Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-FORCED! -The Last House On The Left; Defiance; Bottle Shock
Featurette-Making Of-Popcorn Porn: Watching Zack & Miri Make a Porno (71:20)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-"Money Shot" Webisodes (22)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-ComicCon 2008 Panel (22:21)
Outtakes-Gang Bang: Outtakes, Ad-libs and Bloopers (13:01)
Outtakes-Seth & Justin: Battle for Improvisational Supremacy (7:24)
Outtakes-Brandon and Bobby make a Testimonial (20:49)
|Year Of Production||2008|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kevin Smith|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
James L. Venable
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, online retail.|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Zack Brown (Seth Rogen) and Miri Linky (Elizabeth Banks) aren't your average couple. Despite having known each other since the first grade and having shared a house together for years, they are "just friends" despite convincing appearances to the contrary. They argue like a seasoned couple, share a car and a single bathroom. Even their close friends are perplexed, questioning their relationship openly and seeing them as an 'item' waiting to happen. But financially things aren't looking good for them in the slightest. Unpaid bills are piling up, rent is overdue and they're struggling to make ends meet. One freezing night, when their services are cut off leaving them cold and destitute, Zack hatches a plan to make a fortune by creating an amateur porno film, with themselves as stars. Miri takes some convincing as you would expect, but what begins as a convoluted idea evolves into an elaborate production, as the cast grows and numerous, hilarious hurdles are overcome during production.
The least surprising element of the film is the core relationship between Zack & Miri, the couple more 'likely' than 'unlikely' to hook up through thick and thin, especially when the sex-factor is thrown into their unsuspectingly turbulent, cash-strapped lives. Despite their sincere promises not to let their newfound physical relationship impact on their years of mate-ship, both are overcome with jealousy, emotion and confusion. Can their relationship survive the explosive porno-catalyst they've unwittingly unleashed?
Director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, et al.) is treading familiar territory here, producing a film laced with his trademark humour and dialogue that fans will find instantly recognisable. The biggest risk-taker of the bunch would have to be Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), stepping out of his comfort zone to make a film with an entirely different team, albeit still well within his comedic ballpark. Elizabeth Banks (Role Models) is gorgeous as the film's love interest and handles the humour and subject matter with surprising dexterity.
Zack and Miri has it's moments, but sadly it doesn't nearly live up to Smith's past work. The plot is a tough sell, and quite a bit of suspension of belief is asked of the viewer in my opinion. Despite the extensive array of extras on offer (I wouldn't expect any less of Kevin Smith), this one is best left for a rainy rental night.
I should also note that both discs in this package contain forced anti-piracy adverts prior to the main menu. Disc One also has forced trailers that may be fast forwarded but not skipped.
The video transfer is presented in 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. This film was screened theatrically in 1.85:1 and it would appear the matte has been opened a little on the top and bottom of the frame for presentation on DVD.
The transfer is moderately sharp and well textured. Shadow detail is quite good, as are the film's deep black levels. These are most exemplified in the film's dark nighttime scenes. Colours are rich and warm, with no bleeding or inconsistency to speak of.
MPEG compression artefacting is nowhere to be seen. Film artefacts are also well controlled and don't extend beyond the odd spec of dust here or there. A slight wash of film grain is visible on occasion but this is to expected, given the source.
English subtitles are included for the hard of hearing. I viewed a few scenes of the film with the titles enabled and found them to be well timed and easy to read. Some phrases are simplified without any real detriment to the plot.
There are three soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD. The default soundtrack is a problem-free English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). Other valuable disc space is consumed by a useless, wafer-thin stereo soundtrack option that will likely go unused by 99% of those who purchase the DVD. A handy descriptive audio track rounds out the audio options, voiced by a nice English female.
The film's English dialogue is always distinct and easy to discern in the mix. Enunciation is great and audio sync is perfect.
The use of the surround channels mainly consists of the soundtrack score slightly spilling to the rears now and then, as well as the usual atmospherics and the odd passing car during street scenes. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel, while the front left and right channels deliver foley effects and the bulk of the score.
The score by James L. Venable is subtle and suits the sentiment of the film. It's one of those soundtracks that doesn't draw a lot of attention, but hits the right buttons.
Being a dialogue-heavy film, the subwoofer doesn't get a lot of work to do. There's a demolition scene around the 46 minute mark that sees a little bottom end, but that's about it.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a massive 42 scenes in all, playable individually or via a play all function. Some serve as simple, brief extensions to familiar scenes, while others are completely edited scenes and sub-plots that were removed during post production.
Forced trailers load prior to the main menu; The Last House On The Left; Daniel Craig in Defiance and Bottle Shock.
The entire contents of Disc Two can be launched via a handy play all function, if you're feeling ambitious!
This is about as comprehensive as making-of docos get. Kevin Smith talks us through the film's production, beginning with his initial concept for the film, right through to the final wrap party. Some extra attention is given to their battle over the film's MPAA rating, but as a whole this is certainly worth your time.
These series of featurettes were released on the 'net during the film's production, presented here in their entirety and including a brief introduction by Seth Rogen and Director Kevin Smith. Each piece runs for about two and a half minutes, and there are 22 in total.
Filmed at the annual ComicCon event in 2008, all of the cast (including the director) are present, fielding questions from the audience.
The actual menu title reads Gang Bang: Outtakes, Ad-libs and Bloopers, but this is simply a reel of gaffs and botched lines.
Titled Seth and Justin: The Battle for Improvisational Supremacy, this is the improvised scene from the reunion party. It's particularly funny because each actor is trying to out-do the other.
A very lengthy unedited piece poolside with the film's gay couple. A snippet of this scene was used during a faux promo in the film. Brandon Routh appears uncomfortable throughout.
The transfer is great.
The extras are worthwhile.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.|