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Get a Job (2016)
Blu-ray Disc Released: 6/14/2016
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 6/9/2016
Ostensibly, generations are measured by years, more specifically, decades. However, when we think of generations, we picture certain personality traits and cultural events linked to the people who belong to those groups. From the baby boomers, to Generation X to Generation Y, there are specific touchstones and ways to thinking which stand out with each successive generation. And now, Millennials are ready to have their say. As these youngsters (yes, I said that), graduate college and attempt to start their lives, they, as did every generation before them, find the world to be much different from that of their parents. These ideas are sort of explored in the comedy Get a Job.
Will Davis (Miles Teller) thinks that he has it all figured out. Newly graduated from college, he has a job lined up to do videos for a publication and he's happy with his girlfriend, Jillian (Anna Kendrick). He lives with three other guys who are new to the job market -- Charlie (Nicholas Braun), a teacher; Luke (Brandon T. Jackson, who works in finance; and Ethan (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who spends his days working on a weird app. But, Will's world comes crashing down when he doesn't get the job which he'd been promised. He now finds himself without a clear plan, and when he does manage to get a job, he learns that the corporate world is a harsh place. Meanwhile, Will's dad, Roger (Bryan Cranston), also finds himself seeking employment, having entered a world which does not welcome "experienced" applicants.
It's been a while since we've had an entry of "I've heard of these people, why haven't I heard of this movie?", and Get A Job may be the ultimate example of this. Just looking at the actors listed above, you'll see some familiar names, featuring an Emmy Winner and an Oscar nominee. However, let's look at who else appears in this movie: (SPOILER ALERT!: If you want these cameos to be a surprise, then skip to the next paragraph.) John Cho, Alison Brie, Marcia Gay Harden, John C. McGinley, Jorge Garcia, Greg Germann, Bruce Davison, Marc Maron, and Jay Pahroah. All of those names may not leap off of the page, but if you saw the actors, you would recognize them. The casting director for this movie deserves some kind of award.
If only the rest of the movie was as impressive, or even as interesting, as the depth of the cast. The problem with Get A Job is that it has no idea what it wants to be. On the surface, the film wants to have a serious message concerning the generational gap and the workforce. There's a great deal of focus placed on Roger's difficulty in getting an interview and how he attempts to make himself look younger to combat this. We see that Will and Jillian must both contend with downsizing, as the movie implies that the number of available jobs is shrinking for college graduates. Will must deal with the fact that he's expected to dress up at work, while Charlie is surprised that he's asked to take on extra duties.
The exploration of these modern topics seems like a good idea for a movie. However, Get A Job seems to be more concerned with being a raunchy comedy. It's not long into the film that Will runs into a ostentatious pimp and we begin to get the feeling that this isn't going to be a hard-hitting portrait of millennials that we expected. In fact, the movie appears to go out of its way to focus on how much the characters love to smoke pot. Why is this the focus of every movie made today? (Yes, that's an overstatement, but not by much.) For every moment that Get A Job attempts to be a bit serious, we get another extended scene which focuses on drugs or sex. There is no balance at all here, and things get more out of control as the film goes on.
I wanted to like Get A Job the movie as much as I liked Get A Job the cast. Even Miles Teller, who I typically find incredibly annoying, didn't get on my nerves here, as he's actually well cast as a young man who is taken down a peg and must find his niche in the work world. The movie is full of good ideas, but none of them are well executed, save for a moment in the third act which addresses the modern need to recognize any accomplishment a child makes. I chuckled a few times, but this is far from being a successful comedy. I can only recommend Get A Job to those who watched Alvin & The Chipmunks and wished that they could see Dave's girlfriend topless.
Get A Job reinforced the notion that I need to dye my grays on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Lionsgate. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 20 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no distracting grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail and the depth are about what we would expect from a modern comedy. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects work well in crowd or street scenes and we get subtle hints of sounds coming from the left or right of the screen. The music sounds fine and provides some low-key bass response.
The Get A Job Blu-ray Disc is lacking in extra features. "Video Resume Outtakes" (3 minutes) features some of the main characters doing their own video resumes intercut with clips from the film. "Where It All Began: The Cast of Get a Job" (7 minutes) has some of the actors talking about their characters and members of the creative team comments on the cast.
Review Copyright 2016 by Mike Long