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The Boss (Blu-ray Review)

BossvAcademy Award®-nominated Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat) takes charge in the outrageous, hilarious new comedy The Boss, arriving on Digital HD on July 12, 2016, and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on July 26, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.  The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD feature even more fun and hilarity with deleted scenes, extended scenes, a gag reel, and alternate ending not seen in theaters!  The Blu-rayand Digital HD also feature even more extras including an exclusive look at Melissa’s original 2005 comedy performance as Michelle Darnell at the world famous Groundlings – the act that brought The Boss to life!  McCarthy and Kristen Bell (Frozen, Veronica Mars) are joined by an all-star cast including Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Kathy Bates (“American Horror Story,” Tammy) and Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”).  The Boss also features cameos from some of Groundlings’ favorite graduates including Michael McDonald, Steve Mallory, Ben Falcone, Damon Jones and more!

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Film 

Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire. Can she reclaim her status as the No. 1 screwer, or will the love of one family screw her for good?

The Boss is sorta “business as usual” for Melissa McCarthy.  Not as strong as her work with Paul Feig, but still worthwhile and enjoyable on its own.  As big of a star as she is, I think with her popularity comes the hate train and those who want to turn on her and generalize her talent.  However, those people judge solely off of what they see that a trailer is trying to sell and not actually checking the product itself.  If they did, they’d see that McCarthy is fully capable of crafting more unique characters to her oeuvre, that do tend to keep with her person beats and craft but stand alone and  different from one another.

What really rocked about this one was some of the supporting cast.  I was happy as hell the moment Timothy Simons popped up.  As you all know, I’m a big fan of VEEP and he’s probably one of the biggest reasons why.  Its a small role, but Simons is solid and I just want this guy to break out and get more from him.  Kristen Bell, I’m a big fan of, but she’s got to play it straight here.  Peter Dinklage is pretty fun in an arch nemesis role where he looks like he’s having a blast getting silly.  He and Simons are paired together which reminded me of Sunday night HBO television (If only they could have fit Zach Woods in there, we’d have had the whole night).  And to round out, small roles for Kristen Schaal and Cedric Yarbrough are always always welcome.

Maybe I’m seeing what I want to, but as loud and obnoxious as the boss can get, the film seemingly has a real sense of humanity and heart.  McCarthy has a well crafted, 3-dimensional character with layers and development as to how she is the way she is and behaves the way she does.  Its there in the script and performance.  She’s not some gimmicky loud-mouth that just has some “because” reasoning, it all works in a natural, human way.

Another step up to the plate, another hit comedy for Melissa McCarthy.  She shines once again in The Boss.  The film got ripped to shreds by critics not named Mendelson and Neuwirth, and as usual, I side with them.  Its actually pretty decent, featuring solid humor and humanity within its script.  Another thing that works is that its a cast of people that you don’t really see all the time in these comedies that get a bit more of the spotlight.  All in all, it works, its okay and is nothing you should be afraid of if you’re looking for a good comedy for a night.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  The Boss comes to Blu-ray with a very good Blu-ray presentation showing some nice detail and texture.  The film’s cinematography is a bit soft, so that affects some of the sharpness and clarity, but this transfer is an accurate depiction as to how its supposed to look.  

Depth:  Dimensional work is decent.  Spacing between foreground characters and background is adequate.  The open in the arena is a highlight of 3 dimensional nature.  Movements are cinematic and smooth with minimal blur.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and inky.  Plenty of good shading going around and no crushing was witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are bold and rich, but kept to a lifelike natural and slightly popping feel.  Yellows and reds are stand outs, as well as the office-like colors of browns and grays.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the duration of the feature.  Make-up, wrinkles, stubble, freckles and the like show through quite well in close-ups and decently in medium shots.  The soft nature of the cinematography affects the detail at a distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

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

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  This 5.1 mix gets the trick done and impresses for its front and center “in your face” nature, which is more impressive being a comedy.  When a pop song plays in the film, the mix does a terrific job of playing it, and at times feels like you’re in a concert venue witnessing it live.  But, its not overbearing either, the vocals and effects are woven in with good balance and none step on each other’s toes at any point in the feature runtime, making for a clean and healthy track.

Low Frequency Extension:  When the bass drops in a song in the film…BOOOOOM, your sub smacks the floor.  Right off the bat when “All I Do Is Win” plays, you’ll be shaking like you’re in the club.  Aside from that, natural sounds like engines, doors shutting and the like get “sub love” to go along with some of the action beats in the film.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Front speakers are quite active in their back and forth motions and volume accuracy of sound placement.  Rear speakers become lively during loud sequences and putting an effort into the songs in the film.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clean and crisp.

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Extras 

The Boss comes with a DVD copy and UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.  This release features both the Theatrical Edition and Unrated Edition of the film.

Alternate Ending (HD, 2:00)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 14:10) 

Extended/Alternate Scenes (HD, 16:15) 

Gag Reel (HD, 3:54)

Michelle Darnell: Original Sketch (HD, 7:25) – Melissa McCarthy’s full sketch at the Groundlings of her character Michelle Darnell in all its glory.

Origin Story (HD, 7:16) – Focuses on how the character of Michelle Darnell was created, and go from the early life at The Groundlings to the big screen. With interview footage from Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and writer Steve Mallory, we get to relive the life of Michelle Darnell.

Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point (HD, 8:41) – A piece about Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who plays Renault. Includes on-set and sit-down interviews with Peter and other cast.

Everybody Loves Kristen Bell (HD, 6:50) – A look inside Kristen Bell’s character, Claire. From taking Michelle Darnell off the streets to helping create a brownie empire, Claire helped bring Michelle Darnell back to the top.

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Summary 

Melissa McCarthy’s latest jaunt with her husband, Ben Falcone, is a pretty decent little character-focused comedy that has itself a little bit of a heart to go along with delicious brownies.  Unfortunately, this release doesn’t come with said brownies as a bonus feature, but it does have plenty of extra gag-reel type things as do all of McCarthy’s flicks on Blu-ray.  The presentation is also very nice, sporting pretty terrific audio and video.  Fans will be happy with this release, and those curious are at least getting their money’s worth with this package.

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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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