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Adam Sandler is the type of comedian you either love or loathe. I have to admit to not being his greatest fan, but may be that is down to the movies he has been involved with. The only movie of his that I can honestly say I enjoyed was Big Daddy, as his others have either been drab or his annoying traits have put me off the movie. However, this year saw the release of Anger Management which paired Sandler with Jack Nicholson, one of my favourite actors. So would this movie lead to me to have a change of heart?

Anger Management
Movie
To the untrained eye Dave Buznik (Adam Sandler) is a talented, law abiding citizen, who has a beautiful girlfriend called Linda (Marisa Tomei). The pair get on well and Dave eventually plans to marry her. His colleagues and even his girlfriend are unaware that he cannot control his temper. This first becomes apparent when Dave suffers a bout of 'air rage' and ends up being accused of assaulting a flight attendant. He is found guilty of the charge, and has the option of going to jail or attending anger management therapy. Obviously taking the lenient option, Dave attends a group which is led by highly regarded Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), an eccentric but extremely effective professional in his field.

Things don't go quite to plan, and Dave finds himself having to attend more classes in order to curb his angry state of mind. His situation gets so desperate that he is ordered to be chaperoned full time by Buddy, who in the process moves into Dave's apartment so that he can keep a close eye on his pupil. Dave’s life reaches an all time low when his relationship with Linda is jeopardised, and he doesn’t know who to trust. In his moment of crisis is he really going to be able to control his temper?

Anger Management was a pleasant surprise. I say that because as I mentioned before I am not a huge fan of Adam Sandler. However, his performance in this movie is commendable and compliments the always reliable Jack Nicholson. Is there any role that this veteran cannot play with ease? Mr Nicholson is once again the performer who stands out and steals the limelight in every scene where he is included. Peter Segal, the director, has done an outstanding job in bringing together a talented support cast including the likes of Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzmán, Kurt Fuller and Jonathan Loughran, all of whom bring a touch of class to the movie.  The success of Anger Management was always going to be down to how well Sandler and Nicholson gelled, and the fact that I enjoyed the movie is probably a testament to their chemistry onscreen. This year has been severely lacking in quality comedy movies, and while Anger Management is by no means a classic, you should find enough laughs throughout to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Anger Management
Video
Columbia Tristar have presented Anger Management in a beautiful 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer, which is a pleasure to watch. Even taking into consideration the fact that this is a relatively new film, I was still mightily impressed.  The outstanding feature of this transfer is the detail level, with every facial expression and background being expertly brought to the screen. The colour palette isn’t the most colourful that you will come across this year, skin tones appeared realistic, but the overall range of colours are for the most part subdued, however the film itself isn’t full of bright colours so this is not an issue. Black levels are well presented and appeared solid throughout.  

Taking into consideration the number of soundtracks packaged with this disc, I was expecting this transfer to suffer from compression artifacts, but thankfully that is not the case. Grain levels are also kept to a minimum and edge enhancements were nowhere to be seen. Even the layer change is hardly noticeable. Columbia Tristar have pulled out all the stops with this transfer, and in the process have produced one of the best comedy transfers of the year.
 
Audio
There are four Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks (English, Russian, Hungarian and Czech) with this release. This is a brave move by Columbia Tristar, as normally either the transfer would suffer or the number of extras would be drastically cut, but neither seem to have been sacrificed here. It’s fair to say that this 5.1 track is not the most active you will hear this year. The odd effect makes its way to the rears, but for the majority of the movie only the front soundstage really gets a workout. The musical score is sometimes heard in the rears, but more often than not they are quiet.  However, this doesn’t spoil the movie as there are very few moments and scenes which could possibly benefit from an active track. The centre speaker copes expertly with the dialogue that is thrown at it, and generally there is nothing to moan about with this aspect of the disc.

Anger Management
Extras
The first extra you will come across on this disc is the Commentary with Director Peter Segal and Adam Sandler. This is a really fun commentary, and it is obvious that the pair get on really well. They are keen to laugh and joke about whenever they can, and this certainly makes it an easy-listening track. You probably won't hear as many facts as normal, but nevertheless it is light-hearted and compliments this type of movie. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the greatest fan of Adam Sandler before this movie, but after listening to him here I have to admit to taking a u-turn. He is very funny in this commentary, but is also very sincere at times. Next up is an extra entitled Do You Have Anger Problems. This is a glorified quiz, where you have to answer questions on how to control your temper. Members of the cast ask you questions and you have to answer each one in turn. This then determines whether you need anger management classes!

Deleted Scenes are next up and there are four in total. They are entitled Candy Store, Burly man, Gas & Hospital and McEnroe. These scenes are worth viewing; my personal favourite is Candy Store which involves Adam Sandler's character buying a candy bar, which happens to have been nibbled by someone previously. This scene lasts for around two and a half minutes. Another scene which should keep you laughing is the one called McEnroe, which shows John McEnroe arguing in his Anger Management class. This is an extension of the original scene, which should have probably been included in the final cut.

There are two featurettes which can be found in the extras list, the first being Skull Session. It starts off with behind the scenes footage where people are getting angry, and then swiftly moves onto the ideas behind the movie and discusses how the script came about. This featurette also shows footage from the first day of shooting, but lacking throughout here is input from Jack Nicholson. Adam Sandler is used throughout this featurette to add a comical feeling, but for some reason his co-star doesn’t get involved. This featurette lasts for a very respectable seventeen minutes. The second, and final featurette is called My Buddy, Jack, and as the title suggest this is a homage to Jack Nicholson, where cast and crew members compliment the star. He is even described as a legend in this featurette and it is obvious that everyone had respect for him. This featurette lasts for just over four minutes.

The final extras on this disc are the obligatory Columbia Tristar Trailers. Like most Columbia Tristar DVDs, this section takes the opportunity to promote some of their other releases. This particular section concentrates on comedy titles and there are trailers for Anger Management, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Daddy Day Care, I Spy and National Security.

Anger Management
Overall
Anger Management is an amusing, yet heartfelt comedy which is backed up by a quality cast. It has its daft moments, but overall it should leave you with a warm feeling inside, and would make an ideal Christmas present for a loved one. Columbia Tristar have also done wonders with the disc itself. The extras are identical to the region one disc, but we also get the added bonus of several foreign language 5.1 tracks.  What makes this even more impressive is that the transfer doesn’t suffer! I often judge a movie by whether I would go back for a second viewing, and Anger Management is definitely good enough for repeat viewings. I can think of no reason why you shouldn’t make this a DVD to purchase.


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