Welcome to the stagnant end of the gene pool. In this world, mortally stupid people live in asuburban hellscape, and shop at Retail Rodeo, the bastard love child of WalMart and ValueVillage. Desperate to escape from this world and her slob of a husband (John C. Reilly) is Justine(Aniston). She falls in love with Tom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a younger co-worker, and now Justine isabout to find out what hell really is. Incidentally, all of this is very funny.
A carefully wrought 5.1 sound mix is on offer here. The quiet music is given a warm,atmospheric sound. “Atmospheric” is also the word for the sound effects. They swirl about theroom, and most noticeable is the wind, which not only creates a full environmental effect, butpunches up one of the central metaphors of the film. Very nice left-right separation.
The film is presented in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen formats, one oneach side of the disc. The colours are good, as are the blacks. The contrasts could be a little bitstronger. The image is sharp for the most part, though there is once grainy shot near the end ofthe film.
Irritatingly, the extras are split over the two sides of the disc, though the bulk are on thewidescreen side (the only extra the fullscreen has to itself is the gag reel, which consists largelyin shots of actors laughing). There are two commentaries. The first is a feature-length one bywriter Mike White and director Miguel Arteta. These are a couple of very low-key guys, and theirdiscussions is sometimes more odd than informative. The other commentary is limited to selectedscenes, and is provided by Aniston, who is full of praise for everybody. There are also 9 deletedscenes (with optional commentary by Arteta). Finally, there’s an alternate ending montage. Themenu has a scored and animated main page and transitions.
There’s a real trend of dark, melancholy comedies these days. If you liked Ghost World, thiswill be right up your alley.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Scene Specific Commentary by Jennifer Aniston
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Alternate Ending Montage