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"Dude, Where's My Car?" was released to theaters on December 15th 2000 and for some reason the marketing campaign seemed to work on me. I have to admit I thought the trailer was pretty damn annoying but it had something that drew me to the film.  Despite unanimous pans from critics everywhere something told me that they still could be wrong. Now 20th Century Fox brings Dude to DVD.

Dude, Where's My Car?
Dude, What about our Movie?
"Dude, Where's My Car?" is the story of two slackers named Jesse (Ashton Kutcher - That 70's Show) and Chester (Seann William Scott) who party hard and are pretty clueless to life around them.  One morning they wake up after partying the night before and answer the phone. It's their girlfriends "The Twins Wanda" (Pearl Harbor's Jennifer Gardner) and Wilma (The Practice's Marla Sokoloff) who demand the guys come over and clean up their house after the wild party they held the night before. The problem is that Jesse and Chester don't remember having the party.  Another problem is that it's their anniversary and the Twins want their gifts. So on their way out of the house the dudes open up their fridge and find a whole bunch of pudding. Unsure of the puddings origin they think that they must have gotten so wasted that they bought a lifetime supply of pudding. After all, what other explanation could there be?  They then decide that they will go out and buy the girls a gift on the way to their place. Only problem is that they can't find the car.

Soon the dudes find themselves in all sorts of odd situations, there's a transgender stripper who wants $200,000 that she left in the dudes possession the night before. Then there's two sets of aliens wanting something called "The Continum Transfunctioner" and a cult of bubble wrap wearing worshippers of Zoltan who are also after the transfunctioner.

The biggest problem with "Dude" is it's lack of a plot line much like another recent Fox release "Freddy Got Fingered". The events that transpire seem to occur for no plausible reason other than to pad the running time to an acceptable length for a feature. While some of the gags work, most don't and at times they are very painful to watch. It's one joke after another played out in front of the camera. The screenplay by Phillip Stark isn't really a cohesive story but more like a set of sketches you'd expect to see on "Saturday Night Live".   

We can't really blame the performers as they are perfectly cast in their roles. Ashton Kutcher can play a moron perfectly well as this character is as close to his character on TV as you can get. Seann William Scott has shown time and time again that he excels at playing characters with lower than normal IQs. Looking back at it, this is one of his better performances as he didn't play some "Steve Stiffler" knock off.  Jennifer Gardner who can currently be seen as a nurse in Micheal Bay's "Pearl Harbor", is wasted here as is the lovely Marla Sokoloff from "The Practice". They are given so little to do their roles amount to a little more than cameos. Speaking of cameos, be sure to look for David Herman and Andy Dick in small cameo type appearances.  Also worth noting is a small role from the original "Buffy" Kristy Swanson as Christine Boner the hottest girl in town.

Another thing I think that hurt this film was it's rating - PG-13. In the director's commentary track the director mentions some of the changes and deletions that had to be made to receive the lower rating. Some of the dialogue had to be looped and the reasons why the characters were acting the way they were was lost.  Unlike "Freddy Got Fingered" where the gags were just so over the top that regardless of if you liked it or not, you had to laugh. Whereas some of the jokes in "Dude" seem so forced. The difference can be attributed to the rating with "Freddy's" "R" vs "Dudes" "PG-13".  Had "Dude" pushed the envelope a bit further it would be a better film.

As it stands now, "Dude" is a mess of a film. Sure it has it's funny points, but they come in between long sections that just seemed to drag on forever. At a running time of 83 minutes, I'd say maybe 30 minutes was genuinely funny and that's just not enough to get a more than slightly better than average rating.

We're Hot Chicks!
Dude, What about the Video?
20th Century Fox has pulled out all the stops for the "Dude, Where's My Car?" video transfer. Releasing the disc in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with anamorphic enhancement. While this movie is as boring visually as a movie can get the transfer doesn't show this at all. In fact the transfer here brings new life to the film. Colors are extremely vibrant, flesh tunes amazingly accurate and detail is razor sharp.  

However like so many other transfers recently, it falls just flat of perfection due to a few minor problems that pop up during the film. Pixelation rears it's ugly head a couple times - as does shimmering and the occasional blip of dirt appears on the print. Despite these minor flaws this is a near perfect transfer from the boys over at Fox.

Dude, What about the Audio?
"Dude" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and contains pretty much your basic comedy audio mix. For the most part the audio remains in the front 3 channels and only ventures into the surround speakers a couple of times after the opening credits. 

Music is strong when it needs to be and soft when it doesn't.  Those expecting anything from the LFE channel will be disappointed as I noticed little to no use of subwoofer through out this movie. Dialog was clear but seemed a little low in the mix; this resulted in the need to bump up the center channel on my system. However sometimes this bump caused the dialog to seem a bit strained or harsh. The clearest example of this would be the drive-thru scene when the bump caused the dialog to be very hard on the ears.

A fairly uncreative mix coupled with the inconsistency of the center channel's volume leads to a lower than normal audio score.  Come on guys, I know it's a comedy and I wasn't expecting much but what I got didn't meet my low expectations. 

Also available is a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix in English those without 5.1 receivers.

Dude, Where's My Car?
Dude, What about the Special Features
It's hard to believe at one time Fox wasn't providing very many extras for it releases. If one was to take a look at the early discs from Fox including discs for their biggest hits they would be surprised with what they found. The release of the 2 disc SE of "Fight Club" changed all this as Fox took a total 180. While their catalog releases sometimes come up a little lacking when it comes to their newer products, even smaller titles such as "Dude" get a fairly cool treatment.

The big special feature on the "Dude" disc, is a commentary track from actors Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott along with director Danny Leiner. And man what a commentary it is.  While I'm a fan of technical commentaries and learning what went on during the making of a film. When it comes to comedy, the track I want to hear is a bunch of guys having a good time - looking back at the film they made. Like many of Kevin Smith's commentaries this is a commentary where the guys sit down, have a couple of alcoholic beverages and talk about guy stuff.  Some highlights include the constant worry about the beer supply level, how they were constantly stoned on the set, how Seann's hair keep's changing and how hot the girls on the set were.  Danny, Seann and Ashton are fully aware that the movie isn't the best in the world but they are sure of the fact that it was a fun time for all involved.  I'm a believer that commentaries should reflect the nature of the film. In this case the commentary is funnier than the movie itself. Sure you're not going to learn about the complex technical aspects of film but you'll have more fun listening to guys talking about the movie than watching the movie.

Continuing on we have a set of 7 extended scenes. Many of these scenes are mentioned in the commentary and are for the most part alternate takes of scenes already present in the film. Some of the dialogue is changed and made a bit more raunchy. It would be interesting to have the commentary option available on these deleted scenes but if you listen to the main track the scenes in both forms do get discussed there. 

Then there's a featurette on the making of the movie which is fairly promotional in nature containing interviews with the primary stars. Also included in the featurette is the "Dude Cam" a somewhat amusing little set tour from Aston and Seann.

Other extras include the music video for Grand Theft Audio's Stoopid Ass, TV Spots and the trailer. All of these extras are Full Frame with  Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

"Dude, Where's My Car" isn't rocket science. In fact it makes movies like "Dumb and Dumber" and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" look like "Gone With the Wind". Sadly it was shut out at the Oscars and was even bashed at the MTV Awards - an award show targeted at the same demographic. While Dude won't go down as a classic in comedy filmmaking the commentary alone makes this disc worth a look. Sure the film is stupid but the people involved had fun and really that's all that matters. If your in the mood for some mindless entertainment it doesn't get much more mindless than "Dude Where's My Car".


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