Tammy (Blu-ray Review)

TammyIf there is one film that deservingly has the right and proudly should be able to give the middle finger write at box office pundits (that don’t write for Forbes), its Tammy.  This $20 million budgeted “one for me” film opening with a good $21 million opening weekend over 4th of July and because it didn’t do Transformers Independence Day numbers was considered a massive bomb and failure.  Also people were claiming it was the end of Melissa McCarthy’s fame.  WHOOPS!  The film then went on to score almost $90 million to finish its run, flirting with making 5x its budget back.  That’s massive success.  Not a failure folks.  And it was also a very solid opening weekend for a low key film that basically only promoted that Melissa McCarthy was in it and she was being one of her normal comedic characters.  Despite whatever my thoughts on the film, I take great pleasure in seeing that Ben Falcone and everyone involved with Tammy got the last laugh.

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Tammy has the turning point day in her life.  She hits a deer on her way to work, is then fired from her job and comes home to find out her husband is cheating on her with the neighbor.  She then flees to her mother’s which leads to her deciding she just needs to get away.  Her mother tries to stop her, but when her grandmother enables it by lending her car and coming along, they take off on a journey of figuring stuff out with their lives.

Last week, I reviewed Hercules, which I felt was incredibly marketed wrong and the film was nothing like it was advertised.  Here we have Tammy, which I think was advertised correctly, thought its a bit more comedic as that’s what you do if you have any sort of comedy with Melissa McCarthy.  Though, its key sequence its selling you on, and showing on the box art, is a robbery scene that leads you to believe its the pistol fire for the race to start.  In actuality that scene doesn’t happen until near the one hour mark.  It was sort of strange and then surprised me when it popped up later on and I was like “Oh yeah, that happens in this movie”.

Tammy is a road comedy focusing in on the relationship and its two characters more than anything else.  Its deeply rooted in them and trying to figure out or stop running from issues in their life.  I admire that its focused on telling this story about two women and letting it be about them and not crutching on bringing males into the picture because of some status quo.  There are two men in the film, but they’re merely just a stop along the ride in terms of what’s actually important.  Tammy also makes no apologies and doesn’t feel sorry for its characters too.  It lets them face their shortcomings, flaws and move on in a sort of blunt fashion that is pretty unique.

Now, I’ve given all this praise for the film, its a bummer that this one turns out to just be merely “Okay”.  Its solid, but not something I think I’ll ever turn back to.  The comedy is ok, but most of it is either just slapstick silly or overdone comedy.  A lot of it the “improv” stuff that has been large in the Apatow era, that is starting to get a bit tiring at times, and it feels a little in this film.  I watched the extended cut, but its only a couple minutes longer, so I’m not sure it could change THAT much.  At 100 minutes, there’s still a lot of fat on this one that could have been trimmed.

Susan Sarandon really proved to be an MVP in this film.  Her portrayal was fun, loose and able to hit key dramatic turns on a dime.  You laugh with her, but you could also hate her on the switch of a hat.  There are probably going to be much more prestigious films blocking her way, but if they wanted, I could see her snagging a Best Supporting Actress nomination for this film.  Or maybe I’m crazy, but I really thought she was quite terrific here.  He was nowhere near as great, but I also really enjoyed what Mark Duplass brought to the film and think he made his role and character actions quite convincing and very believable, and sort of grounded the film with a role that maybe couldn’t have done that.

Its a weird thing how much praise I have for things that Tammy does but in the end I only found it to be an “solid-ok” type movie.  The film is much deeper than the “crazy Melissa McCarthy comedy” the studio wanted us to believe.  A far more character driven road movie, it delivers some solid performances and dramatic sequences to blend with the over the top laughs that happen in the film.  People shouldn’t be afraid to see it, but just keep their expectations a bit reasonable.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: This transfer features a very natural look and very detailed image.  Clothing textures, environmental surfaces and just about anything had great detail.  The glasses they drink they beverages from can even shine a light on a finger smudge or bit of dust or dirt.  Its a sharp image and looks really great.  But that’s expect from a modern Warner Bros title.  We’d be really be talking shocking if the image was any slight bit of average, which it isn’t even close.

Depth:  Depth is pretty great here.  There are many awesome multidemensional looking scene at Kathy Bates’ lakehouse as well has a few parking lot scenes.

Black Levels:  Blacks are natural and not hiding too much detail if at all.  Darker and night time scenes are shaded very well.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are very natural.  There is a nice wide palette and they compliment each other well.  Greens seem to pop most.

Flesh Tones:  Natural and consistent.  Every little wrinkle, freckle and blemish is accounted for.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio Format(s): Theatrical Version – English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital / Extended Version – English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics:  Tammy does feature some action moments, but isn’t like its chock full of them.  This audio is more naturally focused.  And it does sound very natural.  There is a great balance between sound, effect and voice on display in the feature.  Things like car noises or chucking a cheeseburger at someone sounds very lifelike, well-rounded and distinct.

Low Frequency Extension: Things like car doors, slamming doors and jet ski’s crashing are all given a bit of a boost by the subwoofer.  The score benefits most from it, as songs like the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider” sound terrific in this mix.

Surround Sound Presentation: Mostly ambiance and score.  There is some great interaction between the front speakers and movement and action is accurately accounted for in co-ordinance to what is going on onscreen.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Loud, crisp, clear and center focused.

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Tammy comes with a DVD Copy and UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.

Tammy’s Road Trip Checklist (HD, 4:28) – Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone recall a road trip they took with their kids after production wrapped on the film.

Gag Reel (HD, 3:22)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:49)

Fun Extras – These are brief and pointless little supercut videos or extra improv material from their relative scenes.  And to be cute, everything needs an “O-Rama” after it.

  • Poom-O-Rama (HD, 1:44)
  • Wave-O-Rama (HD, 2:02)
  • Mindless Chat-O-Rama (HD, 2:07)

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Tammy was all right.  I enjoyed my one viewing of the film and I think that may be all I really need.  Others may enjoy more I’m sure.  This Blu-ray comes with a terrific presentation.  I can’t say much for the extras, because while there’s a handful here, they really amount to next to nothing.  There’s no real substance in anything provided.  I think this film would make a good rental.  If you’re a fan, I’d wait for the price to come down just a tad, since this is pretty close to bare bones in terms of the quality of the extras they’ve supplied on the disc.




Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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