Sunday, June 17, 2012

The FP - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: June, 19 2012

Review Vital Stats:
Format: Blu-ray
Player: LG Model 370 
Monitor: Samsung 40' LCD Series 5
Picture Quality: 1080p
Sound Quality: DTS HD - English

To read my original review for the Theatrical Release of The FP, just follow the link below.

My original review for The FP was slightly...absurd, I admit that. I got a lot of interesting responses to it from different people, most of which included a baffled look and/or complete disinterest. I understand the disconnect there, unless you saw the film it really didn't do much to give any sort of insight into what the film was all about. But even with that hurdle, I still feel as though anyone that didn't get the joke I was shooting for with that review would most likely not be someone who would enjoy what The FP is. This is a film made by a family and their closest friends to be as ridiculously stupid and over the top as possible and some people either just don't get it or are ill-equipped to handle the joke of it all. As stated with a direct quote from the actor who plays KCDC, "It's not there to offend, it's just there to make you laugh".

But what is the appeal of The FP though? What makes it different than any other spoof or parody film? There are two things that help make it stand out from the group in my opinion, the first of which is its completely absurd premise. The advertisements and synopsis' for the film you read everywhere continually call this a "post-apocalyptic" story, which just isn't the case. I held off passing judgement one way or the other until I heard it from the Trost brothers themselves and even they seem kind of flimsy on that point. But what is true about the premise for The FP is this asinine idea with two rival gangs comprised of maybe 2 to 3 people each tops (that's already stupid enough for some) who battle for supremacy over their home town of Fraizer Park by playing a dancing video game called Beat Beat Revelation (clearly a rip off/ homage to the Konami game Dance Dance Revolution). Yes, that is stupid, but what makes it awesome is the second reason why this film succeeds where others have failed. It takes itself completely seriously.

Jtro looks on as he contemplates his destiny.

That's right, there are no winks of nods to the camera, every single actor on screen plays it like this is how the world works. How does that sell the joke though? It's simple really, let me give an analogy for anyone that still doesn't understand. Have you ever come across someone, anyone, who either dressed funny, spoke in a strange manner or just felt out of place? The best example I can give is a white guy who dresses like a thug or gangsta rapper and proceeds to mimic every single mannerism possible from your stereotypical street thug. That's absurd right? Only if the white guy believes whole heartedly that he is this black street thug, if he even once lets on that HE knows that what he is doing is ridiculous then the illusion is shattered because you all of a sudden realize he is doing it all just for show and doesn't truly believe in it. We laugh at this hypothetical person because we know he just doesn't get how ludicrous he is acting which in turn makes it that much funnier because how can someone possibly be that dense to not realize what they are doing is crazy?

Now, I may be way off the mark with that one but I hope I at least got my point across. The FP is filled with characters like that, who live in this little microcosm where the absurd is their reality and the world we live in just doesn't exist for them. People dance battling using a video game where they have a strong possibility of dying from dancing too hard is not exactly what you would call logical. The Trost brothers in their audio commentary remarked about how someone could ever die from playing a video game too hard and their answer is both hilarious and honest to what the film is, "Shit's tough in The FP". That is their answer for everything as a matter of fact which is just kind of awesome in a totally brainless sort of way. This is one of those movies where if you get the joke then you will most likely have a blast with it just so long as you can separate what is considered logical in the real world in comparison to what is logical in The FP (ducks are integral to the stability of their town for instance). If you don't get the joke then that is OK too cause this film was made to cater to a certain type of film fanatic and was expected to have a low percentage of people that would latch on to it.

The 248 ain't take'n no more shit.

That is the beauty of the independent film market though and what the Trost brothers did here. They were able to make the film THEY wanted to make regardless of its limited appeal. They knew full well going in that it would only catch on with certain film goers but those that did find themselves as part of the growing cult of fanatics over the film (such as myself) were the type of people who would mercilessly defend its honor and sing its praises as often and as loud as possible. My love for the film only grew the more I realized what all went into the making of the film with only a handful of actors, most of whom would play background characters numerous times with different clothing, an entire family contributing with one brother directing, the other starring and co-directing, the sister making the costumes and the father handling the pyrotechnics (whom is actually a veteran of the film industry), you start to get the feeling that these people weren't making this for money or fame, they just wanted to make a movie they felt very passionately about and thought others would too, and you know what? They were right.

I cannot say enough great things about The FP, it is without a doubt one of my favorite films of the year and with the news of the upcoming sequel, I couldn't be happier at this moment. It is not really a great idea to label a new film as anything until after the dust has settled but I feel safe in assuming that The FP and its sequels will most likely garner a dedicated cult following who will make sure that it and its creators will always remember that as long as there are ducks in the pond, everything will be alright.

KCDC is a really sweet guy when it comes down to it.


What's on the disc?

For this being the first home video release by Drafthouse films (I think), they came out swinging with a good assortment of special features that give some great insight into the making of the film as well as providing the first ever digital copy with no DRM attached to it! If you were one of the lucky (and smart) ones out there, you pre-purchased the blu-ray and got the 62 track soundtrack (which is just amazing), the films poster, a replica of L Dubba E's grill, a signed Tampon (don't ask) and the film itself which of course is the true treasure. This was an unexpected packaging job by Drafthouse which I truly appreciate. Lastly though I would like to mention my sadness over certain pieces of production that could have been included here and were not. All throughout these features we hear people mention the short film and plenty of deleted scenes as well as outtakes that could have (and should have) been included here. Other than those unfortunate oversights, I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with what's here.

Behold!, the treasures that await those who purchased the limited edition from Drafthouse Films.


Commentary with the Trost Bros. HD - This very casual and laid back discussion with star and co-director Jason Trost along with his brother and director Brandon Trost leads to a lot of interesting nuggets about the genesis for such a crazy idea as basing a film around a dancing game as well as their personal ties to the real Frazier Park. We also learn that life in the real FP isn't all that different than what is depicted on film and how the guerrilla tactics used in making the movie helped give it a more authentic feel. All in all this is about as informative a track as one would expect and will please most fans of the film, especially when they hear that this is just the first of a planned trilogy.

Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished: The Making of The FP - HD - This feature can be played all as one or in its individual parts as listed below.

- The Making of The FP (21:28 min) HD - This isn't any different than any other behind the scenes feature but what makes this more interesting than you typical Hollywood BTS feature is that this movie was not made in a cookie cutter fashion like many other films. The entire Trost family came together to put this film together and I gotta admit, that somehow makes me even more infatuated with it. Then I got a glimpse at Lee Valmassy (L Dubba E) out of costume which just blew my mind as did the revelation that Frazier Park is only an hour out from L.A. You also get some more information (and a handful of scenes) from the short film the Trost Brothers made that inspired the film and confirmation that there is indeed two more FP films coming which Jason Trost promises will happen no matter what.

- Costume Designing The FP: Interview with Sarah Trost (8:06 min) HD - This is one of those films where you take the costuming for granted but after watching this feature you start to appreciate the thought and work that went into each character's outfit (the Civil War themes are a real standout now). Sarah Trost goes into her many influences for each costume and her thoughts on how they each turned out. For a film with no budget, she did an outstanding job.

- Scoring The FP: Interview with George Holdcroft (6:09 min) HD - By far my favorite movie soundtrack of the year, which is made even more ironic that it took over a year for this soundtrack to be completed. Anyone that is a fan of Holdcroft's work here will find this piece very informative as it was a real treat hearing how he came to be a part of the project and his collaborative work with the Trost Brothers on nailing the feel of so many classic 80's film scores. Plus it was a shock to find out all the female vocals in the songs is George Holdcroft just pitched way up, consider my mind blown once again.

My favorite villain of the year, hands down.

The FP in The FP: A Return to Fraizer Park (10:30 min) HD - I think this was my favorite feature of the bunch because here we get to see the Trost Brothers return home during Frazier Park's Fiesta Days festival to screen their film for the very first time to the residents of The FP. Before the screening we get a small tour of the town which remarkably looks exactly the same as it does in the film (they weren't lying when they said they film on location with little set dressing). This feature, as well as all the others helped hammer home the passion the entire film crew had for the project which just kind of makes you root for them even more.

Green Band Theatrical Trailer (2:16 min) HD - I would call this a theatrical trailer besides the fact that I never saw this play in front of any movie I saw in the theater once. Besides that nitpick, this is the exact same trailer that was all over the internet.

Red Band Theatrical Trailer (2:33 min) HD - The same as the above trailer except with more bad language and some brief titty shots for whatever reason.

Digital Copy of the Film HD (720p) - I almost never make special mention of a digital copy simply because all digital copies are set to only work with certain devices (i.e. none that I use). So I generally just give them away or they never get redeemed. That has all changed with The FP, because call it due to it's low budget nature or Drafthouse films not having anything firmly in place to handle this but I believe this to be the very first DRM free digital copy to ever be bundled with a film. That's right, you download the file directly to your hard drive and it will work on ANY software you choose to use. For once someone got it right and now I plan on watching The FP everyday during my commute to and from work on my Zune. Thank you whoever is responsible for this, you have my blessing to continue doing whatever you did to make this happen.

You really don't want to know what she is digging for...

Final Verdict:

With the film already considered a cult classic and with two more films coming down the line, The FP is a film with no equal and will continue to be discovered and loved by countless others as time goes on. The Blu-ray disc offers up a crisp and clear image with some really good audio to help with that amazing soundtrack. The extras, while not nearly as robust as they could have been, do a good job offering up some great insight into the making of the film and conveying the passion everyone involved with the project had for it while making it. This is an easy recommendation for me, I suggest that if you agreed with anything I have said and found my original review to be more than just the ramblings of an idiot that you purchase this film immediately.

Movie   -  A-
Video   -  A
Audio   -  A
Extras  -  B




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