This Week In Home Entertainment: A Good Day To Die Hard, Warm Bodies And Identity Thief
Identity Thief Blu-ray
This winter saw two different road trip comedies hit theaters and both turned out to be average movies that are worth a watch. The first of the two, The Guilt Trip, hit Blu-ray just a few weeks ago and the second of these, Identity Thief, is hitting Blu-ray today in a combo pack that includes a DVD, digital copy, and access to Ultraviolet, as well as the Unrated Edition of the film.
Unlike The Guilt Trip, Identity Thief offers a wild premise. In the film, Mike and Molly’s Melissa McCarthy plays Diana, a shameless con artist who steals people’s identities in order to finance her hoarding obsession. She’s a lonely, unlikeable woman, but she may have met her match when she steals the identity of Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), a scrupulous accountant who wants his life back. To make this plotline work, Sandy goes after the fake Sandy and wild shenanigans ensue.
Identity Thief isn’t low on the humor. There’s plenty of improv going on and there are enough oddball characters to fill a couple of comedy movies. It’s the latter bit that becomes the rea film's biggest obstacle as Sandy and Diana make their way along the road. The movie doesn’t need detectives, hitmen, and a bounty hunter, but all three are present. The movie doesn’t need a wild sex scene (with Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet) and a weird snake scene, but both show up in this film. This leads to a runtime of an hour and fifty minutes, which could have been seriously trimmed and made for a tighter movie. Half of the battle in making a great comedy is knowing when to edit, and Identity Thief doesn’t always hit the right notes.
Bateman’s Sandy is thrown into the straight-man role within the film, which often means he is playing second fiddle to McCarthy’s Sandy/Diana, who rules the show in Identity Thief. Still, Bateman and McCarthy are really funny off-the-cuff and offer a great team dynamic for a road trip film. Additionally, John Favreau, Morris Chestnut, Robert Patrick, John Cho, Ben Falcone, Amanda Peet, T.I., and the cute little girl from We Bought a Zoo all bring comedy or warmth to the movie and leads to decently satisfying results. At the end of the day, Identity Thief doesn’t play out wholly satisfactorily, but the movie does try for something. There are worst road trip comedies out there, and I can name one that pops up in the above paragraphs.
You can order Identity Thief over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: Universal Studios Home Entertainment is still rolling with advertisements in the upper right hand corner of its Blu-rays, but some of the extras are quite good. I could take or leave the weird segment looking into the bounty hunter’s van, but give the rest of ‘em a chance.
The Alternate Takes segment is probably the best extra, showing how good Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman and others are off the cuff. Additionally, I really liked that the takes weren’t completely edited and fans could see just how often green screen was implemented in the film. As I assumed, the driving scenes were all done that way, but I was surprised to see green screens pop up in other instances.
Other Special Features:
“The Skiptracer’s Van Tour”
“Scene Stealing: Capturing the Humor of Identity Thief”
“The Making of Identity Thief”
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