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Horrible Bosses (Blu-ray Review)

14 Oct, 2011 By: John Latchem

Street 10/18/11
Box Office $117.43 million
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray
Rated 'R' for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material. Unrated version also available.
Stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Donald Sutherland, Julie Bowen.

Here’s a movie that lays out its premise well, populates its world with solid (if broadly drawn characters), and delivers a lot of laughs along the way. And it’s easy for the audience to invest in the movie because it deals with a universal idea — that we’ve all had co-workers or bosses with traits that don’t always rub us the right way.

This hilarious bit of Office Space meets The Hangover involves a set of three friends who each hate their boss. Nick (Jason Bateman) has been such a pushover in hopes of getting a big promotion that he doesn’t realize his a-hole supervisor (a smarmy Keven Spacey) is completely using him. Kurt (Jason Sudeikis of “SNL” and much better here than in the dreadful Hall Pass) loves working for his boss (Donald Sutherland) at a chemical plant, but he dies and leaves the company in the hands of his cokehead son (an unrecognizable Colin Farrell), who wants to fire people he finds unattractive so he can bleed the company dry. And Dale (Charlie Day) is an assistant for a dentist (Jennifer Aniston in what may be her sexiest role) who wants to have sex with him on top of unconscious patients.

Once it’s established that, for various reasons, the guys are stuck with their current jobs, they decide they have to kill their bosses. Adding a bit of Throw Momma From the Train (or Strangers on a Train, if you prefer) into the mix, they decide to kill each other’s bosses to minimize suspicion. Not being killers, of course, they are completely out of their element, and the fish-out-of-water scenarios that play out are some of the film’s best scenes. Needless to say, things do not play out as expected.

The Blu-ray includes several work-themed featurettes; in one, the cast and crew discuss their worst jobs, and in another, the three actors playing the bosses discuss how fun it is to be bad (Spacey is no stranger to playing horrible bosses, having started early in his career with Glengarry Glen Ross and Swimming With Sharks); another is a handy guide to surviving a horrible boss. The deleted scenes are also fun, including a couple of alternate versions of the opening sequence.

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