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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Funny People (2-disc) [Blu-ray]

 

(Judd Apatow, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Studios

Video: Universal Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: Theatrical 2:25:59 / Extended: 2:32:34

Disc Size: 48,904,446,318 bytes

Feature Size: 31,870,371,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.59 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 24th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3263 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3263 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

First Disc
• Commentary with director Judd Apatow and stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen

Funny People Diaries: A documentary in four parts which takes audiences inside all aspects of the filmmaking process from early cast table reads and joke brainstorming sessions, to the various filmmaking techniques employed throughout the production. (1:15:06)

Line-O-Rama – re-watch some of the movie’s scenes with alternate punch lines

Part 1 (4:53)

Part 2 (5:46)
• 2 Gag Reels (5:52 + 5:20)

My Scenes / BD-LIVE

2nd Disc:
• Additional Line-O-Rama (2:50)
Documentaries:
• Judd’s High School Radio Show (3:37)
Raaaaaaaandy!: This mockumentary takes fans on the road with Aziz Ansari’s Randy character from the film. (21:36 in HD!)
Music from Funny People: Listen to music from and inspired by the film from James Taylor, Adam Sandler, Jon Brion and RZA (49:59)
• From the Archives: Watch Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow on a 1990 episode of The Midnight Hour with Bill Maher; Sandler’s first appearance on David Letterman; and Seth Rogen doing stand up at 13!
The Films of George Simmons: Watch footage from George Simmons' greatest films including Re-Do, Sayonara Davey, Champion, Dog's Best Friend and Merman
Prank Call 1990: Watch Sandler as he performs an actual prank phone call, in this archival footage from Judd Apatow’s personal video library
• “Yo Teach…!”: Go “behind-the-scenes” of “Yo Teach…!”, the television show featured in the film Funny People (8:08 in HD!)

Blu-ray Exclusive Extras
• 24 Deleted Scenes (48:24 in HD!)
20 Extended and Alternate Scenes (1:06:19 in HD!)
• Additional music and an extensive look at James Taylor on the set -
James Taylor Behind the Scenes (6:57)
• Over an hour of stand up performances by the film’s cast
• Additional archival material including Sandler’s first (5:58) and second Letterman appearances (6:00), Sandler at Los Angeles’ famed Comedy & Magic Club (4:45), Seth Stand-up at 13 in 1995 (4:40) and Judd Apatow performing on The Dennis Miller Show (4:48)
• Hilarious prank calls from Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow
• Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow’s appearance on “Charlie Rose” (56:54 in 4:3 SD)
• U-Control :Funny People music: Universal’s exclusive signature feature puts the viewer just a click away from additional insights into the music in the film without ever leaving the movie.
• BD-Live : Download Center, My Chat & My Scenes Sharing
• BD-Live: My Funny People Commentary: Create play-by-play video, audio or text movie commentary and share it with friends through UniversalHiDef.com and the BD-Live Center

Pocket Blu App

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: George Simmons is a famous stand-up comedian who learns that he has a terminal illness and less than a year to live. When, he meets Ira, a struggling comedian at a comedy club where both the comedians are performing, George hires Ira to be his personal assistant and opening act at his performances. The two forge a close friendship as George helps Ira with his career and Ira helps George find closure in his legacy. However, when George learns that his disease has gone into remission and an ex-girlfriend re-enters his life, he's inspired to reevaluate what is important to him and what truly gives meaning to his life.

 

 

The Film:

The thing about "Funny People" is that it's a real movie. That means carefully written dialogue and carefully placed supporting performances -- and it's about something. It could have easily been a formula film, and the trailer shamelessly tries to misrepresent it as one, but George Simmons learns and changes during his ordeal, and we empathize.

The film presents a new Seth Rogen, much thinner, dialed down, with more dimensions. Rogen was showing signs of forever playing the same buddy-movie co-star, but here we find that he, too, has another actor inside. So does Jason Schwartzman, who often plays vulnerable but here presents his character as the kind of successful rival you love to hate.

Rogen and Leslie Mann find the right notes as George's impromptu support group. The plot doesn't blindly insist that George and Laura must find love; it simply suggests they could do better in their lives. Eric Bana makes a satisfactory comic villain, there is a rolling-around-on-the-lawn fight scene that's convincingly clumsy, and Mann mocks him with a spot-on Aussie accent (not the standard pleasant one, more of a bray).

Apatow understands that every supporting actor has to pull his weight. The casting director who found him Torsten Voges to play George's doctor earned a day's pay. Voges is in some eerie, bizarre way convincing as a cheerful realist bringing terrible news: miles better than your stereotyped grim movie surgeon.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Funny People is seamlessly branched on Blu-ray between the theatrical version and 6.5-minute longer 'unrated ' version. The image shows a decent sheen of reasonably consistent grain. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically. This is dual-layered but has a low-ish bitrate. Colors are acceptable if unremarkable. Skin tones seem true and there is some dimensionality in the fairly detailed visuals. This Blu-ray has a nice even feel just don't expect to be blown away by the image - it is not that type of film with frequent medium shots - and few closeups. As we've said often - the jokes don't get any better in a higher resolution but this is part drama too and exports a consistent and clean appearance that supports the film quite adeptly.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The abundant DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3263 kbps never really comes into play. Neither the comedic nor the dramatic moments require any boisterous effect noises, deep bass or crisp high end notes but there is some notable separation in the crowded club scenes. There is some great music in the film - and it sounds wonderful - John Lennon, Wilco, James Taylor etc. Options exist for English, French or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

The commentary on disc one (playable on both version) with director Judd Apatow, Sandler and Rogen is plenty of fun. Lot's of joking and laughing - but they seem to be talking more to each other and not about the film scene - but that's okay. Apatow kind of corrals in the jesting and he has the most to impart being both writer and director. There is a 1 1/4 hour 4-part documentary entitled Funny People Diaries which takes audiences inside all aspects of the filmmaking process from early cast table reads and joke brainstorming sessions, to the various filmmaking techniques employed throughout the production. I loved both Line-O-Rama (re-watching some of the movie’s scenes with alternate punch lines) for 10-minutes and also the 2 Gag Reels for about 11-minutes. I found the latter hilarious.

 

There also a whole second dual-layered Blu-ray disc of supplements (40 Gig worth!) listed fully at the top of this review. The deleted and extended / alternate scenes are quite fun and almost represent an entire new movie at about 1 3/4 hours. You also get over an hour of stand up performances by the film’s cast, archival material including Sandler’s first (5:58) and second Letterman appearances (6:00), Sandler at Los Angeles’ famed Comedy & Magic Club (4:45), Seth stand-up at 13 in 1995 (4:40) and Judd Apatow performing on The Dennis Miller Show (4:48) - a few prank calls from Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow and an hour interview of Sandler and Apatow on “Charlie Rose” plus more tidbits. Lastly, there is a lot of impressive sounding interactive and/or Blu-ray exclusive content (U-Control, BD-Live : Download Center, My Chat & My Scenes Sharing, BD-Live: My Funny People Commentary: Create play-by-play video, audio or text movie commentary and share it with friends through UniversalHiDef.com and the BD-Live Center and Pocket Blu App) - that, frankly, most of us never use.

 

There is a lot of super stuff here - an impressive selection of supplements. Great job Universal!

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a very enjoyable film and zips-by considering the 2.5 hour running time. I watched it twice right through before indulging in the commentary. It has some very humorous moments and keeps you guessing about the plot direction. Apatow pulls off the humanistic touches without being heavy handed. Seth Rogen really steals the show - often because he is not that funny - but is always trying... which is funny. His timing is perfect in some scenes. The Blu-ray gives more than you would really need to enjoy Funny People in the comfort of your home theater - but having the options shows Universal is putting some effort into this film that was one of the shining lights of a less-than-stellar Summer 2009 Movie season. There is a ton of value here folks we strongly recommend - Enjoy!  

Gary Tooze

November 14th, 2009

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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