PictureGet Him to the Greek comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p resolution encoded using the AVC codec and framed within a theatrically correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The disc is region free.
As with most Universal comedies of recent years, it seems this has been given a pretty fine transfer to the home format. The colour palette is neutral to warm, but never blows out or lets this warmth affect the primaries. They remain bold but never lurid and hold consistent throughout. Skin tones are good, but a couple of scenes either highlight a slight reshoot or perhaps a momentary and slight misstep.
Sharpness is excellent and there is a not only decent delineation with the main focus of the camera but articles in the periphery and backgrounds also display good crispness (obviously within reason). This helps lend the picture a pleasing, and surprising for a comedy, 3d pop, the type of which Blu buyers so crave.
Fine detail is in particular commendable, with clothing being presented in an almost tangible manner. There is decent shadow detail, but some shots in darker circumstance can be a touch washed out and the contrast, which is generally solid, takes a little hit at these times (again, I wonder about reshoots). In totality this is an extremely pleasing image that just ranks below reference due to a couple of minor areas where it doesn’t quite hold its head above the high bench mark it has set itself.
SoundThe film comes with three audio offerings: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1 and Spanish DTS 5.1. Understandably I opted for the lossless English track.
Realistically there were only two elements that the sound mixers needed to nail to make this track a good one: music and dialogue. The film is primarily driven by these two aspects and as such they are key to the experience. The speech is absolutely spot on. There are numerous times when it might have become strained or distant, as the comedy goes from quiet to raucous in a matter of seconds, but all the while dialogue remained intelligible and well realised.
Music is similarly precise, with both Snow’s own tracks and those of more notable artists rich and dynamic. Perhaps a touch more high frequency would have been nice, but this is simply nitpicking as the LFE’s fine underpinning of the tunes more than makes up for any miniscule issues possibly applicable. It is a joy to hear such anthems as Come on Eileen building in the background in a perfectly layered manner, only to finally start to break through to make an impact.
Surround effects are limited in as much as the material itself limits them. There is no great call for flashy pans or the like, but the crowd scenes are brought to life with enough aplomb and atmosphere to make the experience believable in a cinematic way. Ultimately though this track was never likely to stand or fall by the quality of the 360 degree soundscape that was called for in a minimal amount of scenes, the crisp speech and rich music on offer make this a fine audio offering for a film that relies on nuanced dialogue and big tuneful moments.
ExtrasExtras on this two disc set are handily arranged into sub-sections and split between a Blu-ray and accompanying DVD disc. A surprising addition is subtitles for all.
Unrated and theatrical versions of the film
In truth there isn’t a great deal between the two (110 minutes compared to 114), but obviously the unrated iteration is untethered to the prescribed rule of decency laid down by the ratings organisations..
- Getting to Get Him to the Greek – 1080p - 32:07
By far the most in-depth of the three documentaries, it’s your usual array of talking heads mentioning why they decided to make the film or get involved, but thankfully it doesn’t fall into the mire of a back-slapping love-in. Director, Producers and stars all appear and there are some nice behind-the-scenes shots in the various locales detailing the making of pivotal moments.
- Getting in Tune with the Greek: Behind the scenes with Infant Sorrow – 1080p - 13:47
This specifically looks at the making of the various songs featured throughout. We hear from some of the writers (though sadly not the more famous ones such as Jarvis Cocker or Carl Barat) as well as the composer, who all seem to approach the making of comedy songs professionally.
- The Making of African Child – 1080p - 6:26
This is a faux reality “making of” that has everyone in character as if it were appearing on MTV. Strangely, this falls surprisingly flat and is perhaps the least interesting of all the three, but it is still a welcome inclusion.
- Music Videos – 1080p, three of which are shown during the film (though not in full) and two more which are new. Accompanying the pretentious charity single African Child (3:12), Jackie Q’s innuendo pop ditties Ring ‘Round and Supertight are the wonderfully blasphemous I Am Jesus and the Jarvis Cocker penned Britpop drugs anthem Just Say Yes . Great comedy value, but they could almost be entries in the charts as well.
- The Greek Concert 1999 – 1080p – 6:35
Two live songs performed by Infant Sorrow - Gang of Lust and Going Up.
- The Greek Concert 2009 – 1080p – 11:36
Three songs performed by the band, Bangers, Beans and Mash, Yeah Yeah Oi Oi and Going Up.
- The Today Show: The Clap – 1080p – 3:04
Full version of the song featured in the film.
- VH1 Storytellers: Furry Walls – 1080p – 3:22
The Oasis-like end theme from the film.
- World Tour: Riding Daphne – 1080p – 3:48
A chance to see the original ending tune in full.
- London O2 Concert – 1080p – 11:00
Made during Brand’s Scandalous tour, this has two songs by Infant Sorrow, I Am Jesus and Inside of You as well as an appearance of Jason Segel and Jack Black singing Dracula’s Lament while the crowd were waiting for the stage to be set up.
All the music videos, but with the added bonus of highlighted lyrics for those desiring to have a little sing-along.
Director Nicholas Stoller, Producer Rodney Rothman and cast members Jonah Hill, Russell brand, Rose Byrne and Elisabeth Moss join to talk us through the film. Moss and Rothman only appear via a phone link and as such aren’t really included much, whilst Brand swans in after about 35 minutes have elapsed. To their credit Stoller, Hill and Byrne prove more than capable of carrying a lively conversation without any extra input. The track is light and breezy with a few laughs and a general air of chat with a few titbits thrown in occasionally for good measure. Just try not to shout at the screen when Byrne describes TV presenter Zoe Salmon’s accent as Welsh.
A copy of the film to be transferred to your computer or portable device. Compatible with both Windows media Player and iTunes.
Gag Reel – 10:18
Split into two parts this is the usual array of corpsing, outtakes and larking around.
Line-O-Rama – 9:11
Various actors improvising and giving alternative lines for the same scenes, the best of which is Snow’s description of Lars Ulrich to his young son – “Lars destroyed Napster and he could destroy your childhood”.
Alternate Intro: The Castle – 5:52
It becomes evident quite why this was replaced as apart from the final shot it is fairly stultifying and mirthless.
Alternate Ending: Riding Daphne – 3:17
Supposed to be four months after the gig, this ending is similarly flawed to the one that was finally used, lacking energy.
Deleted Scenes – 18:19
A total of 16 scenes culled from the final edit. The majority of which were rightly removed, but one or two prove to be either funny or actually flesh out a few things.
Extended and Alternate Scenes – 35:45
Some 22 extended or alternate scenes that range from the mediocre to the thoroughly funny. Seeing more of the painful sequence featuring Tom Felton, the concierge takes that are arguably better than the one used in the final edit and more smuggling conversations using bizarre euphemisms makes for a good watch. It also includes a plot point that explains a little more as to why Aaron is so ready to cut loose and party with Snow.
Blind Medicine – 2:31
A few comically blood-spattered moments from the mock melodramatic medical TV series featuring Sarah Marshall as a blind Dr alongside Rick Schroeder.
Interviews – 18:00
Four faux TV interviews for The One Show, MTV, The Today Show and The View. A couple fall a touch flat in places, but Brand riffing as Snow on The View makes up for it as it is clear they don’t know what to do with him.
Auditions – 17:46
Screen tests from Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss, Nick Kroll, Aziz Ansari and TJ Miller. Byrne proves particularly adept at improvising and seeing just how humorous Miller can be makes it a shame he wasn’t featured more heavily.
In amongst all these extras listed are several more of a lesser nature on the Blu-ray. U-Control makes a return, proving not a great deal of use with regards content and its bold claim to help you “Enjoy interactive features while you are watching the movie”. Meanwhile there is Ticker whereby you press blue when the onscreen blue symbol appears to “see more”, though in this instance apparently the phrase less is more is evidently true. BD Live is back, but not with a bang as one can only assume all the decent content was crammed onto these discs already and Pocket Blu allows you to “experience Blu-ray in an exciting new way with smartphone devices”, though thankfully I have no smartphone, just a regular dumb one so that counts me out. The final addition is the time-restricted (offer expires 31st March 2011) ability to stream one of three movies (Uncle Buck, Dazed and Confused or Life) to your BD player or smartphone. They’d already given us everything, so I suppose we can’t hold it against them if they throw in the kitchen sink as well, maybe some will find a use for the more gimmicky features. One thing’s for certain, this is one hell of a package of extras.
VerdictGet Him to the Greek is fairly typical of recent R rated comedies – a mixture of slick humour and ludicrous vulgarity. Fans of Brand will lap it up whilst those critical of Essex’s own Jack Sparrow will surely dismiss it. Hill brings a nuanced performance and Byrne steals just about every scene she’s in. It’s a comedy that plays to a formula of running, screaming and puking but also has enough throwaway lines to differentiate it from simple shock value laughs.
The region free disc comes with the holy trinity of great visuals, audio and bonus material. The latter in particular bombards viewers with hours of featurettes, music videos not featured in the film and a good light-hearted commentary.
As a film it never deviates from its target market or attempts to break the mould, but when it is funny enough as it is, why should it? It has pacing problems and some scenes fall flat, but if drunken, drug fuelled vomit covered shenanigans and a disembodied P Diddy head sound like they’d tickle your funny bone then this is certainly worth a watch.
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- Getting to Get Him to the Greek – 1080p - 32:07