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Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated)
BLU-RAY disk
07.12.2010 By: Jason Adams
Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated) order download
Director:
Steve Pink

Actors:
John Cusack
Rob Corddry
Craig Robinson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Three middle aged friends (and one of their nephew’s) go back to their old ski resort stomping grounds for a weekend getaway. One magical spa and a can of Russian energy drink later, the group finds themselves back in 1986 literally reliving the glory days of their youth, and trying to decide whether to use their knowledge of the future for personal gain.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Some titles just lend themselves to awesomeness. There’s nothing about the name HOT TUB TIME MACHINE that doesn’t conjure up a good time at the movies, especially with someone like John Cusack signing on. And when the full cast is rounded out with such excellent secret weapons as Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke, expectations get raised.

So 10 minutes in to this movie I was pretty worried. Things get off to a pretty slow and unfunny start, with suggestions of a dumb, gross out comedy that didn’t inspire much hope. Thankfully HOT TUB TIME MACHINE greatly picks up once the characters get to the 80s and becomes an R-rated comedy version of BACK TO THE FUTURE. It’s not as ridiculously great or silly as its title suggests but it makes the most of the nostalgic concept and is unapologetic in its humor. (In case Robinson’s deadpan stare in to the camera when he says the movie’s name didn’t tip you off.)

The main draw is the cast’s fantastic chemistry together and each person has their own unique chops to bring to the mix. Robinson plays the whipped husband all too well, while Clark Duke also has experience as the nerdy, sardonic teen. It’s great to see John Cusack in a comedy again, especially an R-rated one. (It’s also awesome to see him don a SAY ANYTHING-esque trenchcoat and go all emo for the latter half of the film.) But as great as everyone else does in this movie, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE is all Rob Corddry. The man is wild, crazy and on fire the entire time as the movie’s requisite a-hole, with a thousand one liners and vulgar put downs to back it up.

I also gotta give props to Crispin Glover in a hilarious supporting turn. His one-armed bellhop subplot is easily the funniest thing in the film. I would say more, but I don’t want to ruin it. (“Are you raping?!” has also entered my everyday lexicon.) Chevy Chase is also in the movie, although his character is kind of a wasted opportunity. It’s not Chase’s fault (given his resurgence on “Community” I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt), but the script just gives him very little to do.

There are lots of great gags and memorable scenes but the movie has to balance a lot, from each of the character’s personal stories and arcs, to the RED DAWN-obsessed bad guys, Crispin Glover and romantic interests. (Cusack’s love subplot is the film’s major weak link—shoehorned and unnecessary.) There’s probably a too many things going on, but the attempt makes for an admirable effort.
THE EXTRAS
The Blu-Ray has both the Unrated and Theatrical versions of the movie. I’ve seen both and I can’t tell you exactly what was different about the longer cut, but the Unrated definitely had some longer takes and extra lines (nothing major plot wise) and generally felt longer – and not in a good way.

Deleted Scenes: Mainly just extended takes and some improv, ut you do get a little extra meat (including some closure on Chevy Chase's character). A little over ten minutes worth.

Theatrical Trailer, Promos and a Digital Copy.

The back of the case boasted some behind the scenes featurettes and production docs, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it on the disc.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE is pretty funny with a great ensemble cast and some inspired gags throughout, though it’s not the next comedy classic. You could do much worse in the laughs department than giving this at least a rental.

Extra Tidbit: John Cusack swears he signed on to do this just based on the title.
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