Anger Management (2003)

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Released 24-Sep-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary-Peter Segal (Director) and Adam Sandler (Actor)
Quiz-Do You Have Anger Problems?
Deleted Scenes-4
Featurette-Skull Session
Featurette-My Buddy, Jack
Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Daddy Day Care
Trailer-I Spy, National Security
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 100:46
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:01) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Peter Segal
Studio
Distributor
Revolution
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Adam Sandler
Jack Nicholson
Marisa Tomei
Luis Guzman
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Teddy Castellucci


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Polish
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovenian
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Lexus - although it does get smashed.
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Anger Management is a film where the whole is never quite the sum of its parts. With a cast headlined by comedy king Adam Sandler, and the great chameleon Jack Nicholson, it is already a star-packed attraction. Add to that the likes of Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzmán, and John Turturro, with cameos from Woody Harrelson and even John McInroe, and this should have been one of the greatest comedies of all time. Unfortunately, something is amiss, and while this is not bad in terms of entertainment, it is far from the greatest comedy of this year, let alone all time. That being said, however, the box office figures do go to prove that a good cast is important to a large take - this movie had the largest opening weekend for any Adam Sandler or Jack Nicholson movie...ever.

    The premise, developed by writer David Dorfman before the script was picked up by Sandler, is of an anger management therapist who does his job by making his clients angry. That may seem a little thin to carry an entire movie, but what it does is allow Sandler to slip into his angry-man routine yet again, and in that sense, the script was perfectly suited to him. He plays Dave Buznik, secretary to a manager in a pet-clothing company. He has been single-handedly responsible for securing his boss' promotions, but has never got any of the credit - or rewards - himself. While boarding a plane for a business trip, events lead him to sit next to a slightly crazy man who introduces himself as Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), Anger Therapist. One altercation with a rather sensitive flight attendant later, and Dave finds himself in court, ordered to undertake anger management therapy, and who should be his therapist but none other than Buddy Rydell. Far from the easy ride he thought Buddy would give him, Dave moves from group therapy to intensive 24-hour therapy, and finds his life turned upside down. With only the knowledge that he wants to marry his girlfriend Linda (Marisa Tomei) at some point (but just can't quite work out how to propose), Dave must face his own inner demons before he can reclaim his life.

    While this film may have started life without Adam Sandler in mind, it is perfectly suited to him. The role of Dave Buznik allows Sandler to slip straight back into his trademark character who has rage issues bubbling just beneath the surface. The difference this time is that he probably has better reason for his outbursts than normal. Jack Nicholson is well suited to the role of the extremely eccentric Dr Buddy Rydell, as he is able to lend the character enough of a hint of insanity to make it work. The chemistry between the two is good, and they play off each other quite well, adding a natural feel to the relationship. So where are the problems? The main problem is that the jokes are simply not all that funny. This is very much a chuckle film, more than a laugh-out-loud film. There are some moments of true hilariousness - mostly involving the ways in which Buddy taunts Dave - but for the most part the film is simply amusing.

    Obviously there are far worse things than spending 100 minutes being amused, but with the stellar cast, it does seem to be a bit of a let down. One upside is that as most of the comedy comes from the performances, the film does have a higher re-watch value than a typical comedy. Sandler and Nicholson are never really stretched, but then again, they didn't become the huge stars they are today by being average, so not being stretched is far from a poor performance. Marisa Tomei is the typical girlfriend, being pretty and instantly lovable - and extremely low maintenance - and also manages to make the only totally "straight" character in the film interesting, while Sandler's regular comic offsiders, as well as the other guests stars, are all trying hard.

    In the end, "trying hard" is the story of this movie. It has the stellar cast, the good to enthusiastic performances, and on top of that looks better than the average comedy (thanks to Australian cinematographer Donald McAlpine), but like a model plane without any glue, it doesn't quite hold together. Those who have seen it (and that's most people, judging by its theatrical performance) will probably come back to it at some stage for the cast alone, while those who haven't should at least give it a rent for the same reason. It just is not really a keeper.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer presented for Anger Management is so good it nearly brings a tear to the eye. There are only a couple of little problems with it, while in general it is a pleasure to behold.

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced. The IMDB lists the theatrical ratio of this film as 2.35:1 (which is also the ratio of the deleted scenes, and the bloopers, suggesting that 2.35:1 is definitely correct), so presumably this transfer has been slightly cropped top and bottom to achieve the new ratio. While it is not going to affect the look of the film very much, it would be nice to know why it had to be done.

    The transfer is extremely sharp, and contains plenty of fine detail. Clarity is excellent, with even the smallest nuances easily conveyed. There is very little in the way of visible grain, with only the short section from 68:02 to 68:18 being all that noticeable. Shadow detail is also excellent, with the darker areas of the screen having very good depth, and never fading away to murkiness. There is no low level noise present.

    Colours are excellent, although at times do appear ever so slightly muted, but as all of the instances of this occur during outdoor scenes, it is probably the result of relying on natural lighting. For the vast majority of the time, the colours are rich and vibrant, from the urban hues of Dave's neighbourhood to the deep greens of the countryside through which Dave and Buddy drive, all are rendered with exceptional accuracy.

    There are no compression artefacts at all in this transfer, and almost no film artefacts with only the tiny fleck at 36:26 drawing attention (presumably there are more, but if they are all the size of that one, they will be hard to spot). Aliasing, thankfully, is also only a minor issue, with the worst instances being on the "fish-net" style shirt worn by Luis Guzmán from 9:42 for the remainder of the scene being obvious (although the shirt itself is no pretty sight either).

    The subtitles are generally accurate, with very little left off. In the increasingly common manner, the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are displayed (where possible) under the character who is actually speaking the line, which will help out with understanding.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 46:01 between Chapters 18 and 19. It is reasonably well placed, although still noticeable due to the audio dropout.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is a perfect complement to the video, providing a very pleasing home-theatre mix. It may not be the most earth-shattering sound to grace the format, but it works well for the material it is presenting.

    There are five soundtracks on this disc. The first four are the original English dialogue, and dubs in Czech, Hungarian, and Russian all presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 (with the English at 448Kbps, and the others all at 384Kbps). The fifth track is the English Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (at 192Kbps).

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. The mixing of score, effects, and dialogue never causes an issue. Audio sync is also spot on, and is never a problem throughout the transfer.

    The score is credited to Teddy Castellucci, and it is a rather good one, working in elements from some of the show tunes sung in therapy, and generally carrying the momentum of the film without being too noticeable. An example of good solid score work.

    Surround activity is quite good, although the surrounds are not in use at all times. There is quite a bit of ambient noise, and they are well used to carry the score, but there are a number of occasions where they go silent. Given the mostly dialogue-driven nature of this film that is not a huge let down.

    The subwoofer is used to a moderate extent, backing up the score and a few sound effects, but it never really gets to build up a rumble. Again, however, that is not really a big disappointment for such a dialogue-driven film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    A decent set of extras is offered for this release, although given the film's success, they do seem a little light-on.

Menu

    The menu is 16x9 enhanced, animated, themed around the movie, and features Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Audio Commentary - Peter Segal (Director) and Adam Sandler (Actor)

    The audio commentary is the big-ticket extra, but it is only of average quality. Director Peter Segal and star Adam Sandler are recorded together, and have an affable relationship. Sandler is generally just playing it straight, so don't expect anything in the way of hilarity from him. The two talk with only a few pauses, but they spend a lot of the time narrating the action (Sandler is a major culprit in this), and only impart a small amount of truly interesting information.

DVD Game - Do You Have Anger Problems?

    "Game" is a very loose description for this extra. Various members of the cast and the director ask you questions along the lines of "if situation X happened, what would you do?", and you are then presented with four options. If you choose the wrong option, the cast member bags you out. If you choose the correct option, the cast member congratulates you, and you get a short clip from the movie. This is really just a big waste of time, as the cast members are generally unenthusiastic, and the the rewards are quite poor. All questions are presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio.

Deleted Scenes (10:21)

    This section presents four deleted scenes as follows:     All scenes are presented at 2.35:1, are not 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - Skull Session (17:55)

    This is the "making-of" featurette, and if not quite so self-congratulatory as the usual making-of, still contains more collective backslapping than actual information. Somewhat interesting, and probably worth a watch. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - My Buddy, Jack (4:07)

    A pure puff piece, the cast rave about the "brilliance" of Jack Nicholson. Ahem. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Bloopers Reel (5:37)

    Not as funny as it should have been, this is five and a half minutes of mostly fluffed takes, and bad performances, with very little that is truly amusing. Presented at 2.35:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio

Trailers

    This section presents no less than five trailers, accompanied by a photo that January Jones is probably not all that proud of. The trailers are:     All trailers are presented at 1.85:1. In a nice touch, all are 16x9 enhanced and feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The National Security trailer is not correctly time coded, but its runtime is around a minute and a half.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     There is nothing of interest to tell between these discs. Grab it where you find it cheapest.

Summary

    Anger Management is a movie that doesn't really live up to its (considerable) potential, including the casting of Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson opposite each other. Sure, it is amusing, but it could have been so much more.

    The video quality is only slightly short of perfect, and the only problems are so minor as to be almost unnoticeable.

    The audio quality is very good, especially for a dialogue-driven comedy, and provides an excellent listening experience.

    The extras are a little disappointing considering how successful this movie was, but there is enough there to at least fend off any displeasure.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Friday, September 19, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-555K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersRochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)

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Comments (Add)
2.35/2.40 - REPLY POSTED
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