Drillbit Taylor (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I’m a pretty big fan of Owen Wilson, so when his private problems became so public it was a bit hard to take. Wilson has been in some of my favorite movies over the last decade or so starting off with “Bottle Rocket” and moving onto others like “The Royal Tenenbaums” and I even enjoyed “Starsky & Hutch”, not to mention “Meet the Parents” with longtime cohort Ben Stiller. Wilson, and Brother Luke, have had their share of misses well but we won’t discuss those here as the subject is “Drillbit Taylor”. I remember seeing the previews last spring and it looked to me like a movie made for kids. True, the movie does star a trio of thirteen year-olds (or however old you are when you start high school), so I steered away from it in its brief stint in theaters. As it turns out I actually liked the film and it’s yet another creation from producer Judd Apatow (“Superbad”, “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”) but somehow feels a little more clean and juvenile than the above mentioned three films.

Wilson plays “Bob” otherwise known as Drillbit Taylor to his homeless buddies. Taylor claims to have been in the Army, though we find out later he was in for six hours and then deserted. He has no home and makes his living as other homeless do the kindness of others and eating scraps left over from the trash. However, Wade (Nate Hartley) and Ryan (Troy Gentile) have just started high school and are getting the crap kicked out of them everyday and don’t really like it. They place an online ad for a bodyguard only to end up with Drillbit Taylor, who’s just trying to make enough money ($387 to be exact) so he can skip town, fly to Canada where the government will pay him to buy land. Taylor tells the kids tall tales all the while robbing them blind, but as we might assume he has a conscience and can’t go through with it. We then come to the inevitable scene in the movie where he’s found out and loses all the trust he’s gained. Taylor has also gotten a girlfriend (Leslie Mann) during the ordeal to boot.

There was something about “Drillbit Taylor” that attracted me to it. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I did enjoy the film. True, it won’t clean up at Oscar time and quickly looking at IMDB, the film didn’t even manage to turn a profit, but perhaps the movie will find new life in the home market. For those that thought “Superbad” was just a bit too raunchy for their taste, “Drillbit Taylor” might be a bit tamer for those folks. In fact, I can see the characters of this movie becoming just like those in “Superbad” in about five years, but that’s another story all together. Fans of Owen Wilson might want to give it a look and for those that like the comedy of the Judd Apatow movies, this is a milder version of what you might expect.

Video: How does it look?

“Drillbit Taylor” has been given a very nice-looking 2.40:1 VC-1 HD transfer that I found consistent with most any new release. Colors are bright and vivid and the sunny California skies look dazzling even as we watch people eat out of trashcans. Flesh tones are very warm and natural and detail wasn’t off the charts, but wasn’t what I’d call “fuzzy” either. There were a few scenes that seemed a bit burnt, but I’m blaming the print on that one as for the most part this looked pretty darn good.

Audio: How does it sound?

We get a Dolby TrueHD track with “Drillbit Taylor” though the audio isn’t that heavy for a comedy movie. Dialogue is the most prevalent aspect of this soundtrack and it sounds very nice, warm and natural. There are some scenes in which the surrounds are active, but they’re few and far between. I really wouldn’t call this soundtrack one of the better I’ve heard but then again I wasn’t really supposed to either.

Supplements: What are the extras?

We get plenty of supplements on the Blu-ray, but ultimately they really don’t add up to a whole lot. We get an audio commentary by Director Steven Brill and Actros Kristofor Brown, Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley, David Dorfman which is amusing at times. The actors (Gentile and Hartley) seem to really get a kick out of it, but by and large it’s rather dry. We get several featurettes and an interesting one with the writers (Seth Rogen and Kristofor Brown) which is funny to watch and only makes me wish that Rogen had been in this movie. A few others that don’t really add substance to the film along with a gag reel and nearly twenty deleted and extended scenes.

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