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A Guy Thing (Blu-ray Review)

Wow, time for a flashback of a review with A Guy Thing. I honestly thought A Guy Thing was only a couple of years old, but when I looked at the back cover it said 2003 – which means it was probably in production in 2002, and next year will be 2012 which make it a nearly ten year old film!  Sorry, the logistics are fascinating to me.  Jason Lee (Mallrats, My Name Is Earl), Julia Stiles (The Bourne Trilogy), and Selma Blair (Hellboy, Hellboy II) are cool people that I happen to like which did not make me dread watching the Blu-ray of the film.  I do remember laughing at the trailer all those years ago, so here was hoping that the Blu-ray would rock.  Did it rock or did it suck?  Let’s do it! 

 

Film 

A Guy Thing is a comedy about Paul (Jason Lee) who is engaged to Karen (Selma Blair), but ends up sleeping with Becky (Julia Stiles) the night of his bachelor party.  Boy, if only we were that lucky to snag Blair and Stiles on the same night.  Of course this has major consequences when Paul finds out that Becky and Karen are actually cousins.  Again, if we were only that lucky in real life.  Hijinx ensue when Paul has to keep the lie a secret from Karen while Becky continues to be around him due to family proximity.  It’s a pretty basic and far fetched premise, but that’s only the beginnings of what makes A Guy Thing kind of unbearable.

The first thing that came into my mind about a quarter of the way in was that scene in Swingers where Vince Vaughn is telling Jon Favreau that he should not play it safe, that he should stop trying to be the guy in the PG-13 film who is really trying to make it happen with the girl, etc.  I hate to say it, but Jason IS that guy in A Guy Thing. He’s kind of a wuss, Karen is constantly shooting daggers at him, and he continuously fumbles his way through situations when Becky is there.  Well, not only Becky, but her psychotic cop ex-boyfriend, as well.  Both Karen and Paul also have dysfunctional families, and some of the characters introduced throughout the film also have their own problems. 

I guess what really hampers the film, and it’s not the productions values, is that the story is weak and in today’s world of Apatow comedies galore, we’ve grown accustomed to hardcore comedy films with edge, profanity, and graphic situations.  PG-13 comedies are dead for the most part.  That’s one part of component. The second component would have to be that the film tries really hard to be funny by extending one note gags.  In a scene early in the film Paul walks in to a pharmacy to get medication for a “condition,” but the situation ends up being a painfully un-funny joke due to the clumsiness of the line deliveries by the cast.  It’s almost done to emphasize the condition, which in a better film, would have been hysterical. It’s like they’re reading from cue cards.  

Things like that happen on and off throughout the entire film, and there was just so much that I could handle.  Blair and Stiles are hot, Lee is a cool cat, but am glad that comedy films like this are no longer made using this tired formula.  I did get a couple of chuckles here and there, but they were too few and far in between.  I’m glad I missed this in theaters, because I would have been very upset if I had paid money to see it at the show. 

Video 

A Guy Thing is presented in 1080p, 1.85:1, widescreen.  This is a weird presentation.  A Guy Thing is overly grainy, dark, and dingy.  In fact, most of the pivotal scenes all take place at night.  And during the day, it looks like it’s still night.  Maybe my eyes needed to adjust or something?  I am not sure.  Flesh tones appear natural, but the picture is hampered by an excess of edge enhancement.  Black crush is also a problem, and considering there are many night time scenes, you will not have a hard time spotting them.  Colors are pretty bold in the club scenes and at the church reception.  I’ve seen worse, but have also seen much better. 

Audio 

A Guy Thing is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1.  Considering the video portion of the film was lackluster, the audio track aims to compensate for those shortcomings.  Dialogue is clean and clear, music is very dynamic without being too loud and intrusive.  The LFE does get a nice moment or two of exercise, and the ambient surround effects never intrude.  I would say that dialogue, music, and the music score are the ones that benefit the most on this lossless track.

Special Features 

Considering A Guy Thing is substandard, the special features package is kind of puzzling, because there’s no way that a film of this caliber deserves these kind of supplements.  I am scratching my head.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Chris Koch, Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair and Thomas Lennon
  • Inside A Guy Thing
  • Bachelor Party Confidential
  • Groovy Gravy: Making the Scene in A Guy Thing
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Endings and Gag Reel with Introduction by Director Chris Koch
  • Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts 

A Guy Thing could have benefited by having some edge, but just squanders its talent.  The Blu-ray is average at best with the audio being the best part of the whole thing.  If you’re even slightly curious to check out a A Guy Thing then I would suggest a rental. 

 


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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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