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The Farrelly Brothers have been responsible for a rather inconsistent batch of comedy films spread over the last twelve years; from the good ( There's Something About Mary), to the bad ( Shallow Hal) to the downright lousy ( Me, Myself and Irene), they're constantly treading the fine line between 'stupid-funny' and 'just plain stupid'. Regardless of the quality of the end product, they enjoy undeniable popularity as a writing, producing and directing team and this began with 1994's Dumb and Dumber, which recently arrived in 'uncut' form on region one DVD.

Dumb and Dumber: Unrated
Feature
Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) have a lot in common; they're unstylish, rude and obnoxious. And they're both extremely dumb. When Lloyd falls in love with the mysterious Mary (Lauren Holly), they embark on a road trip to track her down in Aspen; unaware that they are being trailed by two hardened criminals...

The Farrellys would later perfect the formula with There's Something About Mary, but the entirety of Dumb and Dumber is really an excuse for one hundred and twenty minutes of rather daft comedy. This is probably just as well, as the plot is an illogical and badly-formed mess. The movie is also often credited as being the fore-father of the 'gross-out genre' but, aside from a few moments of near-knuckle humour (the film's more successful moments) this wont be too upsetting for the more politically correct movie lovers.

If there is one condition for enjoying Dumb and Dumber it's certainly down to whether you can tolerate Jim Carrey 'cranked up' to a ten. Forget his subtle appearances in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you'll remember this Jim Carrey from The Mask and Ace Ventura. Daniels, for what it's worth, holds his own in Carrey's company but the small group of supporting actors can only brace themselves when they share the screen.

Dumb and Dumber: Unrated
Dumb and Dumber is not the type of movie that will alter your mood. If you're having a bad day and you're feeling tired and irritable; two hours in the company of Carrey and Daniels taking it in turns to be 'Dumber' will probably leave you feeling even more tired and irritable. That said, if you've got a couple of beers handy and a few friends over, it may just provide a good evening's entertainment.

Video
Is it really only twelve years since Dumb and Dumber arrived on theatre screens? This unremarkable 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer makes the movie appear to be far older with bland colours and a fair amount of grain (particularly noticeable in the many scenes shot on location). Skin-tones are reasonable but colour contrast leaves a lot to be desired.

Audio
While the picture quality is unremarkable, the audio mix redeems things with the choice of Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 6.1 and, if you're that way inclined, a 2.0 Stereo mix in French. Traditionally, comedy DVDs don't give your setup a work-out and, with a heavy emphasis on dialogue, Dumb and Dumber is no different. That said, the wonderful soundtrack sounds extremely good when pumped through either DTS or Dolby Digital.

Dumb and Dumber: Unrated
Extras
The main attraction for fans of the movie will be the large collection of deleted and alternate scenes. The quality is wildly inconsistent but there are a few gems to be found. It's probably best to steer well clear of the hopelessly flat alternate ending that fails to come up with a single joke.

An annoying tradition of 'making of' docs is to use barely related clips from the film to qualify the comments of the interviewees, supposedly for comic effect. The retrospective documentary 'Still Dumb After All These Years' commits this cardinal sin and then goes on to commit another one; using non-stop background music that wouldn't sound out of place in an elevator. Fortunately, the original material redeems things slightly with interviews with many of the cast and crew, although Carrey and the Farrelly brothers are noticeable by their absence.

If you've enjoyed the web trailers for Brokeback to the Future and that delightful romcom The Shining, you'll probably appreciate the spoof trailers for Dumb and Dumber that are included on this disc. One envisions the film as a 'feel-good' movie, while the other targets the action thriller genre. They're certainly more interesting than the real trailers on the disc which include Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, The Man, The Mask and, rather predictably, Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.

To round things off, you can stick the DVD in your PC and enjoy a variety of interactive content.

Dumb and Dumber: Unrated
Overall
A fondly remembered, if rather flawed, movie finally gets the 'special edition' treatment, although if you're not particularly interested in scenes that weren't good enough to make the final cut, this DVD may seem a little lacking. Nevertheless, if you want to experience Harry and Lloyd on DVD, this is a far safer bet than the terrible DTV sequel.


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