Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 by Adam Quigley
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
(DVD available as single-disc and 2-Disc Unrated Edition)
Funny People is the type of film that can only be made on the studio’s dime once the director has already proven themselves as a profitable entity. There’s no way Judd Apatow would’ve been able to get a green light on this film in its current state if it weren’t for the countless successful comedies he’s produced, as well as the two critically-acclaimed, $100+ million grossing efforts he’s written and directed. As the third entry in his directorial filmography, Funny People was met with a lukewarm critical response and didn’t even earn back its budget. That’s a shame. This movie deserves to find an audience. I’d even argue that it’s a superior film to either The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up (which I also adore, mind you). Granted, it’s also a much different film. Whereas those films took the more familiar Hollywood formula route and injected it with enough heart and hilarity to overcome whatever potential issues might’ve stemmed from their predictable nature, Funny People disregards the formula (almost) entirely and opts for a more personal, honest approach. There are funny moments to be sure, but at its core, this is a character study about a famous comedian and the choices he’s made, contrasted against an up-and-coming comedian and the choices he has yet to make. Understandably, not everyone will find themselves able to relate to the plight of a man who has more money than we will ever know. There have also been complaints made about the film’s lengthy running time and lack of a consistent conflict—both of which become readily apparent in the third act. These are only some of the reasons for which I admire the film. It doesn’t feel the need to adhere to some derivative narrative structure when there’s a much more interesting emotional struggle already at play, and it’s willing to acknowledge that not everything in life plays out in a comfortable three-act format. By far his most mature and truthful work to date, Judd Apatow’s Funny People finds the perfect balance between dramatic and funny, and is guaranteed to find a spot on my Top 10 of ’09 list.
Notable Extras: 2-disc DVD – Theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, deleted/extended scenes, an extended gag reel, actual home videos of Adam Sandler’s prank phone calls, and a Line-O-Rama. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as U-Control (“Behind the Scenes Picture in Picture Commentary”).
|BEST DVD PRICE*|
|Amazon – $15.99|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at each of the listed stores (including Amazon).
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE|
|Amazon – $23.99|