I Love You, Man
SPECIAL FEATURES A-
DVD GEEK FACTOR 7
(OUT OF 10)
Paul Rudd and Jason Segel get together for a funny "bromance" that features the two comic actors at the top of their games. Rudd plays a newly engaged real-estate broker who lacks male friends. His search for a best man leads him to Segel, and hilarious male-bonding shenanigans ensue.
Rudd is on a roll, as is Segel, and the two make a great duo. The obsession with Rush gets a little out of hand, but, hey, Moving Pictures was a great album. There are lots of great actors, including former members of The State, in small parts. While the movie isn't quite up to the level of Rudd's Role Models, it's a very good time.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Lots of deleted scenes and making-of stuff (including an explanation of how they did the projectile-vomit scene). Rudd and Segel do a commentary, and the gag reel is actually quite good.
SPECIAL FEATURES B
DVD GEEK FACTOR 7.5
(OUT OF 10)
Roman Polanski's disturbing little horror film starts off slowly, but it definitely delivers the goods by film's end.
Catherine Deneuve stars as Carole, a quiet manicurist living in London with her sister. Something seems to be bothering her; she has a general disdain toward men and doesn't want to be left alone. However, when her sister leaves for a vacation, Carole is left to watch over the place and pay the rent.
Carole is the worst house sitter ... ever!
In some ways, this is a horror film in the tradition of Psycho. The big difference is that while Hitchcock explains why Norman Bates did what he did, we never really get definitive answers about Carole. There are hints in her behavior, and some dream scenes give a little away, while the biggest clue comes in the film's final—but still ambiguous—shot.
Polanski makes this work as both a horror film and mystery. Three years later, he would direct Rosemary's Baby, one of the creepiest films ever made. Repulsion qualifies as Rosemary's creepy older sister.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Criterion did a nice high-definition transfer of the black-and-white movie, approved by Polanski. He and Deneuve offer up a "commentary"—actually, it's a pastiche of interview comments that weren't recorded at the same time. There's also a documentary on the film produced in 2006, as well as one made while the movie was being filmed. The packaging includes a booklet of essays.
Jim Breuer: Let's Clear the Air
SPECIAL FEATURES C
DVD GEEK FACTOR 6
(OUT OF 10)
I listen to The Howard Stern Show semi-regularly; comedian Jim Breuer is a frequent guest. Much of the former Saturday Night Live player's current comedy deals with his dad, and Breuer often drops his hilarious impersonation on Stern's show. I always believed Breuer's impersonation must be an exaggeration, but there's a prelude to Breuer's show on this DVD that proves it is dead-on. His dad's voice does, indeed, have a wonderful quack to it that is a gift to his comic son.
The special captures Breuer in clean mode, where he talks about his parents and his children. He also does a great routine about driving with Dave Chappelle, his co-star in Half Baked. Best of all is his rendition of "Row Your Boat" as sung by AC/DC. The damn thing is stuck in my head. Also, having grown up on Long Island like Breuer, I can relate to his story about the Concorde flying overhead.
It's a good stand-up routine that includes lots of impersonations and a certain amount of self-deprecating humor. He admits that he thought he was going to be hugely successful, but things didn't turn out that way. The lack of huge success actually gives him some good material—and that makes him funny.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Not a lot, but there is a fireside chat with dad that gets some laughs, and Breuer recorded some decent stuff for the DVD menus.
Robot Chicken: Star Wars—Episode II
SPECIAL FEATURES B+
DVD GEEK FACTOR 6.5
(OUT OF 10)
This second Robot Chicken/Star Wars flick isn't as good as the first, but it's still pretty good. It includes a lot of stuff involving Ewoks getting obliterated; their planet gets pummeled with debris after the Death Star blew up nearby. Boba Fett is a big star of this installment, and we get to see what happens to him after falling into the dreaded Sarlacc pit.
Because they have the full blessing of George Lucas for these shows, the producers get to use a lot of Star Wars figures and music without worrying about major lawsuits.
SPECIAL FEATURES: The disc features two versions of the episode, including an extended edition that offers 15 minutes of new material—and the new stuff is good. There are lots of commentaries and making-of docs for diehard fans.