Cedar Rapids stars Ed Helms who plays Tim Lippe. Tim is a very average yet boring person who sells insurance for an insurance company in a small town. He really isn’t going anywhere in his life and he is happy doing what he does. He gets picked to represent his company at an insurance conference in Cedar Rapids. Lippe is very nervous about going to Cedar Rapids because his boss is making such a big deal out of an award that is being presented at the conference. His company has won it for the last 3 years running, and he is counting on Lippe to make it year number four. His boss, who is played by Stephen Root, pretty much has only one instruction for Lippe. That one instruction is to stay clear of Dean Ziegler, who is played by John C. Reilly. Lippe is suppose to be rooming with Ronald Wilkes throughout the entire conference. However, the hotel overbooked their rooms so Wilkes decided to take on another roommate. Who might that be? You guessed it, Ziegler. You watch as Ziegler tries to become friends with Lippe even though Lippe tries to keep his distance. If you have seen the trailer, you can obviously see that it’s easier said than done. Once all this starts to roll, a lot of crazy stuff starts happening. It is quite the interesting ride that each of these characters take.
Ed Helms might be the main character in the storyline, but in actuality his character wasn’t the one that kept me entertained throughout the movie. I haven’t really been the biggest fan of Ed Helms. I liked him in The Office, but that is really it. I feel like at the beginning of the movie he is just playing the same character as he did in The Hangover. Unfortunately that character got pretty old, pretty quick. He seemed to bring it back as the movie went on, but I still wouldn’t say that it was a solid performance. Alrighty, moving on to who stole the show. The character that stole the show and kept me the most entertained was that of John C. Reilly‘s. Reilly played Dean Ziegler, Lippe’s arch enemy. Reilly did a great job in this movie. At first I felt like he was simply playing the same character he was in Step Brothers. However after some deliberation with a friend I came to the census that it was similar but more grown-up humor than that of Step Brothers. The supporting actors/actresses were pretty good also. Isiah Whitlock Jr. played Ronald Wilkes, Lippe’s first “friend” in Cedar Rapids. I felt like Whitlock’s acting was decent and it picked up a lot towards the end of the movie.
I found Cedar Rapids to be hilarious…the first couple of times seeing it. So if you are watching it for the first or even the second time you are in luck. However anything after that, unless you haven’t seen it in quite a while, you’ll most likely not find it funny. It feels like once you get the jokes in the movie, it’s pretty much down hill from there. I was really looking forward to this movie being released because I was expecting it to have a few more play threws before it lost the replay value. Simply put, I was wrong. Like I stated before, I found John C. Reilly‘s character to be the funniest throughout it but who knows maybe some people like the stupid awkward character that Ed Helms plays.
Cedar Rapids is sitting pretty nicely in the video transfer area. It was shot digitally however at times you wouldn’t even suspect that. The colors are sharp, rich and deep throughout the entire movie, yet have the grainy aspect that a film camera would have. This movie didn’t necessarily choose the bright and edgy colors that most big blockbuster comedies do. Instead the majority of the colors used were in the brown category. That might seem strange, but it actually worked with it. It didn’t effect the likes of skin tones or anything, which I would have thought it would. Overall I would say that Cedar Rapids received a pretty good transfer, obviously not reference quality. On the other hand, they knew exactly what they were wanting and went for it.
When it comes to the audio mix on this Blu-ray it’s pretty much exactly like any other movie in this genre. You aren’t going to be getting a lot of explosions or anything, it’s going to be heavy on the dialogue. Cedar Rapids received a DTS- HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. With this comes along no real faults. It seems to be crisp and delivers the punch that the dialogue meant to deliver.
I personally like to see special features on a comedy movie such as Cedar Rapids. The most common special feature for comedies are deleted scenes and gag reels. They always tend to be hilarious! Who wouldn’t want a four minute gag reel of John C. Reilly? Overall, even with those deleted scenes and the gag reel, I felt like the special features were kind of lame.
- Deleted Scenes (1080p, 7:19): Includes six short deleted scenes.
- Gag Reel (1080p, 4:17): John C. Reilly, need I say more?
- Convention Connection (1080p, 13:19): This is a collection of interviews from the actors.
- Mike O’Malley – Urban Clogger (1080p, 2:55): A behind the scenes of Mike O’Malley learning how to dance.
- Tweaking in the USA (1080p, 6:13): A featurette about the filming of the “drug house” scene.
- Wedding Belles – Crashing a Lesbian Wedding (1080p, 4:16): Same as the previous, a featurette of the lesbian wedding in the movie.
- Top Notch Commercial (1080i, 1:16): A fake insurance commercial about a bow-hunting accident. I found it boring.
- Theatrical Trailer (1080p, 2:27)
- Fox Movie Channel Presents – Direct Effect Miguel Arteta (SD, 6:37): An interview with the director, who talks about his approach to the material.
- Fox Movie Channel Presents – Writer’s Draft Phil Johnson (SD: 6:48): An interview of Johnson, on his inspirations for the script.
- BD-Live Exclusive: Ed Helm’s Mad Chopper Skills (720p, 2:26): What does Ed Helms do during takes? Flies his remote control helicopter.
Like I stated before if this is your first or second time watching Cedar Rapids you should be fine. This movie is full of one timers that could send you into a hilarious spin of laughter. Just remember that this movie doesn’t have replay value, so I do highly suggest that this be a rental and not necessarily a buy right off the bat. If you do find yourself wanting to buy it, you won’t be disappointed with the video and audio quality at all. The video is all digital, however is made to look like film with the some points of the movie in heavy grain. Also, the audio is a nice clear and crisp track all across the board.
Movie – 7.5/10
Video – 7.5/10
Audio – 8/10
Special Features – 5/10