Wild Hogs (2007)
Featurette-Bikes, Brawls and Burning Bars - The Making Of Wild Hogs
Featurette-How To Get Your Wife to Let You Buy a Motorcycle
Audio Commentary-Director Walt Becker and Writer Brad Copeland
|Year Of Production||2007|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:10)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Walt Becker|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
William H. Macy
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
EDITOR'S WARNING : If you enjoyed this film, please skip straight to the video transfer section below.
In the great tradition of family relationships I tend not to agree with my mother-in-law on many things. We have differing tastes when it comes to pretty much everything, especially popular culture offerings found in the likes of music, film and television. So when she raves to me the day after seeing Wild Hogs at the cinema that it is one of the funniest films she has ever seen and ranks as one of the best films of the year, experience has told me to treat such a bold statement with a little caution. I always have to remember this is coming from a fan of that turgid piece of television The Biggest Loser and someone who considers the truly woeful Coyote Ugly to be one of the greatest films of all time.
But what the heck I thought - occasionally she might just get it right. This film raked in the dollars at the box office (it sits at 126 in the all time list of US takings with more than $160m to date) and the cast assembled suggests it has something going for it. With names like John Travolta (ok I have heard of Battlefield Earth), joining Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and the usually reliable William H. Macy. How wrong could I be...
... How wrong indeed.
After watching this unfunny and extremely poorly executed comedy, I can safely say I still disagree with my mother-in-law. This is easily one of the worst films I have seen this year. Period. It's simply not funny, the actors go through the motions with such a poorly developed script that they must have been in it for the money alone, the production design makes it constantly look like a cheap television sitcom and the plot is so wafer thin you could snap it in two by breathing on it. This is the sort of film that makes cinema goers scream with frustration at the crud that Hollywood produces on such a regular basis. It is rubbish. Pure and simple. Worse still - there are rumours of a sequel. Don't these people ever learn?
The story for those two people left that care is this. Four middle-aged mates, comprising dentist Doug (Tim Allen), computer nerd Dudley (William H. Macy), plumber Bobby (Martin Lawrence) and slimy and slick businessman Woody (John Travolta), are fed up with their mundane lives, and in a moment straight out of the infinitely superior City Slickers, decide to do something about it. The four share a love of motor bikes, Harley Davidsons to be precise and in an effort to recapture their youth decide to shake off all responsibilities and head off on a road trip. So off onto the highway of life they head, complete with toilet jokes and bare bums.
But before long our four heroes run foul of a real biker gang - bikers with tattoos and limited vocabulary that is. The scary (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek) Del Fuegos, somewhere in dusty New Mexico are led by the aggressive, yet at the same time slightly camp Jack (Ray Liotta in a performance so over the top you'd think he had been to the Robert DeNiro school of hamming it up). Somehow the boys manage to annoy and agitate the real bikers just by looking at them and when Woody manages to slightly damage their bikes and bar, it looks like a showdown could be on the cards. The boys scarper to the small town of Madrid where they discover the townsfolk have long suffered at the hands of the marauding bikers. When Dudley falls for the charms of a local store owner (Marisa Tomei) and promises to help, the boys are forced to stand up to the thugs and with the help of the townsfolk, look set to put the problem to rest once and for all.
Crap. This is poorly executed, unfunny crap. The plot is stupid, the laughs so few and far between you will find yourself either drifting off to sleep or wondering whether the ceiling in your theatre room needs a new coat of paint. I stopped and started watching this three times over three different nights, simply because I got bored with it after 30 minutes or so. At the end of the film you will barely care less about any of the characters and wonder just why you wasted a good 90 minutes of your life watching.
As expected, an appalling film gets given one of the nicest transfers to date.
For the type of film I was initially surprised to see it framed at 2.35:1. Usually the reserve of epics and other such quality dramas, this super-widescreen aspect seems a little out place on this by-the-numbers sit-com style comedy. I was expecting 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 at a pinch, but no, the director has decided to go all out to make this film appear grander than it is. The DVD is presented in the original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1, and is also 16x9 enhanced.
This is a nicely detailed and sharp picture throughout, with few problems to report. Shadow detail is handled well extremely well and grain is minimal to the point of being non-existent. There is no low level noise.
Colours are remarkably well rendered. They are vivid and bright with heaps of saturation, especially the scenes in the little town of Madrid.
There are no MPEG artefacts and I noticed no instances of aliasing anywhere in the transfer.
There are English and Arabic subtitles available. I sampled the English flavour and found them mostly accurate with only a couple of sentences abridged.
This is a dual-layered disc but I was unable to spot any layer change.
There are two audio soundtracks on this disc. The main film dialogue is served by a Dolby Digital 5.1 effort in English plus there is a quite boring audio commentary from director Walt Becker and writer Brad Copeland. The main film soundtrack is pretty good, with very nice separation across the channels and plenty of directional and fill-in effects. It is quite solid, clean and powerful when needed. Shame the story didn't take a few pointers from it.
Dialogue is precise and very well mixed. There are certainly no audio sync problems.
The score is by Teddy Castellucci and has all the elements expected. Full of cliché basically.
There is a reasonable amount of surround channel use with the various bike scenes copping most of the use.
|Surround Channel Use|
One of the requirements of our reviews here are MichaelDVD is to examine in detail every single extra, including listening to the entire commentary track when present. Now normally this would not be an issue, but with this film being just about the worst I have ever seen, I cannot simply bring myself to waste another two hours of my life listening to two guys going on about how great this film is, while being completely blind to just how crap it really is. Ten minutes is my limit and my initial thoughts were quickly realised. These guys have a few anecdotes, but they seriously think this film is a work of art. Take another look fellas.
Running a little over 16 minutes, this is your typical puff-piece, interviews and the like. Hardly worth your time, though to be fair it is far less painful than the actual film.
A three minute waste of time, with a few clips from the film coupled with the film's stunt guru explaining just how safe motor bikes are. Mate, we all know they are about the most dangerous thing you can do on the road.
An alternate ending that in no way improves any of the story. An entire alternate film is about the only thing that would do that.
Two deleted scenes. Shame they didn't delete half the film really.
Probably the best extra, this is a two minute series of bloops and blunders.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 disc misses out on:
The Region 1 disc misses out on:
Despite the addition of two extra soundtracks, I cannot possibly recommend importing this piece of tripe as it would harm Australia's balance of trade deficit for absolutely no reason at all. Wait for it to appear in a Region 4 bargain bin if you really need to see it. If you hadn't guessed already I hated this film.
Wild Hogs is an appalling and all-round awful movie, easily one of the worst for 2007. The acting is bland and by-the-numbers, the production design is cheap, the plot even cheaper and the script corny and not even in the slightest bit funny, which for a comedy is rather important I would have thought. The DVD as expected is quite good though, with decent video and audio transfers and a reasonable selection of extras.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-42PX600A 42" Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|