Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Trainwreck' Blu-ray Review: A romantic comedy, Amy Schumer style

November 10, 2015Ben Mk





FEATURE: 
Amy Schumer is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she one of the funniest women on the planet, but she's also got a hit Comedy Central TV series, a Peabody Award, and now a movie under her belt. In director Judd Apatow's Trainwreck, Schumer plays Amy Townsend, a commitment-phobic New York magazine writer who prefers to hit it and quit it. But when she's assigned to write a profile on humanitarian and sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), her feelings quickly change.


Yep, in some ways, Trainwreck is just like every other romantic comedy you've ever seen. And yet, in others, it's totally different, thanks to how Schumer and Apatow approach the film's gender role reversals. If you know Schumer from her show, Inside Amy Schumer, you'll know that she isn't the type to play the prototypical rom-com female lead. And she definitely stays true to form here, drinking, partying and toking up like nobody's business. In other words, she plays the role like a dude — with a high degree of lovable crassness, not unlike one of Apatow's frequent stars, Seth Rogen.

Likewise, many of the male characters are played hilariously against type. WWE wrestler John Cena plays one of Amy's numerous sexual conquests, a walking "ice sculpture" named Steven who's beyond horrible at pillow talk. And LeBron James is fantastic in a small role as Aaron's best bud and confidante, playing a version of himself who displays unexpected concern for staying up-to-date with the latest season of Downton Abbey. The rest of the movie's ensemble cast are great as well, with supporting and roles for the likes of Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller and Tilda Swinton, all of whom make sure to get in more than their fair share of chuckles.

Otherwise, Trainwreck delivers exactly what you might expect from an Apatow production, with a ton of laugh-out-loud moments, a smattering of gross-out jokes, and plenty of room for comedic improvisation. But it's also got a lot of heart, arising mainly out of a storyline that has Amy struggling to see eye-to-eye with her sister (Brie Larson), while their ailing father (Colin Quinn) is shipped off to an assisted-living facility. The end result is a movie that's far from what its title implies. If anything, the Amy Schumer train is only now just pulling out of the station, and everyone should want to be on-board.

AUDIO & VISUALS: 
Like the movie itself, Trainwreck's Blu-ray presentation is hardly a disaster. In fact, it's about as far as you can get from it, as both the film's theatrical and unrated cuts are presented with an unblemished audio/video encode. Picture-wise, we're talking nicely saturated colors, accurate contrast and black levels, and plenty of fine detail to boot, with the film grain of the movie's theatrical presentation being preserved as well. As for the audio, the film employs your standard romantic-comedy soundscape, so there's not much more for the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack to handle other than dialogue and the occasional moment of music. Still, there are no disappoints on this front either.


EXTRAS: 
Universal's two-disc Blu-ray release presents the film in both its original theatrical cut and an unrated cut, and includes a DVD and an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, along with the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (45:44) - Seventeen scenes ("Nikki's Dream," "Bar App," "Amy Calls Kim," "The Morning After," "Ryan Phillippe," "Percentage," "Drunk Horse," "Guy's Fantasy," "Minivan Nightmare," "Doctors with Borders," "Amy Gets Grilled," "Prostitute," "Steven & Lorenz," "Amy & Schultz," "Goodbye," "Happily Ever After" and "Cleveland").
  • Extended/Alternate Scenes (49:06) - Twelve scenes ("Amy & Allister," "S'Nuff Pitches," "Steven Sex," "LeBron's Glasses," "Breakup," "The Doctor's Place," "Lunch with LeBron," "Baby Talk," "Skeletons in the Closet," "Amar'e Post-Op," "Pleasure Chest" and "Fired").
  • Secrets of the Wu (2:21) - A deleted scene/outtake set at the assisted care facility where Amy's father lives, in which Method Man breaks character and explains the Wu-Tang Clan and its secrets to a senior citizen named Norman.
  • The Dogwalker (4:09) - The full version (in two parts) of the black-and-white Daniel Radcliffe/Marissa Tomei art house film shown in the movie.
  • Gag Reel (12:42) - Screw-ups and goofing around from the set (split into two parts).
  • Line-O-Rama (8:11) - The usual Apatow movie improvisations, split into two parts ("Part 1" and "Steven-O-Rama").
  • Directing Athletes: A Blood Sport (9:54) - What starts out serious quickly turns tongue-in-cheek as Tony Romo, LeBron James, Kenny Mayne and Amar'e Stoudemire talk about what it's like working with Judd Apatow, and vice-versa.
  • Behind-the-Scenes (1:28:40) - An eleven-part look at the making of the film ("Amy & Family," "Dance," "Cena," "Norman," "Tilda," "Athletes," "S'Nuff," "The Dogwalker," "Horse Carriage," "Rapping with Method Man" and "Norman & Method Man Talk Music"), covering such topics as the origins of the movie, the cast and their chemistry, the filming of key scenes, the athletes in the film, and the film within the film.
  • Trainwreck Comedy Tour (77:17) - A behind-the-scenes look at some of the stops along the cast's comedy tour ("Boston," "Toronto," "Toronto: Judd & Colin," "Chicago," "Seattle," "Los Angeles" and "SiriusXM Town Hall: Seattle"), courtesy of Funny or Die and SiriusXM.
  • Red Band Trailer (3:03)
  • Feature Commentary with Director Judd Apatow, Writer/Star Amy Schumer and Associate Producer Kim Caramele - Available on both the theatrical and the unrated cut, this well-paced, funny and informative commentary track has the trio covering such topics as how the movie came together, the on-set improv, and the cameos from various comics, as well as sharing stories and anecdotes about the production.


Trainwreck is available from Universal Studios Home Entertainment as of November 10th, 2015. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French and Spanish DTS 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. Subtitles are presented in English SDH, French and Spanish. The total runtime is 2 Hrs. 5 Mins (Theatriacl) and 2 Hrs. 9 Mins (Unrated).






* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on July 17th, 2015.


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