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Blu-ray Review: Crazy On The Outside

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There is an oft-used and extremely paraphrased quote that goes something along the lines of “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” And of all the present-day funnymen on the face of the planet, there is perhaps no single individual that that would know that reference better than Tim Allen. According to several prestigious Film & Television Historians (read: those geeks on IMDB), Allen was once a highly respected stand-up comedian. Then, like so many other comics before him, the star was struck with tragedy: he sold his soul to the devils at Disney (also like so many other comics before him), and proceeded to earn gobs of blood-money by prostituting himself with one crappy family flick after another.

Yes, instead of pushing himself past the breaking point in the name of comedy (which is hard), Tim Allen instead chose to let his career die (which is oh-so-easy).

The whore.

Sure, it’s quite a refreshing change of pace to see a Tim Allen film that isn’t backed by his greedy little pimps over at Disney. Sadly, though, Crazy On The Outside is a painfully unfunny flick; wherein Allen not only stars, but also directs for the first time (an episode of Home Improvement notwithstanding). And, no matter how sad it is to see any middle-aged man hustling on the street for a mega-conglomerate like the House of Mouse, the poor old floozy is even more pathetic at turning a trick on his own.

OK, storyline: Tim Allen gets released from prison after three years for video piracy (yes, bootleggers, they will get you!) and goes to stay with his compulsive liar of a sister (Doodles Weaver’s niece, Sigourney) and her horny hubby (J.K. Simmons). His old colleague, master bootlegger Ray Liotta is now rich and attempts to lure him back into the world of video piracy. His ex-wife (Julie Bowen), whom he believed to be dead thanks to his crazy sibling, is alive and well and dating Kelsey Grammer, who is once again played by Dr. Frasier Crane. Into this assortment of actors on the downward spiral comes Jeanne Tripplehorn, who co-stars as both Tim’s probation officer and — wait for it — love interest.

Look, just take my word for it: it’s bad. Really, horribly, stupidly bad. The story (written by Judd Pillot and Jon Peaslee, two guys that normally produce TV sitcoms) is all-too-predictable and none-too-enjoyable, and most of the actors don’t bother to put any oomph into it, with the exception of Jeanne Tripplehorn, who, at one point, passively chews out Tim Allen’s character by uttering, “What you did yesterday was incredibly stupid…I mean, you really pissed me off…But I do know what you were trying to do. Doesn’t make it any less stupid, just more understandable.” Incredibly, those three lines of dialogue pretty much sum up how everyone who has the misfortune of viewing Crazy On The Outside feels towards Tim Allen for taking this solo project on.

Thank you Jeanne, for saying aloud that which many of us were thinking inside.

The marketing gurus at Fox obviously had great faith in this one. For starters, this Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo set was released exclusively to Target stores.

Ouch.

Secondly, they encoded the film onto a 25GB disc, as opposed to the more preferable 50GB discs that most newer releases usually get. The movie is presented in a 1080p MPEG-4/AVC transfer preserving the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio (was this even released to theaters?). The video quality here is pretty good, especially when you consider no one really gave a shit about this one: it’s a rather vivid picture, with some strong colors and a pretty darn good contrast. The soundtrack, a DTS-HD Master Audio lossless 5.1 mix, is decent enough, but please bear in mind: this is a comedy (or, at least, it’s supposed to be), and not the latest Gerard Butler action flick, so don’t expect lots of explosions and surround sound madness. Most of the audio information spews from the front speakers, while the rear speakers are used for little else than incidental music. English SDH and Spanish subtitles are included.

Item #3 on the “Fox Wisely Chose To Not Give A Flying Fuck About The Blu-Ray Release Of Crazy On The Outside” list is the disc’s main menu (singular), which is rather generic and somewhat akin to those found on catalogue releases (think that Rocky set from last year) — although they did take the time to add a short loop of footage from the film set to some annoying guitar music. The range of special features is an extremely limited one, and contains an uninteresting featurette (which briefly interviews several uninterested cast and crew members — don’t worry, though, said featurette is only two-minutes long!) and a gag reel (which, despite being the funniest thing on this disc, still isn’t worth your time).

As I said, Fox obviously didn’t care about their release of this film. And for good reason, too: Tim Allen is just a money-grabbing whore.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.