Stuck on You (2003)

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Released 16-Jun-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Peter And Bobby Farrelly (Directors)
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-It's Funny: The Farrelly Formula
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette
Outtakes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 113:44
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:01) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bobby Farrelly
Peter Farrelly
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Matt Damon
Greg Kinnear
Eva Mendes
Wen Yann Shih
Pat Crawford Brown
Ray 'Rocket' Valliere
Tommy Songin
Terence Bernie Hines
Cher
Jackie Flynn
Seymour Cassel
Griffin Dunne
Bridget Tobin
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Michael Andrews
Pete Yorn


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes, What else do producers do?
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Nothing following the

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

Plot Synopsis

    Normally the phrase "nothing is impossible if only you put your mind to it" is the domain of the bad inspirational address, or stories about magic. In the last few years however, Peter and Bobby Farrelly have been trying to prove the statement, at least when it comes to movies. Who would have thought that a movie about a looks-centric man who falls for an obese lady of angelic disposition only because he thinks she is beautiful could have been carried off, and not only carried off, but as a relatively sweet story, even if it was a little light on comedy. Well, just to show that Shallow Hal was not a fluke, they have done it again with Stuck On You. This is a movie about conjoined (don't call them Siamese) twins trying to make it big in Hollywood, and it is the most gentle and restrained Farrelly brothers movie to date. Unfortunately, it is also the least funny.

    Bob (Matt Damon) and Walt (Greg Kinnear) are conjoined twins from Martha's Vineyard in far north-eastern USA. They own the local burger joint, and working as a tag-team are able to get out any number of burgers in under three minutes (or it's free!). They are also the unstoppable goal-keeper for the local ice-hockey team, were childhood football champions, and now Walt puts on a play every year at the local theatre. It is a nice life, with good friends, but Walt dreams of more. He wants to be a big-time actor in Hollywood. After some convincing, Bob agrees, and the pair head off to fulfil their dreams. Once in Hollywood, they find that most producers are not looking for a pair of conjoined twins to take the lead role in the next action blockbuster, but their big break comes when they bump into Cher (playing herself). Looking for a leading man with the right qualities - ones that will sink her new show - she decides that Walt and Bob are just the ticket, but what she didn't count on was Walt's real acting talent. When the pair are "outed" as conjoined twins they become overnight celebrities, but all is not roses, as Bob's new love is having a difficult time coming to grips with his brother. The pair face an impossible choice - to be surgically separated at great risk to Walt and finally be free of each other, or to remain joined for the rest of their lives. The choice they make, and the impact that this has will be a turning point in the lives of both.

    While Shallow Hal was sweet but with plenty of laughs, this film is just plain sweet. There is little here that is truly amusing, with the montage of Walt's failed auditions being about the funniest thing in the entire movie, leaving the film very short of laughs. This is the sort of film that can be smiled through and nothing more, which is fine, but very much not expected from the Farrelly brothers.

    Matt Damon puts in a good performance while Greg Kinnear is his usual self. My theory on Greg Kinnear is that he is a mediocre actor with an incredible ability to pick scripts. Time and time again he turns up in good, and sometimes even great, movies, and time and time again he is the weak link. This film is certainly not great, and for many would not even make good, but at least this time he manages to hold his own. On the female side of the ledger, relative newcomer Wen Yann Shih plays May, the love-interest to Matt Damon's Bob, and Eva Mendes' April is a woman the brothers meet and become friendly with at their apartments. Shih has little to do but simper and cry, and she does both rather well, while Mendes is effortlessly natural as the aspiring starlet who has never quite made it. Aside from Cher the rest of the cast is rounded out by relative unknowns, with a cameo or two thrown in for spice.

    As with all Farrelly films this is not exactly a grand cinematic experience, but with help from cinematographer Daniel Mindel, there are a few occasions in Stuck On You that are quite impressive, most notably the long tracking shot that starts high above the streets of Hollywood and moves down to find the twins out for a walk - impressive stuff. Unfortunately, the new camera tricks cannot help the film itself. It is not a bad film - it is just not a Farrelly film. The humour is very restrained, which is probably not all that surprising as going "out there" in a movie about conjoined twins could get nasty very fast, which leaves it really searching for a purpose. Sure, the film will raise a chuckle or two from time to time, and keep a pleased smile on the dial for much of its running time, but there really is little here of interest. The largest problem this creates is re-watch value. This is a movie that I saw theatrically, then twice again on DVD in order to sample the two different soundtracks provided. By the third viewing it had become extremely tired, and quite tedious to sit though. In stark contrast, Along Came Polly - my review prior to this - was viewed in the same circumstances of a theatrical viewing followed by two DVD viewings, and that was just as enjoyable each time (although interestingly not as enjoyable the first time).

    Stuck On You will provide a reasonably entertaining watch, and one that will keep a smile on your face for almost the entire running time, but it is not the type of film that will be returned to again and again, making this more of a rental prospect than a keeper.

    As a side note: at the start of the movie the face of a man appears under the bed the twins are sleeping on. The Farrelly brothers mention this in their commentary, but claim to have no knowledge of who it is or why they are there. Either they're lying, or simply don't care - either way, if anyone has any information on who that face belongs to, drop me an email, or add a comment below, as I have heard from many people interested to know the details behind "the face".

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer presented for Stuck On You is quite good. It is not going to blow any socks off with brilliance, but is good enough to not generate any real complaints.

    Presented at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is reasonably sharp, with a decent amount of fine detail present, although there is certainly room for improvement. Background grain is present for much of the time, but is well controlled and never becomes an issue. Shadow detail is relatively good, with the darker scenes holding reasonable definition, however the drop-off to black is a little too quick, leaving a few areas on the periphery of the image that are just black holes of murkiness.

    Colours are a little muted despite featuring plenty of brightly coloured locations, but this seems to be a trend for Farrelly brothers movies, with their last few all looking a little less vibrant than they should, so it is probably an intended effect.

    There are no compression artefacts, and the print is nice and clean, free from any flecks or dirt. Aliasing is a different story unfortunately, appearing almost constantly throughout the movie in minor amounts, and on a regular basis at more noticeable levels. The most obvious example of the former effect is on the long tracking shot from 18:44 to 19:32 where virtually every straight line exhibits a small amount of shimmer, while more distracting examples are the window grille at 21:35 and Greg Kinnear's hat from 101:56 until the end of the dance number.

    The subtitles are relatively accurate, well paced, and easy to read. They convey the comedy as well as can be hoped, although the lack of inflection will make it more difficult to pick up.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc, with the layer change taking place at 79:01 during Chapter 14. It occurs on a fade to black, but is slightly noticeable due to a small audio drop-out.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer for this movie is serviceable, doing everything demanded of it, which is to say not very much.

    There are three audio tracks present on this disc. The first two are the original English dialogue presented in a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps) and DTS 5.1 (at half bitrate), while the third is an English Audio Commentary track presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (at 192 Kbps). Yet again we have the case of a movie with a soundtrack that is as far removed from demanding as is possible being provided with a DTS track. This is a trend that is becoming disturbing - it would be better to see those extra bandwidth bits used for video than for a wholly unnecessary soundtrack.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, although on occasion it takes on a rather muted sound. Whether this is simply due to a poor recording, or dubbed dialogue, is impossible to tell, but when it happens the difference is quite noticeable (such as in the scene starting at 11:00). Fortunately, the few instances are in the opening scenes, and it does not recur later in the movie.

    Audio sync is spot on for most of the movie, but slips out for Greg Kinnear's song at the end. As this is not a real live performance, it is not that surprising.

    The music in the movie consists of score work provided by Michael Andrews and a collection of contemporary songs. As is usual for a Farrelly brothers movie, the contemporary songs are mostly from unknown bands, and tend to lose the impact usually associated with using well recognised songs, while the score is fairly run-of-the-mill filler designed to sound like any of the songs it is bridging so the audience never really notices that one song has stopped before the next one starts.

    The surround channels are pretty much dormant from start to finish, only carrying tiny amounts of score and the odd sound effect. For the most part this is a stereo soundtrack.

    As with the surrounds, the subwoofer has little to do, springing to life only occasionally to back up the music, or the odd sound effect with more bass than usual.

    The comparison between the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks is a result that should surprise precisely no-one, in that there is absolutely no difference whatsoever. This is essentially a stereo soundtrack with dialogue the most difficult thing it needs to handle, and as such neither of the 5.1 tracks is stretched anywhere near their limit.

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

Extras

    The collection of extras available on this disc falls somewhere in the middle between a fully fledged special edition and a bare-bones disc. There is enough here to qualify as having put in some effort, but it is for the most part derivative and uninteresting.

Menu

    The menu is 16x9 enhanced, themed around the movie, features an animated intro but is otherwise static, and has Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio backing.

Audio Commentary - Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly (Directors)

    This is one of the single worst audio commentaries ever committed to disc, and the disturbing thing is that listening to it you get the feeling the brothers Farrelly made it that way on purpose. Every commentary so far from the brothers has had a considerable portion of its runtime dedicated to pointing out that they are tenuously related to, or even more tenuously know, virtually every person on screen at any one time, right down to naming almost each and every one. Sometimes these extended introductions only play a small part, and sometimes a large, but this time the random extras are pretty much the only thing the brothers discuss. Whether it be the crowd at an ice hockey game, the group sitting around a table in an eatery, or the passengers on a bus, the brothers insist on naming virtually every person who appears on screen, to the extent that they are doing so long after the scene is finished on many occasions. From time to time they make a comment about how little of the film they are discussing, then go right on naming every one. In future Fox studios is probably advised to simply drop any commentaries from the directors and get the stars in instead - in fact even a dedicated sound effects track would be more interesting.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (12:26)

    This collection of deleted scenes ranges from chuckle-worthy to downright bad, and none warrant re-inclusion. There are 8 scenes presented either one at a time or all at once via a handy "Play All" option. The scenes are as follows:

Featurette - It's Funny: The Farrelly Formula (16:01)

    This short featurette covers the careers of the Farrelly brothers, and features interviews (all period) with the major actors and actresses who have worked with them over the years (with the notable exception of Cameron Diaz). Basically just a puff piece, it at least gives a little insight into the creative ethos the brothers work to. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Featurette - Stuck Together: Bringing Stuck On You To The Screen (12:50)

    Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio, this making-of featurette is only slightly more interesting than the usual promotional effort. Very slightly.

Featurette - Making It Stick: The Makeup Effects of Stuck On You (9:24)

    Reveals the hows behind keeping Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear stuck together. This is far and away the best of the featurettes. Presented at 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Blooper Reel (7:08)

    This blooper reel ranges between plain boring and rather amusing, although nothing here will raise a real laugh. Presented at 2.35:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

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;     The Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;     Okay, so we don't get the four hundred odd million trailers Fox has seen fit to add to their Region 1 and Region 2 versions of this disc, but you know what, I think we can live with that. DTS purists will want to stay away from Region 1 as they miss out on the DTS track, but as it is a very poor excuse for a DTS track, this one is pretty much a tie.

Summary

    Stuck On You as a movie is a fine effort at making a rather sweet and unassuming story about a pair of conjoined twins. As a Farrelly brothers movie, on the other hand, it is rather poor. There are few laughs in this one, and although it will leave you with a smile, watching it more than once will become very tedious.

    The video is quite good, presenting a nicely clean image, but suffering from a little too much aliasing, especially given how soft the transfer is.

    The audio quality is serviceable and nothing more. This is, to all intents and purposes, a stereo soundtrack with dialogue drawn to the middle speaker. Admittedly there is little call for anything else, but it would be nice had the sound designers at least put in the appearance of making an effort.

    There is a good number of extras on this disc, but almost none are worth putting up with. The featurettes are mostly marketing puff, while the audio commentary is a write-off, which leaves the deleted scenes and blooper reel to entice the viewer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
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)
Whats up with the face????? - Summin
I know what the face is! - Anonymous