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STUDIO Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 86 Min
- A Movie Making Mission (HD, 15:16): A standard making of doc where you’ll hear from the major players. A neat, if short, piece covering the production of the film. And also the construction of a fairly major prop.
- The Ad Behind the Movie (HD, 2:19): John Silveira, the author of the ad on which the film was based, discusses his intentions behind it as well as public reaction.
- Previews: Additional Sony films coming to Blu.
Time travel by way of indie romcom.
Colin Trevorrow (director), Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Mary Lynn Rashkub, Karan Soni
Darius is an intern at a Seattle magazine who, along with one of the magazine’s writers (Jake M. Johnson), resolves to investigate the veracity of a classified ad in the paper:
“Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.”
Working incognito, they track down Kenneth Calloway, a grocery store clerk and the ad’s author. Undercover, Darius befriends the troubled Kenneth, becoming his protégé and possibly more as she works to determine whether there’s any truth to his ad.
Criminally underloved. That’s how I would describe Safety Not Guaranteed. I had the pleasure of seeing the film in its limited run and was pleased to discover director Colin Trevorrow’s film works on a variety of levels.
The first, of course, is comedy. While Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Rec) is undoubtedly the film’s star, she’s surrounded by a capable cast in the form of Johnson, Duplass, Mary Lynn Rashkub (Chloe from 24) and Karan Soni as fellow intern Arnau, who Johnson’s newspaper writer vows will get laid at some point during the trip. Plaza’s great, though this is a role we’ve seen her play on a few occasions. She’s in full April mode here, though a few dramatic moments allow the young actress to expand and show what she’s capable of. Still, I thought Johnson (Nick on New Girl), as lothario magazine writer Jeff, to be the real MVP here. His scenes are gold as he plays the selfish prick you can’t help but love, despite his best efforts.
Safety‘s got a lot of heart and it’s absolutely its best asset given its limited budget. Beneath the gimmick is a multifaceted film with rich and unique characters. It’s limited in indie quirk but not in indie spirit. Trevorrow makes a few missteps along the way (a musical sequence drags and lends some unintentional awkwardness to a major relationship in the film) but for the most part Safety succeeds in its ability to entertain and tug at the heartstrings. One of the great under-the-radar sleepers of 2012.
A really clean HD picture from Sony. It’s not going to be the showpiece of your Blu-ray collection obviously, but the audio/visual experience is up to par.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars