|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Ben Stiller, 2001)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,099,098,732 bytes
Feature Size: 19,833,470,976 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.85 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 14th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4004 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4004 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
• Commentary by Ben Stiller and Writers Drake Sather & John
Description: Clear the runway for Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), VH1's three-time male model of the year. His face falls when hippie-chic Hansel (Owen Wilson) scooters in to steal this year's award. The evil fashion guru Mugatu (Will Ferrell) seizes the opportunity to turn Derek into a killing machine. It's a well-designed conspiracy and only with the help of Hansel and a few well-chosen accessories like Matilda (Christine Taylor) can Derek make the world safe for male models everywhere.
Comic actor Ben Stiller co-wrote, directed, and stars in this spoof of the fashion industry that began as a short skit for the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards. Stiller is Derek Zoolander, an intellectually challenged but bone structure-blessed male model who's despondent after being eclipsed in popularity by an equally vacuous rival, Hansel Owen Wilson. Upon his reluctant retirement, Derek is invited to a day spa by previously standoffish fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu Will Ferrell, where the befuddled model is brainwashed by the mysterious Katinka Milla Jovovich into assassinating the prime minister of Malaysia. In addition to Stiller's real-life wife Christine Taylor, Zoolander co-stars his father Jerry Stiller, along with Jon Voight, David Duchovny, Andy Dick, and Fabio.Excerpt from B+N located HERE
A fashion spoof draped over the bones of a puerile conspiracy adventure, this vanity comedy fails at every level barring its incidental details. Stiller directs, co-writes and stars, casting or flash-cameoing a host of real models and designers, personalities and family members. In the process he stretches himself as thin as the film's original idea, sparked by his 1996 onstage appearance as a dumb male supermodel for the VH1 Fashion Awards ceremony. We have to suffer much preening and prancing catwalk capers, the most absurd and least funny of which is the grudge match/private wager Zoolander (Stiller) conducts with the über-model who has taken his crown. Zoolander agrees to model for evil designer Mugatu's Derelicte collection, only to find himself being indoctrinated to assassinate the Malaysian premier for introducing new child-labour legislation. Funny, yes?Excerpt from Timeout located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Zoolander on Blu-ray from Paramount looks significantly better than the past DVD. Stiller's comedy gem is a very visual film experience and the higher resolution dramatically improves the video appearance. Colors are vibrant and lines tight. This is only single-layered but the 1.5 hour film is supported by the bitrate. Skin tones seem true and detail, in close-ups, is impressive. There isn't an abundance of depth. This Blu-ray seems to do a great job of presenting the film with an exciting, colorful image. No complaints.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Paramount use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 Surround at 4004 kbps. It sounds great. The film is filled with style effects that zip around the room. The score by David Arnold (Hot Fuzz, Casino Royale, Independence Day) is augmented by fabulous sampling of amazing pop (and more) from Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax, The Bee Gee's I Started a Joke performed by The Wallflowers, Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, The Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (and Rufus Wainwright version), Michael Jackson's Beat It, Bowie's Let's Dance - even Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. It sounds wonderfully tight and crisp via the uncompressed track. There is plenty of depth and there are optional subtitles on the region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements reproduce the content of the DVD special editions. They start off with a commentary by star/director Ben Stiller and writers Drake Sather and John Hamburg. Stiller thankfully does not do the commentary in-character and is, along with the writers, forthcoming about bits they felt were not as funny as conceived. They focus more on the background of the character (originally a VH1 skit) and the shooting with a few jokes between them rather than the clowning around one finds on some comedy film commentaries that derail the discussion. The deleted and extended scenes – about sixteen minutes worth with optional commentary – were cut for pacing and because they were not as funny (the bit with Winona Ryder was nice on its own but probably would have been distracting if left in the film). Also included are six minutes of outtakes in which Will Ferrell is even less funny than usual. The original VH1 Fashion Awards Skits from 1996 and 1997 which are funny but not quite enough to make an entire feature film (even in these short pieces, Stiller slips back and forth between a funny character and just a funny voice). The Zoolander public service announcements and fake MTV "Cribs" segments also demonstrate the unevenness of the characterization, being funnier because partly because they are mercifully short. The disc also includes the "Start the Commotion" music video by the Wiseguys, photo galleries (including the model portfolios for the Zoolander and Hansel characters) as well as an alternate end credits sequence. While fans of the film might be disappointed that there are no brand new extras, upgraders can chuck out their old DVDs while others need not worry about exclusive extras on other editions. (written by Eric Cotenas)
October 6th, 2014
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 5000 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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