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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2010

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"Greenberg" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-august-2010-greenberg

Synopsis

Roger Greenberg (Stiller) is single, fortyish and deliberately doing nothing. In search of a place to restart his life, he agrees to housesit for his brother in LA and tries to reconnect with his former bandmate (Rhys Ifans) and successful ex-girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh). But old friends aren't necessarily still best friends, and Greenberg soon finds himself forging a connection with his brother's personal assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig). Despite his best attempts not to be drawn in, Greenberg comes to realize that he may at last have found a reason to be happy.

Specifications

  • Sony Pictures
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 47 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English DTS-MA, Color, Widescreen
  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Rhys Ifans, Greta Gerwig
  • Directed by Noah Baumbach
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes & drug use
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

Though the acting was fine (Stiller takes a big step away from his typical role), I still found the movie as a whole to meander and never reach a conclusion. My biggest problem with the movie was it's presentation on many previews (check out the case cover) as a quick witted comedy. There is nothing quick or comedic about the movie. It plods along in a drama that observes the lives of quirky people who are flawed, narcissistic, neurotic and self-absorbed. This makes it very hard to warm up to the characters. They are mildly interesting, but I was constantly telling myself, "These are awful people! I don't care what happens to them." This was particularly true for Greenberg. He is a wretched human being who treats others with cold indifference. Let me reiterate: this is not a typical Stiller comedy with a “feel good” ending!

If this movie is portraying real life in L.A., then I am glad I live here on the east coast.

Technical

As much as I did not like the movie, the picture and sound quality are quite good. Rich natural colors and skin tones abound. I saw no artifacts or edge enhancements. Contrast was very good with nicely presented deep black shadows and pleasing outdoor shots. Audio was powerful and broad in the music department...enough music from the 70's and80's, in fact, that I am sure there must be a Greenberg soundtrack CD out there somewhere. Surrounds and sub really only come into play during the music.

Extras

Behind the scenes, a Baumbach interview and "Greenberg loves L.A.".