21 & Over [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak (29th June 2013).
The Film

If you've seen "21 & Over" and have never thought to ask yourself - "where have I seen all this before?" then you're doing it all wrong. Either that or you've been oblivious to the recent post-"The Hangover" (2009) series of movies that deal with the one-night crazy party/aftermath genre. That's right this has become a comedic sub-genre of its own. Trust Hollywood to latch onto a craze and drive it into the ground, as if three "Hangover" (2009-2013) movies weren't enough we've now got the insipid "Project X" (2012), this gem (note: sarcasm) of a film - "21 & Over" and the soon to be released "Last Vegas" (2013) which basically looks like the retiree version of "The Hangover"... and to be honest with you, I'm all partied out and waiting for the next "big thing/sub-genre" in comedies.

The screenwriters/directors of "The Hangover" (no surprises there) prove themselves a one trick pony, taking their crazy-one night film and applying it to the 20-something set. Think of it as "Baby Hangover", if you're too young to relate to Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha's adultness with their everyday jobs, wives, etc, then don't worry, Justin Chon, Skylar Astin and Miles Teller are there to offer you the younger, hipper, more carefree ensemble of misfits. Hooray!

"21 & Over" has a plot that virtually anyone, and I mean anyone could have written. It's about as simple as they come, Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is about to make a big step in his life, because tomorrow is the day he's interviewed for entrance into a prestigious medical school that his father has organized. The only problem is that tonight is Jeff's 21st birthday and his high school buddies have dropped in to party the night away. Jeff gets incredibly plastered, blacks out and his friends have to find a way to get him home... the only problem is, they don't know where he lives and what ensues is an over-the-top night that leads them all over campus and into some wild scenarios.

The film is all about politically incorrect humour, the kind that isn't even cutting edge, is full to the brim with stupid antics and jokes that seem to have been written by a bunch of pre-pubescent teenagers. Judd Apatow wouldn't have touched this film, and in saying that could have benefited with someone of his comedic wisdom and guidance to shepherd this film into something worth watching. At least in an Apatow production his characters have depth and that's one of many things lacking in "21 & Over". The most damning thing this film does is portrays the current generation of college students as imbecilic, weak minded morons who covet nothing more than to get wasted, bang sluts and perform practical jokes that are borderline offensive and just plain mean. It's like the filmmaker's only research on college kids was done by watching reality college party porn.

Despite being a general waste of time, "21 & Over" does have the odd moment of comedy gold, sadly they are few and far between and a handful of jokes that land do not a great comedy make. Overall I was pretty unimpressed with this film, I find it hard that even 20-somethings would find something worthy in it, it feels like a film catered to the under 21 year-olds on the cusp of reaching legality, and basically teaches them that it's OK to be a wasted, insipid mean-spirited college d**che-bag; see kids this is what life could be like once you're legal to drink... fun times!

Video

Presented in the film's original theatrical ratio of 2.40:1 his high definition transfer is presented in 1080p 24/fps and using AVC MPEG-4 compression, this low budget film was shot digitally on the Arri Alexa camera and looks fairly decent in this transfer courtesy of Fox. Aside from being a waste of the cinemascope ratio, the image is clean and sharp. Colors look good, solid and natural, especially the skin tones. Blacks are usually bold, however some of the night scenes and more dimly lit scenes seem to have some mild noise. I couldn't spot any other issue in this other decent transfer.

Audio

A single English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is included in 48kHz/24-bit. The audio is excellent, boasting some nice depth and range. Dialogue is clean and clear, the party sequences are immersive and utilize the surround speakers well and in a natural way that doesn't make anything seem out of place. It's not exactly a blockbuster quality sound mix but for this film it's entirely adequate. Optional subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired and Spanish.

Extras

Fox has released this film with only a small collections of extras that includes two featurettes, a gag reel, the film's theatrical trailer, bonus trailers and a second disc with a DVD version of the film and digital copy as well, below is a closer look at these supplements.

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

"Levels of Intoxication" (1080p) is the first featurette which runs for 3 minutes 48 seconds, and is a closer look at Jeff's inebriation throughout the film.

"Tower of Power" (1080p) is the second featurette which runs for 3 minutes 8 seconds and takes a look at the eight levels of drinking.

A fairly common and not-all-too-funny gag reel (1080p) is also included and runs for 2 minutes 24 seconds.

The film's original theatrical trailer (1080p) is next and runs for 1 minute 43 seconds.

Rounding out the extras are a series of bonus trailers (1080p) which run for a total of 10 minutes 22 seconds and are for:

- "Movie 43"
- "A Good Day to Die Hard"
- "The Internship"
- "Archer: Season 3"

DISC TWO: DVD

This disc is the DVD version of the film plus a digital copy version of the film for mobile devices.

Overall

The Film: D+ Video: A- Audio: A Extras: D Overall: C

 


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