Strays (2023) Blu-ray Review: The Incredibly Crude Journey

In the annals of cinema, the raunchy R-rated comedy predominantly featured the profane and sexual antics of 20-something, white men, as seen in National Lampoon’s Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds. This century has seen other demographic groups take part with their own outlandish shenanigans, including white women (Bridesmaids), Black women (Girls Trip), and preteen boys (Good Boys). In the summer of 2023, two other groups got their moment in the spotlight: Asian women (Joyride) and dogs (Strays). That’s right, dogs take an outrageous walk on the wild side, which will surely be too over-the-top for some viewers.

Reggie (Will Farrell) is such a sweet-natured Border Terrier he has no idea his owner Doug (Will Forte), who only kept Reggie to spite his girlfriend when they broke up, hates him. Eventually, Doug drops Reggie off in the big city, hours away from home. Being alone in a strange place as night sets worries Reggie, but he is befriended by Boston Terrier Bug (Jaime Foxx), Australian Shephard Maggie (Isla Fisher), and cone-wearing Great Dane Hunter (Randall Park). Reggie tells them he is playing Fetch with Doug, but they make him realize Doug abandoned him. This upsets Reggie so much he wants to return home and bite Doug’s penis off. Naturally, his new friends join him on his incredible journey.

Strays delivers a twisted take on the talking animal movie with a committed cast. It references other entries in the genre, like the cliched “break out of the pound” sequence and having Josh Gad, who voiced the dog Bailey in A Dog’s Purpose, play the dog Gus. Other fun Easter eggs pop up for fans of these movies. It blazes its own trail with a memorable sequence where the dogs find mushrooms to feast on, which results in psychedelic mayhem. However, there aren’t many memorable sequences. Instead, most of the humor comes from the typical profane and sexual antics of raunchy R-rated comedies.

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The colors appear in accurate hues. Black are inky without crushing. The image delivers depth and fine texture details as seen in the dogs’ fur and other objects. The sharper image does not spoil the visual effects that make the dogs’ mouths move. The audio is available in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue is clear. Occasional ambiance can be heard in the surrounds as can composer Dara Taylor’s score, but it’s not an immersive audio experience. Fireworks exploding make the most use of the subwoofer.

The “Boner” Features are:

  • Talk Like a Dog (7 min) – a featurette about the main cast and their characters
  • The Ultimate Treat: Making Strays (7 min) – a brief look the production
  • Poop, Booms, and Shrooms (7 min) – A look at a few different sequences
  • Will Forte: Stray Actor (6 min) – A humorous focus on Forte
  • Training to be Stray (5 min) – The animal actors and their handlers
  • A New Best Friend (4 min) – Greenbaum adopted one of the dogs used in the movie
  • Commentary by director/producer Josh Greenbaum and screenwriter/producer Dan Perrault

Just as not everyone is a dog person, not everyone will be a Strays person. But if you enjoy crude humor, the movie should fetch laughter. The Blu-ray offers a satisfactory high-definition presentation.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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