers, and other advertising materials, so readers that expect they will enjoy it probably will, and vice versa. The Blu-ray has a few minor shortcomings in terms of video quality, features a pretty unassuming DTS-HD soundtrack and a rather timid series of extras, but fans should not be disappointed overall.
*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Gabriel Powers
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
Release Date: 22nd June 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Spanish and Portuguese
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Extras: Director Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Extended Scenes, Blooper Reel, Devon's Dating Show, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jim Field Smith
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T. J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence
Length: 104 minutes
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