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20th Century Fox presents
Reno 911! Miami (2007)

"This is the stupidest group of people I've ever worked with who are not legally retarded."
- Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: June 18, 2007

Stars: Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Carlos Alazraqui, Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Mary Birdsong, Niecy Nash, Cedric Yarbrough
Other Stars: Ian Roberts, Danny DeVito, Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, David Wain, Michael Patrick Jann, Irina Voronina, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, Paul Reubens, Nick Swardson, Lennie Loftin, Alejandra Gutierrez, Toby Huss, Chris Tallman, David Koechner, Mindy Sterling, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Director: Ben Garant

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, sexuality, language)
Run Time: 01h:23m:23s
Release Date: June 19, 2007
UPC: 024543444381
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-B-B A-

DVD Review

The feature film transition of Comedy Central's Reno 911! Cops parody barely tops the 80 minute mark (thanks to a long, slow end credit sequence), and the reality is that this is basically a long-form version of the television series.

That's not a bad thing necessarily, and with the DVD release of Reno 911!: Miami the somewhat short runtime is probably less of an irritant than it was during the theatrical run. I doubt that there's that much different in this unrated cut, because the entire film is overall a little heavier in all forms of sex-related humor (including a brilliantly absurd and convoluted masturbation sequence) than the series is allowed, and there's some gratuitously extended nudity, as well.

The premise of the series and the feature film skewers the hand-held "day in the life" format of the Fox police show with demented, improvised skill, following the fictional members of the Reno, Nevada Sheriff's Department. Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) is the group's occasionally overzealous and slightly dense leader, he of the very tight, very short shorts. The rest of the squad includes the very naive cat lover Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver), hit-first-ask-questions-later James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), sunglass-wearing country boy Travis Junior (Ben Garant, also the director here), cleavage-baring blonde Clementine Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), mace-happy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), sex-obsessed "Jonesy" Jones (Cedric Yarbrough), and reformed no-nonsense, alleged lesbian Cheresa Kimball (Mary Birdsong). The friendship and friction between all of these assorted character types is the source of the show's humor, along with their lack of any semblance of measurable law enforcement skills.

There isn't really a need to be a regular viewer of the series to enjoy this one, because the idea of an idiotic squad of police officers that screw up more than they help is a pretty simple one to fall in line with. The plot has the entire inept Reno team heading to Miami Beach for a police officer's seminar, where a combination of registration problems and an act of bio-terrorism leaves them as the only source of law enforcement in town. As expected, stupidity prevails, as the film becomes a variation of random police calls and a couple of bizarre minor subplots, all of which are templates for some wonderful ad-libbing.

And it is the improv and ad-libbing that is the biggest appeal of the Reno 911! experience. The core cast and the supporting players (including Toby Huss, Paul Rudd, Paul Reubens, Ian Walsh, and Nick Swardson) give each scene a made-up-on-the-spot feel, with dialogue flowing not only with an extremely natural cadence, but more importantly, with a sharp comic accuracy. Garant, Lennon, and Kenney-Silver talk at length about the development and use of the ad-lib process on one of the commentaries on this disc, and it reinforces the talent of the cast to be able to interact so well together. For me, that's the selling point of Reno 911!, because no matter how ridiculous or silly a gag (a golf cart chase sequence, for example) the characters continually riff and play off one another in rapid succession.

The spot-on action movie parody opening sequence is very well done, slathered with all kinds of excessively macho posturing (and a helluva costume for Wendi McLendon-Covey), and is the slickest looking part of the entire film. The remainder has the trademark doc look and feel, as the Reno transplants wander the streets of Miami Beach. A beached whale problem is really just an excuse for some extended Irina Voronina nudity, and a Wiegel/Dangle sex scene serves up some unexpected skin too, but this is largely a padded episode set in a different locale. Some of the funniest bits are quick throwaways ("I'm pooping!"), though the talented cast consistently makes even the most inane conversations funny.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Reno 911!: Miami has been issued in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Not an eye-popping transfer, but colors generally look bright (at best during the Miami Beach transitional bits), though there is a level of inconsistency across the entire feature. Edge details are a little soft and some moderate grain issues arise periodically. The documentary concept of the show softens the blow of some of the imperfections, somehow making them seem natural.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0French, Spanishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The main audio track is offered in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. Not a whole lot of rear channel usage—some music cues and the occasional helicopter—with most of the material relegated to the front three channels. The main thing is that voice quality is clear at all times, even when multiple characters are speaking at once.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
0 Other Trailer(s) featuring Epic Movie, Family Guy, Grandma's Boy
6 Deleted Scenes
2 Featurette(s)
3 Feature/Episode commentaries by Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Deputy Junior, Lt. Dangle, Deputy Wiegel, Deputy Williams, Deputy Garcia, Deputy Johnson, Deputy Jones, Deputy Kimball
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The first of three commentary tracks has cast members/creative team Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney-Silver and is an enjoyably funny listen, filled with a nice mix of production info and jokes. Not a lot of commentaries cover subjects like prosthetic booties, masturbation music, and hanging out with topless women for six hours, so at the very least this one has some unique talking points.

The other two tracks have the cast in-character, with one featuring Deputy Junior, Lt. Dangle, Deputy Wiegel and Deputy Williams and the other Deputy Garcia, Deputy Johnson, Deputy Jones and Deputy Kimball. These are a couple of comically stupid gems, with the same tight ad-lib rambling that the series is known for. Lot of great riffing here, especially when discussing a cameo appearance by a big-name action star.

A set of six extended scenes are available with optional commentary from Garant, Lennon, and Kenney-Silver. These seem to follow what Garant talks about in the filmmaker's commentary, with regard to the plan to overshoot so they can go back and pick out the best ab-libs. There's more of Nick Swardson's Terry, plus fans of perpetually topless Irina Voronina will appreciate the 11-plus minutes of the whale-on-the-beach scene, and for some awkwardly hysterical physical comedy, check out a longer take on Wiegel and Dangle's encounter. The scenes are:
Wiegel And Dangle In Hotel (06m:46s)
Whale On The Beach (11m:25s)
Terry's Jet (03m:39s)
Cruise Ship Terminal (01m:24s)
Spoder's House (20m:54s)
Bus Ride (23m:40s)

There's four of the intentionally sloppy Public Service Announcements (04m:37s) featuring the Reno 911! cast, here focusing on movie theater etiquette. They're all very funny, but the best of the lot is Shut The F*** Up, with Deputy Wiegel uncorking with a stream of obscenities aimed at inconsiderate movie patrons. Fox Movie Channel Presents World Premiere (05m:08s) is a fluffy set of interviews done with cast in character at the film's premiere at Grauman's Theater. Bonus materials conclude with three trailers, including a funny "crap from a bridge" scene from Family Guy touting the season sets.

The disc is cut into 20 chapters, with optional subtitles in English or Spanish.

Extras Grade: A-

 

Final Comments

There's an art to making improv and ad-lib sound natural, and the cast of Reno 911! make it look easy. This feature film is essentially an extended episode of the series, offering up the same level of intelligent-yet-dumb humor, sprinkled here with some nudity and sex.

 


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