Bruce Almighty & Evan Almighty together for the first time!
A few days after the first lineup of Universal's 100th Anniversary Blu-rays came out I went to get me a copy of the Inglourious Basterds combo pack (hopefully I get to a review of that soon). A movie I hadn't previously owned on Blu-ray. Anyway, my intent was to go into the store, get ONLY Basterds, and get out.
Although, my addiction for finding sweet deals came out and I rummaged though the 10-dollar DVD rack and found this little number called "The Almighty Comedy Collection." I thought this was the best thing ever! For the longest time I had wanted both films in one set. My old DVD of Bruce Almighty is very scratched up and as a completist I needed Evan Almighty to finish the set. It may not have Jim Carrey in it, but Tom Shadyac came back to direct and Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman reprise their roles from the first Almighty movie. Yes, it's a terrible movie, but again I'm a completist.
The Almighty Comedy Collection right off the bat had some serious issues. Just from holding a sealed copy I noticed the little things that should have been enough to set the DVD back down and walk away with 10 dollars well saved. Shaking the package it's easy to spot how both movies share space on a single disc. Was it a flipper or a one-sided deal? Hard to tell just from a shake a look at the front cover.
That brings up another fault -- the front cover. "The Almighty Comedy Collection" is typed out in the middle with a wide poster of Bruce Almighty above the text and a wide poster of Evan Almighty below the text. Jim Carrey is seen tethering a globe from his finger while Steve Carell is holding a coffee mug looking up (at Jim, if you'd like to believe that). One very unappealing thing about the posters on the front is how they share the exact same background. Both backgrounds are a cloudy sky and the only difference between the two is that one of them is mirrored.
On the flip side is a basic synopsis for the films and a list of credits. No list of special features which was another thing that I should've taken into account before buying this set. Most of the pictures on the back are still images from Evan Almighty which doesn't surprise me since this set comes in a white (thankfully non-eco) case. White cases often indicate the DVD to be aimed towards kids and family entertainment. I guess this is one way of promoting Bruce Almighty as a family film. Unfortunately the spine reads "The Almighty Comedy Collection" only. I guess it's place in the library goes under "A" instead or "B" or "E."
That about covers the outside. Let's take a look on the inside. There's a single DVD, one-sided readable disc. Both films share this one side topped with very bland artwork. A solid red cover with the text "Bruce Almighty" on the top and "Evan Almighty" on the bottom. Typical design of Universal. There are no inserts in the case. No ads or scene selection sheet. Just the disc.
My final analysis is about the actual content of the disc. Here's where even $10 seems overpriced for two movies. First off, there are absolutely no special features on this set. I was really hoping all the extras from the individual DVD sets would be recycled onto this disc, but alas it is just one DVD disc that can hold only so much. And double features usually eat up all the space anyway. But the thing that's most peculiar about what's on the disc is the menu itself.
In my last DVD review for The Cable Guy I expressed my hatred for its menu and how empty, generic, and horrible it is. The Almighty Comedy Collection has managed to beat it out. The main menu is nothing more than a cloudy background a la the DVD front cover and two selectable posters that take up about 80% of the screen. That's it! Make your selection and which ever movie you wanted to watch will automatically play.
To be fair, this is a very inexpensive DVD and perfect for fans of the either movie if you're not all about the extras. It's convenient and a space saver. Still, it's quite odd that I found this among many other copies at Walmart two months before its announced release date. When I bought it I couldn't find any trace of the item anywhere online. Not even on Walmart's website. This isn't the first product that's been shelved without a trace. In fact, many double feature sets have been distributed in Walmart stores having no online records such as The Man with No Name Double Feature (A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More) and The Magnificent Seven Double Feature (The Magnificent Seven / Return of the Seven).
But let's try to keep this hush-hush for now. Buy as many of these suckers as you can find and make a profit by selling them online a month and a half before the official street date. Hope you enjoyed my review. Thumbs it up if you liked it and please leave me a comment below telling me what you thought or if you have any questions. Until next time, I'm Johnny D. Thanks for reading!
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