A funny movie that never attempts to be more or less than what it is.
In the end... you know what the outcome is going to be.The Hangover stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha as 4 guys going to Las Vegas to celebrate the Bartha character's impending nuptials. However, what this movie does is start at what seems like the end, after our characters are seemingly wrecked from a night of endless partying and, in a somewhat Rashomon-like way, it takes us back to show us how our characters got to be in the shape they are in.
Everything starts off normal with the men leaving for Las Vegas. All of the actors seem to be cast to play a type. You have Bradley Cooper as the free-wheeling lothario. Ed Helms embodies the moral compass of these characters as he seems like he's just intent on getting through the weekend. Zach Galifianakis's character plays like Ted Kaczynski might if he was given a weekend furlough to the city of sin. Justin Bartha as your All American groom who is all but MIA for 3/4's of the movie as his friends search for him and try to piece together the night before.
Now, I could give the reader a blow by blow accounting of the events that take place in this film. That would do nothing but be a disservice to the person that has and hasn't seen this film. From dental work that goes awry, to babies that get saddled with this clan, to partying that goes a little too far, to naked Asian men being in the trunk of the car, to some somewhat silly antics with Mike Tyson, this movie works.
The Hangover feels as if director Todd Phillips sat down with his writers and came up with every single kooky idea they could think of. They then waded through them, strung them together in a linear way and then jumbled everything up to create a uniquely original, comic and familiar viewing experience.
Picture In Picture Commentary
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Todd Phillips sit back and give us their thoughts on creating this movie. I went into this commentary thinking that in some way I was going to be getting a sequel to The Hangover hing of that nature simply because most of the cast was present. That really isn't the case and this is more of a trip through making this movie which is I guess is the whole point of a commentary track. I didn't have time to listen to the whole thing but what I heard was interesting. It seems that Phillips and company really bonded over the course of making this movie and that is quite on display here.
I can't really say too much about this feature as there really isn't much to say; the title says it all. The Hangover features a large of amount of bad words. Afterall, you do have a bunch of guys going to Las Vegas. If they're not using bad language than something is wrong. This section takes most of the bad language and cuts it together so that viewers sort of get a thumbnail look at this movie via the colorful dialogue. Certainly worth your time...
Iron Mike Online Teaser
Mike Tyson is known for many things. Being the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, marrying and divorcing Robin Givens, biting Evander Holyfield's ear, crying on Oprah... and now singing. Singing! Yes, if you are so inclined you can bring up Mike Tyson singing Phil Collins' 1980s hit song, "In the Air Tonight." I consider myself somebody who has a pretty decent amount of knowledge about Iron Mike and even I didn't know he had this in him.
1080p High Definition - 16x9 - 2.4:1. While I don't think anybody went to see The Hangover because it was filled visual spectacle, the movie has been transferred quite well to Blu-ray disc. I found that the movie retained its litany of colors without anything getting dyspeptic or overly tidy. Todd Field and his cinematographer Lawrence Sher haven't set out to reinvent the wheel, which is at the core of why this movie works. If they had gone the zany route than some of the visuals might have got in the way of the comedy being put across. Since this movie plays it straight in a visual sense, that means that the comedy and the non-linear way in which it is presented doesn't step on any toes.
Dolby True HD: English 5.1. Dolby Digital English, French and Spanish 5.1. The audio is like this on the theatrical version only (for my second screening I went with the unrated version). The subtitles are in English, French and Spanish. The audio on this film was good but nothing about it made me really feel like it was anything special. Again, The Hangover really isn't that kind of a movie. It is meant to entertain, make us laugh, and possibly speak to some universal truths about weddings, bachelor parties, etc. The audio does what it needs to do even though it isn't really doing anything that is that special.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis are on this front cover looking beat up after a night in Las Vegas. The back cover gives users 3 small images from this film, a Special features listing, a cast list and technical specs. I guess this is one of those releases that hit such critical mass, that was so much a part of the zeitgeist that there was no need to explain to potential buyers what the movie on this Blu-ray disc might be about.
I didn't expect to like The Hangover as much as I did. I came to it after it had been in the theater for awhile and my feeling was that it couldn't be nearly as funny as people say that it is. So I watched it in the theater and I was extremely impressed. Then, the powers at be at the ole MW gave it to me to review and I was blown away at how much better it looked on my TV. I wasn't sure how this movie would play without the summer crowd to watch it with, but I found myself laughing even more at scenes I had already seen and catching lines that I had missed. I think that this movie was perfectly cast and I also think that the makers of this Blu-ray D have gone out of there way to give users a reason for owning it in this format.
At a time when our country is in a recession and everybody is tightening their belts, The Hangover is the kind of film that will make users happy to indulge in the next generation format.