Epic Movie DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

A lot of this movie made me laugh.
  • OVERALL
    3.0
    WORTHY
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A lot of this movie made me laugh.
THE BAD
Some of the gags in this movie were really bad. A little overboard on the features, people.
THE FEATURE
Epic Movie is an interesting film in that it manages to weave together movies like Harry Potter, The Lord Of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Chronicles of Narnia into one cohesive film. At the same time it examines things like Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday" videos, celebrities like Paris Hilton, Mel Gibson and others and it mixes all of this up so that the movie plays as one piece of reflexive sketch after another. There isn't really any reason to describe the plot of this film, mainly because if you are at all familiar with the other movies than you will certainly know where Epic Movie is coming from. There is a sense of humor at work here that wisely decided to lift the movie out of the spoof genre (which is actually what most recent spoofs have started to do), and have them merely comment on anything that might be popular.

Epic Movie walks along a delicate line because sometimes it could be seen as funny, but there are certainly moments where the filmmakers taste has to be called into question. That said, a lot of the jokes aren't going to be evergreen forever but for right now, this movie is pretty much where it needs to be.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the people who wrote and directed this movie sit back and regal us with interesting, if not entirely serious, anecdotes about this movie. Apparently they got the same narrator from Babe to narrate this movie. They talk about how they wanted to use practical effects for everything and like the film they made, reference a bunch of other movies a long the way. Also, whenever they say something that maybe they shouldn't say, a beep will come up as though it is censoring them. I laughed out loud when they spoke about Bryan Singer ripping them off, and I found that there were times I knew they were being serious and other times when I didn't.

"Breaking Wind: An Epic Journey Into the Sounds of an Epic Movie" Featurette

"Everyone Loves Beaver: Epic Hook-Ups" Featurette and "Epic Porn: What Would Your Porno Movie Be Called?" Featurette

As you can see there's a lot of extra features on this release. Some of them seem to broach the same ground, so I have actually put them together for the purposes of this review. The first featurette "Everyone Loves Beaver: Epic Hook-Ups" Featurette is actually a joke in which people discuss on set romances that most likely didn't happen. I hate to say it but I really didn't find this to be that funny, and yet the people involved in it kept going and going with it. Maybe it's just me but I guess I wanted a little more. "Epic Porn: What Would Your Porno Movie Be Called?" Featurette was interesting in that it actually spoofs those late night commercials that try and get you to call and speak to girls who are supposedly hot to trot for some action. Then there was another part of this featurette that examines what cast members would call the movie if it was a porno film. Once again, not the greatest of featurettes and probably not what the creator of DVDs had in mind when they designed this technology, but it's always fun seeing people bend the rules a little bit, right?

How Gratuitous

Alternate Ending

I actually thought this was pretty funny. Crispin Glover who is spoofing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reappears and then walks off the hot, nude girl who actually shows up in the beginning of the movie. What I liked about this scene is the fact that I think Glover would have been a better choice to play Willy Wonka. Even though this alternative ending really isn't about that at all, the fact that Crispin Glover gets more screen time to work out this role was enough for me to give it my stamp of approval.

"What Makes Aslo So Irresistible?" Featurette and Fox Movie Channel presents "Making a Spoof" and "In Character with Fred Willard"

Since Fred Willard predominates all of this stuff with his hit or miss comedy style, I again thought that it made sense to put all of these featurettes together. In fact, they basically all play in the same fashion where Willard tries to be funny by talking about his character or the movie. Sometimes it is funny but I think you need to be a pretty big fan of this actor in order to appreciate these things. Decide for yourself...

Making the Video: Lazy Pirate Day Featurette

Die Libre

Apparently, there was a short film contest to get on this DVD or something, or perhaps they were giving away this prize at the airport, because I can't believe that this movie is what was chosen as the best of the best. I can appreciate that the filmmakers had no money, in some ways they even seemed to make having a lack of funds work for them. However, this thing is really not good and I think the best thing about it is that they somehow managed to merge Die Hard and Nacho Libre together. Once again, decide for yourself but I am quite surprised that this short film made it on to this DVD.
THE VIDEO
Widescreen. Fox sent me a burned copy of this DVD and I have to admit I was impressed by how solid the picture seemed. There was nothing about it that made it appear as though the compression process was anything less than top notch. I also got to view this DVD on a larger screen than normal, and I didn't see any moments of pixillation or times where it seemed like certain areas of the screen got overly compressed. What I will say is that in trying to recreate those other bigger budgeted movies they left a little to be desired in the effects department.
THE AUDIO
Since the people at Fox didn't send over this DVD in its proper packaging, I really can't tell you for sure what the sound is. I am going to assume that it's Dolby of some sort and overall, for a burned DVD, it sounded really good. I didn't hear any audio dropouts or pops that can sometimes occur. Everything seemed to be leveled well, though I couldn't help wondering how much better things might sound if I had been sent a proper version of this DVD.
THE PACKAGE
Sadly, Fox sent me this release in a white envelope without its normal packaging. Because of this, I can't really give any information on that aspect of this release.
THE FINAL WORD
To say that Epic Movie is a good film would actually be somewhat misleading. It is a fun film but it isn't like the movie is going to win any awards. However, why should it have to be any more than that? At its core this movie is poking fun at various epic films that are popular. More to the point it laughs at some of the story devices that all the films use and it also laughs at the people who love these movies. I never got the sense that this joking around was malicious. If anything, it seems like it's high time that we get a movie like this because it seems like these epic films is the way the movie industry is going exclusively. Unless a film is made that's a comic book, based on a fantasy book, or panders somewhat to the lowest common denominator, it doesn't seem like the market will bare anything else. It also doesn't seem like studios will really support anything else which is the key to any new sort of film's success.

So basically, invite the friends over, open some beers, eat some chips and enjoy picking out the scenes and having a laugh with Epic Movie.

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