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Image // R // November 2, 2010
List Price: $29.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Ian Jane | posted November 5, 2010 | E-mail the Author

The Movie:

This straight to video comedy stars the perpetually beautiful Heather Graham as a woman named Alex who has a bad habit of getting involved with very flawed men expecting to be able to turn them around. This all comes to a head when she gets laid off from her job and comes home to interrupt her unemployed boyfriend as he's getting it on with another woman. Out he goes, understandably, and Alex decides to get a little shopping therapy in to make herself feel better, but this doesn't work when she winds up getting into a fight with another woman over a blouse. Charges are pressed and Alex is sentenced to take some anger management classes where she meets and quickly befriends similarly pissed off women, Stella (Jennifer Coolidge), Nikki (Amber Heard) and Kim (Joey Lauren Adams).

The four girls become fast friends and decide to head out to a bar one night. All goes well until Tom (Blaine Gray), Kim's husband, shows up and not only trash talks her in front of everyone but gets abusive with her. Stella decides that they need to stick up for their friend so she, Alex and Nikki follow Tom home and inadvertently wind up chasing his car off of a cliff. Alex is upset by all of this, but Nikki and Stella like the rush and sense of justice that they get from this and decide to make a habit of it. Before you know it, lousy and abusive men who mistreat their women are winding up dead, seemingly by accident. Alex is starting to put all of this together, however, and has just gotten involved with a new boyfriend who just happens to be a cop. What's a girl to do?

Despite a couple of surprisingly dark twists and turns as the story plays out, the vast majority of ExTerminators is predictable and not particularly funny. Some might find more humor in the situations than others (always the case with any comedy but more so here as it does kinda-sorta deal with abuse) but the film never quite goes far enough to work in a mean spirited sort of way, but neither is it a cutesy-vapid comedy either. Instead, it's an awkward mix of ideas that never really realize they way that they should and the whole thing just sort of goes off half corked. The script has moments that will make you chuckle and some of the scenarios are absurd enough to work, but these shining moments get mired down in mediocre dialogue and uninspired delivery.

As far as the cast are concerned, Coolidge is the stand out member of the crew. She fits into her character's shoes very naturally and has a poise and sense of control about herself that helps her character shine a bit more than the other fairly uninspired ones that make up the cast. Heather Graham, who is as stunning as always here, just sort of wanders vacantly through the picture and invests very little of herself into her performance here. She's not quite wooden or out of place, rather she's just sort of there and you don't get the impression she was particularly enthused. She's capable of good comedic roles, her filmography attests to this, but unfortunately this isn't one of them. Majority of the cast follow suit, with almost every one of the male parts being played (probably intentionally) as obnoxious, unlikeable and irritating sorts.

Lurking somewhere in this mish-mash of ideas are some decent comedic elements. If we can't laugh at the bad side of relationships - and every one of us has been there - well, then we're taking ourselves too seriously. That said, Exterminators is a film whose parts don't add up to much of a whole. Some memorable bits and pieces don't make for an all together interesting movie. The direction is lukewarm, the cinematography competent if not all that remarkable, but the story itself not all that inspired.

The Blu-ray:


ExTerminators is presented in a 1.85.1 widescreen aspect ratio in a 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Generally this picture actually looks very good. It's bright and clean and colorful and shows very accurate looking skin tones throughout. Detail is pretty strong, especially in facial close up shots, and there are no problems with shimmering, noise reduction or edge enhancement. Some minor compression artifacts do pop up in some of the darker spots and the black levels aren't ever reference quality but that complaint aside, it's hard to imagine anyone taking issue with the way that the film looks on this Blu-ray release.


The only audio track on this disc is an English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix, no alternate language options are offered nor are there any subtitles or closed captions provided. While the audio is certainly sufficient, it doesn't sound all that interesting. The mix is pretty dialogue intensive as dictated by the nature of the film itself, so there isn't a massive amount of opportunity for swirling surround effects but at least what's here sound alright. Dialogue is easy to understand and the levels are well balanced. The mix is clean and clear and there aren't any problems with hiss or distortion to note. Almost everything comes from the front of the mix, the rears are used only sparingly to spread out music and provide the occasional background effect, so don't expect a particularly enveloping listening experience - but it does sound fine, if unremarkable.

The Extras:

Aside from a menu and scene selection, there are a couple of unrelated trailers that play before the menu screen loads - and that's it. Mercifully, there are no other extra features to have to concern yourself with here.


ExTerminators has a couple of amusing moments but they're too few and far between to make this one worth your time unless you're a die-hard fan of either of the leads. Image's Blu-ray looks quite good and sounds alright but contains not a single extra feature, resulting in a slightly underwhelming presentation of a slightly underwhelming film. Skip it.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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