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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2014

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"Better Living Through Chemistry" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-Apr-2014-Chemistry

Synopsis

Sam Rockwell stars as Doug Varney, a small town pharmacist with an overbearing wife (Michelle Monaghan) and an uneventful life running the drugstore he bought from his insufferable father-in-law. Following a chance encounter with a lonely trophy wife (Olivia Wilde), Doug embarks on an exhilarating drug-and-alcohol-fuelled affair with the most glamorous woman he has ever met. Take a walk on the wild side in this murderously funny dark comedy which also stars Ray Liotta and Jane Fonda.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2014, Color, Rated R, 1 hour 32 minutes
  • Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
  • 1080P
  • 5.1 DTS-MA
  • Starring: : Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, Jane Fonda
  • Directed by: Geoff Moore & David Posamentier
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Can drugs, sex and rock-n-roll really turn a milquetoast into a totally transformed man about the town? Well, OK, not so much the rock-n-roll part, but the rest of the premise is valid. I found this film to be mildly amusing and Rockwell really plays the part of a cuckold husband very well indeed. If you want to see this film just to see Wilde in the buff...you will be sorely disappointed. I have seen other films (some much better) that tell a tale of a mousy man that gets his life turned around (or "turned on", in this case), but I liked how the whole story used dark humor to reach an enjoyably satisfying ending. I am completely flummoxed as to why Jane Fonda appears in the last 2 minutes of the movie, but hey, perhaps I just don't get "dark humor".

Technical

Excellent picture quality throughout. Colors are warm and solid. Details are razor sharp. Unfortunately, the sound quality, especially the center channel mix seemed a bit hollow at times. Some of the dialog sounded a bit tinny and un-natural. Your sub woofer sleeps through this movie.

Extras

A Digital Copy. That's all folks! However, it does come with over 10 different language subtitles. That's way more than I have seen for any film in a long time. Apparently they are ready for world wide distribution of this movie.