A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts.
Like most of you, I'm guessing, I decided to skip 'Sex Tape' when it ran in theaters. Not only because of the horrible reviews it was receiving, but because there are very few 'raunchy' comedies that I find appealing these days, as almost all of them aim for the lowest common denominator (i.e., a lot of slapstick and low-brow humor) when it comes to entertainment. Now, I'm not here to tell you that we all missed the mark on 'Sex Tape'…it's not really that good of a movie. However, it's not as bad as you might think, and if you're a fan of either of the leads here, it might be worth a look.
The movie reunites the team of Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel (who has gotten so thin, it's almost as if he's been replaced with another actor), and Director Jake Kasdan that proved to be a success with 2011's Bad Teacher. This time around, Diaz and Segel play couple Annie and Jay, who make out like rabbits when they are dating, but lose the spark once they are married and have a couple of kids. After trying and failing several times to rekindle their flame, Annie decides to let Jay film the two of them trying out each and every position in 'The Joy of Sex' book. That, as they say, is where the fun (or in this case, semi-fun) begins.
If you've seen the trailer for 'Sex Tape', you already know that Annie and Jay's video exploits wind up on a number of iPads (is this the kind of plug Apple wants for its product?) and the majority of the film has the duo trying to track down everyone that has a copy of the video. This leads to a number of encounters with the supporting cast of 'Sex Tape', the funniest of which may be with Rob Corddry, who plays one-half of a couple (Ellie Kemper plays his wife) who are best friends and neighbors of Annie and Jay. A little less funny is a character played by Rob Lowe, who is an executive who may or may not be hiring Annie for a new job. Despite the fact that Lowe's character isn't as entertaining as the movie thinks he is, you have to give Lowe credit for even appearing in a movie titled 'Sex Tape', given his checkered past. The fact that the movie never takes advantage of that history is nothing less than a huge missed opportunity.
There's also a great uncredited cameo at the end of 'Sex Tape' that other sites and reviewers have spoiled, but I wouldn't think of doing so here. It's from a well-known comedian who plays the owner of a porn website Annie and Jay's video winds up on, and the short scene is probably the funniest in the entire movie. Had the actor in question had a bigger role, I might be recommending 'Sex Tape' instead of giving it just a slim rental suggestion.
Even though 'Sex Tape' is more miss than hit, one has to give both Diaz and Segel credit for the lengths they were willing to go in this movie. While most of the actual nudity here is of a posterior viewpoint, there's little doubt that the actors in question went 'Full Monty' for the cameras and weren't shy about trying anything for the sake of the movie. As noted, most of it doesn't work, but it's nice to see actors who are willing to go all out for the final product.
I can't recommend 'Sex Tape' for purchase, but I do believe it has been somewhat unfairly dismissed as an awful movie by most. It's not. While it fails in more scenes than it succeeds, it's still a very watchable title with a few good laughs in it, and actually a surprising warmth between the two main characters. You may view this and never want to see it again, but you also won't feel like you totally wasted your time.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Sex Tape' makes its debut on Blu-ray in Sony's familiar Blu-ray keepcase – the kind that have the little flap on the side that one needs to flip open before actually opening the case. The keepcase itself contains the 50GB dual-layer disc, along with an insert containing a code for an UltraViolet digital copy of the movie. A slipcover matching the artwork of the keepcase's slick slides overtop.
The Blu-ray is front-loaded with an advertisement for UltraViolet, along with trailers for 22 Jump Street, 'Home Sweet Hell', What If, and 'Space Station 76'. The main menu is a still of stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel (the same photo that is on the box cover), with selections running across the bottom of the screen.
This Blu-ray release is Region A locked.
Sony usually provides pretty decent transfers on Blu-ray, so I'm not quite sure what happened here. I didn't see 'Sex Tape' in the theater, so I'm not sure how close the look here matches the look that movie audiences were treated to, but I'm guessing it's pretty close since 'Sex Tape' was shot digitally (on Arri Alexa equipment) as opposed to film. For whatever reason, most of the scenes have an oversaturated look to them, to the point where the actors come off with a very orange hue to their faces. This oversaturation also causes havoc in the latter part of the movie, where a lot of scenes take place during night. Black crush is quite evident here, as almost everything but the actors themselves are indistinguishable. The quality of the transfer leads to a lot of scenes that don't 'pop' at all in terms of detail, and don't look a whole lot better than DVD quality.
Oddly, there are a few scenes sprinkled throughout the film that don't suffer the above issues. Most of these take place during scenes that are better lit, particularly a scene where Cameron Diaz's character is meeting with Rob Lowe's character and a group of other business people to discuss a potential job opportunity. Of course, seeing footage like this and then going back to the oversaturated moments just add to the inconsistency of this transfer.
The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is, thankfully, not as problematic as the video transfer, although it doesn't offer anything that's particularly outstanding or worthy of note. In short, this is a well-balanced track with no glitches to speak of, but also not particularly effective when it comes to immersiveness, directionality, or any of those things that set the really good tracks apart from the average ones.
With the above in mind, dialogue here is crisp and clean, the rears do kick in from time to time (particularly during sequences that feature some of the soundtrack's tunes), and overall the track is an enjoyable enough listen, albeit short of an outstanding one.
In addition to the lossless 5.1 DTS-HD MA track, the Blu-ray includes a French 5.1 DTS-HD MA track, Spanish 5.1, and both an English and French Audio Descriptive Service track. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, French, and Spanish.
'Sex Tape' isn't quite what I'd refer to as a 'good' movie, but it's not as bad as you've heard, either. Despite some rather salty language and more than its share of nudity (although mostly from the 'back end'), it doesn't dive into all-out raunch or the kind of low-brow humor that so many other comedies do. In fact, there's kind of a sweetness here that you wouldn't expect in a movie of this sort. You're not going to want to see it more than once, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a viewing. Rent it.