On Jerry Seinfeld’s first comedy CD after his run on Seinfeld ended, he does a joke where he talks about why he hasn’t done a movie yet. He talks about what a huge commitment it is to do a movie, and how he fears that when it is all over, he will be on the screen looking out at the audience saying, “this sucks, doesn’t it? I didn’t know. I really meant well.”
This movie is that punchline. Catching Ray Romano after his show’s run and Kevin James just before the end of his sitcom, the two pair up as a co…ple of door to door meat salesmen who somehow get themselves involved in a situation between the mob, some killers… whatever. You know the drill. On the one hand, I can most certainly understand how someone could get talked into something that sounds better than it is actually going to be. On the other hand, surely they read the script before hand, didn’t they?
It’s not every day that you see a direct-to-video movie that has this many big names in it. In addition to James and Romano, there are also bit parts by Burt Reynolds, Juliette Lewis and Michael Rapaport, as well as several easily recognizable character actors. Apparently everybody was snowed on this project. I’m sure the intentions were well-meaning, but the result is simply painful to watch.
The audio track on this disc is nothing special. It is mastered in 5.1, but I am not really sure why. The surrounds are not used, and the bass notes are nothing subwoofer-worthy. The sounds do pan left-to-right across the room, but there is not a great sense of being in the environments. There is very little in the way of ambient noise, so it still feels very much like you are just watching something happen somewhere else, instead of taking part in the film. Dialog is clear for the most part, and some of the music cues are quite nice, but on the whole this track is just average. It could be a lit worse, but there is certainly nothing notable here either.
This movie does that trick where they try to make the film appear gritty and hot by skewing the color palette heavily toward the red end of the spectrum. This makes every scene appear unnaturally yellow. This is a trick that can be used to great effect on just the right film, but it is just downright annoying here. Nothing looks natural, and it really distracts from what little story there is here.
First off, there is the usual collection of sneak peeks, as well as one lonely deleted scene which was clearly cut for a very good reason. As far as more substantial extras go, there is a featurette called Ray and Kevin: True Life Buddies that was shot on the set and is actually an electronic press kit. The segment does have some interesting information on the history of these two comedians, but it is clearly meant primarily to sell the movie, and entertain second.
There is also another EPK called Maury & Dave and Company included here that focuses more on the comments of the Directors and Screenwriters instead of those of the actors themselves. The truth is, while the True Life Buddies featurette is mildly informative, none of the extras here are particularly noteworthy.
This film is a lot like Glengarry Glen Ross, without actually being any good. The focus is on the hard life of a salesman, but when the mob story gets involved, the whole thing just becomes overly cliched and tedious. This is a film that is in serious need of some editing; and it is already under an hour-and-a-half long. Big names don’t always make a movie good, and this one is not even decent.
Special Features List
- “Maury & Dave and Company” behind-the-scenes featurette
- “Ray and Kevin: True Life Buddies” featurette
- Deleted scene
- Sneak Peeks