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Office Christmas Party (Blu-ray Review)

While I didn’t make it to the theater to see it, Office Christmas Party had my interest and attention. You put Kate McKinnon in something and you’ve immediately got that from me, but the movie looked like a little bit of escapism lunacy that would probably be a fun time. It opened the weekend right before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story showed up to take all the moneys (Moana was taking the moneys at this time, about to tag another Disney fighter into the ring), but managed to do some pretty solid business despite rather middle of the road to negative reviews.  And now, its coming home to Blu-ray where it will probably find even more of a life. You can grab the film to own beginning April 4th!

Film 

When an overbearing CEO decides to close her hard-partying brother’s failing branch, he and his fired up co-workers decide to throw an epic office party to land a big shot client and save everyone’s jobs.  Fueled by booze and bad decisions, things quickly spiral out-of-control in one of the craziest nights of their lives.

Welp, aside from the holiday thematics, this is pretty much your run of the mill “party movie” subgenre of the comedy. Basically you load up a cast, have a big party with crazy shenanigans escalating at every turn and rotate around a room of a house, venue, office…where ever the party is going on. Some of these are the best comedies of all time, but plenty aren’t.  Most can be a decent time though.  When you’re running so many jokes a minute, something is going to land or one of the crazy hi-jinx is going to be trailer worthy.

The film’s cast features a lot of today’s best comedy actors in both big and small roles. If you watch some of the best comedic television, you’ll feel quite at home and familiar with most of them. They are allowed to go to town while Jason Bateman plays Jason Bateman and is joined by Olivia Munn and Jennifer Aniston in the straight roles. However, the trio are able to pull laughs on their own without jumping outside their zones and keeping true to character.  Oh and yeah, Kate McKinnon, as always is one of your big scene stealers.

While things are on the table for this to be a real blast, its mainly pedestrian. Its not that I didn’t enjoy it, but after this viewing, I’m not sure what stands out or if I ever return to it.  I don’t even know if it’ll work its way into my holiday watching, but I’m not against it. One day, maybe I’ll return to it, but its more just an average run of the mill comedy with great players, a few solid laughs and overall just decent. Something you’ll surely want to rent if you’re curious.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  Office Christmas Party drops onto Blu-ray with a rather solid, above average picture. Overall the image is one you sort of just expect a modern movie to easily come over to Blu-ray on.  Details are decent, being able to see stains and wrinkles on clothing to go powdery surfaces and dried snow on cars. They could be more abundant, but this is good enough. The image is sharp and crisp.

Depth:  The natural look of this one is a little more on the flatter side of things.  There are some decent moments in interiors. Movements are smooth and natural with no real blurring or jittering seen.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich, with some really good saturation, able to hold on to a lot of details, though this film is very dark.  No crushing witnessed during this review.

Color Reproduction:  At the party there was a nice blue filter on things. Reds and yellows punch through on this pretty good too. Rounding out things, greens look pretty good as well.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and stay consistent throughout the film’s length (Though there are scenes with heavy blue lighting). Details are strong in close ups of stubble, wrinkles, freckles, make-up and such, but medium and beyond get a little smoother and less detailed.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics:  Office Christmas Party features a bit of a disappointing 7.1 mix. They really could have just went for 5.1 and had that suffice.  Its overall fine, but there’s nothing too spectacular, and this is a movie with A LOT going in every scene which could have had it put to better use. Instead what we get is just merely “fine”.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer booms with music, which is pretty much the dominant use and star in the mix. Some ruckus and destruction gets a bit of a bump as well.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This feels a more front heavy mix.  Rear speakers gets some play with ambiance and a few unique party/city street sounds. Movements and placement is accurate to screen.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is clean and clear. A little lower in the mix than the music, but it works out fine.

Extras 

Office Christmas Party comes with the DVD edition and an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Theatrical Edition Only)

Throwing An Office Christmas Party (HD, 11:51) – This is your basic little making of with the directors and cast and crew talking about gags in the movie, working with one another, real office Christmas parties and the like.

Outtakes (HD, 8:38)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 2:58) – Scenes not featured in either version of the film.

Summary 

Office Christmas Party is all right, lots of jokes, some land some don’t. There is a both fun and game cast at work, which can make things pretty enjoyable. This Blu-ray features a pretty good picture and good enough audio track. Extras are a little light, but they are good enough.  I guess that’s the overall feel of everything here, the film and this release. Either “It’s fine” or “good enough”.

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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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