The Hangover/Old School Unrated Blu-ray Edition

The Hangover directed by Todd Phillips:

As this was the most talked about film of the year and a big surprise hit, I was very curious about “The Hangover”. I knew it was the latest in a long and usually offensive string of comedies that rely on crass and infantile humour rather than intelligence. I went in prepared and still came out of the experience offended.

Doug’s (Justin Bartha – New York, I Love You, National Treasure: Book of Secrets) friends Alan (Zach Galifianakis – Up in the Air, G-Force), Phil (Bradley Cooper – All About Steve, He’s Just Not That Into You) and Stu (Ed Helms – Confessions of a Shopaholic, Semi-Pro) decide to take him to Las Vegas for his bachelor party. After a wild night out Stu, Alan and Phil wake up to find a chicken and a tiger in their suite. They are all hungover, Stu’s missing a tooth and the suite is trashed. Most importantly they cannot find Doug.

They then hear a baby crying and open the closet to find a baby there. No one can remember a thing from the previous night. The three hungover men try to retrace their steps in order to try and find Doug. They are in a race for time and if they can’t find Doug in the next few hours, they are going to have to explain to Doug’s fiancée Tracy (Sasha Barrese – The Ring, Legally Blonde) why they are not yet back in Los Angeles. Even worse is the possibility that they will not be able to find Doug at all before his wedding.

As it seems many in the movie going population just need raunchy stuff and stupidity in their comedies and this film has that in spades. There is no real story other than a skeleton of one in order to set up the sequence of jokes. It is just one crass and crude situation after another. Am I really so out of touch with my funny bone that I don’t see the humour in a skit in which two police officers demonstrate how to use a taser on the three hungover friends in front of a class of young children. With the recent string of deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers and tasers I found this section in poor taste.

The comedy comes at a fast and furious pace. With nary a moment between crude jokes. It is definitely a film that fans of the Judd Apatow line of films will appreciate.

Not to be dismissed as a stodgy, out-of-touch critic I did find several of the scenes quite humorous, such as the wedding band and much of the odd things that comedian Zach Galifianakis does during the course of the film. But a few cheap laughs does not a good comedic film make. In my books, at least.

But what I feel does not mesh with what most think in regards to this film. It was wildly successful and there is already talk of making a sequel. So I guess that we’ll have another “Hangover” film in the future to disagree about.

Special Features:
-Map of Destruction
-The Madness of Ken Jeung
-Action Mash-Up
-Three Best Friends Song
-The Dan Band!
-Gag Reel
-More Pictures From the Missing Camera
-Digital Copy
-Theatrical or Unrated Version


Old School directed by Todd Phillips:

When Mitch (Luke Wilson – Vacancy, The Family Stone) returns home from a business trip only to find his wife, Heidi (Juliette Lewis – Catch and Release, Kalifornia) involved in a kinky threesome he knows it’s time to move on. Renting a house near a college seems like a good idea until the college decides to take back the land it is on to use it for their own academic purposes. 

Mitch’s fellow loser thirtysomething friends, Beanie (Vince Vaughn – The Break-Up, Fred Claus) and Frank (Will Ferrell – Bewitched, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), start spending all their time at the house in a pathetic attempt to relive their own college years. This goes on despite the fact that both Frank and Beanie are married. Soon the frat house becomes known campus-wide as the party place. This angers a dean at the college, Mr. Pritchard (Jeremy Priven – from television’s Entourage), who was someone that the three friends teased mercilessly when they were at school together. To get around this Mitch allows his friend to talk him into forming his own fraternity. They start collecting pledges for frat members and set up Mitch’s house as the headquarters. Mitch is none too thrilled with the idea as he is trying to impress a divorcee, Nicole (Ellen Pompeo – from television’s Gray’s Anatomy), who is not all that thrilled with his choice in friends.

Now as you might suspect from the synopsis of the film there is not much meat to those old bones. The story is a little thin. But the lack of story is made up for by the chemistry that the three males leads have and the energy they bring to their roles. You really believe that they are just three crazy friends having a good time. Most will find this brand of humour funny and it did really well at the box office. I think people saw it as this generation’s “Animal House”.

One thing that people buying/renting this version will be disappointed with is the lack of difference from the regular version. There are maybe one or two topless scenes that did not make it into the theatre version.

Special Features:
-Deleted scenes
– Old School Orientation
– Inside the Actors Studio Spoof
– Outtakes & Bloopers
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots

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