DVD Review: Peep World [MA15]

Dir: Barry W. Blaustein
Starring: Judy Greer, Michael C. Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Kate Mara, Ron Rifkin, Ben Schwartz, Sarah Silverman, Lesley Ann Warren, Rainn Wilson

The Film:Peep World is the story of the Meyerwitz family; mainly father Henry (Ron Rifkin), his sons Joel (Rainn Wilson), Jack (Michael C. Hall), Nathan (Ben Schwartz), and daughter Cheri (Sarah Silverman). Nathan has written a book about his family, entitled Peep World, and although the names in the book have been changed to protect the innocent, Nathan’s siblings know full well that there is truth in the story because it is about them.

The movie starts off showcasing a birthday dinner for Henry with the whole family there, and then breaks off into tangents regarding each one of the offspring of Henry. Joel is pretty much a waste of space, begging Jack for money. He lives in an extremely messy apartment, but finds solace in his girlfriend, Mary (Taraji P. Henson).

Shifting over to Jack, we find that the “most responsible” of the crew is a failing architect who has a taste for something his wife doesn’t approve of (trying to remain spoiler free here) and rightfully so, considering the fact she is seven weeks away from delivering their first child.

Sarah Silverman is a whiny mess, who complains the whole time about how the book Nathan wrote ruined her life.  Blah.

Nathan’s mini tale is the most awkward, as he heads to a doctor to deal with problems concerning his manhood.  This arc just seemed very out of place to me, but whatever.

The movie really doesn’t have a lot to say, and we realize by the end of the film, Nathan isn’t really the bad guy. However, the tangents provided don’t really give us a lot of character expositions as to why the people showcased are this way, why they are so messed up. In a way, I guess the film makers believe the audience should accept it at face value and just go with it, but I felt like the movie really didn’t work in this aspect. Also, it barely focuses on the father figure, which, for the sake of the final few scenes, would have made the movie work a lot better if we knew more about him.

The cast is so-so. Hall and Wilson are two of my favorite actors, and while Wilson does a pretty good job in his minimal role, Hall makes his character feel the most fully developed. His story was definitely the most interesting. On the negative side, Silverman whines practically the whole movie when she is featured, and I couldn’t stand her at all. Schwartz is meh, as a character who you are supposed to invest time in as the author of the titular book, he really is kind of rude (although I think that was the intent) and I didn’t really care for the character. Rounding it out, Rifkin is just there to impact the finale, but his character doesn’t do anything to make you feel hurt or hate him enough, and the movie fails in this aspect.

Peep World had some good elements. In it there could be a good movie, if some things were changed. But I had some issues with the cast, and the film itself had a hard time finding solid ground. It really is a mess, much like Joel’s apartment, and while the quick run time might be good for some, I think that some character arcs needed some depth. The strongest elements of the film were Hall, Wilson, and an intriguing story, but unfortunately that story really gets lost in the shuffle.

The Australian DVD 
Audio/Video: The video is a 16:9 widescreen presentation. Sharp picture, couldn’t find any faults with it. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1. audio was clear and I had no issues there.

Extras:
* Deleted Scenes
* Trailer

The deleted scenes are not bad, not sure they added much to the overall film but may have been a good inclusion.

Overall Rating

Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.

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