'Knocked Up - Extended & Unrated'
(Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Joanna Kerns, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2007 / Universal)
Overview: When a one-night stand that should have stayed that way has unexpected consequences, the reluctant odd couple attempts to transform their tentative relationship into a lasting love in this conception comedy. Twenty-four-year-old entertainment journalist Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is on the fast track to the big time, but an alcohol-fueled hookup with responsibility-shirking slacker Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) finds her professional priorities taking a back seat to having a baby. Now, as overgrown kid Ben attempts to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood, he makes the brave decision to stand by Alison.
DVD Verdict: Judd Apatow has reinvented the comedy. He proved that with "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and here is further proof. Comedies of late have either been of the repetitive raunchy, offensive low brow variety, or the sugar coated sweetness that plagues sub par romantic comedies. Then along comes Apatow and crew.
'Knocked Up' has pervasive raunchy, comedy to be sure, but its smart, well paced, and blends well with Apatow's storytelling. One of the more inspired bits comes when Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd are having an exchange about Back to the Future and relating it to their relationships. Rogan and Rudd also have some inspired moments when they venture off sans the girls to Las Vegas and go on about how many different kinds of chairs are in a hotel room.
But in the mix of sex humor, drug jokes, and Ben Stone's slacker buddies is the heart of the story, which is Ben and Allison making decisions regarding the birth of their child and where to take their relationship. Exaggerated to be sure, but Apatow delivers two very honest characters and lets them grow. And that's where this film ultimately succeeds - brilliant characterization - from the dynamic leads to the brilliant, often hilarious supporting cast.
As for performances, Seth Rogan maybe set for stardom. His brilliant porn and pot obsessed loser turned heartfelt slacker is terrific. He is very believable in the role. Not to be outdone is wonderful comic actor Paul Rudd. The chemistry with Rogan on screen is all too precious. There's an extra bonus treat on the 2 disc edition that pays homage to the 40 Year Old Virgin between these two guys.
If you're unsure about which edition to get, the 2 disc edition stands high. It's not merely promotional materials or meandering documentaries included on the second disc. There is a slew of deleted material, but the biggest inclusion is "Finding Ben Stone," where Judd Apatow talks about the difficulty of working with other actors to fill the role. Some of these little bits appeared online during Knocked Up's theatrical run, but most will be new to audiences - including Orlando Bloom's turn as Ben Stone. This makes the set alone worth the price.
Another entertaining feature is Kuni Gone Wild. The actor who plays Dr. Kuni in the film is a real life doctor who is also a brilliant improviser. He has a whole bit included on this disc that is so hysterical that the rest of the cast on film with him have trouble holding their laughter. There's a lot more on the 2 disc edition to make this the one to get! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Finding Ben Stone
Exclusive Extended Kuni Gone Wild Scene!
Gummy: The Lost Roommate - A True Story
Video Diaries - from director Judd Apatow
Two More Gag Reels!