Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

First Look presents
The Amateurs (2005)

“Today, I’m too tired of it. More unaccepting than usual.”
- Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: February 11, 2008

Stars: Jeff Bridges
Other Stars: Ted Danson, William Fichtner, Patrick Fugit, Lauren Graham, Glenne Headly, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tom Bower, Steven Weber, Judy Greer
Director: Michael Traeger

MPAA Rating: R for (sexual content and language)
Run Time: 01h:38m:14s
Release Date: February 12, 2008
UPC: 00687797121592
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B C+B-B+ B+

DVD Review

The Amateurs doesn’t exactly have the best track record out of the box. It began life in 2005, known then as The Moguls, and armed with an intriguing premise: a down on his luck guy gets his small-town friends together to make pornographic films. It sounds like a winner to me, and Im sure millions of other males as well. Filmmaker Michael Traeger takes his first turn behind the camera, creating a mixed comedic bag that can’t quite realize its potential.

Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges) is a down-on-his-luck guy living in the small town of Butterface Falls. He’s still trying to cope with a recent divorce and his ex-wife, Thelma’s (Jeanne Tripplehorn) new life with the rich Howard (Steven Weber), when he has a seemingly brilliant idea. Andy has decided to shoot a porno film, but to pull it off he needs the cooperation (and money) of his friends, Barney (Tim Blake Nelson), Moose (Ted Danson), Floyd (Tom Bower), Otis (William Fichtner), and the aptly named Some Idiot (Joe Pantoliano). This group is completely out of their element, but with the help of some local ladies (Glenne Hedley, Lauren Graham, and Judy Greer), and an aspiring young camera man named Emmett (Patrick Fugit), they just might find success.

After Andy’s friends are introduced and we are given an initial look at his loser status among his family and friends, it’s right onto the amateur adult filmmaking. There’s some outlandish material here, as we see Andy and company struggle to cast the most important aspect of their films, the ladies. It’s here where The Amateurs is at its strongest, as it plays on our surprise at what these “normal” schlubs will do to realize their dream, while throwing numerous plot curveballs at us when we least expect them. There aren’t enough of these strong points, though, and the movie suffers as a result.

The cast is an impressive lot of today’s best male character actors. Jeff Bridges is basically impersonating an older version of his “The Dude” character from The Big Lebowski, right down to his long hair. He does a fine job carrying the film; Bridges rarely disappoints. The criminally underrated Fichtner excels once again, as the dirtiest-minded of these aspiring porn directors, and the dynamic Tim Blake Nelson gives a reserved, effective performance. Danson is serviceable as the group’s closet homosexual, and Pantoliano does a nice job living up to his character’s distinct name.

Such an off-the-wall premise is ripe with potential, but, unfortunately, director Traeger doesn’t know what to do with it during much of the film. Too much focus is put on each of these small-town characters individual quirks and problems, that we aren’t able to completely enjoy the craziness of the general storyline. In other words, there simply isn’t enough porn in a movie that’s supposed to be about… well… porn. I’m not calling for a deluge of X-Rated material, but Traeger, and his audience, would have been better served by the omission of much of the melodrama, and more of a detailed look at this crazy idea.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation does its best with the intended soft look of the production, but the colors do suffer occasionally. They appear slightly muted at times, but there aren’t any major problems. Contrast and shadow levels are strong, while grain and dirt are virtually nonexistent.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The surprising inclusion of a DTS track, accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 counterpart, makes for some interesting audio choices. The DTS offers a bit more bass and slightly more liberal surround usage, but these two tracks are very similar. Both also give us crystal clear dialogue that has no problem meshing with the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
11 Other Trailer(s) featuring King of California, Day Zero, Sex and Breakfast, The Contract, 10 Items or Less, Journey to the End of the Night, The Proposition, Relative Strangers, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Paris Je T’aime, Smiley Face
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Jeff Bridges, director Michael Traeger, and producer Aaron Ryder
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. The Amateurs Photography Book
Extras Review: The extras include an audio commentary track with Jeff Bridges, director Michael Traeger, and producer Aaron Ryder. This trio talks about the film and are seemingly very proud of it, with Bridges being especially interesting throughout.

Behind the Scenes with the Amateurs is a 25-minute piece that gives us a comprehensive look at the making of the film. We see cast and crew interviews, but there’s also some fun footage of the cast doing some candid things on the set.

The Amateurs Photography Book is 36 minutes of still photos taken by Jeff Bridges during the shoot. He narrates each picture, along with Traeger and Ryder.

There’s also the theatrical trailer for The Amateurs and previews for other First Look DVDs.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

While it’s not the surprising little indie gem it could have been, the long-on-the-shelf comedy The Amateurs combines a strong cast and nutty premise to make it worth a rental. First Look's DVD gives the film some love, presenting it with sharp technical aspects and informative extras.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store