Peep World (Blu-ray Review)

I’ve recently become addicted to the TV show Dexter, and I requested a copy of Peep World on the basis that it stars the man who plays Dexter, Michael C. Hall.  When the Blu-ray arrived, I study the outside of the box to see that Michael C. Hall is not the first or only name listed.  Right away, I’m thinking that either this is an ensemble piece or I am about to be disappointed since indie films aren’t really my thing.  I take comfort that the movie stars Rainn Wilson from The Office, Ron Rifkin from Alias and Lesley Ann Warren from Clue.  The movie is about a young novelist who hits it big with his latest book, but when his siblings see their horrible selves reflected in his characters, they threaten to throw the book at him, and worse. This is the story of what happens when awful people get together for a nice family celebration.


Peep World is appropriately narrated by Lewis Black, as it is dripping with attitude.  The film introduces us to a very unhappy family who have come together for a celebration.  Ron Rifkin is the patriarch of the family and he is the reason that dysfunctional family have all gathered to celebrate his 70th birthday.  The youngest of his sons, Nathan (Ben Schwartz) has just written a book, “Peep World” which is all about his family’s secrets.  The book reveals the intimate and embarrassing details of the lives of his siblings, Jack (Michael C. Hall), Joel (Rainn Wilson) Cheri (Sarah Silverman), which doesn’t endear him the rest of his family.  Rounding out the cast is Taraji P. Henson who plays Joel’s girlfriend.

No one in the family is happy about their portrayals in Peep World, but only Cheri claims that the information about her is false.  This is the basis for her lawsuit against her brother.  He amusingly asks her if the book made her more unemployed than she already was.  Joel is the underachiever who took eight tries to pass the bar and owes a lot of money to some thugs.  Jack is an  unsuccessful architect with a baby on the way but not much else going for him.  Nathan, the author, is the true success story and the only one their father applauds, although he never bothered to read the book himself.  The tensions between the family finally explode at the family dinner and they really have it out with one another, which is the part of the film I did like.

What I did not like, was the amount of time spent dealing with Nathan’s premature ejaculation problem and the erection he can’t get rid of.  It’s as though the movie was written by two different people.  One of them writes some decent dialogue about the dysfunctional family drama and the other writes cheap gags.  Stephen Tobolowsky’s character and the whole “Jew for Jesus” plot line could also have been left out.  The story has a simple premise but it tries to cover too much ground during it’s short 79 minute running time.  That being said, I did enjoy Peep World significantly more than I expected to.


Peep World 1080p transfer is presented in anamorphic wide-screen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  Flesh tones are accurate which is especially noticeable on Ron Rifkin’s skin.  You are able to detect his age spots and uneven tones which are common to a man his age.  Black levels are suitably dark, especially in the restaurant and the outdoor scenes in the sunlight look sharp as do the colors which are bold and colorful.


I did not expect to have anything impressive to say about the audio. However, Peep World’s Dolby Digital 5.1 made excellent use of all its chancels, particularly when Cheri bangs on her mother’s door startling the dogs in the neighborhood.  For a moment I thought my side gate was left open and a neighborhood canine had wandered into my backyard (I even got up to check and then felt dumb when I realized that was the movie).

Special Features  

The only special features are a few deleted scenes and a trailer.  They went as far as to advertise the special features in a red on the back cover, but they should have added more.  None of the deleted scenes would have developed the characters any further, and it’s fine that they ended up on the cutting room floor.

Final Thoughts  

Peep World was better than I expected and overall I enjoyed it.  Given the cast, I think they could have done a lot better.   The siblings’ characters needed a lot more development and I would have liked more information about exactly what their brother had written about them.  Peep World starts at dinner and then backs up 18 hours prior, but I think it should have backed up 10 years.  I would have liked to know what their relationship with their brother was like before he wrote the book.  While I’m not giving it a rave review, Peep World was more enjoyable than I anticipated and there’s a lot of talented people involved in it.

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2 Responses to “Peep World (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I really wish I could have liked this film, given the talent, but there was way too much silliness with the “premature” issue and other similar problems.

  2. Jami Ferguson

    I don’t disagree Aaron. They could have done so much more with the talent they had.