...and I know what you're thinking: just quit! Not really an option, though. Nick's gig is so specialized that his options are pretty much non-existent in the first place, and his prick of a boss has already threatened to poison his name in the industry if he tries to make a move. Kurt genuinely loves his job and the people he works with, and he really doesn't want to see the company get snorted up that asshole's nose. Plus in this economy... Oh, and Dale is technically a sex offender (long story), and that kind of makes life tough for a fledgling dental hygienist. Looks like their options are pretty much limited to certain financial ruin or being gainfully-yet-miserably employed. Hopeless bleak despair. But wait! They have Netflix. They've seen Strangers on a Train. Or maybe it was Throw Momma from the Train. Whatever. Anyway, they clue in that the quickest way out of this mess is to kill the assholes they work
Not that I really have to tell you this if you've already taken a peek at the cover or...I don't know, turned on a TV this summer, but Horrible Bosses has a great, great, great cast. I mean, Kevin Spacey's got this sort of smug, overbearing prick role down to a science. Colin Ferrell's totally going against type here, reveling in playing a delusional fuck-up without anything even a little bit appealing or redeeming about him. Not that I'm the world's biggest Jennifer Aniston fan or anything, but she's clearly having a blast digging her claws into something other than a cutesy girl-next-door lead in yet another romantic comedy. Horrible Bosses hinges on the idea that you-the-audience would wanna see these bastards' bullet-riddled corpses splayed out all over the pavement, and Spacey, Ferrell, and Aniston play it perfectly...deliriously over-the-top and completely, utterly, totally murder-worthy. You wanna see more of 'em but you want to see 'em dead too. As for the not-bad guys, I'm a fan of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day individually, and I guess it turns out I'm a fan of the three of them as a collective unit or whatever too. It's just a brilliant combination with barrel drums of chemistry to spare, and even though the dynamic means there are pretty much two straight men in the bunch, I can't get over how well it works. Bateman does the stone-faced serious deadpan thing, Sudeikis is the ladykiller (not literally) with enough confidence that he doesn't have to be an asshole about it, and Charlie Day is...well, Charlie, complete with the fake-lawyer-talk, but how is that a bad thing? I'd have forked over eight bucks for a ticket just for the scene with a coked-out Charlie Day rocking the fuck out to The Ting-Tings' "That's Not My Name". The best parts really aren't Big Comedic Setpieces -- although
So, yeah, I really dug Horrible Bosses. I can't say that I was doubled over with laughter for...what was it, 106 minutes straight?...but even if I wasn't constantly cracking up, a lot of the gags do connect, and they're more clever and inspired than what I've gotten from most of the comedies I've slogged my way through so far this year. Its sense of humor doesn't feel like it's warming over more of the same, it's not just a bunch of mindless dick and fart jokes either, and the gaggle of credited screenwriters actually give a shit about constructing a story to go along with it all too. Having a cast like this to elevate the material sure doesn't hurt either. Honestly, thumbing through a list of all the movies that've swooped in and out of theaters this year that I've seen, I'm pretty sure Horrible Bosses gets a shiny little trophy from me as My Favorite Comedy of 2011 So Far. Recommended for sure.
This Blu-ray set piles on both the theatrical and unrated versions of Horrible Bosses, each on separate discs. I haven't seen some canonical list-of-things-that-are-different floating around yet, but the ones that leapt out at me: some additional gay panic-type jokes when Kurt meets with his new boss for the first time, Kenny Sommerfeld upping the desperation handjob ante, and a flashback to how Muthafuckah Jones got his nickname (adding pretty pictures to go with the dialogue, basically). The extended cut is...well, extended. Longer but nothing that memorable. I know it sounds like I'm making a dick joke here, but I pinky-swear I'm not.
Geez, Horrible Bosses is a knockout in high-def...sharp and detailed to the point where it's kinda nuts. There's a really strong sense of depth and dimensionality to the digital photography, and you don't even have to wear any clunky glasses to take advantage. Black levels are punchy, the palette's bright and nicely saturated when appropriate, and the whole thing is glossy and sparklingly clean. Pretty much perfect.
The technical specs are pretty much the same for both of the Blu-ray discs in this set: both dual-layer, both sporting an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and both encoded with AVC.
Both cuts of Horrible Bosses dish out 24-bit, six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio. For the most part, it's pretty much what you'd expect out of a comedy mix: dialogue up front, rears reserved largely for light atmosphere and reinforcing music, and the score being the only thing that nudges the subwoofer awake. The music is definitely the most memorable thing about this lossless soundtrack, particularly the snare and thundering toms. A few scattered effects take advantage of the surround channels too -- Nick daydreaming about chucking his boss out a twentysomething story window and a garage door opening, f'r instance -- but it's nothing that incendiary or immersive or whatever. A frantic car chase near the end seems like it'd obviously have to grab a chokehold on the rears, but...no, not really, even when the fellas are careening the wrong way down a busy street. There are some subtle splashes of color throughout that sequence but nothing even close to what you'd expect. It's not even a little bit of an ambitious mix, but the whole thing's clean and well-balanced, and I guess that's mostly what I'm looking for out of a comedy mix, so...a check in the "win!" column anyway.
The unrated version is limited to English only, but the theatrical cut heaps on Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs in French, Spanish, and Portuguese too. Both versions of the flick feature subtitles in English (SDH), French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The version of Horrible Bosses reviewed here comes packaged in a shiny cardboard slipcover. The third disc in the set is a DVD with the theatrical cut of the movie, and there's also a code to stream/download a digital copy of Horrible Bosses on a computer, iPad, smartphone, waffle iron, or pretty much anything, ever. It looks like Amazon also carries a less expensive Blu-ray release that just has the R-rated theatrical cut if you want to save a few bucks.
The Final Word
Horrible Bosses is a helluva lot of fun, and the pretty much perfect cast they've piled together is having such a blast that it really is infectious. A little (well, more like a lot) of chemistry goes a long way, and there are some really clever gags scattered around in here. More of a grinner than a laffer, sure, I still really dug Horrible Bosses, and...yeah, I'm pretty sure it gets the nod as my favorite comedy of 2011 so far. Recommended.