Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Blu-ray, Release Date: September 30, 2008
In the world of reviewing Blu-ray releases, I am a lover, not a fighter. Therefore, it takes quite a lot to have me regretting picking up a Blu-ray release. And over the past few weeks, Universal has disappointed me once, but twice with the Blu-ray releases of Baby Mama and Leatherheads, two movies that were otherwise enjoyable. But their lack of Blu-ray special features was a serious killjoy — making them nothing more than overpriced DVDs.
But it appears that Universal isn’t giving up. They are going to quickly win back my affection by releasing Forgetting Sarah Marshall with a cornucopia of extras, including a little bit of karaoke, featuring Russell Brand himself. And for that, there is no substitute.
Lets Get Visual… And Digital
Two instantly striking features on the Sarah Marshall BD release are the visual commentary and the Digital Copy. As far as I can remember, this would be one of the first Universal releases to include the second ‘Digital Copy’ discs that has a version of the movie that can be downloaded to your PC or Mac. Just the thought of being able to watch the “Dracula’s Lament” sequence or the part with Jason Segel’s penis on my iPhone while driving my car is enough to drive me absolutely wild. As well, this release includes visual commentary that is all sorts of fun. Almost the entire principal cast, including Jason Segel and Russell Brand along with director Nicholas Stoller and producer Shauna Robertson, sits in for the picture-in-picture commentary which makes for an entertaining addition to the feature. These two features, while basic, are a great starting point for getting your moneys worth. Oh, and that Judd Apatow guy makes a picture-in-picture appearance.
Video Diaries… Like YouTube Gone Wrong
The only problem that I found in the special features was the behind the scenes video diaries, shot on set with the cast throughout principal photography. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 diaries, all a few minutes long, only a handful of which have any substance. It is one of those tedious special features that could have been edited into one, maybe two featurettes and been more successful. Though, if you skip to the diaries that include 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer and Maria Thayer, you’ll find the ones that are entertaining. The others work in spurts, but they do have their moments.
Then Come the Musical Numbers
For those who saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you will know that some of the most entertaining parts of the movie are the musical numbers — Russell Brand as Aldous Snow singing “Inside of You” and the big puppet finale, “Dracula’s Lament.” With the Blu-ray disc, you can also sing-along with the musical numbers. As well, there is an extended music video for Aldous Snow’s “We Gotta Do Something” which extends the hilarity that is Russell Brand. The man is the driving force behind some of this film’s charm, and the special features only expand on that.
Gags, Drunk-o-Rama and More Bateman
Also included is a mildly entertaining gag reel, but it is easy to see why these scenes didn’t make the movie. There are also some unique compilations of scenes including the “Drunk-o-Rama,” the “Line-o-Rama” and the “Sex-o-Rama” which are compilations of scenes from the film into various categories — I would imagine that you could guess the content based on the titles. While they are funny, they are more of a gimmick than anything else, adding very little value to the special features. What does add value though, is more of Jason Bateman. As you might remember, the former Arrested Development star shows up for a moment as Sarah Marshall’s (Kristen Bell) co-star on television at the end of the film. In the special features, we see multiple different promos for various shows that involve Sarah’s character having all sorts of different supernatural detective skills. These promos are hilarious, and definitely worth a look.
Die, Die, I Can’t…
Sure, it has 1080p video and a DTS-HD Master 5.1 Audio mix, but all of that is inconsequential with a movie like Forgetting Sarah Marshall. With a movie like this, special features are what make the difference between a Blu-ray release worth buying and one worth passing on. In this case, we have a Blu-ray release worth buying, for sure. For starters, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a movie worth owning. And based on the special feature buffet included on this disc, as well as the added benefit of the Digital Copy, this is one comedic film that is worth paying a few extra bucks for. It is proof once again that Judd Apatow and crew know how to pack a DVD full of additional fun. This is one Blu-ray that I would recommend picking up.
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