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Joshy (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 27, 2016 by  



“Joshy” may seem like a banal film at first.  One that makes you feel that you have seen this type of film many times before.  But in truth, filmmaker/writer Jeff Baena creates an honest film about a group of friends being there for their buddy after a tragedy and try to have a night to enjoy with one another.  A film about bros, a film about friendship and “Joshy” is a film that I recommend!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Joshy

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 93 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, (2:40:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate Premiere

RATED: R (Drug Use and Language Throughout, Sexual Content/Nudity and a Disturbing Image)

RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2016


Directed by Jeff Baena

Written by Jeff Baena

Produced by Elizabeth Destro, Adam Pally, Michael Zakin

Executive Producer: Kim Leadford, Matthew Perniciaro, Chris Swanson

Associate Producer: Michael Ferraro, Sean Maurer, Sean Monahan, Peter Pietrangeli, Lauren Russell, Kindred Sparks

Co-Producer: Joshua Bachove, Tracey Landon, Daniel McGilvray

Music by Devendra Banhart

Cinematography by Patrice Lucien Cochet

Edited by Ryan Brown

Production Design by Almitra Corey

Costume Design by Mollie Middleditch


Starring:

Thomas Middleditch as Josh

Adam Pally as Ari

Alex Ross Perry as Adam

Nick Kroll as Eric

Brett Gelman as Greg

Jenny Slate as Jodi

Lauren Graham as Katee

Aubrey Plaza as Jen

Joe Swanberg as Aaron

Kris Swanberg as Anita

Alison Brie as Rachel

Brian Patrick Farrell as Tonie

Jake Johnson as Reggie

Frankie Shaw as Crystal

Jess Varley as Kylie

Lauren Weedman as Isadora

Paul Reiser as Steve

Lisa Edelstein as Claudia


After his engagement suddenly ends, Joshy and a few of his friends decide to take advantage of what was supposed to be his bachelor party in Ojai, California. In their attempt to help Joshy deal with the recent turn of events, the guys turn the getaway info a raucous weekend filled with drugs, booze debauchery, and hot tubs.


What to do for a friend in need?

This is a question posed for the film “Joshy” from filmmaker/writer Jeff Baena (“I Heart Huckabees”, “Life After Beth”, “The Little Hours”).

The comedy film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, with the film production only lasting 15 days and only shooting off a 20-page outline and the rest of the dialogue improvised by the cast.

Starring in the film are Thomas Middleditch (“The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Silicon Valley”, “The Final Girls”), Adam Pally (“Happy Endings”, “Iron Man 3”, “Dirty Grandpa”), Alex Ross Perry (“Listen Up Philip”, “Queen of Earth”, “The Color Wheel”), Nick Kroll (“The League”, “I Love You, Man”, Date Night”), Brett Gelman (“30 Minutes or Less”, “The Other Guys”, “Jobs”), Jenny Slate (“Obvious Child”, “Zootopia”, “The Lorax”), Lauren Graham (“The Gilmore Girls”, “Parenthood”, “Bad Santa”), Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”, “Safety Not Guaranteed”, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”), Alison Brie (“Community”, “Get Hard”, “Sleeping with Other People”), Joe Swanberg (“Easy”, “Drinking Buddies”, “Happy Christmas”), Brian Patrick Farrell (“Ted 2”, “New Girl”), Jake Johnson (“New girl”, “Jurassic World”, “Let’s Be Cops”), Paul Reiser (“Mad About You”, “My Two Dads”, “Aliens”), Lisa Edelstein (“House”, “What Women Want”, “As Good As It Gets”) and many more.

And now, “Joshy” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Lions Gate Premiere.

The film begins with Joshy (portrayed by Thomas Middleditch) going home and seeing his fiance, Rachel (portrayed by Alison Brie) cooking dinner to celebrate his birthday.

As Joshy makes his stop to workout at the gym, when he returns, he discovers his fiance dead, as she has hung herself.

Fastforward four months later and his married buddy Ari (portrayed by Adam Pally) discovers that the down payment he made for a house in Ojai for Joshy’s bachelor party is non-refundable, so he tries to hold a party for his Joshy and bring other friends along in hopes to keep his hopes up.

While no one wants to bring up or ask Joshy about the death of his fiance, they just want to make him happy, whichever way they can.

So, Joshy and friends decide to meet up in Ojai.

Ari brings the pot, Adam (portrayed by Alex Ross Perry) brings a “Dungeons & Dragons” style role-playing game that he and Joshy had put down money via crowdfunding, Eric (portrayed by Nick Kroll) is more of the party guy who hopes to make the party lively and he invites his friend Gregg (portrayed by Brett Gelman), who is a person that tries to live life happy and to the fullest and brings life to this party.

While Eric gets everyone to go out to the local bar and have fun, the married Ari tries to be a wingman and hopes to find a woman for Joshy.  But as Joshy is still having difficulty being happy, Ari meets a drunk woman named Jodi (portrayed by Jenny Slate) and both discover they a lot in common and eventually find themselves attracted towards each other.

But through the night, each of the men discover something about each other and their friendship.  But most importantly, how will the mourning Joshy be throughout the evening and will he ever discuss his true feelings about the tragedy of his fiance and let go of his emotions that has been bottled up within?


VIDEO:

“Joshy” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  The film looks very good in HD as closeups show very good detail, lighting for the film, especially indoor, is very good.  I didn’t notice any banding, artifacts or any negative issues during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Joshy” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  While the film is primarily dialogue and music driven, there is use of surround channels during crowd-based scenes but for the most part, dialogue and music are both crystal clear.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Joshy” comes with the following special feature:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with writer/director Jeff Baena, actor/producer Adam Pally and actor Thomas Middleditch.

EXTRAS:

“Joshy” comes with a slipcover and a UltraViolet digital HD code.


I have to admit that when I was watching “Joshy”, I thought this was going to be another banal stoner film.

Like any other stoner film in which the bummed out protagonist finds himself a beautiful woman and in the end, they all live happy ever after.

Fortunately, “Joshy” is not one of those films.

While a comedy, the film starts out with a tragedy as the protagonist, Joshy’s fiance commits suicide and dies by hanging on the day of his birthday.

What was supposed to be a celebration for Joshy’s bachelor party becomes an unknown party for a friend.  But no one knows what to do for Joshy.  Should they get him high?  Get him drunk?  Find him a new girlfriend?  Should they get him strippers?  No one really knows what they are supposed to do or how to react.

Ari is Joshy’s good friend who is married and he and his wife just had a child and is the person who rented a house in Ojai to celebrate with Joshy.  But for the night, he tries to find ways of getting his friend’s spirit up, hoping to be a wingman and introduce him to other women.

Adam is Joshy’s RPG board game friend.  He is philosophical, intelligent and very much into playing “Dungeons & Dragon” board games.

Meanwhile, Eric is the party guy who came to have fun, came to make sure Joshy and the guys have fun and he also brings his even more happy, fun and crazy friend Greg to the party.

Because no one is bringing up Josh’s fiance’s death or talking to him about it, not wanting to be a downer for his party, Greg comes in thinking that Joshy got dumped by his fiance.

So, what we have is an awkward party but everyone’s goal is to make sure their buddy, Joshy has fun because it’s his night.

While all the guys party, while the group heads to the bar, Ari tries to get a drunken woman named Jodi together with Joshy.  But as Joshy is not yet over the death of his fiance and is still mourning, Ari and Jodi end up talking to each other and realize that they have a lot in common.  And the married Ari (which he doesn’t say a thing to Jodi about him being married), finds himself attracted to Jodi and she to him.

Adam worries about his relationship because for the first time, he went to party with Joshy and friends and never told his girlfriend where he was at.  While some guys see it as no big deal, for Adam and his girlfriend, this could be a dealbreaker.

Meanwhile, the film features a list of guests that have cameos.  From Katee (portrayed by Lauren Graham) as a woman the guys all meet, Aubrey Plaza as Jen, one of Jodi’s friends, who also gets drunk and is left with Joshy’s friend Adam.

Jake Johnson plays the role of Reggie, who listens to Adam’s girl problems, Joe Swanberg as Aaron, one of Joshy’s friends who comes to the party late with his wife and child, very upset that the guys have held a party and haven’t confronted Joshy about the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Paul Reiser and Lisa Edelstein play the role of Joshy’s fiance, Rachel’s parents.  Who come to the home and are demanding answers from Joshy about why their child has died.

For the most part, I found “Joshy” to be an entertaining film when it focuses on the primary cast. I’ve been in similar situations, while not as tragic, but a group of friends hanging out and trying to bring happiness to a friend who may be unhappy.  And similar to the situations that have happened in the film (substituting the D&D board game with video games), watching “Joshy” was like going back in time and being with my friends.  And so I had fun watching the film for that aspect.

What I found wrong about the film is trying to bring other characters that were probably never needed and their scenes felt forced.  Personally, I felt that Jeff Baena had a good film for the majority of the film and keeping the film around it’s core characters, introducing self-discovery about their friendship and having fun but then slowly seeing the emotions of Joshy trying to come out, the film is unfortunately knocked off pace by trying to include other actors to make an appearance, when the film didn’t need it.

In some ways, I felt that Jeff Baena was trying to feature as many friends in the film as possible.  But the film didn’t really need it.

But still, I can’t help but really enjoy “Joshy” because I think a lot of guys can remember or be nostalgic of being around their buddies during their adulthood, before everyone got married and just having fun, enjoying time together and being there for each other like brothers.  This is how I saw the film and so I found it quite entertaining in that aspect.

The Blu-ray release looks very good.  Picture quality shows good detail and lossless audio featured crystal clear dialogue and music.  As for special features, you get a cool audio commentary with filmmaker/writer Jeff Baena, actor/producer Adam Pally and actor Thomas Middleditch.

Overall, “Joshy” may seem like a banal film at first.  One that makes you feel that you have seen this type of film many times before.  But in truth, filmmaker/writer Jeff Baena creates an honest film about a group of friends being there for their buddy after a tragedy and try to have a night to enjoy with one another.  A film about bros, a film about friendship and “Joshy” is a film that I recommend!






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