PicturePresented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen this Platinum Series disc by New Line provides an excellent quality encoding. Realistic flesh tones combine with vivid crisp primary colours to produce a bright bold image. Picture is almost devoid of digital noise with only one scene, the difficult to encode “make out” scene from Lloyd fantasy, showing signs of minor blocking in dark areas of the scene. Not up with the best on offer today but a very competent print which you will enjoy watching.
SoundAudio is Dolby Digital 5.1 recorded at 448kbps. Like the picture a good job has been done to encode an unremarkable soundtrack. Dialogue is harsh and strident at some times, but my amp picked up the fact that a flag was present boosting the dialogue channel by +4dB, which would explain this. Still it doesn't swamp the soundstage, and as a comedy there is little occupying the rest of the channels other than the (very good) soundtrack, full of the hits of the eighties, which sound great in 5.1. The one explosion in the movie (a petrol station exploding) tickles your sub into action very nicely.
ExtrasNew Line have a habit of throwing the kitchen sink at their Platinum releases I terms of extras and this is no exception. In fact I laughed more during the extras than during the feature film. The presentation of the whole disc is excellent. Wonderful animated menus which follow the principles of the feature presentation lead you comfortably through the multitude of extras and not very well hidden easter eggs ( they are eggs located on each of the menu pages). It all kicks off with a chatty feature commentary by director Troy Miller along with the two leads Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen. This is quite low key and surprisingly low on laughs. It consists mainly of on set recollections and reminiscences but does add some insight into character development. There are 9 deleted scenes lasting from just over 1 minute to nearly 7 minutes with an extended title sequence providing insight to Lloyds early years. These can be viewed with optional directors commentary. They are all well worth watching and were cut for time only - pity. Next up - the behind the scenes documentaries. An excellent 25 minute “Casting the Perfect Dummies” - showing audition footage for all the main characters with interviews with casting director, director and executive producer indicating the importance of casting for a prequel, when you have such well known actors in the first movie. “Dumb and Dangerous” is a 17-minute behind the scenes trivia - introduced by the two male leads. Again this is well done and both amusing and revealing. Really funny teaser and theatrical trailers flesh out this section.
However there are a few other little segments worthy of mention. Explore the disc thoroughly and you will find “comedy” audio commentary by two film critics, and by the Ciccone family, and a “Scottish” commentary track. You may also find the extended movie mode, a jiffy movie mode and a pillow movie mode. As you may have guessed these are infact witty spoofs but show the lengths that New Line have gone to in order to provide value for money. Well done New Line.
VerdictAs a prequel to such a famous classic this movie was always going to have a hard time making an impact. However despite the hit and miss approach of the gags they do come at you thick and fast, and you may find yourself chuckling despite yourself. Audio and video presentation is good to very good. The disc is well presented and stuffed with extras - especially for a single disc release. Fans of this kind of humour will not be disappointed if they buy this disc.
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