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The Last Kiss

Movie B-
Special Features B
DVD Geek Factor 6 (out of 10)

The DVD packaging calls this film a "hilarious, irresistibly genuine comedy." I can assure you I didn't laugh once while watching it.

That's not to say I didn't like it; it's just not a comedy in my view. I didn't really care for the 2001 original Italian version of this film, and I had no desire to watch the American remake, figuring they'd screw up a rather screwed-up film even further. Turns out Zach Braff and friends have made a rather credible film about lucky people behaving like major assholes. I found the movie appropriately depressing.

Braff plays Michael, a successful architect with a beautiful girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) who is three months pregnant. He happens upon another beautiful girl (Rachel Bilson) at a friend's wedding. The timing isn't good for this, because Michael is feeling like his life is over and set in stone, and a little tryst might put some spark back into his life. So he attends a party with the new girl and eventually sleeps with her, throwing his entire life into limbo when his girlfriend finds out.

There are multiple couples fucking up in this movie, a film that doesn't really care to show anybody who has their shit together. Truth is, very few people have it all figured out nowadays. This is a movie about being a malcontent, and that seems to be the message the film is pushing. Most people aren't happy in their domestic situations, with divorce rates proving it.

Yes, some of you out there are truly happy, and you are probably in the minority. This film is for those who haven't figured it all out and most likely never will. I appreciate the movie's honesty. I can't say I enjoyed it all that much, but I'm not sure I was supposed to. It left me with a bleak outlook, and that's probably appropriate.

OK ... time to pop Sleepless in Seattle into the DVD player!

Special Features: Wow, the folks who made this movie seem rather proud of it. Commentaries abound, with Braff offering up two, one with the director and another with fellow cast member. Deleted scenes, gag reels and music videos make this a rather robust disc. Two alternative endings that would've completely ruined the movie are also included. It was an excellent choice to end the film the way it stands.

Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season

Universal Home Video
Show A
Special Features C+
DVD Geek Factor 6.5 (out of 10)

Ah, yes, the first season of SNL, when multiple musical guests would come traipsing through, where first-ever host George Carlin did stand-up but didn't participate in sketches, and when Chevy Chase came off as some sort of comic god.

It's great that NBC has finally seen it fit to get this series on DVD, and season one is a wonder to behold. It's fun to go back and see who starred in the first sketch (that would be John Belushi), what concepts truly failed (that would be The Muppets as an integral part of the show) and who dominated the proceedings early on (not surprisingly, that would be Chase). Now that we know Chase is insane, watching him in his heyday is sort of creepy.

The first guest to participate in sketches? Paul Simon in episode two, who did a bit with the Killer Bees and played basketball against a former Harlem Globetrotter in a short film. (He wins!) This would also be the episode where Art Garfunkel showed up and sang with Simon after a rather tense moment where they poked fun at each other.

How monumental was that first episode? In addition to introducing us to the likes of Chase, Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, Andy Kaufman performed his infamous "Mighty Mouse" routine. They were pretty great right out of the gate.

Special Features: The show comes in a nice pretty box with all of the episodes, along with a rather nice photo book. As for on-disc features ... not much. You get an old cast interview and some audition tapes. The audition tapes are a bit interesting, especially Chase's, who acted like a real jerk even before the show went live.


Movie B+
Special Features A-
DVD Geek Factor 7 (out of 10)

What a great story. Mark Wahlberg plays Vince Papale, a Philadelphian who realized his dream when he made it to the NFL at the age of 30. Wahlberg is totally credible as the gutsy Papale, who, in the film, had no college ball experience when he attended an open call for the Philadelphia Eagles. The film contains plenty of embellishments, which were probably not necessary considering how extraordinary the real story is.

Special Features: Becoming Invincible: The Vince Papale Story is a great documentary, with a lot of footage of the real Papale in action. I remember watching the movie and thinking the guy couldn't have been as crazy as Wahlberg portrayed him, but he most certainly was. Meanwhile, actual-speed footage of that incredible sideline hit that Wahlberg took shows that the man truly got his ass kicked for this movie. The disc has two commentaries, one with the director and another that includes Papale himself.

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