Friday, December 9, 2016

UNCLE NICK (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

Label: Dark Sky Films
Region Code: A
Duration: 81 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Chris Knack
Cast: Brian Posehn, Paget Brewster, Missi Pyle, Scott Adsit, Joe Nunez

A Christmas black-comedy starring comedian/actor Brian Posehn (Mr. Show), that's all I needed to know, I was in. In the tradition of mean-spirited Christmas comedies like Bad Santa we have Uncle Nick from director Chris Kassack starring Posehn as the titular Uncle Nick who on Christmas Eve heads on over to his little brother Cody's (Beau Ballinger) house, or rather the house of his sugar-mama wife Sophie (Paget Brewster, TV's Criminal Minds). It seems his lucky little brother married into money, like we all wish we would, right? Sophie has two children from her previous marriage, the pudgy teen-nerd Marcus (Jacob Houston, TV's How To Rock) and Valerie (Melia Renee, We Are the Mods), and a smoking-hot slice of 20-something naughtiness looking for attention in all the wrong places

Posehn as Nick is a sort of likeable guy, he's overweight, in his 40s and totally irreverent, a foul-mouthed who runs a landscaping business left to him by his deceased father. He loves giving his baby brother a load of shit whenever the opportunity arrives, taunting him about his sugar-mama wife, about being a kept man, and his long string of failed business ventures, the most recent being a really bad slogan t-shirt company which he runs out of his wife's garage, her daughter doubling as a model for his t-shirts. 

Seriously working against Nick's likability is that he lusts after his step-niece, he dreams of getting in her pants on Christmas Eve, and oddly enough she seems to be encouraging his not-so subtle advances, this girl has some serious daddy and mommy issues. Throughout the movie she baits Nick into sending her a dick pic as an xmas present, all the while sneaking drags of his cigs and sips of his grown-up beverages. This is the sort of dysfunctional family gathering you have nightmares about, you know, the one where your brother nails your step-daughter. 

Cody's wife Sophie is pretty uptight, and not surprisingly she doesn't much care for Nick and his crude ways, she wants everything to be just perfect, and when things don't go according to plan Nick's acerbic wit does not sit well with her at all, nerves are being frayed as copious amounts of alcohol are consumed. Also arriving for dinner is Nic's funny and nerd-cool sister Michele (Missi Pyle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and her struggling podcaster husband Kevin (Scott Adsit, TV's 30 Rock), who hosts a podcast about the Cleveland Indians, which figures prominently into the movie. Throughout the movie Posehn both narrates and through the podcast tells the story of the infamous Cleveland Indians ten cent beer night from '74, when the Indians offered offered unlimited ten cent beers to fans during a game with Texas Rangers. His recounting of the highly intoxicated game, which culminated in an all-out drunken brawl in the stands, closely parallels the drunken Christmas Eve gathering, which like the infamous game also ends with an alcohol-fueled rumble. 

It probably says something awful about me that I really liked Posehn's drunken and creepy Nick character as much as I did, the fact that he lusts after his non-blood related niece is not the most admirable character trait, but I loved his in-your-face honesty and anarchic ways, and the fact that I've been called an asshole myself made me root for him that much more. It helps that he's not the worst of the bunch, on this xmas even there are even worse waiting to be revealed, just you wait, this goes to some uncomfortable places. 

Blu-ray Special Features: 
- Audio Commentary with Director Chris Kasick, Actor Brian Posehn, and Writer Mike Demski
- Outtakes (3 Min) HD 
- Family Portraits (1 Min) HD 
- Barf-O-Rama (1 Min) HD 
- Red Trailer (2 Min) HD 
- Dark Sky Films Trailers:  The Demolisher, Night of the Living Deb, Traders and If There's a Hell Below
- Green Trailer (2 Min) HD 

If you're looking for a feel-good Christmas movie, this ain't the one, go watch A Christmas Story, but if you're looking for a very dark yule-comedy loaded with weird, naughty and alcohol-fueled depravity Uncle Nick (2015) is the demented stocking stuffer you've been looking for. Highly recommended, this will without a doubt be a new annual Christmas watch for me, right up there with Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa, this is just a wicked good time. 3.5/5