Masterminds (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 11-Jan-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Comedy Featurette-The Imperfect Crime (16:28)
Trailer-x 2 for other films
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 94:38
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jared Hess
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Zach Galifianakis
Kristen Wiig
Owen Wilson
Jason Sudeikis
Kate McKinnon
Mary Elizabeth Elli
Case ?
RPI ? Music Geoff Zanelli


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, outtakes at the end

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† Masterminds is about the bunch of amateurs who stole $17 Million from Loomis Fargo in 1997, the second biggest take in US history. The film is a comedy, for indeed the heist and what happened afterwards is so farcical as to be almost unbelievable if the basics were not more or less true, although the end of the film is pure fiction.

†††† David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) is approaching forty. He has unfulfilled dreams, believes life has passed him by and is engaged to the dull and dominating Jandice (Kate McKinnon). He works as a security van driver for Loomis Fargo where he becomes smitten by vivacious fellow employee Kelly (Kristen Wiig). Kelly, however, is fired and hangs out with petty crook Steve (Owen Wilson) and his wife Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Ellis). And Steve has a plan; to use Davidís disenchantment with life and his feelings for Kelly to manipulate him into robbing his employer. The idea is for David to steal the cash from the Loomis Fargo depot and flee to Mexico while Steve and his associates look after the money until it is safe for David to return. As a clincher Kelly says that she will come to Mexico afterwards and meet up with David for sun and fun, so he agrees.

†††† The actual robbery is surprisingly easy. David tosses as much money as he can from the vault into a van and drives away from the depot. He then stuffs about $25,000 into his underpants and flies to Mexico where he lives the high life, being inconspicuous in a bright red western outfit! However, he is soon concerned that his money is running out and that Kelly has not joined him. Back in the US Steve and Michelle are also not exactly laying low: they buy expensive new clothes, a white BMW and a mansion outside of town. Steve decides it is time to betray David to the FBI but when the Mexican police arrive to arrest him David escapes. Steve then hires a hitman (Jason Sudeikis) to go to Mexico, find David and kill him. But of course things donít go according to plan.

†††† Director Jared Hess is an idiosyncratic filmmaker with movies such as Napoleon Dynamite (2004) and Nacho Libre (2006) on his resume. Taking rather farcical events in the first place, he has turned the material into broad comedy with some very funny moments plus a few that are gross out, such as David eating a tarantula. The acting by Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis is suitably droll which adds to the fun. The dialogue can also be amusing which means that Masterminds is engaging and good fun for most of its running time although I think the fabricated climax feels wrong and out of character for David who has always been rather dim-witted, a victim rather than an action man!

†††† Masterminds this crew of amateurs certainly were not, but the FBI in the film led by Special Agent Scanlon (Leslie Jones) were not all that clever either. The film may be based on true events but Hess never lets the truth get in the way of a gag or silly moment so Masterminds flows along nicely and is genuinely funny in places.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Masterminds is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† The print looks as one should expect of a recent film. Detail is strong, colours are muted but natural and without that digital glossiness. Blacks and shadow detail are fine, brightness and contrast consistent, skin tones natural.

†††† Artefacts and marks were absent.

†††† English for the Hearing Impaired captions are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† Audio is an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track plus an English descriptive audio track (Dolby Digital 2.0).

†††† This is not an action film so the rears and surrounds were used mainly for the score except in a couple of sequences when they were active with engines and a few crashes, such as the chases in Mexico. Dialogue however is always clear and easy to understand. The sub-woofer added depth to crashes, gunshots and the music.

†††† The predominantly rock score by Geoff Zanelli drives along and was augmented by other music by Enya, Rare Earth, The Clash and others.

†††† There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

†††† Trailers for The Edge of Seventeen (2:29) and The Founder (2:27) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

The Imperfect Crime (16:28)

†††† A short but fascinating look at the planning and the execution of the heist, plus the aftermath, with film footage and comments by Jeff Diamant, author of Heist: The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft, David Ghantt, one of the robbers, and FBI Special Agents Mark Rozzi and John Wydra who worked on the case.

R4 vs R1

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

††††The US Region A Blu-ray of Masterminds has just been released; I can find no reviews or details of extras but I doubt it will have anything we do not have, except Spanish subtitles.

Summary

†††† When a film says it is based on true events one is entitled to be sceptical but as the featurette on this Blu-ray reveals a lot of what is in this film more or less happened and was so farcical it was not a stretch for Jared Hess to turn the events into a broad comedy. I still donít think the fictional climax works particularly well, but for most of its running time Masterminds is a hoot.

†††† The video and audio are good. The extra is short but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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