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Blockers (Blu-ray Review)

Winding down the spring into summer movie season, there was the big hit move, A Quiet Place, which proved to be no joke. But, making the jokes was another solid film, Blockers. While it didn’t do gangbusters, the film proved to be a pretty solid hit financially. Add to that, it was very much well liked by the critics (Which seemed to apparently come as a surprise to most). It was the second solid comedy in 2018 with good box office take and critical response (The other being Game Night). Blockers also appeared to be the first attempt at a comedy with John Cena as a leading man, having shown some chops in Trainwreck and Sisters. You’ll be able to check it out, or own the film if you liked it, on Blu-ray on July 3rd! Pre-order your copy from Amazon using the link below!

Film 

Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Lisa, Mitchell and Hunter are three overprotective parents who flip out when they find out about their daughters’ plans. They soon join forces for a wild and chaotic quest to stop the girls from sealing the deal — no matter what the cost may be.

Blockers not only manages to be a pretty solid little bit of humorous adventuring in to youthful deviancy, it ends up having itself some solid character work with a pretty modern and progressive narrative. It almost feels like its taking on the 1990s and 1980s teen sex comedies of yesteryear. Not so much is it making fun of them or calling them out, but its a pivotal one in terms of moving forward and putting an end to how we used to look at the topic of youths and sex (Especially regarding young women), growing up and realizing its not the big deal it was always made out to be, and its not a bad thing at all.

The film is led by a wonderful trio of comedic adult actors. Leslie Mann has been putting in great character work for decades now, but here she’s given a role that isn’t for her husband and proves plenty solid. John Cena continues to show us there is no ego holding him back and he’s game for anything in movies. He’s got a presence and a charm that is hard not to enjoy. Ike Barinholtz delivers his normal goods, but he’s actually given some rare dramatic moments that he gives good credence to as well.

Kay Cannon gives us a film that’s just a good old school scripted comedy (Much like that of Game Night). It wanders through the coming of age with touches of some outrageous sex and gross out comedy. What it never feels it crutches itself on is the random situational improv scenes that can overstuff a movie. The film is rock solid in that anything that was possibly improvised on set never feels that way ever. Blockers is one of those comedies where they figured out the dramatics, character arcs and narrative first and the comedy came naturally afterward.

No, Blocker’s isn’t an earth shattering amazing comedy, but it feels like an important one. And its a pleasant surprise what it actually winds up being as oppose to what it felt like it was being sold as. Its refreshing to see the young girls in the film just be some damn kids and not be held back. The whole film’s greatest strength may be how completely honest it feels. Being on board with these characters really helps adds a lot to the laughter and caring about them in the situations. Here’s hoping this is the start of many more fun, thoughtful films from first time director (And former 30 Rock producer) Kay Cannon.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Blockers comes with rather fine looking Blu-ray image. It feels like it could be a bit of a bolder image, but what we get isn’t all bad. Its better than most. Unfortunately Universal has opted not to do this on 4K Ultra-HD (Although you can purchase/rent a digital 4K version), so we are left with a standard Blu-ray. Details and textures are pretty good and the image is pretty sharp and crisp.

Depth:  Decent depth of field work here in the film. Its above average with some decent distance between background and foreground. Movements are smooth and cinematic.

Black Levels: Blacks are solid and are decently deep for the image. Details still come through good in dark objects, clothing and hair. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are natural and plenty varied in the film. Leslie Mann’s yellow and teal sweater jackets worn in the film pop pretty well. Most of the colors here really well saturated and work well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the entirety of the film. Facial features are solid, very detailed and textured in close ups and all right from most given distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Video Service Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Blockers provides a solid 5.1 experience. The action mainly stays toward the front. Its not quite the intricate experiences you’d hope for, but it’s above average. The film’s mix isn’t quite as consuming as one would imagine, being a modern title, but its still able to deliver. You may want to turn it up just a hair above your normal default for maximizing the effect.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Car crashing, explosions, doors slamming and music give a good bump to your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix mostly hangs out up front. There are some good moments, particular at the prom and parties, where the rear speakers contribute some more unique sounds. Sound travel is good and accurate as is volume placement.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and plenty audible at appropriate levels throughout.

Extras 

Blockers comes with the DVD edition and a digital copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Kay Cannon

Deleted Scenes (HD, 2:34)

Gag Reel (HD, 2:39)

Line-O-Rama (HD, 7:26)

Rescue Mission (HD, 5:14) – The cast goes over their characters in the film and we get a little bit behind-the-scenes-y with the parents.

Prom Night (HD, 6:37) – This featurette talks about the parent and child dynamics of the prom night experience the whole sex thing from both angles.

The History of Sex with Ike Barinholtz (HD, 2:06) – The actor talks about sex from cave art pornography all the way to the legalizing of sodomy. Accompanying him are some animations of the things he talks discusses.

John Cena’s Prom Survival Kit for Parents (HD, 2:35) – John Cena goes over comedic items for a parent to to protect a child from unwanted stuff on prom night.

Chug! Chug! Chug! (HD, 3:20) – Focuses on the behind the scenes of the butt-chugging sequence. 

Puke-A-Palooza (HD, 2:02) – A little behind the scene of effects testing for vomit in the film.

Summary 

Blockers is a surprisingly really good film that might just be as entertaining even if it didn’t have the added bonus of being a teen sex comedy. Universal’s Blu-ray of it does leave some to be desired in terms of its presentation, but its more than good enough and I don’t think Blockers is a movie that’ll have people up in arms if it isn’t pristine. The extras on here are your typical comedy ones, and while there are a lot of them, there’s not a whole lot of weight to it. This will make for a really solid pick up when it drops to an awesome sale price.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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