Plot: What’s it about?
The need to procreate is perhaps the most basic human instinct. In fact, humans and dolphins are the only two species on the face of the planet that have sex purely for the pleasure of it. For everything else, it’s purely for reproduction. Food for thought, eh? Now I’ll be dead honest here, having a biological child of my own is probably my biggest fear. I don’t really have any reasons why, and I did inherit two step sons with my marriage, but the thought of me producing an offspring…I don’t even know where to begin. Granted, I’m in the minority and I think the maternal instinct is certainly higher. Read that as “women want kids.” I’m going somewhere with this, bear with me. So when I saw the trailers for Delivery Man, I cringed. Oh I cringed. The thought of me having one child scares the hell out of me, let alone over 500. But in all fairness, the character in this movie did it anonymously, so I suppose if I were to become a father – this would be my preferred method. I digress…and after watching the film, I realized that it’s actually a remake of a Canadian film (same director) by the name of Starbuck. How odd. Can you see Vince Vaughn as a father? We’re about to find out.
Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a 40-something slacker whose life really isn’t going anywhere. He’s got a pregnant girlfriend (Cobie Smulders), though she’s wondering if she should kick him to the curb and raise the kid on her own. David owes some money to loan sharks and things don’t get any better when he learns that he’s fathered over 500 children though his “donations” at the clinic. Granted, these were two decades in the past, but the kids are nonetheless his. Seeking advice from his friend/lawyer, Brett (Chris Pratt) instills his wisdom on David. David does his best to get to know his new offspring and this is where I was a bit surprised – the movie actually has a bit of heart. Of course we know that things will end up for the best and this won’t turn into some legal drama, but I’ll just say that the ending surprised me a bit.
There’s been a bit of debate with this film in that it was remade a mere 18 months after the film that inspired it, Starbuck, was released. The director is the same and though the locale has moved from Canada to New York, it’s essentially the same movie – just more Americanized. I was actually curious to see if the concept was plausible – that’s to say, could a man actually father 500 children? It turns out that, yes he can – it’d just take a long time. To be fair, I actually enjoyed Delivery Man. It’s a harmless film that’s really not meant to ruffle any feathers and Vince Vaughn does have this kind of dopey quality that makes him somewhat endearing. I also have to comment that Chris Pratt was perfectly cast for this as I enjoy his work on Parks and Recreation. While the subject matter might seem a bit on the raunchy side from a distance, it’s not. The PG-13 rating is well-deserved, but there’s actually a message in there.
Video: How’s it look?
The 2.40:1 AVC HD encoded image looks just as we’d expect it to – amazing. I sometimes dread reviewing these new to Blu-ray titles as they’re essentially all the same in that they all look so good, it’s hard to tell them apart. I long for one that’s not up to par just so I can say something different in this section. But no, no…it’s not meant to be. Still, I guess I should hold my complaints to a minimum if something looks just as good as we’d expect it to and Delivery Man, well, delivers. The streets of New York have never looked so detailed, we can see the grey hairs creeping up on Vaughn’s mane of hair. Colors are bold and vivid and flesh tones are spot on. Simply put, there’s nothing to complain about here – it looks the part.
Audio: How’s it sound?
There’s a little more latitude in the audio department and though this sports a DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, it’s a comedy so we’ll know that the walls won’t shake and that aliens aren’t going to destroy the Earth. Or are they? Just kidding, not in this movie. Vocals are strong and clear and even though Vaughn tends to mumble in his films, I couldn’t detect any distortion in the least. Surrounds are used sparingly, but with great effect. I don’t think that the LFE were too heavily involved and if they were, they didn’t make a noticeable impact on me. By and large, this is what you’d expect for a comedy.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The back of the box lists “Bonus Extras” which I find to be redundant, but it’s of no consequence. Let’s see what’s offered.
- Building Family – The 142 children who filed the lawsuit played a big part in the movie and in this, we learn how they were found and cast for the film.
- Vince Vaughn: Off the Cuff – Essentially an improv gig with star Vince Vaughn. Hey if that Hollywood “A” list celebrity thing doesn’t work out, he can always do stand up.
- Deleted Scene – Not plural. Just one from the cutting room floor.
- Bloopers – A gag reel with some laughs from the set.