Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Snatched Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn get more action than they bargained for in the mother of all comedies! After her boyfriend dumps her on the eve of their exotic vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Schumer) persuades her ultra-cautious mom, Linda (Hawn), to travel with her to paradise. When the trip takes an unexpected turn, the polar opposite mother/daughter duo realize they must settle their differences and work together to escape the outrageous jungle adventure they’ve fallen into.
Film (2 out of 5 stars)
To say Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) doesn’t have her life together would be an understatement. Her musician boyfriend dumps her unexpectedly because his life is on an upswing and she seems to be headed in the opposite direction. After being fired from her retail job at a clothing store, she heads home to visit her mom Linda (Goldie Hawn). Linda is divorced homebody who enjoys spending time with her cats and caring for her spoiled son Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz). 

Emily and her boyfriend were supposed to be traveling to Ecuador. Emily was very excited about the trip. Among the many bad decisions in her life was the choice to book non-refundable fares. After exhausting every other option, Emily asks her mom to join her on the trip. Shortly after arriving, Emily has found a new guy James (Tom Bateman) who says and does all the right things. When Emily embarrasses herself he laughs with her. He even invites her and her mother on an adventure which ends with them being kidnapped and held for ransom. With only Jeffrey to answer the ransom call, Emily and Linda realize their fate is in their own hands. They must escape, run, hide, and even kill to get back to safety and cannot trust anyone they meet along the way.

I will admit to not being a fan of Amy Schumer. The film is clearly designed for her fans, who react more favorably to her honest/abrasive/rude (pick an adjective) brand of comedy. It seemed like a lot was missing from the film. Particularly with the man from the State Department who is advising Jeffrey about getting the ladies returned safely. His interactions with Jeffrey are unbelievably unprofessional and it was odd that he would be handling (and blowing off) a kidnapping on his own.

The film lacked authenticity. It never felt like the women were in any danger. Even when the kidnappers prove they are willing to commit murder, everything feels like a joke. The filmmakers could have taken a dramatic story and added humor. This is a comedy through and through. What did make me laugh was ex-CIA agent (Joan Cusack) who had cut out her tongue in order to keep from revealing national secrets. Seeing Cusack hop fences and spring into action to save the day was the best part of the film. The film is full of gags. Depending on the personality and sense of humor of the viewer, these bits could be hilarious and could be disgusting.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Snatched is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a 2.40:1 ratio. The breathtaking views look more like the Hawaiian Islands than South America but that’s not the only time reality must be suspended to enjoy this film. You get the rich greens as the ladies travel through the jungle. Detail and clarity is very good overall. When the women are captured, the dirt, grime and blood stains offer realistic textures and ambiance. The film performs well in the darker moments but that’s where you’ll notice the most loss of fine detail.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
Snatched features a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix with a healthy dose of environmental sounds. Ocean waves in the distance are authentic and immersive. Dialogue is consistently intelligible and directionality is evident.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
  • Deleted Scenes – Over 12 minutes of deleted scenes from the cutting room floor. 
  • Extended and Alternate Scenes – 14 minutes of extended and alternate scenes. 
  • Gag Reel – (2:43) Silliness and laughs on set. 
  • Audio Commentary – Director Jonathan Levine provides feature length audio commentary with insight to the filming process and the actors. 
  • Trailers
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
Snatched is certainly not for the squeamish and won’t appeal to everyone. It should have a laugh or two in it for everyone – even me. It doesn’t quite have the heart of Trainwreck with the laughs and the drama feeling more manufactured. The extras include a lot of deleted scenes and I felt like they cut a bit too much. Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn are believable as mother and daughter. My expectations were probably a bit high for this one and I will revisit the film in a few months. Recommended for Schumer fans.

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