By Leonard Buccellato
Oct 12, 2017 09:56 PM EST

The House Blu-ray Review

As always, the special features is where this release is elevated. It truly provides an inside look into the making of the film as well as the infamous "House" Casino and how it was built.
The House Blu-ray Review
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Seeing Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler's names attached to this, I thought the movie was going to be really funny. Seeing the trailer helped to cement this thought but after watching it, it proved not quite up to the task.  The House Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment was released on Oct. 10th. Director Andrew Jay Cohen's comedy is about Scott and Kate Johansen's daughter who gets into the college of her dreams, which is a cause for celebration. That is until Scott and Kate (Will Ferrell; Anchorman and Amy Poehler; Parks and Recreation) learn that the scholarship they were counting on didn't come through, and they're now on the hook for tuition they can't begin to afford.

And so, the hilarity should ensue, except, that the movie is almost entirely devoid of hilarity. There are some funny jokes, but not many, the characters are wooden, at best, and there seem to be moments where they were struggling to come up with something funny to say. I was really waiting for the film to pick up, especially after the Casino takes off, and except for a few set pieces where they add a Strip club, Nail salon and even pump oxygen into the house to keep the neighbors awake and the money flowing, there were long barren pauses of Ferrell and Poehler stumbling from scene to scene.

I will say that Jason Mantzoukas (Dirty Grandpa) as the depressed and soon-to-be-divorced friend, Frank who cooks up the plan to start the casino and becomes the mastermind behind the money-maker, was good but, again, I was left wishing for better writing. It seemed as if Cohen was attempting to get his cast to improve some lines or was waiting for "The Magic" to carry the dialog, but you will keep waiting until the bloopers roll with the credits. The spell is never cast.

The House was released on Blu-ray with a 2.40:1 1080p transfer with zero artifacting issues. This is a solid transfer and arrives with a strong English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. I don't have any complaints regarding the audio either. The soundtrack is front-loaded with not that much surround activity but the music and sound effects are balanced nicely and create a solid atmosphere, especially inside the "casino". 

As always, the special features is where this release is elevated. My favorites are ‘If You Build The House They Will Come' which shows the set design and making of the Casino. I love seeing the amount of time and creativity that goes into set design. Even when the smallest details are missed, it's still great to see the work that is put into it.

There are deleted scenes as well as extended/alternate scenes that run almost as long as the actual film. I really think they cut too much out of the theatrical release and the movie could have been helped by adding some of those scenes back in. Also, the pacing was fast and it felt too rushed for its own good. 

All in all, I hoped for so much more from this movie considering the amount of comedic talent involved with this project.  it just seems to be an unfortunate trend with most comedies today; they seem to hit on the same trite hijinks that don't really deliver. Where The House is concerned, they had the makings of a solid plot but never capitalized on the talent. I wanted them to hit the jackpot but they came up a few numbers short.

Grade: C+

Special Features:
  • Featurette: The House: Playing with a Loaded Deck
  • Featurette: If You Build The House They Will Come
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended/Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Ramas
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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 88 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about The House visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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