Malibu's Most Wanted (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 12-Nov-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast and Crew
Listing-Cast & Crew
Additional Footage-10 scenes, with optional commentary
Alternate Ending-With optional commentary
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 82:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Whitesell
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jamie Kennedy
Taye Diggs
Anthony Anderson
Regina Hall
Blair Underwood
Ryan O'Neal
Bo Derek
Damien Wayans
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music John Debney
Damon Elliott
John Van Tongeren


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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
Hebrew
Arabic
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, mildly (Pepsi)
Action In or After Credits Yes, outtakes

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

Plot Synopsis

Don't be Hatin'...

    Jamie Kennedy may be known to you for one of his two main contributions to the world of entertainment. The first is his appearance in Scream. The second is his television show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. In the latter, he would don disguises and mingle with the commoners, adopting one of numerous personae. One of the characters he created was a wannabe rapper named Brad - or more correctly B-Rad - a white middle class kid with a desperate need to pretend he was a 'hood gangsta rapper. This character featured in some rather funny skits, but can he carry an entire movie? Well, let's take a look at Malibu's Most Wanted and find out...

    B-Rad (Kennedy) is the son of Bill Gluckman (Ryan O'Neal), a politician running for the post of State Governor. B-Rad has convinced himself that he shares the oppressed upbringing of the black kids in the ghettos of Los Angeles, and that Bradley is really his "slave name". In reality, he is extremely privileged and has been brought up in the affluent haven of Malibu. Undeterred, B-Rad insists on wearing the rapper uniform of shell-suits and chains, bustin' rhymes and hangin' wit' his homies down at the mall. When he makes an impromptu appearance with his b****es at one of Bill's press conferences, the political aides decide enough is enough. They convince Bill that they need to rein in his son's "wigga" tendencies, and initially try to get him to help behind the scenes on the campaign - making banners. B-Rad's first and last attempt is to create a banner for a meeting with the influential middle-class women of the state. Unfortunately for his father, the vernacular chosen for the new campaign slogan does not go down too well - "Bill Gluckman is down with the B****es and Ho's".

    In a desperate attempt to shock B-Rad out of his gangsta behaviour, Bill's chief aide Tom (Blair Underwood) comes up with a cunning plan. He hires two classically trained black actors, Sean (Taye Diggs, Basic) and PJ (Anthony Anderson), to kidnap B-Rad and show him the real life of the ghetto. Unfortunately for them, B-Rad is more accustomed to the ghetto idiom than his middle-class, well educated captors. What follows then is a comedy of errors, as B-Rad tries to win a rap contest (a la 8 Mile) whilst his kidnappers become embroiled in the ways of the hood - ways with which they are unfamiliar, and ill-prepared to survive. Some of the rapping is so bad that it is hilarious - for instance to demonstrate his freestylin' skills while driving, B-Rad manages to create a million dollar tune out of thin air - "Traffic, traffic, lookin' for ma chapstick. Feelin' kinda car sick. There's a Ford Mav'rick!"

    Malibu's Most Wanted is really quite funny. I was sceptical that Kennedy would be able to sustain the joke for the duration, but he acquits himself rather well overall. Whilst the film is built on a one-joke premise, the laughs do keep coming and there are numerous funny situations which will raise more than a smile. Sure, it begins to run out of puff (daddy) a little before the final curtain, but I personally enjoyed it. Kennedy acts the B-Rad character well, and although it is a little more sanitised than Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G, it is a well-observed creation. Taye Diggs is a scream as the effete actor who undergoes a miraculous transformation to become one mean mutha of a kidnapper. This film will appeal to those who shake their heads when observing the growing number of Australian kids with backwards baseball caps and subwoofers worth more than their car. Funnily enough, it will probably appeal just as much to those same kids. Well worth a rental if you approach it in the right frame of mind - this is juvenile humour, and it works well enough on that level.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this movie is very good overall, with no major flaws evident.

    The transfer is very sharp throughout, with little in the way of noticeable grain, and falls just short of reference standard. It is presented 16x9 enhanced in a ratio of 2.40:1 which is the original aspect ratio as seen in cinemas.

    Black levels are deep and rock solid for the duration. There is no evidence of low level noise in the darker scenes. Shadow detail is generally very good and colours are vividly rendered, nicely saturated and with no evidence of colour bleeding. Overall this is a sunny, lively transfer which reflects the California sunshine admirably - particularly in the shots of Malibu. The scenes in South Central have less vivid colours present, as stated in the commentary to reflect a contrast in the rather more weather-beaten poorer suburb. In either area, colour bleeding is not a concern. There is a minor glitch in the transfer where the brightness jumps visibly for a second at 5:36, before returning to normal levels.

    The transfer has no significant MPEG artefacts. Edge enhancement is rarely visible and when it does crop up, it is minor (for example at 5:25). The transfer does suffer from occasional minor grain, for example at 6:16 on the wall or at 19:05 on Kennedy's face and the wall behind it. These instances are infrequent and rarely distracting. There is no significant aliasing present, but mild examples can be seen on the roof at 1:12 or the car chrome at 1:42. Telecine wobble is not a problem.

    The transfer has a very few, very minor film artefacts in what is a very clean transfer.

    The English subtitles are well timed and clear. I was disappointed to note that they do not transcribe the rap segments however - surely a major mistake, given the nature of the film and the importance of rap to the character development?

    The disc is somewhat strangely formatted. My review copy arrived as two discs, one labelled "A/Side" and the other "B/Side". It would appear that the movie will be presented on the first side, with the extras on the obverse. This is the format in which the disc was released in Region 1. As each disc is single-sided and single layered, I wonder why they simply didn't make use of an RSDL formatted disc?

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

Audio

    The overall audio transfer is without significant flaw, and is, as might be expected, quite bass intensive. The sole audio option is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 384 kbps.

    The soundtrack is fine throughout, with no clicks, hiss or drop-outs. Dialogue is always clear and audio sync was just fine.

    Original music is credited to John Debney, Damon Elliot and John Van Tongeren. Obviously, the main vibe is gangsta rap, with a suitably bass-heavy feel. There are numerous contemporary rap tunes scattered throughout the feature. This suits the feel of the film well and the soundtrack is an integral part of the ambience. The mixing levels are fine, with the dialogue never drowned out by the beats (y'all).

    The soundstage is often frontal, with some good use of the front speakers to cleanly project the dialogue whilst providing a nice separation for the front effects. The surround speakers are sporadically, but well used to support the musical numbers and provide some surround ambience where appropriate. Crowd scenes and the numerous musical numbers create a fairly enveloping soundstage (for example the gunfight at 58:00), which collapses back to a frontal affair when the music subsides.

    The subwoofer is quite heavily used to support the bass beats, and also for LFE effects when gunshots put in an appearance. It is subtly used, but rounds out the audio track quite nicely.

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

Extras

    There are a number of extras on this DVD. With the exception of the audio commentary and cast list, they are located on the B/Side of the disc.

Menu

    The main menu is a static photograph of B-Rad and his posse, accompanied by the film theme song. It allows you the choice of playing the movie, subtitle selection, choosing one of twenty-six chapter stops, or playing the following special features:

Audio Commentary

    John Whitesell (director), Jamie Kennedy, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall and writers Fax Bahr and Adam Small work together to provide a scene specific commentary. The writers of this film are also the writers of The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. The commentary is quite informative and will be of value to fans of the movie or of Kennedy in general.

Cast and Crew

    A single text based screen serving no real purpose. Calling it a Special Feature is a little rich.

Theatrical Trailer

    This trailer runs for 2:22 and is presented at 2.35:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track encoded at 192 kbps.

Additional Scenes

    A series of deleted and alternate scenes which can be played in sequence or individually selected. They are available with an optional commentary by Whitesell, Anderson, Kennedy and Hall. The video quality is highly variable (read sometimes dreadful) and they are presented letterboxed (not 16x9 enhanced) at 2.35:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. The scenes available are as follows:

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie appears to be essentially the same in its Region 1 release. Buy whichever is cheaper.

Summary

    Malibu's Most Wanted is a showcase for Jamie Kennedy's comedic skills and his very funny B-Rad creation. Sure, the plot struggles a little to maintain high comedic standards throughout the reasonably short running time, but it is by no means a bad film. It certainly made me laugh much more often than it made me wince. This is well worth a rental if you are a fan of Kennedy, or if you just like the (quite clever) basic premise of the film.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio transfer is very good.

    The extras are fairly lightweight, but the commentary track is a reasonable addition.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C

Comments (Add) NONE