Disaster Movie: Unrated (US - BD)
Gabe doesn't even know what to say about this one. At least the box is sturdy
Apparently I misjudged the size of the headless community in America. For most of my life I was led to believe that people couldn’t live without heads, but it must be a lie. How else would you explain Meet the Spartans being a bona fide hit? People with eyes wouldn’t want to see it; people with ears shouldn’t want to hear it. I bet the deaf and blind could even smell the rottenness of the film. This leaves us only with the headless people, because even those without faces, ears, or working nervous systems still have brains, and I just can’t believe that anyone with a brain would pay to see Meet the Spartans.
And because all the headless people made $84.5 million we got another Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer spoof movie within seven months. This time even the headless population was smart enough not to go, and hopefully no one will ever pay these guys to make another movie again. I already generally don’t like spoof movie making because it’s usually an excuse for lazy writing, but even Scary Movie 4 wasn’t this lazy. Disaster Movie barely even makes the effort to spoof anything, it’s more about referencing things, as if making a joke at the expense of recent pop-culture is too hard, and all the audience deserves is visual reference to recent pop-culture.
Actually, the filmmakers here weren’t able to accurately spoof the summer blockbusters of 2008, because when they made the movie none of those blockbusters had been released. Disaster Movie is a spoof of the images found in the teaser trailers for 2008 summer blockbusters. And not just action movies, but they lift jokes wholesale from You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and The Love Guru (which is the only movie I saw all year that was worse than Disaster Movie). On top of everything else, even with an elongated song outro, and really slow credits, still only totals eighty-eight minutes (without the credits the movie’s only about an hour ten). Actually, wait, less movie is a good thing in this case. I praise the filmmakers for the brave choice of charging consumers the same price to see two-thirds of a real movie.
Well, I guess I can’t exactly say anything bad about this Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer. There isn’t a lot of texture in the film, just about every shot is filmed using wide angle lenses, and the lighting is all soft and bright, so there isn’t a lot that can go wrong. The colours are very bright, solid, and sharply separated. Flesh tones are natural (if not over-lit), grain and noise are almost non-existent, and everything is relatively consistent. The only problems are a general lack of depth and detail compared to other films, which isn’t really a problem when one considered the artistic underachievement of the entire film.
When Lionsgate puts together a DTS-HD Master Audio track for one of their Blu-ray releases they don’t mess around. Even the studio’s cheap and artless piles of garbage are aurally aggressive. Disaster Movie spreads surprisingly evenly across the track channels, though the sound designers don’t really seem to understand the concept of layering their effects. There’s activity in the surround channels, but it only ever seems to be a single sound at a time. There is one genuinely impressive soundscape sample where an asteroid hits Hannah Montana off screen. Obviously unable to shoot a decent special effect on their budget, the filmmakers use the sound to sell the crash. Most of the music is very obviously synthetic (horns and strings are always a giveaway), but the thumping bass tracks are giant, and the ‘High School Musical Song’ features some nice vocal effects.
The cast and crew commentary starts things off, and it’s pretty sad. The writer/directors mostly sit quietly, as if embarrassed, and the actors have to drink oodles of alcohol before they start genuinely laughing at the films gags. Up to the point of drunkenness (which takes a long time, these people aren’t lushes) the laughs sound charitable. Kim Kardashian smartly chooses to walk into the commentary as the credits begin to roll.
Then we’re ‘treated’ to a series of featurettes with a ‘play all’ option, starting with ‘Straight From the Ladies’, four minutes of improv interviews with two of the actresses in character. ‘G-Thang’s Tour’ is a ten tour of back stage with comedian Gary ‘G-Thang’ Johnson, including brief chats with other cast members and plenty of G-Thang making an ass out of himself. ‘This is How We Do It’ is a lumpy, nine minute EPKish making-of featurette, with on-set interviews, shots from the movie, set footage, and obnoxious pop-up facts. ‘Girl Fight’ is a quick look (01:35) at the wrestling scene between Carmen Electra and Kim Kardashian. ‘Sitting Down with a Stand-Up’ is eight more minutes of behind the scenes tours and on-set interviews with G-Thang. A little of him goes a long way. ‘Who’s Spoofing Who’ is a brief series of interviews with the lead actresses talking about spoofing (two of them work for Mad TV), and being spoofed (three are famous for being pretty).
The disc comes to its merciful end with two sing alongs (the ‘High School Musical Song’, and ‘I’m Fu@king Matt Damon’, which was ‘I’m Dating Matt Damon’ in the theatrical version, apparently), a MOLOG option, and a whole bunch of hi-def Lionsgate trailers.
Hopefully the headless population wasn’t just waiting on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Disaster Movie, and the film will act as a stern warning to studios that aim to make more entries in Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer ______ Movie catalogue. Hopefully this will be a death keel, or at least a warning of an upcoming death knell, because I don’t think society can take another one. Perhaps this was the change Barack Obama was talking about—a world without cheap spoof movies.
*Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Gabriel Powers
This product has not been rated
Release Date: 6th January 2009
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 English
Subtitles: English HoH and Spanish
Extras: Cast and Crew Commentary, 'Straight From the Ladies', 'G-Thang's Tour', 'This is How We Do It', 'Girl Fight', 'Sitting Down With a Stand-Up', 'Who's Spoofing Who?', 'I'm Fu@king Matt Damon' Sing Along, 'High School Musical' Sing Along, MOLOG, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Cast: Gary ‘G-Thang’ Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Tony Cox, Carmen Electra, Nicole N. Parker, Crista Flanagan, Ike Barinholtz
Length: 88 minutes
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