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Hangover, The (Blu-ray Review)

18 Dec, 2009 By: John Latchem


Box Office $277.3 million
$28.98 DVD, $34.99 two-DVD set, $35.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material.
Stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Rachael Harris, Jeffrey Tambor.

Most extended cuts aren’t really improvements over their theatrical counterparts, offering a few deleted scenes edited back into the movie to entice fans without really enhancing the experience. The unrated cut of The Hangover is a rarity in that regard, offering new scenes that in many ways make a more enjoyable experience out of a film that was already one of the funniest comedies of the year.

The new scenes are good scenes. They are funny scenes. And one even ties up a loose end that many viewers might have forgotten about.

Sure, the plot is pretty much a retread of Dude, Where’s My Car?, with one scene taken straight from Tommy Boy. But this is a movie that just plain works. It’s funny the first time you see it, when you’re as clueless as the main characters about what happened during that bachelor party in Las Vegas. It’s just as good the second time because the gags and dialogue stand on their own. And it stays funny on repeated viewings because the performances are sincere and you just like spending time with these guys.

That’s what makes the commentary track so fun, since it gives fans another 90 minutes to hang out with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and breakout star Zach Galifianakis, who are joined by director Todd Phillips. The picture-in-picture mode really adds to the feeling that you’re just watching the movie along with them.

Also be sure to check out the 100 additional photos from the missing camera. Many of them repeat what we see in the movie, and they still don’t answer all the questions, but several of them are pretty funny. I just wish they were presented as a slideshow with music, rather than a gallery of stills.

Other spot-on extras include the “Map of Destruction,” which offers brief featurettes about many of the Vegas locations used in the movie; and “The Madness of Ken Jeong,” a compilation of improv related to the Mr. Chow character.

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