Hangover, The: Extended Uncut (Blu-ray) (2009)
Audio Commentary-Picture-in-Picture video commentary on theatrical version
Featurette-Map of Destruction
Deleted Scenes-The Madness of Ken Jeong
Featurette-Three Best Friends Song
Featurette-The Dan Band!
Gallery-Photo-More Pictures from the Missing Camera
Web Links-BD-Live (Cursing Mash-up and Iron Mike Online Teaser)
Web Links-Downloadable Digital Copy
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Todd Phillips|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
French for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The last film I watched prior to writing this review was Marco Ferreri's Dillinger is Dead. It's fairly plot less. It's about a bored and alienated man (played by noted French actor Michel Piccoli) who has a night at home doing banal things until he commits an act of uxoricide and then escapes on a yacht bound for Tahiti. Not your standard-type of film, yet as an ode to the alienated early-1960s films of Michelangelo Antonioni, it's a masterful expression of a man's emotional impotence during the feminist era of the late-1960s. So what does Todd Phillips' The Hangover have in common with this art house classic of Italian cinema?. Not much, except that all the main characters spend the majority of the film trying to re-trace their bachelor weekend party in Las Vegas. There's not much plot here, but where this film works is on two levels: one, similarly to a film like Dillinger is Dead we see a comic presentation of men trying to assert their independence and, secondly, the film is told in flashback so the whole premise from an audience point-of-view is to work out how these guys end up where they are at the end of the weekend, with a lost groom and the wedding only hours away in Los Angeles. It's the flashback nature of the simple plot that ties it's audience in; you are bound to want to know how Doug got lost, how Stu married a stripper and lost his tooth and how these guys ended up with Mike Tyson's tiger in their expensive Caesars Palace villa (costing $US4000 a night!).
The film starts with a scene from near the end where we see Phil call Tracy Garner (Sasha Barrese) to tell her that her bridegroom, Doug Billings (Justin Bartha), is lost. From here we backtrack a few days to meet teacher Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), dentist Stu Price (Ed Helms) and Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis), the awkward bride's brother, as they organise a bachelor party in Las Vegas. The night starts well, with all four men drinking a toast to the impending wedding. The next scene sees three of the gang wake up in their hotel room in a drunken haze which has wiped their memory of the last twelve hours. In the meantime the plot unravels to reveal a trashed hotel room, a tiger, Mike Tyson (playing himself), a baby, a naked Chinese man (played by Ken Jeong in a hilarious cameo role as a Las Vegas gangster) in the trunk of their car, a missing tooth, a hospital bracelet and a married stripper. The trio try to retrace their steps to find their friend and in doing so they meet the stripper (played by Heather Graham), the Chinese gangster, the police to explain why they have a stolen police car, and are forced to find $80000. All these unaccounted for misadventures play a role in trying to find Doug. It's fun to learn how these guys get into so much trouble with everyone they meet on their drunken night out (well, actually they were drugged, but that's another story for you to work out while watching the film!).
The Hangover was the sleeper comedy hit of 2009, earning $US467 million for its small $US35 million dollar budget. Todd Phillips shot the film in two weeks in Las Vegas, apparently without the need for many extras (Bradley Copper has stated in an interview that Las Vegas residents and tourists barely noticed that they were shooting a film). Heather Graham's role, which will now be reprised in the sequel, was originally going to be played by Lindsay Lohan, who passed on it after reading the script, thinking that the film would be a dud, a decision she has now come to regret.
Cooper, Helms, Bartha and Galifianakis work well together here – it helps that these guys know each other outside of their roles in this film. The rapport and camaraderie established by the main actors sells this as a 'buddy' film. The four main actors have completely different roles. Phil is the cool guy who tries to remain calm in the face of extreme circumstances, Stu is a paranoid, anxious, uptight man who is trying to present a cool facade, Alan is a naive, socially awkward personality who has difficulty making friends although in some areas he is gifted. You wonder how Doug, who is the most normal personality of the quartet, could be friends with these guys. It's the differences in personalities that make things interesting as the plot unfolds.
This Blu-ray includes the Theatrical and Extended, Uncut versions. There is a difference of 8 minutes in running time, with each cut included on the Blu-ray disc; there is no seamless branching. According to IMDb the differences are minor - "Even though the longer version is labelled as unrated it doesn't feature any more classical unrated material such as nudity and so on but several extended dialogue sequences that are more or less useful for the movie but fans will enjoy this Unrated Version as well". There are also explicit images in the credits on the Unrated cut featuring Zach Galifianakis' character so be warned!
The Hangover will not appeal to everyone. Some will find it vulgar and crude and may think that it appeals to immature, teenage senses. It's the type of film you can't take too seriously. For me, it works in unfolding how these four guys end up in a multi-faceted and absurd situation. By the way, where did the chicken come from?
When you load the Blu-ray disc and choose 'play' from the menu you get an option to play the theatrical or extended cut. The aspect ratio for both cuts is 2.35:1 using a 1080p/VC-1 codec, enhanced for 16x9 widescreen televisions.
Because there are two cuts on the Blu-ray disc, the average bitrate is lower than a standard Blu-ray feature at 16.50 m/b per sec for each cut. Detail on close-up shots is good, as are shadow details. Colour is also standard, nothing here is too bright or dull to bring attention to it.
Due to the lower bitrate there is a touch of low level noise in the background in some panoramic scenes, but this is rare as most scenes contain mid-shots and close-ups. There is also some very minor edge enhancement.
Subtitles are available in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, German for the Hard of Hearing, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish. The theatrical cut has two more subtitle options; French and German.
For a film about a weekend bachelor party misadventure, the main soundtrack is disappointingly subdued and front-channel heavy. This is because the audio is a 16-bit transfer instead of the usual 24-bit. This means that the main soundtrack lacks the dynamic range found on most Blu-ray lossless soundtracks. The main soundtrack is an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track encoded at 1404 kbps, nowhere near what a standard lossless track bitrate is on Blu-ray (usually 3500 - 4000 kbps!). There is also an English Descriptive Audio track and two dub tracks in French and German (these are really well done actually!). The three tracks are encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 kbps each.
Dialogue is clear and synchronised to the centre channel as per standard.
Christophe Beck's soundtrack consists of 20 songs. Usually these are mere snippets as there is more emphasis on dialogue in this film.
Surround Channel usage is mainly limited to the front channels. There are not many directional cues from the 5.1 mix either. The subwoofer is subdued also. Sometimes it comes into play for when songs play over the soundtrack or in the car crash scene, but that's about it unfortunately.
|Surround Channel Use|
This feature is available on the theatrical version only. We get director Todd Phillips and three of the main cast discussing the film while watching it, which is certainly unique in terms of picture-in-picture commentaries. The anecdotes shared are too laidback however, and the informal nature of this commentary doesn't quite work for a PiP (picture-in-picture) featurette.
The animated map allows you to select 13 short featurettes that allow you to retrace the characters' steps during their weekend in Las Vegas.
Included here are extended sequences and alternate versions of scenes that feature the very talented Ken Jeong as Leslie Chow, Alan's 'lucky charm'. These sequences are very funny!
This is a very brief montage of action sequences from the film.
Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper's sing the Best Friends song.
The Dan Band! are a comedy act who sing cover songs with obscenities added in. They make regular appearances in Todd Phillips' films and this short featurette has them singing the song Fame.
This is another funny extra featuring the main actors getting their lines wrong and usually laughing during their bloopers.
100 images are included here that weren't used as stills for the end credits.
With BD-Live you can go online and view these two very short extras showing scenes from the film that use profanity and Mike Tyson singing along with Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight. At two-and-a-half minutes in total there's no reason why these two short extras were not included on the Blu-ray.
Instructions are included with an authorisation code to download a digital copy for Australian and New Zealand purchasers of the Blu-ray. The digital copy is only compatible with Windows Media for portable devices (so it can't be played in iTunes or on an iPod) and playable only on a PC (not Mac). The digital copy is downloadable until November 25th, 2011.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Hangover has been released in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Scandinavia in Region Free editions with only subtle differences in language and subtitle options for each Region. The Spanish release contains the theatrical version only however.
The Hangover will only appeal to you if you found the premise of a lost bridegroom on a bachelor weekend party funny. Otherwise, if you rent this and find that you just don't care where that chicken came from, then the extras and audio mix on this Blu-ray aren't going to cut it for you I'm afraid, as they are basic.
As for me, I'm still wondering where that chicken came from and how it ended up in the hotel suite.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||Sony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)|