For a movie that didn’t exactly perform well at the box office, Warner Bros. has put together a pretty strong collection of extras for the Blu-ray release of “The Invention of Lying.” You’ll get all of the same material on the DVD version, though, so unless you care about the added incentive of a digital copy, you might be better off just saving a few bucks on what isn’t exactly a must-own film.
Originally conceived as a pre-credits sequence, this alternate opening details evidence of the very first lie in history. Narrated by Patrick Stewart and starring the film’s principal cast as their prehistoric counterparts (including Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe and Jeffrey Tambor), the scene is mildly entertaining, but was rightfully cut during post-production. It might sound great on paper, but it just doesn’t work tonally.
“Meet Karl Pilkington”
Anyone who’s ever listened to the Ricky Gervais podcasts is already familiar with his friend/punching bag, Karl Pilkington. This 18-minute video diary documents Pilkington’s trip from England to Boston to serve as an extra on the film. It’s not exactly the most economical thing to do, but if nothing else, it proves just how far Gervais is willing to go for his own personal amusement. The fact that Pilkington’s scene just so happens to be the one that was cut (see above) only makes the investment seem that much more senseless. Hey, at least they got a funny extra out of it.
“A Truly ‘Honest’ Making of Featurette”
It’s not quite as advertised, but this short 7-minute featurette does offer interviews with the cast and crew about working on the film, as well as a few exclusive outtakes and a behind-the-scenes look at the many variations of Gervais’ infectious laugh.
There are five deleted scenes in all. None are exactly essential, but there’s still some good stuff here, including two trailers for the in-movie films, “The Invention of the Fork” and “Numbers,” and two bits with Louis C.K. The best of the bunch, however, is a rather lengthy conversation between Gervais and Jennifer Garner that takes place on the way to their first date. If the same material wasn’t already covered later in the story, it probably wouldn’t have been cut, because Garner is great in the scene.
“Ricky and Matt’s Video Podcasts”
These four video podcasts don’t really have anything to do with the film, but fans of Gervais will probably enjoy them regardless. Along with a mock episode of “Cribs,” the videos also find Ricky pretending to scout for office locations, reading a local newspaper article about the film’s production, and terrorizing a PA with Nerf guns.
“More Laughter: Corpsing and Outtakes”
Five minutes of on-set antics, including ruined takes from Gervais’ laughter and more Nerf gun footage. It’s too bad many of these were already ruined in the “making-of” featurette, because this is definitely one of the better gag reels in some time.
All in all, not a bad collection of bonus material, but it would have been nice if Warner Bros. had made one or two of these exclusive to Blu-ray owners. As it stands, there’s really no reason to buy the hi-def version unless you’re an HD junkie. Save the cash and just pick up the DVD instead.