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Get A Job

Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // June 14, 2016
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Ryan Keefer | posted May 30, 2016 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

Even on a high-level optic, when you have a film with several familiar faces in a feature, for a film that was shot two or three years before it actually is released to the public, the problem may lie within financing or some other hiccup. In the film Get a Job, you have a film that was shot in 2012 and did not see the light of day until 2016, so that in and of itself can't be an encouraging sign for the film.

Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel wrote the screenplay that Dylan Kidd (Dakota Johnson, Roger Dodger) directed. Will (Miles Teller, Insurgent) and his girlfriend Jillian (Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect) have just graduated college and are about to step out in the world. Heck, Will gets a graduation gift of cash from his dad Roger (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad). Though his post-college professional career doesn't come out of the starting blocks like he would like, the film follows the couple and Will's roommates as the start to carve out a living.

So in the synopsis of this movie I've already listed an Oscar nominee and a multiple Emmy-award winner, so naturally you would expect a little bit of gravitas. Toss in another Oscar winner (Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock) playing an executive of a video resume company and there's the start of a decent film in theory, and they are at the top of an alarmingly familiar ensemble for the film. Yet, much like Will, the story within Get a Job does not know what to do with itself, and almost has ADHD. There are moments of gross-out comedy that are a) not funny, b) painful and c) launch another character in the process in Tanya, played by Alison Brie (How to be Single). Another scene where one of Will's roommates, a guy named Luke (Brandon T. Jackson, Tropic Thunder) drinks a, um, fluid, in front of his coworkers and boss (John C. McGinley, playing essentially his character from Scrubs) is just as unfunny. It has a flirtation with being a lazy stoner-ish comedy with Will's other roommates Charlie (Nicholas Braun, Red State) and Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kick-Ass). But none of it works.

Compounding the choices on what the filmmakers want Get a Job to be is that those who would be natural choices to propel the story aren't used properly. The film largely ignored Kendrick's character despite her being on the front of the DVD case and the protagonist's love interest; you can count the number of times she is onscreen in the first two acts with one hand, and still have a couple of things left over. With an actor of her considerable skill, you give her more to do than smoking weed with Will's roommates. So while Kendrick is neglected, Cranston is given the bulk of the moments that are supposed to have either heart or at the very least comedy with Will. Roger is laid off and we see more of him dealing with that environment in today's world, which while being an interesting idea for most films, makes his adventures kind of sad. He hangs out in a coffee shop and striking up a friendship with a 20-something worker there, despite having a home with a wife, who we actually see at the beginning of the movie. Despite having a cute moment with Teller in the second act, the evolution of Cranston's character is, or should be taken as, an insult to the actor.

Mostly what happens when you have a film like Get a Job that tries a lot of things unsuccessfully combined with its 84-minute (including credits) runtime is that the ending feels all the more arbitrary. There's some faux-Howard Beale moment that decries participation trophies for one character while another may actually have gotten his mobile app idea off the ground. And what of Will and Jillian? Well they shrug their shoulders and tell each other essentially that they should do what they love which, while nice, was what put them into their not very funny situations to begin with.

Get a Job certainly does fit the bill of a film that was filmed four years ago and released, quietly, to video and on demand platforms. I guess the filmmakers wanted it to be a mirror of the current condition while serving as a call to arms, but Miles Teller's ass and Alison Brie's office nymphomania really don't translate in that manner. If there is one thing you take away from watching the film, assuming you're bold enough to do so, is why so many people are in this nothing movie?

The Blu-ray:
The Video:

CBS Films(!) provides Get a Job with an AVC-encoded 1.78:1 widescreen transfer, the results of which are OK-ish. Colors are reproduced somewhat accurately, though flesh tones at times push a little too hot in some of the characters. Image detail is inconsistent, though it is devoid of DNR or post-production image enhancement. Hardly a surprise given everyone just wanted to put this out with minimal effort.

The Sound:

DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless surround which is good but not great. Dialogue sounds good and the score for the film shows a broader than expected range. Lots of shots of the guys playing Halo mirror the explosions and gunfire nicely for the closest thing to immersion the film is liable to have. There is low end fidelity and channel panning though directional effects are scarce. The disc is fine, nothing special, in the technical aspects.


You have "Video Resume Outtakes" (2:58) for Will and his roommates, all done in character, while "Where it all Began" (6:58) serves as a making of look at the production and story. If you really want a digital copy of the film, a code is here for you.

Final Thoughts:

One would presume a film with promising young actors (and accomplished older ones) would be decent, but Get a Job plays for yucks and tries to be quixotic, sometimes at the same time, and failing badly at both. Technically the disc is…a disc, while the bonus materials are quick and forgettable, much like the film is.

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