Monday, November 2, 2015

Spy Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Queen of Comedy Melissa McCarthy “in her funniest movie yet” (Leonard Maltin, embarks on the mission of a lifetime as secret agent Susan Cooper in SPY. The September 29thBlu-ray release will include two versions of the film - Theatrical and never-before-seen Unrated Cut. The DVD will feature the Theatrical version. Both the Theatrical version and Unrated Cut of Spy will also be available on Digital HD September 4th. The global ensemble cast features Jason Statham, Jude Law and Rose Byrne who deliver hysterical performances in this summer blockbuster hit that totaled over $100 million in the domestic box office. The movie was adored by critics who gave it an astounding 95% fresh rating on

Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is technically a CIA agent. She was trained at the farm and has all the required knowledge and abilities that your average spy would have. Instead of chasing down bad guys she spends her days in the ear piece of Bradley Fine (Jude Law), a field agent. A series of unfortunate events brings Susan into the field to capture a villain named Rayna (Rose Byrne).

Susan’s boss Elaine (Alison Janney) is not confident Susan can do the job. She reluctantly puts her in the field with a non-sexy cover story and background. Agent Rick Ford (Jason Statham) wants to take care of the mission himself, but his cover has been compromised, along with many other agents. Only an unknown entity like Susan has a chance.

Susan is certainly a fish out of water in the spy environment. She had a fellow desk-bound agent in her ear assisting her just as she assisted Fine. She accidentally foils plots and has to deal with Agent Ford who is in the field against orders and is right in the middle of the action. This could almost be considered a spoof of a Bond flick. Susan has her own version of Q (Michael McDonald) who gives her hemorrhoid wipes instead of spy gadgets. Susan is clumsy, she says and does the wrong thing, and she stumbles into the villains

Most people either enjoy Melissa McCarthy’s brand of humor or they don’t. As with many of her other films, she’s loud and delivers not so subtle comedy. It’s obviously not very plausible that an overweight woman went through the CIA academy and excelled. It’s equally unlikely that the same person would ever be put in the field but I don’t go into a Melissa McCarthy film looking for realism. Jason Statham steals the show in my opinion with his intense portrayal of a very strange man. Rose Byrne shows she can play a really good bad guy who holds her own with the rest of the cast. I would have liked to have seen more of Jude Law, but you can’t have everything you want. This is an action film full of juvenile humor and that’s certainly something you don’t see every day.

If you’re looking for some spy action, go with any of the James Bond films. This is certainly something else and isn’t even in the same category. It is entertaining and if you’re on the fence about it, why not give it a try? The Blu-ray contains both a rated and unrated copy. The unrated copy contains not only bad language but also graphic images.
Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Spy is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a 2.39:1 ratio. The decision on what cameras to use is discussed in the commentary. The cameras chosen were intended for low light and they certainly did that. They also handled the brighter times (and there are many) well providing a crisp sharp picture. Fine detail is excellent in both long range and close up shots. It’s not perfect with black clothing at times becoming part of the background but overall 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment can be proud of their Blu-ray release.
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Spy features an exceptional DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix with full bodied action. Gunfire, physical fights and car chases are authentic and the dynamic range helps sell the action. Dialogue is even and consistent and the soundtrack is worth taking note of. This is a near problem-free track.
Extras (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Blu-ray contains a healthy list of bonus features including:

  • The Filmmakers Tell You How Spy Was Made as You Watch the Film! AKA The Commentary Track – Director Paul Feig; DP Bob Yeoman, Gaffer John Vecchio, gaffer; Producer Jessie Henderson, and Fight Coordinator Wally Garcia, provide commentary. The participants manage to all be heard in this informative commentary.
  • Redacted Scenes (3:13) - A clever way to label deleted scenes.
  • Classified Alternate Scenes (31:51)
  • Top Secret Gag Reel (6:39)
  • Extra Top Secret Behind the Scenes Gag Reel (3:43)
  • Director of Intelligence Feig Makes the Cast Do His Bidding (8:53) – Some funny moments as The Director does his thing.
  • Susan and Her Men (8:18) - A look at the main characters.
  • Super Villain Rayna Can't Keep It Together (5:05) - Rose Byrne laughing through her lines.
  • Super Vermin (1:34) - Characters and the rats!
  • The Many Deaths of Anton (00:57) - Alternate death scenes.
  • The Trouble With Covers (2:28) - More bloopers and onset fun.
  • The Great Rick Ford (3:42) - A look at Jason Stratham's character.
  • For Your Eyes Only: Jokes-a-Plenty (13:25) - Additional extended scenes with improved jokes.
  • The Handsy World of Spies (1:52) - Just under two minutes of hands.
  • Speaking is an Art Form (1:57) – Watch the actors trip over their lines.
  • Super Villains of the Animal World (1080p; 2:19) is some funny footage of actors dealing with various beasties.
  • How Spy Was Made – eight behind the scenes featurettes focused on the director, Jason Statham, Melissa McCarthy and her disguises, gadgets and stunts.
  • Theatrical Version (1080p; 2:00:06) and Unrated Version (1080p; 2:10:22) of the film.

Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
Spy is quite an experience and one worth watching before you judge. This will never replace your Bond films but it holds its own with any of Melissa McCarthy’s other comedic efforts. It’s not a plausible story but the cast makes it work. Beyond the primary cast, the supporting actors are also doing some great work, providing some belly laughs for the audience. The Blu-ray contains an extensive list of supplemental features and an unrated version lasting an extra ten minutes. I recommend the film when you’re in the mood for some laughs.

Order your copy today!

No comments:

Post a Comment