Good Boys

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 11/12/19;
Universal;
Comedy;
Box Office $83.08 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout — all involving tweens.
Stars Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Izaac Wang, Millie Davis, Josh Caras, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, Stephen Merchant.

As Master Yoda once said, “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” But what happens when you make them wonder about sex, drugs and random debauchery?

And that’s where Good Boys comes in, and the fact that it comes from Seth Rogen’s production team pretty much explains exactly what to expect from the film.

It’s Stand by Me meets American Pie, a satire of the simplistic perspective kids tend to have of things. As such, it mines the intersection of the innocence of children and the seediness of the adult world for great laughs.

The question of whether how appropriate it is for such a young cast to form the basis of a film like this is not lost on the filmmakers and comes up several times in the bonus materials. Before the film had come out they had already hit upon the audacious marketing hook that the film was too raunchy for its young stars to even see it. Nowhere is this concept more prominent than on the film’s own Blu-ray box art, which comes emblazoned with an oversized graphic of the MPAA ‘R’ rating and the three main characters glancing upward at a line proclaiming “You Must Be This Tall to See This Movie.”

The film stars up-and-comer Jacob Tremblay as 12-year-old Max, who gets invited to a kissing party and freaks out because he doesn’t want his inexperience to scare off the girl that he likes. So he enlists his best friends, Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) to help him research how to kiss. Eventually, the group, who call themselves the Bean Bag Boys, decide to use an expensive drone that is the prized possession of Max’s father (Will Forte) to spy on some local teenagers making out.

But when the drone gets destroyed, the Bean Bag Boys must scheme to come up with the funds to replace it, skip school and embark on a trek to the local mall (a distant journey of at least four miles) to replace it before Max’s dad gets home and grounds him so that he can’t go to the party. Along the way, they must deal with the teenagers they were spying on hunting them down for drugs they accidentally stole, not to mention cops, frat boys, sex toys and the peer pressure of drinking more than three sips of beer.

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The Blu-ray includes a fun, laid-back commentary from the film’s co-writers — director Gene Stupnitsky and producer Lee Eisenberg — that covers many of the inspirations for the film and the specific jokes involved.

There’s a two-minute alternate ending and more than 10 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, many of which are alluded to in the commentary.

Also included is a two-minute gag reel and six featurettes that provide about 14 minutes of behind-the-scenes material. These offer the usual tidbits about the cast and filmmaking process, including the interesting nugget that the school used in the film was Tremblay’s actual school in Vancouver.

But it all comes back to the filthy language used by the young stars, and some hilarious discussions about how they have no idea what the dialogue they’ve been given to say actually means.

The mind of a child, indeed.

Universal Releasing ‘Good Boys’ Digitally Oct. 29, on Disc Nov. 12

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the ‘R’-rated comedy Good Boys through digital retailers Oct. 29, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 12.

The story involves 12-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay) being invited to a kissing party and asking his best friends Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) for pointers on how to kiss. After they accidentally destroy the precious drone of Max’s dad (Will Forte), they skip school and embark on an epic misadventure to replace it, avoiding the cops while encountering accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball and two terrifying teenage girls (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis).

The film earned $73.3 million at the domestic box office.

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Home video extras include feature commentary with director/co-writer Gene Stupnitsky and producer/co-writer Lee Eisenberg; an unrated alternate ending; unrated deleted and extended scenes; a gag reel; the featurette “Boys for Real,” a look into the casting process and real-life friendships that evolved on-set; “Welcome to Vancouver,” in which Tremblay shows off some of his favorite things about his hometown; “A Fine Line,” in which the filmmakers and cast discuss the raunchy dialogue; “Ask Your Parents,” in which the cast and filmmakers talk about how they were able to navigate adult questions from curious child actors; “Bad Girls,” a discussion with Molly Gordon and Midori Francis; and the featurette “Guest Stars,” about some of the cameos in the film.