Out now from Paramount Home Media are two titles that show just how funny things can get when people are in their cups…
First we have Office Christmas Party, the story of a soon-to-close Chicago branch of a tech company which decides to try to land a life-saving client by means of a huge Christmas party that turns out to be a bacchanalian mess. The film stars Jennifer Anniston as Scrooge-like CEO Carol Vanstone and T.J. Miller as her man-of-the-people brother Clay along with an ensemble cast, including Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Sam Richardson, Fortune Feistier, and Courtney B. Vance. The film grossed $114 million worldwide and, while it received mixed reviews from critics, was a welcome piece of lighthearted escapism for many fans. The film is now out on both Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, although if you want access to the unrated version (which includes footage not seen in theaters), you’ll have to go with the Blu-ray option. Bear in mind, the unrated version is only five minutes longer than the theatrical one. Also exclusive to the Blu-ray Combo Pack are some additional bonus features, including commentary on the theatrical version by directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (who you may recall also joined forces on Blades of Glory), “Throwing an Office Christmas Party” (where the cast and crew discuss real Christmas parties and making the movie), a special named “Outtakes” which is really more like multiple takes of some of the actors improving alternate lines, and five deleted scenes. The DVD has the theatrical version of the film only.
For those who want to grab it now and not wait for next holiday season, you can rent the HD digital version of the theatrical release on Amazon for $5.99 or purchase it on both Amazon and iTunes for $14.99. You can also purchase the unrated version digitally on Amazon for $14.99 (for some reason there’s no rental option on that one.) Another oddity is that (at least at the time of this writing) on Amazon the pricing for the DVD and the Blu-ray are the same at $17.99. (No idea why on that one, but I would say if you like the extras and the option to have both the theatrical and unrated versions for no extra coin, go ahead and jump on the Blu-ray while you can.)
Next we have Drunk History: Season Four, the beyond-awesome history show where host Derek Waters sits down with comedic non-historians whose love of storytelling is matched only by their love of alcohol. (If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s basically funny people sitting down, drinking, and trying to recall stories from history while actors act it out, complete with lip syncing the inebriated dialogue.) Many fans may not realize that it’s based on the web series originally on Funny or Die, created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner way back in 2007. The conceit is obviously a popular one as the show has been going strong for four seasons and was just renewed in January for a fifth. It has also spawned international versions in Britain, Latin America, Hungary, and Brazil. Making appearances on Season Four (some as “historians,” some as re-enactors) include Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover Trilogy), Ronda Rousey (UFC Fighter), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls), Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Thomas Middleditch (The Wolf of Wall Street), and the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda (from Hamilton, discussing Hamilton), among others. The DVD set features all eleven episodes of Season four which discuss Boston’s Great Molasses Flood, a kick-butt woman pirate, Alexander Hamilton’s feud and fatal duel with Aaron Burr, and much more. The set also includes over 40 minutes of bonus features, including a special on historical elections, extended drunk narrator moments, and deleted scenes.
If you like going the digital route, you can purchase Season Four on Amazon and on iTunes ($9.99 and $19.99 respectively, both of which include the bonus election special). The DVD is currently available on Amazon for $14.59.