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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Post Grad

February 12th, 2010

Post Grad - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Post Grad opened in late August of last year, which is a terrible time to open a movie. It also opened with some of the worst reviews of the year. Finally, it opened in less than 2,000 theaters, missed the Mendoza line, and quickly disappeared from theaters. My expectations could not be lower for this film.

Alexis Bledel stars as Ryden Malby, who we meet on her college graduation day. She quickly explains her plan, which includes doing really well in high school, getting into a great university, graduating with top marks, and getting a great job. So far her plan is right on track, but she's entering the job market at the worst time possible thanks to the economic meltdown. Without a job, she's forced to move back with her parents (Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch) while looking for work. However, the longer the search continues, the harder it is to work up the motivation to keep up the search. Her life is further complicated when she is torn between the romantic interested of her neighbor, and that of her long time best friend, Adam. Meanwhile, Adam is trying to decide on his future, which is a choice between the music industry, his passion, and studying to become a lawyer and making his father proud.

As I mentioned previously, this film earned some of the worst reviews of the year, and I'm not surprised. Everything about this movie screams bad sitcom. At its heart, there's a good premise: what happens when you are ready to start your life, but your plan doesn't work out? There's a good movie based on that premise, but this isn't it. The plot it predictable, and for the most part the characters don't feel real but merely collections of quirks, and most of all, there are no real laughs. There were entire scenes (Guacanator 3000) that would go by and I know that the filmmakers wanted me to laugh, but I can't even identify what are supposed to be jokes. The way the cast is wasted is a shame. Even actors that are usually very reliable have little to nothing to work with. For instance, no one can doubt Michael Keaton's comedic resume, but when he appeared on screen I was confused as to what he was doing. The layer upon layer of quirks made his performance painful to watch when compared to Beetle Juice, Mr. Mom, The Paper, etc. Someone needs to get him a great script, and fast.

Since the movie bombed at the box office, I was expecting a mostly featureless DVD. However, while there is no audio commentary track, there are a lot of extras, at least in terms of quantity. There are ten deleted and extended scenes with a running time of 13 minutes. There is a music video for "One Day" by Jack Savoretti. Real Life Advice with Alexis Bledel & Zach Gilford is exactly what it sounds like. Know You Strengths: Career Advice is more advice, this time from a published author. How Not to Get a Job is a top ten list with clips from the movie. A Guide to Moving Back Home is another clip-fest. Dress for Success looks at the more than just the clothes, but at just two minutes long, there's not much here. There's a personality test to determine what's the best job for you (I got magazine editor). There's a quiz on workplace fashion that is way too easy. (Any fashion quiz I can ace is meaningless.) Finally, there's Post Grad Confidential, which runs nearly 14 minutes, making it easily the longest featurette on the DVD. It's a typical making-of featurette that starts with the screenwriter talking about the inspiration for the movie and continues throughout the filming.

As for the Blu-ray, it has all of these extras, but nothing else. The film looks great with excellent details, black levels, etc., but this is not the kind of film that you need to see in High Definition to enjoy. Likewise, the sound is very clear, but your surround sound speakers will be under-utilized by this movie. Finally, it costs 35% more than the DVD, which is more than I would be willing to pay for this type of release.

The Verdict

Everything about Post Grad screams sitcom. And it's not even a good sitcom. Everything from the script, to the directing, to the acting reminded me of an uninspired sitcom. The worst sin this movie commits is being nearly totally uninteresting. There are plenty of extras on the both the DVD and the Blu-ray, but only two or three are worth checking out, while the latter costs too much compared to the former. Then again, price doesn't really matter, because you'll be able to watch it for free on cable soon enough, and that's as high a recommendation as I can give it.

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Filed under: Video Review, Post Grad