Tag: What Else Ya Got? (Page 2 of 2)

What Elsa Ya Got? “The Invention of Lying”

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.

Prequel: The Dawn of Lying

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.

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What Else Ya Got? “The Hangover”

One of the biggest box office hits of the year, “The Hangover” finally comes to Blu-ray and DVD just in time for the holidays boasting a theatrical and unrated cut of the film (for once, you don’t have to choose between the two) and a slew of extras that are fun to watch once, but aren’t necessarily as good as you would expect.

Picture-in-Picture Commentary

The highlight of most Blu-ray releases is typically the audio commentary, and though this track featuring director Todd Phillips and co-stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis doesn’t start out strong, it gets better over time as they discuss everything from the music to Helms’ fake tooth to the different babies used during production. The picture-in-picture video doesn’t exactly, though, help because everyone involved looks positively bored (or just trying to enjoy the movie, you decide), so it can hardly be viewed as an incentive for Blu-ray owners.

Map of Destruction

This interactive feature lets you retrace the guys’ crazy night by visiting all of the locations they hit up along the way. From Caesar’s and the Riviera to Mike Tyson’s house, every stop includes interviews with the cast and footage of on-set antics. Tyson himself even gets a chance to shine with a great comeback on director Phillips.

The Madness of Ken Jeong

I’m not exactly sure why we needed eight minutes of Ken Jeong improvising, but this series of deleted scenes/alternate takes shows how he created the character of Mr. Chow through some experimenting.

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What Else Ya Got? “Shorts”

For many people, “Shorts” will go down as one of the worst films of the year. I still don’t understand why someone as talented and resourceful as Robert Rodriguez wastes his time on such drivel, especially when he could be off making any movie he wanted. That won’t stop some parents from buying it for their kids, however, so let’s take a look at what else they’ll be getting in addition to the film. And no, the digital copy doesn’t count.

The Magic of Short

This making-of featurette takes a look at some of the behind-the-scenes tricks that went into creating the world of “Shorts,” from practical effects like the conjoined parent suit worn by Leslie Mann and Jon Cryer to designing a CG Booger Monster. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as long as it should be for a movie built entirely around visual effects, and it feels more like an afterthought than a genuine extra.

Shorts: Show and Tell

Running only five minutes, “Show and Tell” is a collection of interviews with the film’s child actors as shot by co-star Devon Gearhart. They all say a few words about their experience on the film, but it’s pretty dull stuff.

Ten-Minute Film School: Short Shorts

By far the best extra on all of Rodriguez’s films, the latest installment in the Ten-Minute Film School series is a bit of a letdown. This time around, he offers up advice on how to make your home movies more interesting with the addition of sound effects. Since that doesn’t really take ten minutes to do, he also shows footage of the home movie he made with his kids to pitch “Shorts” to the studios. If there’s anything to be learned from the lesson, though, it’s that just because your dad is a good director, it doesn’t mean you’ll be a good actor. Man, those kids are terrible.

Ten-Minute Cooking School: Chocolate Chip Volcano Cookies

Another DVD staple, this recipe neither creates the volcano it promises nor is very unique when compared to past offerings. It’s essentially just a chocolate chip cookie with a bunch of other stuff (like marshmallows and nuts) thrown in for the hell of it. Though his daughter Rhiannon adds some much needed comic relief, this is easily his worst Cooking School to date.

In fact, you could say the same for the Blu-ray itself. Though I didn’t expect very much from “Shorts,” I did expect more due to Rodriguez’s involvement. I guess I’ll have to lower my expectations the next time he decides to make another movie for his kids, because they’ve only gotten worse.

What Else Ya Got? “My Sister’s Keeper”

Not a whole lot, unfortunately, as Warner Bros. continues their hit-and-miss streak of Blu-ray releases. Though “My Sister’s Keeper” isn’t exactly the kind of film that needs hours of bonus material, it certainly deserved better than this. A director commentary or a proper making-of featurette would have done wonders to flesh out the otherwise skin-and-bones disc, but at least there’s something extra for the fans.

From Picoult to Screen

This 13-minute featurette promises to show the creative process of author Jodi Picoult, but it’s really just a shameless piece of promotional material that glosses over the journey of “My Sister’s Keeper” from page to screen. There are some decent interviews with Picoult, director Nick Cassavetes, and stars Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, but you can’t help but feel like there’s a more in-depth making-of featurette hidden somewhere in the Warner Bros. vaults. Surely the studio has more behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that they could have included, so why not create something with a little more substance?

Additional Scenes

As the only extra on the DVD release, this collection of deleted scenes runs just over 16 minutes long. With the exception of a funny scene involving Alec Baldwin at the court house, a majority of the material revolves around Jason Patric’s character, including an additional sequence with each of his daughters and a court scene that reveals Anna’s trepidations about surgery as a kid. It’s nice to see that Patric played a bigger role in the film than the theatrical cut suggests, but despite getting heavily edited out of the movie, it actually works in his favor. Take these deleted scenes for what they are: proof that sometimes less is more.

That’s it in terms of actual bonus material, but Warner Bros. has also included a digital copy of the film for those that feel like a good cry on the go. It’s not really worth the upcharge, however, so unless you’re a Blu-ray junkie, you’d probably be better off just sticking to the standard DVD.

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