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Case Number 26598: Small Claims Court

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We're The Millers (Blu-ray)

Warner Bros. // 2013 // 119 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 19th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge Patrick Naugle suddenly has a craving for White Castle.

The Charge

We're the Millers…(in case anyone asks).

The Case

David Clark (Jason Sudeikis, Horrible Bosses) is a small time pot dealer who needs to settle a debt with an egomaniacal drug dealer named Brad (Ed Helms, Cedar Rapids). Brad offers David a proposal: drive down to Mexico to pick up a 'smidge' of pot and get paid handsomely for his trouble. David agrees and pulls together a fake family as a disguise including a stripper who lives in his building named Rose (Jennifer Aniston, Office Space), a grumpy homeless teenager named Casey (Emma Roberts, Scream 4), and a kooky kid named Kenny (Will Poulter, Son of Rambow). As the foursome heads into Mexico, they discover they get far more than they bargained for when the small amount of weed becomes an RV full and a Mexican drug lord is hot on their tale and wants them dead!

We're the Millers became a smash hit during the end of the 2013 summer movie season. Why it became such an enormous hit is a bit of a mystery; while it's humorous enough, there isn't a lot in the film that constitutes major originality. We're the Millers is the kind of movie that seems to fill some summer cinematic void—with so many big budget special effects films bombarding moviegoers, people eventually crave something that doesn't feature the White House blowing up.

If nothing else, We're the Millers is a passable time waster that goes down easy enough. It's got funny actors doing relatively funny things in a story that's amusing but paper thin. It's a typical 'road' movie / buddy comedy, only instead of a twosome it's a foursome. There are funny moments, but they're punctuated by clichéd laughs and sentimentality that feels jammed into the film. A tarantula bites someone in the one place you never want to be bitten by a spider. Jennifer Aniston does an impromptu strip tease in a warehouse. Ed Helms' character owns a massive aquarium with a killer whale that eats a shark. There's enough silliness in We're the Millers to entertain, but generally speaking it's nothing we haven't seen before.

Former Saturday Night Live alumni Jason Sudeikis is slowly climbing the comedic ladder to become one of the most viable genre actors in Hollywood. This is the second big summer win for Sudeikis (including last year's Horrible Bosses). Sudeikis has a winning every man persona; I could see him becoming the next Chevy Chase or Bill Murray. He's quick with a witty put down and yet still makes the character of David sort of lovable. Jennifer Aniston's career has been spotty at best, although she's become the most viable Friends actor out there. Aniston works well against Sudeikis, even if the character's eventual romance (oh, don't act so surprised) seems a bit forced. Emma Roberts (niece of Julia) is good if perfunctory in her role (she's given the least to do) while Will Poulter nearly steals the show as the sweet Kenny, whose smile summons up all sorts of chuckles. The supporting cast includes Ed Helms and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman, both doing yeoman's work in roles that offer light laughs and probably a big paycheck.

We're the Millers was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber who also directed the cult classic Dodgeball (enjoyed by some, but not by me). To Thurber's credit, We're the Millers is certainly a lot better than 95% of most comedies released by Hollywood, and this includes anything starring Adam Sandler. The film movies from point A to point B with great ease, but it also means there's little in the way of surprises or excitement.

I enjoyed We're the Millers while it was playing, but it's the sort of movie that disappears from your brain within a few days. There's nothing inherently wrong with the film; it's got a winning performance by the four leads and there are some moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. However, I still can't shake the feeling it could have been funnier and more memorable. Maybe next time in We're the Millers 2: Miller Harder.

We're the Millers is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen in 1080p high definition. Warner Brothers has offered up pristine looking image with solid colors and black levels. There are no imperfections that my eye could spot in this transfer; the picture is sharp and clear. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround in English. There are some scattered moments when some directional effects and surround sounds kick in. Overall the track is often front heavy, save for any heavy music cues or rock music (TLC's "Waterfalls" takes center stage). Also included are Dolby 5.1 tracks in French, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.

The extra features including some deleted and alternate scenes, a bunch of short and rather fluffy featurettes ("Stories from the Road", "Extreme Aniston", "The Miller Makeovers", ""Road Trippin' with the Millers", "Rollin' in the RV", "Don't Such Venom", "Getting Out of a Sticky Situation", "Livin' It Up with Brad", "I Am Pablo Chacon", "When Paranoia Sets In"), a gag reel, a bonus DVD copy of the film, and a digital copy of the movie.

The Verdict

A fun Friday night rental.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 77

Perp Profile

Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
• 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• English (SDH)
• French
• Portuguese
• Spanish
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
• Blu-ray
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Theatrical Cut
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurettes
• Gag Reel
• DVD Copy
• Digital Copy
• UltraViolet Download


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