• Your Highness (Mill Creek Entertainment) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: January 19th, 2021.
    Director: David Gordon Green
    Cast: James Franco, Natalie Portman, Danny McBride, Toby Jones, Damian Lewis, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Theroux
    Year: 2011
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    Your Highness – Movie Review:

    Not quite the stoner comedy you’d expect, given that the cover art touts that this picture is ‘from the director of Pineapple Express’ and that it features some of the same cast members from that film, 2011’s Your Highness, directed by David Gordon Green is a send up of fantasy and adventure films that, while not perfect, proves to be a pretty amusing watch.

    The story, set in one of those magical kingdoms of days past, revolves around a goofball named Thadeous (Danny McBride), who, along with his servant Courtney (Rasmus Hardiker), is constantly in trouble and frequently gorging himself, and his brother Fabious (James Franco), a handsome and dashing swordsman with a taste for adventure. Both descendants of King Tallious (Charles Dance), the brothers couldn’t be more dissimilar but they are quite fond of one another. When Fabious is to wed Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), Thadeous gets jealous and opts to boycott their wedding, but things take an interesting turn when Leezar (Justin Theroux), a sinister wizard, kidnaps Belladonna, intent on using her as a tool to fulfill an arcane prophecy.

    Separate, the two brothers set out on their respective quests to set things right and see that Belladonna is brought back, unharmed, and, along the way, encounter a quirky cast of characters like Boremont (Damian Lewis), their friend Julie (Toby Jones) and a beautiful warrior woman named Isabel (Natalie Portman). As it becomes clear that one or both of them needs to find the fabled ‘Sword Of The Unicorn’ and take Leezar out of the picture for good, will the brothers be able to join forces and make things right?

    This one takes a little too long to get going (despite an amusing opening scene with McBride and some dwarfs and some kooky comic book style opening credits) but once it does, it proves a pretty amusing watch thanks primarily to the cast. How much you get out of this will very heavily depend on how funny you find McBride and Franco, as they get way more screen time here than anyone else does. Personally, they make me laugh and I had a good time with this, but obviously comedy, like anything else film related, is subjective so your mileage may vary. They’re pretty amusing in the leads though, with McBride doing just fine as the slacker and Franco handling the role of the go-getter well enough. Supporting work from Portman is okay if not amazing, while Dance, Deschanel and Theroux are all pretty amusing here.

    Once we get past the first twenty-minutes or so, David Gordon Green improves the pacing of the movie, offering up a better helping of action and humor and presenting a much more exciting and entertaining picture than we started with. Production values are solid enough, Universal clearly put a bit of money into this. This is, quite obviously, meant to be goofy so know that going in and, if you give it a chance, odds are pretty good that you’ll have a good time with it. At the risk of sounding like a pride, the overuse of the word ‘fuck’ s honestly a strike against it, it’s just overdone and, as such, loses its impact, but a lot of the dialogue is pretty funny, even if it is clearly meant to push the envelope more than a little bit.

    Your Highness – Blu-ray Review:

    Mill Creek presents both versions of Your Highness in AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentations framed at 1.85.1 widescreen on a 50GB disc, with the theatrical cut getting 19.7GBs of and the extended version 20.3GBs of space. It’s probably a pretty safe guess that the picture quality here mirrors the older Universal Blu-ray release from 2011 and, to be fair, it looks pretty good. Would a new transfer have yielded better detail and depth? Probably, but this is solid enough. Colors look really nice and black levels are fine. Compression artifact that pop up here and there are very minor, while flesh tones look fine. Detail and depth is pretty good, and overall, it’s a pretty nice picture.

    Both versions of the movie get 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks, with subtitles provided for both cuts in English only. No problems to note here, the audio quality is pretty solid. There are some fun directional effects used throughout the movie that are spread out nicely into the rear channels. Effects and the score are both nicely balanced and the dialogue is always clean, clear and easy to follow.

    The extras have been carried over from the older Universal Blu-ray release. First up is commentary from David Green, Danny McBride, James Franco and Justin Theroux available over either version of the movie and it’s a blast. These guys are clearly having a lot of run hear, joking and making digs at one another throughout but also still managing to offer up a lot of information about the making of the movie. It’s a fun listen.

    There are some other extras included here - we get a few minutes' of alternate scenes, some deleted scenes and some extended scenes along with a gag reel. These are all amusing enough, but not necessarily integral.

    We also get a featurette entitled Damn You Gods: The Making Of Your Highness that clocks in at a half an hour in length. This piece actually provides us with a pretty thorough and serious look at the making of the movie, showing off plenty of footage shot on set during the production and tossing in some interesting cast and crew interviews as well.

    Additionally, the disc includes menus and chapter stops.

    Your Highness - The Final Word:

    Your Highness is a pretty amusing film with some strong production values and a good cast. Mill Creek’s Blu-ray contains a solid selection of extras and presents the film in nice shape and at a very good price. Recommended for those who can appreciate the type of humor on display here.

    Click on the images below for full sized Your Highness Blu-ray screen caps!