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There's Something About Mary

review by Zach B.

 

Rated R

Starring Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Chris Elliot, Lee Evans

Studio: Fox

Story by Ed Decter and John J. Strauss
Screenplay by Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly

Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly

 

Retail Price: 34.99

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Outtakes, Running Commentary with the Farrelly Brothers, Music Video, Karaoke Music Video

Specs: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, French Dolby Surround, English Captions, Spanish Captions, Chapter Search

After "Dumb and Dumber" and "Kingpin", the Farrelly brothers scored an all time high (or is it low?) with the raunchy comedy "There's Something About Mary". The film opened to a nice box office success, and pretty much stayed in the top five the whole summer of 1998, before reaching number one at the box office. The movie had legs alright. Nice, strong ones to become one of the top grossing films of the year.

I don't understand the main appeal of the movie. America is obsessed with crude humor and bathroom jokes, but I really think this movie is overrated. Yes, there were times I laughed, but most of the funny scenes they gave away in the previews and TV spots.

The film follows a gawky nerd by the name of Ted (Stiller), who somehow scores a date with the beautiful and desirable Mary (Diaz) to the prom. However, when he picks her up at her house and uses the bathroom, well, he has a problem with his zipper. Ted is shipped off to the hospital, never to see her again, and after thirteen long years, still fondly remembers her. That's where Pat Healy (a wonderful sleazy Matt Dillon) comes in. Ted hires Pat to help him track down Mary, but, after seeing her, wants her too. The movie then becomes a whole mess of love and tricks as everyone who falls in love with Mary tries to win her heart.

The movie is pretty enjoyable, but each time you watch it you really don't laugh as hard as the previous viewing. The direction from the brothers is really good, and the cast is excellent in their respected roles, especially Dillion, Elliot, Diaz, Stiller and Evans. The DVD release, however, is pretty much a rip-off. Fox usually sets a high price on standard releases...

Probably the most disappointing part of this disc is that the transfer is not anamorphic (true to Fox until recently, they have been doing better lately with this problem). Still, the image is nice. Parts of the movie appear to be a little soft at times, but colors are good and detail is decent. A pretty good (though non anamorphic!) transfer.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital is decent, at best. There aren't really too many surrounds, and the music makes up the channels really. Also, with the music, it doesn't seem as lively as it could be. It's decent, but a two channel track could have worked just as good. A French language track as well as Spanish and English captions are included.

This release has a nice amount of features. For starters is the Commentary with the Farrelly Brothers. This is an entertaining commentary, as the two are hardly silent and gab and gab and gab. Their comments are refreshing, but their remarks don't divulge into the technical details of the film so much. Still, it's a very good commentary and fans of the film should enjoy it.

There is a Music Video and a Karaoke Music Video for "Build Me Up Buttercup". The two are the same video which is featured at the end credits, except one has lyrics displayed and the other doesn't.

Rounding out the release are some Outtakes and the Theatrical Trailer.

Despite the good transfer and decent sound, as well as some okay features, it's a little hard to recommend due to the price and the lack of an anamorphic transfer.

(3.5/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(2.5/5)

(2.5/5, NOT an average)

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