HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Bigger Fatter Liar
HTS Overall Score:59
There’s this strange NEED in Hollywood to remake everything and anything that comes our way. Now, that’s not always a bad thing, as there are many a good remake that many of us hold as classics (most people don’t know it but “12 Monkeys” and Kurt Russell’s “The Thing” were both remakes of previous films and were head and shoulders taller than their predecessors by most people’s standards), but then there are those films that no one was EVER asking for a remake of to begin with. Sometimes it’s because the original movie was a hailed classic and no one wants to see it butchered (think the 2016 version of “Ben Hur”), and other times it’s just because the original was not that good of a movie to begin with and really doesn’t warrant a second look. This is really the case with “Bigger Fatter Liar”, which acts as a semi sequel, semi reboot of 2002’s “Big Fat Liar”. Now, “Big Fat Liar” wasn’t a great movie by ANY stretch of the imagination, but it was a decent little comedy that was good for a one or two-time watch thanks to a brilliant performance by Paul Giamatti. The fact that it had a rising Frankie Muniz (who was coming off of his “Malcolm in the Middle” fame, before fading into obscurity) and a then VERY adorable Amanda Bynes (before she went off the rails herself). Despite being a fairly lackluster film that garnered only a few chuckles and moderate theatrical success, someone decided that it needed to be rebooted some 15 years later. The results are….well…..less than spectacular to put it gently.
Pretty much mirroring the plotline of the first movie, director Ron Oliver mashes together two unlikeable main characters on a quest for revenge. Kevin Shepherd (Ricky Garcia) has a big problem with lying, and when I say big I mean BIG! The boy can’t tell a truth to save his life, except to his best friend Becca (Jodelle Ferland of “Dark Matter” fame). Even his own father (Paul McGillion) can’t believe a word out of his mouth. After getting caught for plagiarism on his final paper of the year, Kevin is forced to redo the project. Deciding to develop a video game for the paper, Kevin begrudgingly works his tail off only to run into some difficulties on the due date. Getting hit on his bike by sharkish video game talent scout Alan Wolf (Barry Bostwick in a thankless role) Kevin shows the guy his work, only to have Wolf take his project by force and driving off twirling his mustache and cackling maniacally. When no one will believe the boy who cried wolf, Kevin only has but once option. Go to San Francisco using his dad’s credit card and try and get his game back.
Naturally, goody two shoes Becca gets roped into coming along for the ride and the two teenagers are off to the big city. As you probably guessed, the meeting with Mr. Wolf doesn’t go well and Kevin now is less interested in getting his game back as he is out for revenge. Using a high tech phone bump (which is completely ridiculous if you know anything about technology) he clones the business mogul’s phone and starts to wreak havoc in his life. High food bills, hotel bills, and a cornucopia of dastardly tricks to pay back the man who stole from him are the menu for today. There’s the standard pranks like rigging his car to malfunction, and stealing the idea to paint Wolf’s face with paint that just doesn’t come off and other rehashes from the original film keep the sequel feeling dull and tired throughout the meager 95-minute runtime.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=96226[/img]“Big Fat Liar” was a mediocre movie, but “Bigger Fatter Liar” is just excruciating to get through. I mean EXCRUCIATING! The first 20 minutes or so is decently entertaining with your standard family drama moments that garner a few chuckles but by the time the 30 minute mark hits the film loses all the goodwill it had left in its tiny little reservoir. The movie just continues on and on and on and on with the same tired pranks till the end credits role in a sort of devilish repeat of the same old gags over and over and over again. I personally felt like I was being hypnotized by the film, or that I was just hitting the rewind button as gags are repeated ad nauseam and the horrible horrible stilted dialog put me into a slack jawed haze.
The acting is pretty painful all the way around, with the only saving grace in the film being Jodelle Ferland’s ability to play an adorable friend to Kevin. Kevin himself is absolutely revolting, and even after ‘learning his lesson’ he’s still an insufferable kid who really doesn’t learn anything by the end of the film. Even Barry Bostwick looks like he’s bored out of his ever loving mind and just half-heartedly attempts to muster up some energy for his scenes. Bostwick is usually a very over the top actor (much like Giamatti), but here he looks like he’s asleep at the wheel and just waiting for the director to yell “CUT!” so he can go back to his trailer and take a nap.
Rated PG for language and rude behavior
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=96234[/img]“Bigger Fatter Liar” comes to DVD with a fairly standard looking DTV encode in 1.78:1 framing. The film is digitally shot and natural looking with the color grading, and everything looks about as good as a DVD is going to look without a 1080 or 4K upgrade. Fine detailing is appreciable and pleasant, and the overall brightness of the film is very cheery and colorful. There’s a few weirdly graded scenes that just look a bit off (Kevin in the computer lab for one, and inside the limo when they’re waiting for Mr. Wolf to drink his ghost pepper infused energy drink). Color saturation is full and rich with a very warm look, and black levels don’t show much crush and the washed-out limo scene is only in passing. There’s some mild macroblocking and softness throughout, but nothing overly obnoxious.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=96242[/img]There are 3 audio track on the disc, the main one being a 448 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is actually rather good for a DTV flick. The dialog is clean and clearly defined in the center of the track, and the chaotic craziness that Kevin and Becca undergo to make Mr. Wolf’s life a miserable hell creates quite a few moments of bombastic energy. Surrounds are lively with the sounds of California track and the bass kicks in a few times with sounds of a crowded warf bar and a blaring train. It’s not a very unique audio experience, but there’s very little, if anything, technically wrong with the mix for the genre.
• The Making of "Bigger Fatter Liar"
• "Bigger Fatter Liar": The Players
“Bigger Fatter Liar” is an absolute mess of a movie, and an abomination to watch. I tried REALLY hard to at least get some low brow humor out of the watch, but there was very little anybody could do but just watch in horror at what unfolds on screen. Ron Oliver directs the movie in a heavy-handed sort of way, blending Nickelodeon stupidity and Shawn Levy’s sense of over the top gags to make a movie that can be barely even called a coherent film. Every one of the actors except the two children seem to realize that they’re in trash and act accordingly, but even Jodelle Ferland’s obvious attempts at making her character likeable can’t do anything to save this sinking ship. Audio and video wise it’s a good release, but please, just skip this one and run the opposite direction.
Starring: Jodelle Ferland, Barry Bostwick, Ricky Garcia
Directed By: Ron Oliver
Written By: Ron Oliver, David Steinberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime: 95 Minutes
DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2017
Buy Bigger Fatter Liar on DVD at Amazon
Recommendation: Run in Terror
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