When an overbearing CEO (Jennifer Aniston) decides to close her hard-partying brother's failing branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his fired up co-workers (Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon) decide to throw an epic office party to land a big shot client and save everyone's jobs. Fueled by booze and bad decisions, things quickly spiral out-of-control in one of the craziest nights of their lives.
We’ve all been to Christmas Parties before, but never quite like this one.
Office Christmas Party is vulgar R-rated Christmas movie that centers around, you guessed it, a giant office Christmas party that’s made by the filmmaking duo of Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory). Does this offer any insight or something new to the comedy Christmas genre? Not at all. That being said, this is a highly entertaining and hilarious film I can see myself watching every year around the holidays. With the all-star cast, good soundtrack, funny dialogue, and an office party we would all want to attend, Office Christmas Party is a success.
The other side of the coin here is that the writers added a side story throughout the film that took focus off of the Christmas party at hand. Jason Bateman plays Josh Parker, the CTO of a tech company run by Clay Vanstone (TJ Miller) and his sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston). Carol has a grudge with everyone and is business all the time. She is mean-spirited and the Scrooge of the film. Clay is the fun-loving guy who is an idiot, but loves to treat people right. When Carol comes to town, threatening to shut down Clay’s office branch and fire the 200+ employees there, Clay and Josh plan an epic office party to impress a client and save their company along with everyone’s job.
The party goes way past epic into legendary status with drugs, booze, sex, fighting, celeb cameos, and even a human centipede reference. These party scenes are quite funny, as it seems like a lot of the actors -- including Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, and many others -- used a lot of improv for their jokes.
There is a side story with tech master Tracey (Olivia Munn) who has invented a new way to connect to the internet. This idea plays throughout the film and just bogs down the film in between the party scenes.
Still, there are enough laughs and Christmas spirit that makes this film highly entertaining and enjoyable on multiple viewings, even if there isn’t anything new or original here. Aniston is the real star here, as her rudeness and horrible character traits just nail every scene that makes you giddy with laughter. McKinnon is relegated to mostly fart jokes and isn’t any fun with the exception of a couple of scenes. And as always, TJ Miller is glorious and Bateman plays it cool with great dry humor.
This is one Office Christmas Party I will be attending every year.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Office Christmas Party comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and a DVD copy of the film from Paramount that are Region A Locked. There is an insert for the digital download code. The discs are housed in an eco-friendly hard, plastic blue case with a cardboard sleeve.
Office Christmas Party comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This is a good looking film for sure, but since it's set in the cold winter of Chicago, there isn't a whole lot of sunny days or right warm colors of a cozy house with a warm fire and chestnuts. The film has a much cooler look, since most of the film is set inside an office building or outside in the freezing streets of downtown Chi-town. Colors are well balanced for sure, but with the club-like office party with mostly blue and green lights, there isn't much color to pop off screen.
There are a few instances of red that look bold, whether they be bows on trees or colors on holiday sweaters, but the rest of the color gamut is on the cooler side. There is one scene that takes place in a department store where the walls and furniture are mostly white and gold, which looks very good. Black levels are deep an inky without any crush and the skin tones are always natural.
The detail is sharp and vivid throughout too with closeups that reveal the stitching on the heavy Christmas sweaters as well as individual hairs on the actor's faces and beads of sweat that fall off their heads. There were no major instances of any banding, aliasing, or noise, which leaves this video presentation with solid marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix and sounds quite fun for a holiday comedy movie. I would say that most holiday movies are front heavy, but this being all about an insane Christmas party, there are tons of sound effects and ambient noises throughout to fully immerse you into the entertaining chaos. It's business as usual here, until the party starts, which is when the sound really kicks into high gear. People yelling, breaking glass, and sexual noises can be heard from all speakers.
Each sound is well balanced and has some good directionality. There is a car chase scene towards the end that adds some heft to the sound design with roaring engines. The music is the real shining star here, as all of the hip-hop, rock, and holiday music comes in full force with hefty bass. It's as if you're in a night club. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio presentation with solid marks.
Theatrical and Unrated versions available. The unrated version is about 5 minutes longer and includes some more nudity and dirty jokes.
Audio Commentary - Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck deliver a fun and informative commentary track, which is only on the theatrical version only. The filmmakers talk about casting the film, coming up with the wild antics for the party, shooting on location in Chicago and more. Worth a listen.
Throwing an Office Christmas Party (HD, 12 Mins.) - This is a promo EPK piece with cast and crew interviews discussing making the film, real life Christmas parties, and having fun on set.
Outtakes (HD, 9 Mins.) - Rather than outtakes, these are tons of takes of some of the actors doing their improv on certain lines with alternate jokes.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 3 Mins.) - There are five deleted scenes, including an alternate ending, which isn't really any different than the theatrical ending. There's just an added joke with Rob Corddry.
Office Christmas Party is a fun movie. Nothing more. Nothing less. You'll laugh at some of the antics and dialogue and it has a little heart to it as well. It doesn't top the list of the Best Christmas movies, but it sure is fun to watch around the holiday times. The video and audio presentations are both good and the extras are worth watching if you're a fan of the film. Recommended!