Get Him to the Greek Blu-ray Review
PictureGet Him to the Greek comes to UK Region Free Blu-ray presented with a 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 1.85:1. Detail is fantastic throughout, retaining clarity despite the difficulties presented by some of the filming conditions and techniques (particularly the adventurous Music Videos). There’s absolutely no softness, facial close-ups looking superbly authentic, and there’s no sign of any assistance from of edge enhancement techniques. The colour scheme is broad and daring, with some very vivid and bright tones on offer indeed, and they are all represented well here. Even the concert footage looks fantastic. If there was one slight niggle, it would be the black levels, which don’t seem to be quite right, often becoming a little too overpowering for the proceedings – although this only really shows up in a few of the night sequences, so it shouldn’t really trouble you, and certainly won’t interfere with your viewing pleasure. All in all it’s a rock solid video presentation, especially for a comedy. Whilst not really demo material, it is very good nonetheless.
SoundOn the aural front I found this track largely impossible to flaw, which is tremendous news since the movie is so damn music-orientated. Presented with a superior DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, the material is so colourful it creates a wonderful sound environment within your living room, not just during the raucous party scenes, nor the expansive concert footage, but with every single music track they play throughout the movie (and they play almost non-stop). Seriously, the dialogue, whilst largely coming across clearly and coherently – has to fight hard to share the limelight with the numerous tracks. Effects are fairly limited, a few gunshots at the beginnings, some transportation noises and other mostly ambient stuff, and although they do give the surrounds some material to be working on, the majority comes from those aforementioned song tracks which are relentlessly superb. A cracking track, there’s nothing to complain about here, unless you don’t like bass.
ExtrasIt should be noted that there are two different cuts of the movie: the Theatrical Cut and the Extended Party Edition. I didn’t see the movie in the cinema, so it’s difficult to note all of the differences in retrospect, but it’s basically an extra 5 minutes of footage, which pushes a few of the scenes further into the extreme, adding more profanity, more drug use, a great scene with 'the jazz man' and a funny jogging montage. It will be the preferred option for the majority, but you have to remember to change the version on disc startup, an unnecessarily lengthy task when what they usually do is give you the option when you hit ‘play’. In terms of extra material, Get Him to the Greek comes with arguably the most spectacular extras package that I have ever seen adorn a comedy. The Deleted Footage alone would be enough to make another whole movie (counting the alternate scenes, lines and faked music videos), which I have never seen on any release (least of all a release which already comes with two different versions of the movie). Whilst some of the extras are housed on the movie disc (like the Commentary, Documentaries and Music Extras) the meat of the extra footage comes on the second disc. Unfortunately Disc 2 is just an SD-DVD. I suspect it’s the same as the second disc available with the DVD release – I mean it’s exactly the same disc – which is a little cheap of the Studios but, that said, at least the damn thing loads pretty quickly (unlike the main Blu-ray which has about 4 loading segments!), and who can really complain about all of this extra material?
First up we get a full-length Audio Commentary with Director Nicholas Stoller, Cast Members Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne and Elisabeth Moss, and Producer Rodney Rotham. It’s a sporadically interesting offering, but there are clearly a few too many cooks in this kitchen. It is nice to hear them dissect the various comedic concepts: from the inspiration for the Jackie Q character (can you guess?) to the intentions behind some of the filmed sequences, the extra segments, and Sean Coombs genuine occasional frustration; and the Director tries his best to reign in his entourage (and Jonah Hill’s voice is quite distinctive amidst the rest – contributing some of the funniest bits) but the track is still not the easiest listen, coming across as quite a free-for-all. Oddly, Elisabeth Moss and the Producer are only included via telephone conference, and Russell Brand doesn’t even turn up until forty minutes into the proceedings (but he’s still probably worth the wait). Still, fans will likely be quite happy sitting through this just to hear Jonah Hill digress into frequent anecdotes, and Brand just speak, in his own inimitable way.
is a fairly gimmicky U-Control option available here (it is a Universal disc after all, so it’s got that irritating generic menu too), giving us a glorified Trivia Track which identifies song tracks across the movie, many sung by Russell Brand or Rose Bryne themselves. This is a fairly limited extra, but also immensely useful for fans of the music in the movie (and there are lots of great tracks). And, better still, it not only identifies the key songs performed by the stars, but also the background music and radio tunes, and even the downloaded ringtones the characters have.
Getting to Get Him to the Greek is a fun 33 minute Documentary which takes its time giving you some insight into the origins of the movie, the characterisation, the cast and the filming. The cast all come across as nice, funny individuals (and not in the least bit pretentious), and you get to see plenty of scenes being shot and plenty of mucking around (both in front of and behind the camera), all of which gives you the impression that they had an absolute blast making this film. Perhaps not that technically informative, fans of the movie will certainly enjoy checking out this decent making-of.
Getting in Tune with the Greek takes a further 14 minutes to look specifically at the extensive music work that they did for the movie – as important an element to this particular production as the script itself. Some of the songwriters and the movie’s writers talk about their inspiration for the various mock-tracks, and it’s a nice accompanying featurette to go with the main making-of.
The Making of African Child is actually a mockumentary, with the actors in-character talking about the creation of this mock music video. Sporadically funny, it is not quite as enjoyable as you would expect, especially considering the hilarious Music Video itself.
The last extra on the main movie disc is, in my opinion, the best extra out of the entire selection (on both discs). Here we get the full uncut versions of the various fake music videos that you see snippets of peppered throughout the movie, as well as the Concert and Talkshow-performed tracks that Aldous Snow takes part in. We get The Greek Concert 1999 (Gang of Lust and Going Up), The Greek Concert 2009 (Yeah Yeah Oi Oi, Going Up and Bangers, Beans and Mash), The Today Show (The Clap), VH1 Storytellers (Furry Walls), World Tour (Riding Daphne) and the London 02 Concert. And in terms of Music Videos there’s African Child, I Am Jesus, Ring ‘Round, Supertight and Just Say Yes. Honestly, it’s fantastic to see them all in their entirety, and the absolute best – total hidden gem on the disc – has got to be “I Am Jesus”. Ok, I appreciate it was probably too controversial for the final cut, but this fantastic track is not only a great send-up, and massively hilarious, it is also actually quite a catchy tune. Seriously, if you only watch one extra on this disc, let it be the Music Video to “I Am Jesus”. (There are also Karaoke options for all of the main tracks listed above, as well as Dracula’s Lament, the Jason Segal track from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.)
Gag Reel was a little disappointing, but is thankfully split into two roughly five minute segments, the second of which is much better than the first. Sean Coombs is actually quite funny in this, amidst all of the line fluffs, and wrong names used (calling people by their real names and not their character names), and it’s certainly worth checking out the second half.
Line-O-Rama is much, much better, an identical option to what was available on Superbad (and other Apatow Productions), giving you loads of improvisational work during all of the funniest bits. All of the key players contribute to this one, although Brand’s are probably the most laugh-out-loud funny moments.
Alternate Intro: The Castle is a short alternate beginning to the movie, which is not as good as the one they finally settled on, but which does however include alternate cuts from the African Child fake music video (although you could just watch the whole thing on Disc 1).
Alternate Ending: Riding Daphne gives us a completely different ending, although it has the same basic resolution. It’s also an inferior offering, and I’m glad they stuck with the one they had, but it does give us yet another funny Russell Brand song track (although it is featured in its entirety amidst the first disc's collected music tracks in the live section).
Deleted Scenes run at 18 minutes, split into a whopping 17 scenes: Sergio’s Back, Jazz Man’s Night, Attempted Sex, Summoned, Daphne at Work, London Jog, Big Fan, Mile High Club, Guy, NY Security Line, Aaron Calls Daphne, Jonesing, Backstage, Pinnacle is Fucked, “Blacks & Jews”, Pirates, and Fart. As you could probably guess from the sheer number, most of them are ridiculously short, and I have to say they are not really very good – the alternate lines in the line-o-rama showcase some of the better, funnier material used for these segments. Still, it’s worth picking out the last four, which include extra banter between Sean Coombs and Jonah Hill, and is certainly the best of this selection.
Extended and Alternate Scenes total 36 minutes of further footage, this time split into 22 scenes: Matty & Kevin, Adrenaline Needle, Next Available Flight, Love Explodes, Tom Felton, Blonde or Brunette, Bathroom Sex, Asshole Avenue, Not Gay Hairdresser, Cue Cards, S&M Banter, Pretzels, Candy in the Jar, Houdini, Aaron has the Power, Concierge, Drug Deal, Good Cop – Bad Cop, Jackie’s Crazy, Aaron Jumps In, Aaron Sings Up, and Storytellers Q&A. Unfortunately, despite the runtime, what you’re looking at here is basically a few extras lines thrown into scenes you’ve already seen, or some alternate takes. Still, that often leaves it more funny than the Deleted Scenes and you could consider sitting down for the whole thing when you get the chance, it might give you a chuckle. We also get 3 minutes more of Blind Medicine, the hilarious send up of medical dramas, starring the character from the first movie, Sarah Marshall.
Interviews is split into four sequences: The One Show, MTV, The Today Show and The View, and totals 18 minutes of fake interview sketches. They were some of the funniest moments in the movie, and it’s worth taking the time to see them in their entirety. Perhaps not laugh-out-loud funny, particularly second time around, they are still pretty good and certainly have their moments.
Finally, rounding off the mammoth Extras selection, we get 5 of the cast auditions: Rose Byrne (Jackie Q), Elisabeth Moss (Aaron’s girlfriend), Nick Kroll and Aziz Ansari (Aaron’s workmates) and TJ Miller (the concierge). Running at 18 minutes in total, they show the various performers’ capabilities even at this early stage – reading from a script. There’s some great material here, much of it didn’t make the final cut, and it’s well worth checking these auditions out.
VerdictGet Him to the Greek is a surprisingly enjoyable spin-off/sequel, outclassing its decent enough predecessor, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and capitalising on a great character created within that movie. Of course, said character is brought to life by the enigmatic Russell Brand, who himself – in what may be a shock to some – plays a colourful, extreme and totally politically incorrect rock star, who most may assume is just an arrogant idiot, as actually a subtly vulnerable lonely soul within. It comes strikingly naturally to Brand, and he pretty-much makes this movie, although his Laurel & Hardy comedic pairing with Jonah Hill is an integral element of the proceedings. Occasionally laugh-out-loud, consistently entertaining, it doesn’t reach the heady heights of Superbad and Knocked Up, but it’s very good nonetheless.
On Region Free UK Blu-ray we get basically exactly the same package as the US counterpart, which includes good video, great audio and a massive selection of extra material that will literally keep you (often comically) entertained for hours. Fans of Forgetting Sarah Marshall should definitely add this to their collection, without any hesitation, and those who enjoy most Apatow-produced movies should consider this at least worth a rental, if not a blind buy. Surprisingly good.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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