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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Cable Guy [Blu-ray]


(Ben Stiller, 1996)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures

Video: Sony Video



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

Runtime: 1:35:45.740

Disc Size: 32,462,035,137 bytes

Feature Size: 25,698,103,296 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.96 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 1st, 2011



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3692 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3692 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3924 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3924 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, none



• Commentary with Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow and Jim Carrey

• Gag Reel (6:31 in 480i)

• Nine Deleted or Extended Scenes (24:03 in 480i)

• HBO First Look (24:14 in 480i)

• Five Rehearsals (17:14 in 480i)

Nightmare Camera Test (1:15 in 480i)

• Leslie Mann Audition (3:01 in 480i)

• 'Leave Me Alone' Music Video (4:34 in 480i)

• Previews





Description: When a young urbanite calls to order cable TV for his apartment he gets much more than he bargained for, as the demented title character arrives and proceeds to insinuate his way into the beleaguered customer's life. Raised by television as a child and starved for human contact, the "cable guy" is a darkly hilarious carnation of the modern age. Carey's manic karaoke rendition of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" is a twisted highlight.



The Film:

Originally planned as a silly vehicle for Chris Farley, in the hands of director Ben Stiller and star Jim Carrey, The... Cable Guy became an opportunity for Carrey to flex some of his darker comedic muscles as stalker Chip Douglas. Matthew Broderick plays Steven, an average Joe who is forlorn over his recent breakup with girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann). When he moves into a new apartment, Steven comes in contact with Chip, who shows up to hook up the cable. Before he knows it, and whether he likes it or not, Steven has a new best-friend in the obnoxious and clingy Chip. However, Steven soon learns that obnoxious is a walk in the park compared to Chip's behavior when Steven tells him he doesn't want to be his pal anymore. What's worse, no one -- including Robin or his family -- believes Steven when he accuses the seemingly harmless Chip of being a malevolent menace. George Segal and Jack Black also star along with Stiller, who plays twins loosely-based on the Menendez brothers.

Excerpt from Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide


The guy has a few problems. His childhood reads like a list of suburban despair: abusive dad, oblivious bar-hopping mom, electronic babysitter. His adult life is terribly empty and lonely, and the loneliness expresses itself in anti-social spasms of weird aggression. He's clingy and annoying at best, violent at worst. His basic need is the same as anyone's: to be loved and accepted. Yet, because of who he is and how he behaves, he can't help pushing everyone away.

Excerpt from Rob Gonzales at eFilmCritic located HERE

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

The Cable Guy appears a shade glossy on Blu-ray from Sony. Overall the image is decent - there is a bit of noise in some of the darker scenes - which are quite prevalent throughout the film.  I don't suspect there is manipulation but I am less-a-fan of the glossy look. Skin tones show some warmth and blues seem very prominent.  This is dual-layered with an average bitrate but seems to support the film presentation without too much fuss. A few scenes look less consistent but this may very well be how the film looked theatrically. This is no masterpiece and the visuals shouldn't really be scrutinized - the jokes wouldn't get any funnier if we saw thick textures or impressive depth. Most fans will appreciate the representation - despite only a modest endorsement.
















Audio :

We are supplied with a, more than abundant, DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3692 kbps. Sure - Carrey can get loud - in an obnoxiously-amusing way and the track can handle any minor aggressions that are thrown at it. Nothing is notable - neither base , nor range, but the music interludes are pretty crisp elevating to toe-tapping status. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

The supplements are new (to me, anyway!) as my previous 1997 DVD was devoid... of anything. The fun commentary grouping of director Ben Stiller, eventually credited writer (and producer) Judd Apatow and the entertaining Jim Carrey - is new for the 15th Anniversary Blu-ray. Of the video supplements - nothing appears in HD from the 6.5 minute Gag Reel to the nine deleted or extended scenes, a standard HBO First Look and more - that all look 'circa' 1996 although for some reason never achieved status on a digital release. The commentary is worth the time invested though. Give it a spin!



The Cable Guy is frequently funny - and for those who fancy the darker side - this would be a comedy more in tune for your tastes. There are a ton of cameos in the film but I think Matthew Broderick deserve credit in his 'everyman' role as he is always quite good. Sony definitely aren't gouging o on the Blu-ray and there are some fun extras for those who already own the ancient DVD. Although the film is probably not worth the upgrade from SD - first-timers and Jim Carrey fans should indulge. It is a curious entry in his compendium of lighter-level work (not at the status of The Truman Show - but absolutely worth a peek). 

Gary Tooze

February 22nd, 2011


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.

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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