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DVD Review HTF DVD REVIEW: The Ten

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Cameron Yee, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

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    The Ten

    Release Date: January 15, 2008
    Studio: Warner / Electra / Atlantic Inc.
    Year: 2007
    Rating: R
    Running Time: 1h36m
    Video: 1.85:1 anamorphic
    Video (Special Features): 1.33:1
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1: English
    Audio (Special Features): Stereo
    Subtitles: Spanish
    Packaging/Materials: Single-disc keepcase
    MSRP: $26.98

    The Feature: 2/5
    The premise is simple - The Ten Commandments, 10 stories to illustrate them, introduced by a character (Paul Rudd) whose volatile personal life is itself an illustration of the immutable laws. Having recently seen Director David Wain's previous feature, "Wet Hot American Summer," I knew to expect a certain brand of humor, most of which tends to be from the "see what sticks" school of comedy. Knowing this I was still surprised by how seldom I did laugh or even feel my lips turn into a bemused grin. If we're talking percentages, I'd say only 30% of the film is funny, with most of it concentrated in the stories featuring Gretchen Mol, who plays a buttoned-up woman who has a summer fling with Jesus Christ, and Winona Ryder, whose character falls in mad love with a ventriloquist dummy. How these irreverent vignettes illustrate their respective commandments is part of the humor, but ultimately I find I can't remember those details and the rest of the film I've already forgotten. And as my father always says, "If I can't remember it, it must not have been very good."


    Video Quality: 5/5
    "The Ten" is correctly framed at 1.85:1 and free of dust, dirt, damage and edge halos. Blacks are deep and solid, fine object detail is excellent and colors are accurate and nicely saturated. The segments featuring Paul Rudd, which use green screen, have a more processed/filtered look to them, but given the greatness of the non-effects scenes, I can only assume the transfer is revealing the limitations of the source material.


    Audio Quality: 3/5
    The sole audio option is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, despite indications of DTS support on the packaging. The film is dialogue-driven and as such the audio track does its job without strain or distortion. There is some minor activity in the surrounds but it's a front and center presentation throughout.


    Special Features: 4/5

    Audio Commentary with David Wain, Ken Marino and Paul Rudd: Joining Wain, Marino and Rudd are Wain's parents, who give their honest opinion about the film, which is both humorous and refreshing. The commentary overall is excellent - and I would argue more entertaining than the feature - blending plenty of behind-the-scenes anecdotes with some goofy off-the-cuff humor.

    Additional Scenes: Sixteen scenes, some of them bloopers, running over 55 minutes long, including an introduction by Wain, Marino and Rudd. If you enjoy the film, these will likely appeal; otherwise they're just more tedium.

    Interview with David Wain, Ken Marino and Paul Rudd at the South by South Southwest Film Festival (7m35s): The trio are in a playful mood and go off on long, loopy comedic riffs and don't talk too much about the film. Fortunately they behaved themselves for the audio commentary.

    Wainy Days: Episode 1 (3m36s): The first episode of Wain's online series at MyDamnChannel.com features Elizabeth Banks as Wain's impromptu love interest.

    The Making of the Ten Featurette (5m10s): A brief look behind the scenes with some funny asides from cast and crew.

    Wallpapers and Ringtones on DVD-ROM: A weblink goes to a site where six ringtones and four mobile phone wallpaper images can be purchased. Even though I didn't like the film so much, I can see myself buying some of the ringtones for their novelty.

    Trailers (5m35s): Two trailers, rated and unrated.


    Recap and Final Thoughts

    The Feature: 2/5
    Video Quality: 5/5
    Audio Quality: 3/5
    Special Features: 4/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

    Comedy feature, funny in parts but not as whole, gets a stellar video transfer, a straightfoward audio track, and a special features package that in some respects is more entertaining than the feature.
     

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