Blu-ray Review: Reality

There are films that can’t be spoiled because you can’t come close to describing the set up. I can give away the ending of Reality and it won’t matter since you still have to see it to have it make an impact. Quentin Dupieux had already made an amazing “wha?” film in Rubber. A tire roams the high desert killing people. You aren’t going to get that type of plot from a Marvel movie. Dupieux is back with another movie that can’t be summed up with a TV Guide logline. The good news is that Reality is not a polemic rant on how American Idol and the Kardashians have ruined culture. Reality is the name of a girl who may or may not be real. Reality plays like the fevered dream of a person that merges Robert Altman’s The Player and Short Cuts.

Reality (Kyla Kenedy) is the daughter of a hunter who also enjoys taxidermy. While he’s dumping the guts of a wild boar, she observes a blue VHS cassette in the offal. She’s puzzled by how it can be eaten whole. Denis (Napoleon Dynamite‘s Jon Heder) hosts a morning show that features cooking segments. This could be all normal except he’s wearing a rat costume while learning recipes from his guest. He itches incessently. This becomes an issue since the director doesn’t want to worry about him scratching his balls on TV like a middle reliever in July. Jason Tantra (The Science of Sleep‘s Alain Chabat) awaits his big break in Hollywood. He’s a simple cameraman on Denis’ show, but he dreams big. He meets with a producer about an idea that doesn’t quite sound completely worked out. The producer wants to back the production, but only if he hears the groan of the victims in the film. He has 48 hours to capture the sound that will make him a filmmaker. The producer is also going nuts as a director (Bruce Glover) seems to be just wasting film on a production. The film is of Reality. Henri ( Tom Goes to the Mayor‘s Eric Wareheim) can’t figure out his dreams. Even worse is when his dreams merge with Reality’s life. Will Henri find his groan? Will Reality find out what’s on the tape? Can Denis stop scratching his balls? So many questions.

There’s nothing easier than making a goofy film with unreal situations found in Reality. This film could easily be dismissed until the last few minutes. Quentin Dupieux sticks the landing. He ties together so many of the dreamy plotlines in a move that doesn’t compromise his surreal story. This is a brilliantly executed magician’s trick that astonishes and delights. The absurdity wraps into itself like a dazzling ball. Reality doesn’t merely float away.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the Los Angeles feel. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that anticipates the perfect groan. The movie is subtitled.

DVD with a lower resolution version of the Blu-ray.

Trailer (1:25) brings out the absurdity of the film.

Reality is a surreal joy.

Scream Factory presents Reality. Directed by: Quentin Dupieux. Screenplay by: Quentin Dupieux. Starring: Alain Chabat, Jonathan Lambert, Élodie Bouchez, Kyla Kenedy, John Glover, Eric Wareheim & Jon Heder. Rated: R. Running Time: 87 minutes. Released: September 15, 2015.

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