Blu-ray Reviews: Humor Me & The Tribes of Palos Verdes

In the midst of the summer movie season, there needs to be a box office warning on film. Not bad language or carnality, but audiences need to be warned that a film does not contain mutant powers or a serial killer. This way the audience can sit back and relax for a couple hours without thinking that the next scene is going to be a M. Night Shyamalan twist. We need a warning to let down our defenses and not worry about believing that a man can fly and enjoy people being people on the screen. A warning that humanity will displayed on the screen. The Tribes of Palos Verdes and Humor Me are a drama and a comedy, but both feature normal people that aren’t looking to save the world, just their own lives.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes moves the Mason family to the dreamy California coast. The family finds itself in a harsh situation as mom (Alias‘ Jennifer Garner) keeps judging herself against other mothers that don’t like to eat and use their milk money for plastic surgery. The daughter and son adjust to Oceanside living by getting into surfing with the local kids. Although this is not so easy since the territorial and not happy at new kids trying to hog their fresh waves. Dad (Weeds‘ Justin Kirk) blows up the new life by falling hard for a local woman and leaving his family. Mom goes into a tailspin. Can anything be salvaged in this place that passes as paradise? Directors Brendan Malloy and Emmett Malloy give a great sense of place as the family devolves. Jennifer Garner nails the depression of keeping up with the ladies of the tennis courts. It’s good to see her not promoting a credit card. How could things go so wrong among the elite?

Humor Me is also about life changing when you move, but this time the family is an adult child. Nate Kroll (The Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement) is a playwright whose life implodes when his latest play isn’t clicking, his wife dumps him and his agent dumps him. He’s in such a bind, he does the unthinkable and moves back in with his dad (Ocean’s 11‘s Elliot Gould). The trouble is this is not his childhood home. Dad now lives in a retirement community. He’s not going to let his kid just mope around his condo. He puts him to work. But he also hooks him up with the community’s theater group to get him creatively thinking too. Except Nate sees this as a major downgrade from his award winning career. Writer-director Sam Hoffman really lets this tale of a father and son having a second chance thrive. Gould is bad to his classic charms. Clement plays the sad sack perfectly. They seem like they’re related as they struggle against each other.

If you find yourself burnt out on super heroes in these early summer days, you should just watch a few films about people wanting to save their own little worlds.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic for Humor Me and 2.40:1 anamorphic for Tribes. The high resolution breaks bleakness to the retirement community and a glow to Palos Verdes. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 for both films. The movies are subtitled.

Bonus features on Tribes include deleted scenes and trailer.

Bonus features on Humor Me include an audio commentary, deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.

Shout! Factory presents The Tribes of Palos Verde. Directed by: Brendan Malloy and Emmett Malloy. Screenplay by: Karen Croner. Starring: Maika Monroe, Cody Fern, Jennifer Garner and Justin Kirk. Running Time: 104 minutes. Rated: R. Released: April 10, 2018.

Shout! Factory presents Humor Me. Directed by: Sam Hoffman. Screenplay by: Sam Hoffman. Starring: Jemaine Clement, Elliott Gould, Ingrid Michaelson, Annie Potts and Bebe Neuwirth. Running Time: 89 minutes. Rated: Unrated. Released: April 17, 2018.

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