Plot: What’s it about?
Dizzy Harrison (DJ Qualls) has been an outcast his entire life, but now that he’s a senior, he is convinced things will change. His father Bear (Lyle Lovett) agrees and as it turns out, things do change, but not for the better. Diz winds up having his manhood broken to the side by an old woman, in front of the entire school and someone’s camera, no less. Now he simply refuses to return to school and after being tossed in jail for an incident with a religious choir, he finds some of the answers he seeks. While in prison, he meets head dude Luther (Eddie Griffin), who reveals that he used to be a bitch too, but then he switched prisons and personas, leading to him being the bull in his current prison. So Diz takes his advice and gets expelled from school, then takes some lessons on how to be bad ass, then enrolls at a rival high school. He is able to become Gil Harris, a mysterious and tough dude, even putting down the resident bully in the process. But when his past threatens to be revealed, what will Diz do to prove he is as cool as they think, even though he knows that he isn’t in truth?
After a few delays and studio switches, The New Guy hit theaters and met with a tidal wave of negative reviews. I did manage to see it in on the big screen and while it was no masterpiece, I found The New Guy to be an offbeat, memorable picture. Yes, it is often unfunny to a painful extent, but it has a chaotic texture and just enough humorous scenes to balance it out, if you have an odd sense of humor, that is. I’ve read that most people disliked all the cameos, but I found them to be quite entertaining, especially Tony Hawk’s interaction with the O’Connell brothers, just an unusual scene that proved to be effective. The other cameos also work, with Vanilla Ice and Gene Simmons as other top ones, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll find a number of others. DJ Qualls is unable to shoulder the lead here, but he has a ton of supporting players behind him, who provide enough talent to keep him in the game. The New Guy is not a good movie, but if you’re into off the wall, often nonsensical comedies, then I recommend it as a rental. I would have liked some extras too, but Columbia has went the bare bones route instead and as such, I cannot recommend a purchase to anyone outside of diehard fans.
This film has a lot of small, but memorable performances, but I think most folks will be most interested in the presence of Eliza Dushku. Yes, it is impossible to think for even a second that she’d ever go for the Qualls character, but once we’re past that, Dushku provides some nice candy that enhances the experience. If you didn’t see her enough in a cheerleading outfit, she has one on often in this movie, so you should be satisfied in that area. In addition, she has a montage of ass shaking in various swimwear, which proves to be a highlight of the picture. She looks good to be sure and in a movie like this one, you need all the hot chicks you can wrangle. Of course, the material doesn’t allow her to showcase her talent much, but she has good presence and shows off her goods, which counts for something, right? Other films with Dushku include Soul Survivors, True Lies, Bring It On, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The cast also includes DJ Qualls (Road Trip, Cherry Falls), Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous, The Good Girl), and Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo).
Video: How does it look?
The New Guy is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition also included on this dual layered disc. As this movie made a quick leap from theaters to home video, I expected an excellent visual presentation here, but in the end, we’re given a mixed bag in that department. It seems as though most of the film looks sharp, clean, and like such a new release should appear, while the remainder simply falls short in most respects. The main issue is grain, which seems much more prominent than it should be, though as I mentioned, only some of the film has this presence of grain. When it looks good, the image is what we’ve come to expect from Columbia’s new releases, but the lesser stretches force me to lower the score. Even so, this is more good than bad, so fans shouldn’t be too let down.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option is the usual comedy mix, which means it sounds good, but not at all that impressive. The front channels handle the bulk of the load, but some creative presence there spices up the experience, which is most welcome. But in terms of surround use, outside of the musical soundtrack, you won’t hear too much from the rears. The subwoofer sees some action at times, but only due to the music, so don’t expect too much. The dialogue is crystal clear throughout also, with no volume hiccups in the least. This disc also includes a French language option, as well as English & French subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a Simple Plan music video, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.