Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Mort Nathan|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
William de Coverly
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||English Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, before opening credits|
Van Wilder 2 - The Rise of Taj is the follow on from the 2002 minor frat comedy which featured Ryan Reynolds as the titular character, and Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, The Namesake, House MD) as his sidekick, Taj Mahal Badalandabad (an Indian if you couldn't guess!).
Perhaps to cash in on Kal Penn's rising stardom, came this 2006 release, which, despite the title, doesn't feature the Van Wilder character at all. This time Taj Mahal actually goes to 'Camford' University in England to further his academic career.
When he gets there he runs into an upper-crust cad of a student, Pip (played by Daniel Percival) who aims to make Taj's life a misery. Poor Taj ends up sharing a house with the 'rejects' from the uni crowd. Without delving too much into the plot (because there really isn't much of one), Taj basically motivates this rag tag bunch of students to take on Pip's snobbish group to determine who'll win the competition as the best frat house on campus. I'm sure you can guess who comes out on top at the end. Oh, and along the way Taj falls for Pip's girlfriend.
The video on this DVD is presented in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
It's a fairly ordinary transfer, which has uneven lighting in parts. Overall the picture looks very low-budget and more akin to a telemovie.
The picture is not the sharpest, and is in fact quite soft in some sections, though overall it's acceptable.
Black level and shadow detail are adequate.
The colour palette used is actually quite rich and colourful.
There were no obvious MPEG artefacts, nor any disturbing film-to-video artefacts.
There were no subtitles present.
There was no layer change during the main feature.
There was only one audio track on this disk, Dolby Digital 5.1.
There was no commentary track or any other audio.
The dialogue was generally fine though there was a noticeable audio sync problem with the speech being slightly out of time with the actors' lip movements. Perhaps this was a faulty test pressing, and the retail versions will be corrected.
The musical score is credited to Robert Folk (In the Shadow of the Cobra, Back in the Day). Not a particularly memorable score though it does fit in with the type of movie and the target audience.
There is very little surround activity in the rear speakers, with mostly ambient noise going throughout.
The subwoofer just supports the bass frequencies of the music, without drawing attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
Thankfully the only extras were not related to this film! There were two unrelated trailers, one for Razzle Dazzle and the other for Ghost Rider. Both of these play before the main menu appears, though you can skip through them.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is an 'unrated' version available in R1, should you have the desire to put yourself through even more of this film... It also has the Spanish soundtrack, should you require that.
A very ordinary film and one I really can't recommend, not even to fans of Kal Penn. As much as I liked him in the first Harold and Kumar film, and in The Namesake, most of his performances, like in Van Wilder 2, seem hardly to get out of 1st or 2nd gear. So too with his recurring role in House, which suddenly and thankfully finished when he was made a job offer too good to refuse by none other than the new President of the US of A.
Try as I might, I couldn't laugh at any point during this film, in fact it was a pain to sit through. I'm surprised they still churn out these frat comedies, which seem to have such an 80s feel about them. I guess there must be an audience somewhere...or at least an audience member!
The video and audio quality on the disk was acceptable (though this test disk did have noticeable audio sync problems).
Thankfully as far as extras go, there were only two unrelated trailers.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output|
|Display||Pioneer PDP508xda 50" plasma. Calibrated with Sound & Home Theater Tune Up. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Main: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10|