HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Dirty Grandpa
HTS Overall Score:71
The beautiful thing about being an academy award winning actor that has made audiences happy for years and years is the ability to pick and choose your movies as you age. You have pick of the litter and are almost always guaranteed an audience due to the legacy of working in film for so many generations and pulling in so much cash for the studios. Well, Robert De Niro has that star power and his choice for making “Dirty Grandpa” is one of those choices that makes one sit up in their seat and scream “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!!!”. “Dirty Grandpa” is basically the film equivalent of three ice cream wrappers that are stuck with bubblegum under the wheel of passing truck. E.g. pure, unadulterated garbage that makes one curl their lip up in disgust and recoils from the stench emanating from the package. A classic road trip comedy filled with more perverse gags and one liners than one can shake a stick at, “Dirty Grandpa” manages to strip away all of the elements of “classic” and replace it with “shock humor” while trying it’s best to stay relevant at the end by adding in some serious bits about following your dream to make seem less of a total waste of time.
Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is an uptight lawyer for his dad’s firm and seeming to be in the prime of his life. He’s going to be married in a week to the lovely Meredith (Julianne Hough), a domineering socialite, and then his grandmother dies. Tasked with taking his aging grandfather, Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro), back to Boca, Jason finds out that this simple task may be a bit wilder than he expected. Come to find out his grandfather is a bit of a perv and now that he is single again wants to paint the town red. Resisting his grandfather’s every suggestion to go party, Jason does his best to keep themselves on the straight and narrow. That is until they run into and old classmate named Shadia Zoey Deutch) and her friends on their way down to spring break in Daytona Beach. Against his better judgement, Jason decides to just “check it out” and unleashes a spring break of perversion and fun like no other.
While Grandpa’s trying to get laid by Shadia’s insatiably twisted friend Lenore (Aubrey Plaza), Jason is head up against his own vices as he realizes that he and Shadia have a connection that he can’t seem to find with his overbearing fiancée. A few shots of tequila and an accidental crack pipe later, Jason is in over his head and up to his gills in lies as he tries to impress Shadia. A pile of lies that pretty much will be his downfall unless he can get back out from under them.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70705[/img]Oh boy. I’m not even sure where to begin. I like stupid comedies and LOVE Robert De Niro, but that fan service alone isn’t enough to get my jaw off the ground. I would have to describe “Dirty Grandpa” as a twisted mix of “Road Trip” and “Bad Grandpa” swirled into a blender and then filtered through a toilet before being put into a fine martini glass. End result, something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. While Zac Efron’s career hasn’t been as stellar as Robert De Niro, I still felt really bad for the ex “High School Musical” star and especially bad for Robert De Niro. To see a fine actor like this and a semi decent one just wallow along in the bad potty humor and sheer stupidity of “Bad Grandpa” is akin to watching said actors forced to beg for pennies on the street after being busted for tax evasion. In fact I wonder if that happened to De Niro as that is the only plausible explanation for having the venerable actor stoop to this level.
While “Dirty Grandpa” is labeled as a comedy I couldn’t find much to actually LAUGH at in the film. There were a couple of thruway lines from Aubrey Plaza’s character, but really the only laughable material comes from Jason Mantzoukas who plays the same “Raffie” style character from his time on “The Leaugue”. Past his over the top humor everything else just fell flat. But then again I’m not exactly the kind of person who dies laughing at an old man making genital jokes and cussing up a storm. HOWEVER, I will say this. This is a character that you’ve NEVER seen him play before and it was actually kind of sardonically entertaining to watch him try to be as filthy and incredibly crass as he could be during the film. Zac Efron does what he does best, and that’s just take his shirt off so he can show off his 8 pack and act confused most of the time. Although they DID do a scene where they made fun of his old “High School Musical” days that got a good chuckle from this old cynic.
Rated R for crude sexual content throughout, graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70713[/img]“Dirty Grandpa” may not be a great film, but it certainly comes with a great looking 2.40:1 encoded transfer for us to enjoy. The vibrant outdoor shots of Daytona beach looking incredibly sharp and well detailed, with all sorts of richly saturated colors, from the bikinis on the beach, to the neon flashing colors in the Florida nightclub. Black levels remain inky and deep, and the fine detail is never obscured by black crush or digital noise. The contrast levels manage to stay very neutral, with strong skin tones, but I did notice that the white levels are pushed a bit high at times (a seemingly common tactic amongst newer films in the last couple of years). There’s some soft spots, such as the indoor scene with Jason dancing himself silly in his bee thong, but other than that the movie has an amazing texture and filmic feel that translates well to home video.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70721[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA experience is also quite pleasant, with strong vocal replication and a nice rocking dance club style score. As with most comedy films the dialog tends to take much of the heavy lifting, leaving the back channels with minimal activity for long stretches of time. It is not something that is a problem with the encoding or the movies track itself, just a byproduct of a genre that relies heavily on dialog vs. special effects. On the flip side, the electronic dance music that permeates the party atmosphere does a good job at livening up the track with an enveloping and bass heavy time when the songs are kicking into full gear. LFE is tight and springy, with a good midrange punch, but then fades into the background when the musical numbers are gone. It’s a solid, but not overly assuming 5.1 experience and fits the genre quite well.
• “The Filthy Truth: The Making of Dirty Grandpa” Featurette
• “Daytona Heat” Featurette
• “Filthy Filmmakers Who Have No Shame” Audio Commentary
• “Lessons in Seduction” Featurette
• “I Got Nothin’ to Hide: A Look at Daytona’s Most Vibrant Drug Dealer” Featurette
• Gag Reel
I kind of hoped for the best with “Dirty Grandpa”, as I’m a fan of twisted humor. However, this train wreck just couldn’t get off the ground or gain traction at all. At 1 hour and 48 minutes of EXTENDED play (the theatrical version is only missing a few gags and bits of knowing, but both are included on the disc) I was ready to impale myself on my remote control and commit Seppuku by the end. Thankfully the credits started to roll BEFORE the remote could puncture a vital organ and the torture was over with. I will admit that the audio and video are fantastic for the release, and while I’m not sure this is a retail exclusive or what not, but Lionsgate also provided an “evidence” bag worth of goodies from the movie including cocktail recipes, a condom, swim suit top and a bottle of pills (fake of course). For those of you who LIKED the movie than this edition is all decked out and ready to go, but for the rest of humanity I beg you to reconsider and just RUN as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
Starring: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Zoey Deutch
Directed by: Dan Mazer
Written by: John Phillips
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DD 2.0 for Night Listening
Runtime: 102 Minutes (Rated), 108 Minutes (Unrated)
Blu-ray Release Date: May 17th 2016
Buy Dirty Grandpa Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Solid Rental
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