Get Him to the Greek (UK - BD)
Marcus tags along with Aldous but wants to become a Jackie Q groupie...
With the music industry on the decline head of Pinnacle Records Sergio Roma (P. Diddy) hooks onto employee Aaron Green's (Jonah Hill) idea to do an anniversary concert for the once great Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) at the Greek theatre.
With Aldous’ reputation in the toilet after the release of his album “African Child", described as "the worst thing to happen to Africa since the apartheid" and with the rock star back on the drink and drugs again, Aaron may have taken on more than he bargained for with his rock and roll idol.
After the success of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Russell Brand’s international status ramped up, it was great news when the announcement came confirming there would be another Aldous Snow movie. Get Him to the Greek sounded like a fine premise and the perfect staring vehicle for Brand. That said, when I saw Greek on its cinematic release I was a little underwhelmed as the comedy was a little flat and the story never really found its feet in regards to what it wanted to be: balls out comedy or funny drama. It also could have been the all too familiar ground the story covers reflecting elements of Brand’s own life that I’ve heard on podcasts, stand ups and read about in his book many a time, so these funny little stories probably didn’t feel quite as fresh as they were intending—not to a seasoned Brand fan anyway.
Like most great comedies though, the rewatch was a different story altogether. Maybe it was the lack of expectations and my more relaxed approach to the viewing but Greek slotted right into place and the character of Aldous Snow has been given a great little platform to run amok in. The Judd Apatow team have the good sense to let ol’ Russ be himself where needed and it has to be said that Brand even shines in the darker dramatic spins as his character realises that his life isn’t all what he wanted it to be.
Jonah Hill plays the sidekick perfectly yet again. He’s essentially the straight man in the duo, but that doesn’t stop his brilliant one liners or his reactions to Aldous’ mayhem being packed full of laughs. However in a movie made by seasoned comedy movie makers, and led by two established comedy actors the performances that steal the show are from P.Diddy and Rose Byrne. Seriously, these two go for it in a big bad way and pretty much steal every scene they’re in. Diddy takes an already messed up party scene and makes it all about him and his whole “mind fucking” approach and Rose Byrne steps up to Brand and outdoes him in every scene they share. Her accent, the delivery of dialogue and her general attitude for her character Jackie Q is a delight to watch and I really hope she does more comedy in the future.
Get Him to the Greek is a solid watch but I don’t think it compares to Sarah Marshall or some of the other Apatow productions. The tone is generally right but sometimes it feels like it would work better as a tighter drama that happened to be funny as opposed to a comedy trying to squeeze in the drama. The songs are a little too obvious in their double meanings this time out but there’s a handful that match those from Sarah Marshall and as a sequel of sorts Greek does enough to make me want to see more Aldous Snow down the line.
Well, Greek offers up a pretty fantastic looking 1.85:1 transfer, full of colour and a bright HD glow that Universal should be proud of. Details are top notch, with elements like Brand’s stubble having their own presence on screen and clothing showing off their textures as well as interior and exterior shots all looking terrific.
Admittedly, due to the high gloss of a Hollywood comedy, the colour tones and lighting for the characters rarely look all that natural despite the sharpness of the skin textures. Every scene has deep black levels and a very warm appearance with rich colours no matter the lighting (well besides from the London scenes, they look typically bleak and overcast) but within this movie reality everything is consistent and the transfer has a noticeable sharpness which only HD can achieve.
Daytime scenes look every bit as good as the night scenes and interiors look great no matter how funky the setting is. Inside a limo or in a flashy club, pretty much every shot looks brilliant so all in all this Blu-ray transfer offers up the goods in a big way.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track continues to provide the goods and for the most part it's with the music in the movie offering up a nice range to show off with. Each song seems to have something new to offer, whether in bassy drum levels or sonic electro pop ditties. Everything uses the power of full surround to show off and other than, what I consider, a bad levelling issue with ‘Come on Eileen’ at the manic Vegas party (honestly the song choice barely registers in the mix and feels like it should be driving it) there’s very little to complain about.
Dialogue is strong throughout the entire track even with the smaller dialogue driven moments sounding crisp and clear. The ambience of pretty much every scene adds a layer or two in the rears, with club, pub and party scenes coming to life fairly realistically and with the explosion of layers at full gigs (even if the track can sometimes feel a little cluttered because of it) Greek offers up a relatively top notch track all round.
There’s the Theatrical (01:49:00) and Extended Version (01:53:51) of the film. The U-Control function is pretty weak for this release, offering only an immediate jump to the songs in the film and a pop up covering the details of the writers/performers of the track.
‘Getting Him to the Greek’ (32:07 HD) is a great start into the documentaries giving a background to the story development. The writing of the next chapter of Aldous Snow’s movie outings and presenting plenty of cast input and on set shenanigans.
‘Getting in Tune with the Greek’ (13:57 HD) takes a closer look at the songs of the film and the recording of the tracks as well as the live-ish performances. It also offers up a fair few fake album covers and a real naughty boys approach to the dirty over the top double meaning songs in the movie.
‘The Making of African Child’ (06:26 HD) takes a looks at the fake music video for Aldous’s insensitive anthem for Africa. It features raw footage of some of the movie's interviews and generally feels like a bit of fun.
Within the music selection you get five full music videos (13:52 HD) featured in the film and even some not even hinted at in the movie (yup this is an Apatow production). There’s two full length live performances from the 1999 Greek Concert (06:36 HD) (again only briefly hinted at in the movie). The 2009 Greek Concert (11:36 HD) is three full length versions of the songs featured there. ‘The Today Show: The Clap’ (03:04) is the full length performance from the feel good moment of the movie. ‘VH:1 Storytellers: Furry Wall’ (03:22) is full length performance from the closing credits of the movie and the ‘London Gig’ (11:00 HD) is footage shot for the movie during Brand’s recent Scandalous tour and also features a duet from Jason Segal and Jack Black on the track 'Dracula’s Lament' (those lucky bastards at the 02 Arena. I guess that’s what I get for only going to see Russell Brand in Reading).
The Karaoke section is what you’d expect: subtitles to the songs in the movie.
Lastly there’s the commentary with director Nicholas Stoller, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand (though he takes a while to join the gang), Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss (on the phone) and producer Rodney Rothman (again on the phone). As with all good comedy commentaries there’re just as many chuckles from the participants as there are in the movie and just hearing them talk about the scenes and stories around it is a real highlight on the already great features. The track remains consistently talky with everyone up for a chuckle, as well as Brand pointing out some of the extras he may have “had relations with” while he was single. All of these laughs are balanced with some genuine insight to the making of the movie, so all in all it’s a pretty stand out commentary from the crowd.
Now all this sounds good but what you’re missing in this review are the deleted/extended scenes, gag reels, auditions, interviews and all the “lots more” advertised on the sleeve items. I’ve had the US disc for a while now and these are all housed on a separate DVD disc within the package, so I’m more than likely missing that for this review copy so I’ll just tell you, it’s all good stuff and boosts the package to a typical style Apatow release.
Get Him to the Greek isn’t the tightest comedy of the year but it comes with the required amount of laughs with a whole cast of great characters to take the ride with. The disc itself doesn’t really have any failings, with video, audio and extras all ticking the boxes for quality. All in all, rock legend Aldous Snow has another great chapter in his movie legacy and while I wasn’t as excited about the character after Greek as I was after Sarah Marshall, I’d happily watch another outing to see what happens next, even if it’s only to see which member of Metallica Jackie Q sleeps with next.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 1st November 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Dutch, Audio Descriptive Service English
Subtitles: English, Dutch
Extras: Documentaries, Music, Karaoke, Commentary, Theatrical and Extended Versionsof the Film.
Easter Egg: No
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean Combs, Rose Byrne
Genre: Comedy and Drama
Length: 114 minutes
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