Blu-ray Review Comedy

'The Boss' Blu-ray Review: Wealth management for dummies

July 6, 2016Ben MK

She'll be seen next in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters, but Melissa McCarthy has already made quite a named for herself, starring in such comedy hits as Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy. Unfortunately, she's also starred in such bombs as Identity Thief and Tammy. And her latest, The Boss, has the misfortune of falling into that latter category.

A one-note comedy about "the 47th wealthiest woman in America," The Boss centers on Michelle Darnell (McCarthy). Once an orphan whom nobody wanted, Michelle has parlayed her prickly personality into a successful business career, and she has the bestselling book and the three Fortune 500 companies to prove it. Michelle finds her rags-to-riches story moving in the opposite direction, however, after she's indicted on charges of insider trading, resulting in the seizure of her property, not to mention cold shoulders from all her former business associates.

After serving a short stint in prison, Michelle turns to the only person who'll give her the time of day, her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), and ends up moving into the cramped apartment occupied by Claire and her daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). The awkward living situation turns out to be a blessing in disguise, though, as Michelle draws inspiration from Rachel's after-school activities to devise her big comeback, recruiting the most intimidating elementary school girls to help sell Claire's homemade brownies under the moniker "Darnell's Darlings."

Directed by McCarthy's real-life husband, Ben Falcone, and written by Falcone, McCarthy and Steve Mallory, The Boss is a comedy that relies a fair bit on broad, physical gags to generate its laughs. But when it comes to its actual jokes, the humor can often be hit-and-miss, with punch lines that revolve around things like the cramming of baked goods into butt cracks. On the plus side, the movie does feature a sword-fighting climax between Michelle and her arch-nemesis, Renault (Peter Dinklage). And, well, that may just be weird enough to be worth the price of admission.

The Boss looks fairly good on Blu-ray. However, there are some niggling issues (most of which are inherent in the cinematography) that hold the image back from getting a perfect score, such as a deliberate softness that falls over portions of the frame, as well as lackluster contrast and black levels. Otherwise, hues are substantially robust, giving a nice "oomph" to colors, like the crimson red of the berets worn by Darnell's Darlings, and picture quality is otherwise crisp and unencumbered. As for the audio, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix does a commendable job with the movie's limited sound design, delivering crystal-clear dialogue and music, plus a smattering of more boisterous effects, like the ruckus kicked up by an all-girl brawl.

Universal's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and two versions of the movie (a Theatrical Cut and an Unrated Cut), along with the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Alternate Ending - Falcon Rangers (2:00) - An alternate ending featuring Dave Bautista.
  • Deleted Scenes (14:10) - Ten scenes ("Convention Center Opening," "White Sox," "Claire Gets Hired at Her New Job," "Claire Plays Chess with Rachel," "Darnell Enterprises Building Lobby," "Walking to Dandelion Meeting," "Hallway Prior to Dandelion Meeting," "Michelle Plays Chess with Rachel," "Michelle Visits Tito" and "Helipad Epilogue").
  • Extended/Alternate Scenes (16:15) - Seven scenes ("Bed Flip Scene Alternate," "Carrot Top," "They Do Look Moist," "Kendo," "Michelle Returns the Key," "Security Guard - Extended" and "Breaking into Renault's - Extended").
  • Gag Reel (3:54) - Goofing around on the set.
  • Michelle Darnell - Original Sketch (7:25) - A home video of the character's first appearance, in a 2005 Groundlings Theater sketch.
  • Origin Story (7:16) - A piece about the Groundlings Theatre, the sketch comedy theater where McCarthy got her start, and about the other Groundlings members who appear in the film.
  • Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point (8:41) - A featurette about Peter Dinklage, his character, his performance and the stunt work.
  • Everybody Loves Kristen Bell (6:50) - The cast and crew gush about co-star Kristen Bell.

The Boss is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of July 26th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, and English Dolby Digital Descriptive Audio 2.0 tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 39 Mins. (Theatrical) and 1 Hr. 44 Mins. (Unrated).

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