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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Envy (2004)

Envy (2004)

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Released 7-Feb-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Trailer-13 Going On 30 (Suddenly 30), Mr. Deeds, Spider-Man 2
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 95:00
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (56:48) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Barry Levinson

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Ben Stiller
Jack Black
Rachel Weisz
Amy Poehler
Christopher Walken
Ariel Gade
Sam Lerner
Lily Jackson
Connor Matheus
Hector Elias
Angee Hughes
Manny Kleinmuntz
Blue Deckert
Case ?
RPI ? Music Mark Mothersbaugh

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    I have enjoyed just about every movie I have seen starring Ben Stiller, including Keeping the Faith, Meet The Parents, The Royal Tenenbaums, Zoolander, Mystery Men and Starsky & Hutch and of course There's Something about Mary. So when this one came along, having been roundly kicked to death in the US by the critics, I felt compelled to give it a chance. And I'm very glad I did because I found this film funny, weird, surreal and quite different. In short - I like it. Having said that, you would be hard put to describe this film as conventional or mainstream. It's a bit too odd for that.

    Envy tells the story of two working stiffs who are best friends and live across the road from each other in a working class suburb under high tension power lines. They are both married and have 2 children. The two guys are Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller) and Nick Vanderpark (Jack Black). Tim is the sensible one who works hard at his job and strives for a promotion, whereas Nick is a dreamer who is constantly trying to come up with a great idea to change his life. When Nick finally does come up with a good idea, Tim doesn't believe that it can work and ridicules his friend's invention, Vapoorize, a product which makes dog t***s disappear. Once Nick works out how to make the product and market it, he immediately makes a fortune of which Tim becomes increasingly envious, and his work and relationship start to suffer as a consequence. Despite being a non-drinker, Tim finally resorts to a local dingy bar where he meets the J-Man (Christopher Walken), a very strange and potentially dangerous drifter. He suggests that Tim should take revenge on his friend. Needless to say, things don't go according to plan. The other main characters are Debbie Dingman (Rachel Weisz) who gets very little to do and Natalie Vanderpark (Amy Poelher), Nick's wife, who decides to give politics a go, funded by her husband's money.

    This is not the greatest movie ever made by any stretch of the imagination, but I found it funny and got quite a few laughs out of it. Despite the premise there is not really a lot being said here, but who cares? It's a comedy. I thought the section involving Tim, J-Man and horse and a rain storm was very funny indeed. Another thing I liked which was never directly referred to was the fact that Tim wore a guard around his teeth when sleeping. It was weird and funny (to me anyway).

    If you like your comedy a bit weird and surreal and like the lead actors' other work, I would recommend you give this one a go. Just don't go into it expecting a 'normal' comedy.

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

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent. There is nothing at all to complain about.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was extremely clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was excellent. The transfer is at a very high bit rate throughout, making good use of the dual layered disc.

    The colour was excellent which really showed up the bright colours of Nick's new house and accessories.

    There were no noticeable artefacts of any kind.

    There are subtitles in 14 languages including English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read but slightly summarized from the spoken word.

    The layer change occurs at 56:48 and was pretty much undetectable. I needed to use my PC to find it.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is also excellent, but considering the style of film your home theatre does not really get a workout.

    This DVD contains three audio options; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and the same in Czech and Hungarian.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music used in this film by Mark Mothersbaugh is whimsical and folksy and reminds me quite a lot of the soundtrack for There's Something About Mary. Other songs are also used and one which stood out for me was The Four Tops singing an Italian version of their own song, I Can't Help Myself.

    The surround speakers mostly added some atmosphere, however they were occasionally used to good effect for off-screen voices.

     The subwoofer was nicely integrated without really standing out, but to be fair this was not a film which called for a lot of LFE.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This seems to be the rental version so there are really no extras except for some trailers (if those count).


    The menu included an intro, music and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.


    The disc includes trailers for three other films; 13 Going on 30, Mr. Deeds and Spiderman 2.

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;

    On this basis the Region 1 version of the disc is the winner, however, it would seem that this is the rental version. According to the reviews I have read, the Region 1 extras are fairly uninteresting anyway.


    A critically panned comedy from Ben Stiller and Jack Black which I personally found quite amusing in a weird and offbeat sort of way.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is also excellent.

    The disc has no real extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, February 14, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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