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“The Hangover” {Blu-ray}-(Wayne)
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date:
Special Features:

Featurettes, Picture-in-Picture commentary track, gag reel, BD-Live Exclusive content, Unrated and R rated versions of the movie


Usually when you get drunk you remember the next morning. You regret it but you remember it. The “Hangover” demonstrates what happens when four guys get together, go wild in Vegas and lose their memories funny chaos results. Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married so his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) who is engage to an insufferable nag and his future brother-in-law (Zach Galifianakis)decide to take their friend out so they can have the ultimate bachelor party. Phil also discovers he got married during his black out period to a beautiful stripped (Heather Graham). ***

The next morning Doug is missing, they have a tiger and a baby in their room. Did I mention the chicken? They also need to figure out where Doug is within1 day for his wedding, figure out a way to restore Doug’s future father-in-law’s car destroyed by a gay thug. ***

A hilarious example of American debauchery in action, “The Hangover” takes the most chaotic situation possible and extracts every single drop of comedy out of the film. Featuring a series of winning performances and outrageous cameos (Mike Tyson) that takes the film to the very edge with perfect comedic timing and just the right amount of excess. While everything works in “The Hangover” the film could have become nothing more than a weak variation on the weak comedy flicks that Hollywood cranks out by rote. What makes “The Hangover” works so well is strong performance of the ensemble cast which is in perfect synch with director Todd Phillips take on the material. Deciding to reveal what they did on that night in stills over the closing credits only adds to the film because it doesn’t show us EVERYTHING only hinting at what occurred. ---

Image & Sound:

“The Hangover” looks just as good the morning after as it did during the party. Colors pop, detail, clarity and sharpness are all top notch. The palette looks warm and the film has nice depth. ***

Audio sounds terrific with a solid sounding 5.1 HD mix. The film doesn’t have that much audio separation. ---

Special Features:

We get a picture-in-picture commentary track with Todd Phillips, stars Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis who elicits a chuckle from the rest of the cast and director when he complains that they are talking through the whole movie. It’s amusing. ***

We also get the unrated version which runs about eight minutes longer than the rated theatrical version and while these scenes don’t add significantly to the film it does allow for some minor additional character development. ***

The additional special features are, well, not all that special. “Map of Destruction” is an interactive features that takes us on a tour of the places they visit in the film in Las Vegas taking us to the specific location for footage of it. It doesn’t add anything to the enjoyment. ***

“The Madness of Ken Jeong” let’s us visit with the actor that plays bizarre bad guy Leslie Chow with variations on his scenes in the movie. In this case less is more. ***

“Acting Mash Up”, “The Dan Band!” and “Three Best Friends Song” are all give us bits that ended up in the final film. We also get a gag reel that’s pretty funny. “More Pictures from the Missing Camera” is outtake footage. We also get via BD-Live “Curising Mash up” and “Iron Mike Online Teaser” brief featurettes available only online as well as promo footage for other films and a couple of advertisements. ---

Final Words:

“The Hangover” could have been a dumb, tasteless movie that failed at doing anything but grossing out audience members. Instead we get a terrific off-beat occasionally tasteless (but funny—there is a difference between a tasteless comedy and one that is tasteless AND funny) comedy that takes flight due to some deft, writing direction and acting. The entire ensemble is in perfect synch throughout the movie. ***

“The Hangover” has a marvelous looking Blu-ray transfer which trumps the lack of solid special features for the set. I’d recommend it just based on the movie itself.


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