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Blu-Ray : One to Avoid
Ranking:
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Release Date: May 3rd, 2011 Movie Release Year: 2011

The Dilemma

Overview -

Vince Vaughn and Kevin James headline an all-star comedy from director Ron Howard. Ronny's (Vaughn) world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees something he should not have, and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that his best friend Nick (James) has a few secrets of his own. Now, Ronny must decide what will happen if he reveals the truth. Also starring Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum and Queen Latifah.

OVERALL:
One to Avoid
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
BD-50 Blu-ray Disc
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/TBA
Length:
112
Aspect Ratio(s):
TBA
Audio Formats:
Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
Gag reel
Release Date:
May 3rd, 2011

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

'The Dilemma' is a excruciatingly frustrating movie. It isn't just content with being a bad movie, 'The Dilemma' is aggressively bad. Like it's trying to beat you senseless with its inanity and endless Vince Vaughn diatribes. When I first saw it in theaters this January I commented that we already have a contender for worst movie of the year. My sentiment is the same after viewing it on home video. 'The Dilemma' is just downright atrocious.

Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) are best pals. They've been best friends since college and now they're business partners. They have a cool new idea that will allow car companies to turn their gas-guzzling muscle cars into electric cars without losing any of the oomph that people love about a revving engine. Ronny is dating Beth (Jennifer Connelly) while Nick is married to Geneva (Winona Ryder). If you're like me you may be wondering how in the world two schlubs like Vaughn and James ended up with these women, but then you realize this movie doesn't know how stupid it really is.

Everything is perfect. Ronny and Nick are going into a big meeting with Chrysler with an optimistic outlook on their company's future. Nick and Geneva's marriage is a beacon of hope for Ronny. He calls them his "hero couple." Then one day, Ronny catches Geneva cheating on Nick. He spots her kissing some muscle-bound, tattooed twenty-something (Channing Tatum). Enter “"the dilemma." Does he tell his best friend that his wife is cheating on him, or does he keep it to himself so that his friend can finish their work in time for the big meeting?

First of all let's get one thing straight. There shouldn't even be a dilemma. No matter what the situation, no matter what's going on, best friends should give up that information willingly without hesitation. If you hesitate even a bit, you'd better rethink that friendship. The movie throws all kinds of convenient plot devices at us like: Nick has an ulcer, Nick will become distracted, Nick just won't listen. Still, none of these actually matter. If these guys are best friends, Ronny should tell Nick straight up. End of story. But, if that happened then we wouldn't have a two hour long movie to suffer through, and where's the fun in that?

I'd be willing to bet that the total of Vince Vaughn's lines in this movie equal the total of every other main character's lines combined. That's how much he talks. If you're as sick of Vaughn's rambling schtick as I am then this movie will grate on your very last nerve. There isn't a time where Ronny doesn't burst out into some rambling, nonsensical tirade. The man just doesn't stop talking. You've heard of verbal diarrhea, well this guy's got verbal dysentery. Words upon words spill out of his mouth, extending the movie ever further. Cut out Vaughn's inane rambling and you've already cut the movie down a good 30 minutes.

If that's not bad enough, this movie is built on the pseudo-fact that movies think people don't communicate in real life. When any character has something important to say to another character, they get blown off, interrupted, and shoved to the side. They don't ever actually talk to each other. Ridiculous misunderstandings rule 'The Dilemma'. It's like watching a clichéd rom-com on rom-com steroids. It becomes too much. The conventions of the formula become too overblown. These characters are morons, and they treat each other like morons. No one acts like a normal human being here. I'm pretty sure there isn't a person on earth (besides Donald Trump) who loves the sound of his own voice more than Vince Vaughn. Like an action movie where the plot is made to move the action scenes through, this movie feels like it was written just so it could fit in as many patented Vaughn lectures as humanly possible.

I actively hate 'The Dilemma'. It's one of those movies that makes me question my love for movies in general. It's a tedious, overly long Vince Vaughn lecture-fest.

Video Review

Ranking:

'The Dilemma' is presented in 1080p with the help of an AVC encode.

For the most part the Blu-ray presentation looks just as you'd expect a just-out-of-theaters movie to look. It's shiny, clean, and clear. Fine detail is optimal with facial details coming through perfectly during closeups. Colors are deep and vibrant, with blacks offering some stellar depth. It was nice to see the aerial shots of Chicago didn't harbor any noticeable aliasing.

The only qualm I really have with the presentation is that there are a few instances where it seems contrast has been pumped up a bit. Skin tones take on a coppery hue which is unbecoming to the movie's look. Other than that minor annoyance, the rest of the movie looks solid in high-def.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Universal has partnered 'The Dilemma' with a competent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

The film doesn't have much in the way of exciting action scenes, but it does a good job where it's needed. Dialogue, for example, is perfectly reproduced. Directionality works well when characters speak out of frame, or when sound effects like revving car engines happen off camera. Speaking of revving engines, the LFE roars to life whenever Nick jumps into a muscle car and starts pumping up the RPMs. The sub actually rumbles, which is a pleasantly unusual sound for a talkative comedy like this. Ambiance fills the room nicely. The surrounds echo as Nick and Ronny talk to each other in the expansive garage where they work. The raucous crowd at the Chicago Blackhawks game makes it feel like you're at the arena.

Overall, a great sounding Blu-ray for a comedy.

Special Features

Ranking:
  • E. Max Frye Interview (HD, 10 min.) — Not really an alternate ending, as it is an extended ending. This is just a longer scene of Vaughn and Connelly at the end of the movie, most of which is already included in the film.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 45 min.) — Ron Howard (Why in the world did he direct this Dennis Dugan-grade slop?) provides optional commentary for the deleted scenes found here. I can't believe they actually had to cut 45 minutes from this movie. I couldn't imagine sitting through a director's cut with all those worthless minutes added back in. Most of these scenes are just Vaughn going on and on about nothing in particular. Pass.

  • Gag Reel (HD, 5 min.) — Just the actors laughing and guffawing on set. Standard gag reel stuff.

  • This is 'The Dilemma' (HD, 14 min.) — I hate you Brian Grazer! He's the person who came up with the idea for the movie and then pitched it to Howard. Anyway, this is a promotional making of for the film that briefly covers the plot and the stars involved.

Final Thoughts

I saw 'The Dilemma' two times this year, and I can tell you that was two times too many. I can also tell you that I will never, ever watch this movie again. It causes me anxiety. It's a sorry excuse for a comedy, and even a sorrier excuse for a movie. It's a terribly awful movie with no redeeming value other than the fact that Channing Tatum is marginally funny in it. When Channing Tatum is the best part of your movie, you know you're doing something wrong. The audio and video presentations are what you'd expect from a brand new movie, and the special features are plentiful for those out there who are actually fans of this dreck. Based on the movie alone I would recommend avoiding this one.