Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

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Released 6-Feb-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 82:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Colin Trevorrow
Reel DVD Starring Aubrey Plaza
Basil Harris
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Jake Johnson
Karan Soni
David Schultz
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Ryan Miller

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It was only a couple of months ago that I commended the film Your Sister's Sister starring mumblecore legend Mark Duplass. Hot on the heels of that release comes another film featuring the oddest romantic lead in Hollywood, Safety Not Guaranteed. Once again it is an offbeat romantic story although this time the comedy is blended with a measure of science fiction.

     Writer Derek Connelly got the idea for the film from an advertisement in a US survivalist magazine which went viral. The ad read: WANTED: someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You will get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

     Darius (Aubrey Plaza) is a struggling intern at a Seattle magazine. Journalist David (Jake Johnson) put his hand up to investigate a story based on the newspaper advertisement. The plan is to find out exactly who put the ad - is he crazy? He decides to take Darius and another intern, a young Indian (Karan Soni).

     It turns out that David has other motives. In his college years he met and formed a relationship with a woman in the same small seaside town as advertisement was placed. Seeing her picture online he is convinced that she is just the woman for him and that she will eagerly welcome him back. The glum, sarcastic Darius slowly warms to the detective aspects of the journalistic assignment. When a head-on approach by Jeff fails to engage the suspicious Kenneth, Darius plans an approach using her feminine wiles. Meeting him at the supermarket where he works Darius quickly finds out that Kenneth is an odd and very serious man who believes that his actions are being watched by shady government operatives. He may be right. After all, what are those two men in suits driving a big black car doing drifting past Kenneth's house?

     Safety Not Guaranteed is two very different love stories rolled into one. Jeff is obsessed with the idea that the past can be forgotten and he can rekindle his high school romance as if the pair never parted. Meanwhile, Darius and Kenneth form a bond that only two souls sitting firmly left of centre can make.

     The film is funny, sweet and sad in parts and at 82 minutes is rather slight. However, those who enjoyed the work of Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation fame can see her at her sensitive yet diffident best. I'm not sure if Mark Duplass has that many fans but he should have many more after this solid performance combining the sensitive with the paranoid.

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Transfer Quality


     Safety Not Guaranteed was shot on high-definition digital and transferred to 35mm film at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio for cinema projection. The DVD of the film comes in this aspect ratio. It is 16×9 enhanced.

     This film was never meant to look like the latest Hollywood blockbuster but it still presents a pleasing image on DVD. The transfer is fairly sharp. The colours are vibrant and well defined. The flesh tones are accurate.

     There is a slight noise to be seen in some scenes however overall this is a good looking film on DVD.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Safety Not Guaranteed comes to DVD with two English language soundtracks. One is a straight Dolby Digital 5.1 running at 448 Kb/s. There is also a DTS 5.1 track running at 754 Kb/s.

     It is always nice on a DVD to get a DTS soundtrack. It was no doubt possible to fit the larger track on the disc due to the short running time of the film and lack of extras. As said, it is nice to get although this film perhaps does not cry out for expensive sound.

     The dialogue is clear and easy to understand.

     The surround sound is used to general ambient effect although there are a few well-placed directional sounds at key moments. The sub-woofer is not used too often although comes into effect at the end of the film.

     Original music for the film is by Ryan Miller. There is a host of songs used from English stars Arctic Monkeys to Miller's own band Guster and hipster two piece Wye Oak. Miller also wrote the song Big Machine sung by Mark Duplass at a key moment in the film.

    There are no technical defects with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras with this DVD. It is also available on Blu-ray in this region however there are no extras on the Blu-ray either.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.


    The Region 1 DVD has a couple of short features.


     It may not appeal to everyone but Safety Not Guaranteed is an enjoyable romantic comedy with a real offbeat twist.

     The DVD is of fine quality both in sound and vision terms.

    It would have been nice to have some extras but they not available on any version in this Region.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Monday, March 04, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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