Date Movie (2006)

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Released 18-Sep-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternate Audio-Laugh Track
Featurette-On Dating
Deleted Scenes
Screen Saver-Romantic
Featurette-Andy's Cherry Stem Surprise
Outtakes-Gag Reel
Featurette-The Fox Movie Channel Presents "Making Of A Spoof"
Web Links
Audio Commentary-Writer & Writer/Director
Audio Commentary-Cast
Audio Commentary-Film Critics
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 81:15 (Case: 83)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:06) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Aaron Seltzer
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Alyson Hannigan
Adam Campbell
Tony Cox
Fred Willard
Eddie Griffin
Sophie Monk
Marie Matiko
Judah Friedlander
Carmen Electra
Mauricio Sanchez
Beverly Polcyn
Valery M. Ortiz
Charlie Dell
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music J.C. Crowley
David Kitay


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 (96Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/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 for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Alternate Subtitles
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    In the past, spoofs have often lampooned genres that take themselves seriously, thus highlighting the comic aspects of serious films and television. Date Movie on the other hand takes the easier path of spoofing films that are already comedies, in this case mostly romantic comedies and reality TV shows.

    Julia Jones (Alyson Hannigan) is a fat and lonely waitress working at her parent’s dinner. She seeks the help of dating expert Hitch (Tony Cox) who gives her a Pimp my Ride style makeover where she emerges thin and beautiful. She is then entered onto a Bachelor style reality program where she meets Grant Fockyerdoder (Adam Campbell). They then head cross country with Julia’s parents (Eddie Griffin and Meera Simham) to meet Grant’s parents (Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge). While planning their wedding with wedding planner Jell-O (Valery Ortiz) she must face Alex’s old girlfriend Andy (Sophie Monk).

    The formula for this film is pretty simple - take a comic moment from a well known film and amp it up to the absurd. As an example, there is a memorable scene in Meet the Parents where a character breaks a vase containing the ashes of a deceased relative. In Date Movie the vase contains not only ashes, but the complete decomposing corpse of the deceased. There is nothing subtle about this film. The references to the films it is trying to lampoon are obvious and in your face.

    In their audio commentary the writer/directors of this film discuss how satire works best when played as drama and claim to have given the actors instructions to play their parts like this. Either the actors completely ignored these instructions or the directors lacked the discipline to enforce this because for the most part the acting on display here is quite hammy to say the least.

    Despite some talented actors and actresses nothing can ultimately save this turkey. It is neither creative nor smart and mostly it is simply not funny. The only positive thing I really have to say about this film is that minus the credits it’s only 71 minutes long. (Observe how ridiculously large and slow the final credits are in a futile attempt to pad out the running time).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    As it often seems to happen, really bad movies get excellent transfers. That is certainly true here of Date Movie, with it receiving a near perfect transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which matches the film's theatrical aspect ratio.

    Image sharpness and image detail are both excellent. Shadow detail is also very good and the image is free of low level noise.

    Colours are all very well saturated and natural.

    The print used is very clean and I did not notice any dirt or other blemishes and compression artefacts are almost non-existent.

    The English subtitles are white with a black border, fairly easy to read and accurately match the on-screen dialogue.

    The film is presented on a dual layered disc with RSDL encoding. The layer change occurs at 61:06 which is a cut  between shots in the middle of a scene which is likely to be noticed if your player pauses during the layer change.

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

Audio

    The main English soundtracks on this DVD are both of a reasonable quality but fairly front oriented.

    There is a DTS soundtrack encoded at 768 Kb/s and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. The DTS soundtrack is slightly louder but even when taking this into account I was surprised at how weak the bass was on the Dolby Digital soundtrack when compared to the DTS. Otherwise, both were almost identical.

    Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand and I did not notice any issues with the audio sync.

    The original music by David Kitay more or less imitates the music from the films being parodied and works well enough.

    The surround channels were mostly only used for subtle ambience and were frankly underutilised in my opinion.

    The subwoofer channel on the Dolby Digital soundtrack was almost non-existent and even on the DTS soundtrack it was still much weaker than I felt it should have been and really only came into play during some of the music.

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

Extras

    A generous collection of extras is provided although none of it is of a very high quality.

Menu

     The disc starts up with some trailers for TV shows which thankfully can be skipped past. The menus are all 16x9 enhanced with animation, clips from the movie and appropriate music in the background. Overall it is quite a nice effort.

Commentary – Jason Friedberg (Writer), Aaron Seltzer (Director)

    Friedberg and Seltzer begin by explaining that they both shared the directing and writing jobs on this film. They go on to admit that their commentary is dull and boring but justify it by saying they didn’t make you listen to it. Pity us poor DVD reviewers because they are correct. Furthermore it would seem that they were not allowed to mention any of the films that Date Movie attempts to lampoon but unfortunately they don’t seem to know it. All references to such films are beeped out, which often decimates the information giving us passages like “Funny trivia here about Tony Cox as *beeeep*, Tony was actually, played an *beeeeeeeeep* in a *beeeeeeeeeeeep*. That’s a good factoid”. The whole commentary is essentially a series of beeps which gets draining very quickly.

Commentary Cast – Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Sophie Monk, Valery Ortiz and Tony Cox

    Going into this commentary the participants were given a long list of rules to be obeyed during the commentary. Rules like not to mention other films and not to mention any of their previous works. One of these rules also included making no disparaging comments about the film or other cast and crew members. If this is a typical rule for audio commentaries it explains why so many are so boring and so self congratulatory. For the most past this is certainly the case for this commentary although I think Sophie Monk really nails it when she says her favourite thing about the film was the on-set catering.

Anti-Commentary – Film Critics Scott Foundas and Bob Strauss

    Now this seems like an interesting idea. Have film critics do an audio commentary of an undeniably appalling film. Unfortunately the producers of the DVD chickened out a bit and actually tracked down what I can only assume is one of the only film critics in the world who actually enjoyed this film in the form of critic Bob Strauss from the Los Angeles Daily News . (And he spends most of the commentary apologising for it). The second film critic is Scott Foundas from the LA Weekly and while he gave it a poor review he seems intent on not offending the filmmakers and really pulls his punches. Had the producers had the guts to actually get film critics who did not like the film and were willing to say so in a commentary this may have been interesting. The result however does not reach that potential. It is frankly pretty dull. You really don’t need film critics to point out why this is a bad film.

Play movie with laugh track

    The audience this was recorded with must have known they were being recorded because they laugh hysterically at almost everything. This really is a pretty pointless soundtrack.

On Dating 16x9 (4:23)

     Members of the cast discuss memorable and bad dating experiences. This is mildly entertaining.

Deleted Scenes 16x9 (17:36)

    This is a collection of 12 deleted or extended scenes. Some of the material here is actually funnier than what remained in the movie but was obviously removed for pacing reasons.

Romantic Screensavers 16x9

     These are 2 looping pieces of video. The first one, Sunset (1:56), is a beach scene at sunset and the second one is a Fireplace (1:56). Exactly why a pair of romantic screensavers is includes in the extras of a movie that lampoons romantic comedies is a little bit of a mystery to me.

Andy’s Cherry Stem Surprise 16x9

    In the film Sophie Monk’s character puts a cherry stalk in her mouth and a few seconds later spits it out as an intricate merry-go-round. This uses that same footage but uses CGI to replace the final object. You must first answer a multiple choice question from the film and then a small clips plays. Each clip lasts around 15 seconds.

Gag Reel 16x9 (2:23)

     As the name suggests these are mostly outtakes from the film.

Fun With Casting 16x9 (1:45)

     This is footage from the auditions.

Fox Movie Channel Presents “Making A Spoof” 4x3 (18:07)

     One of the films parodied towards the end of the film is King Kong. This is a parody of the Production Diaries that Peter Jackson made when making his version of King Kong. While mildly amusing it well and truly outstays its welcome on what is essentially one joke (which is the suggestion that Peter Jackson is a clueless moron). If you do watch this I suggest using the Play All option, otherwise every episode (there are 13) will includes a full assortment of pre and post credits. Some may like it but I found it incredibly juvenile.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    Two version of this film are available in Region 1, a censored rated version and an unrated version. Our version is the same as the unrated version. See the censorship notes for more details.

The Region 4 versions misses out on:

The Region 1 Unrated Version misses out on:

    From the reviews I have read of the Region 1 release I have good reason to believe that our Region 4 version has received a superior video transfer. These reviews universally described the Quickie featurette as a waste of time. Given that the DTS soundtrack is also superior to the Dolby Digital I am inclined to feel that our Region 4 version is the better choice.

Summary

    Date Movie is a spoof of recent romantic comedies and reality TV shows and it’s frankly pretty awful. The extras, while plentiful, don’t amount to much and the soundtrack is basically serviceable at best. The one redeeming thing about this DVD is the fact that the video transfer is utterly superb.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-696AV-s, SACD & DVD-A, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector onto 90" 16x9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
What is up with Fox and DTS usage? - REPLY POSTED