Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

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Released 16-Jun-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes-(78:20)
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)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 97:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kevin Smith
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Seth Rogen
Elizabeth Banks
Craig Robinson
Jason Mewes
Jeff Anderson
Traci Lords
Katie Morgan
Ricky Mabe
Case ?
RPI ? Music James L. Venable
Chris Ward


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, online retail.
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

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

Audio

Disc one is dual layered, however the transition was transparent on my system. The extras disc is DVD5 formatted.

    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.

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

Extras

Menu

    The main menu page is animated and punctuated by familiar lines from the film. All of the extras are 16x9 enhanced, with stereo audio unless otherwise noted.

Disc One

Deleted and Extended Scenes (78:20)

    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.

Trailers

    Forced trailers load prior to the main menu; The Last House On The Left; Daniel Craig in Defiance and Bottle Shock.

Disc Two

    The entire contents of Disc Two can be launched via a handy play all function, if you're feeling ambitious!

Making-Of Featurette- Popcorn Porn: Watching Zack & Miri Make a Porno (71:20)

    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.

Making-of Featurettes- "Money Shot" Webisodes (22)

    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.

Featurette- ComicCon 2008 Panel (22:21)

    Filmed at the annual ComicCon event in 2008, all of the cast (including the director) are present, fielding questions from the audience.

Deleted Scenes (13:01)

    The actual menu title reads Gang Bang: Outtakes, Ad-libs and Bloopers, but this is simply a reel of gaffs and botched lines.

Deleted Scenes (7:24)

    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.

Extended Scene- Brandon and Bobby make a Testimonial (20:49)

    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.

R4 vs R1

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

    Aside from soundtrack language and subtitle options, this title appears to be identical in content across all regions. This film has also been released on Blu-ray.

Summary

    While it may not be Kevin Smith's best work to date, Zack & Miri is great fun.

    The transfer is great.

    The extras are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo 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 DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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