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HTF REVIEW: "Orange County" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    [​IMG]

    Orange County




    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 2002
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 82 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)



    It's not just a place. It's a state of mind
    Amidst all of the teen comedies that have
    swamped movie screens over the past year, there
    is one movie that stands above them all....of
    course, it's the film I am reviewing, Orange
    County.
    [​IMG]
    (photo from HTF meet)
    I first heard about Orange County in
    May of 2001 when I was on the Paramount lot for
    a local HTF meet. For the first time in many
    visits, the large water tank on the Paramount lot
    was filled with water as a movie was being filmed
    against the large fake skyline that sits on the
    edge of the Paramount parking lot.
    We heard that Tom Hank's son was in the water
    filming a scene for an upcoming movie directed
    by Jake Kasdan. At the time, I simply brushed
    the whole thing off, thinking this was only to
    be a small film, specifically produced for TV.
    Instead, I was surprised when Orange County
    opened up nationally in theaters earlier this year,
    to many positive reviews. Suffice to say, I was
    eagerly anticipating watching it when released
    to DVD.
    I swear, it has been a long time since I laughed
    this hard at a movie. Orange County is
    hands-down the funniest film I have seen in the
    past year or more.
    [​IMG]
    Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks), is a Straight A student
    and an Orange County surfer who has developed a love
    of writing following the surfing death of a friend.
    It actually came to him when he found a book buried
    in the sand by a noted author at Stanford who has
    given Shaun the direction he has looked for. Shaun,
    more than anything, wants to attend Stanford College.
    The problem is, though his guidance counselor
    (Lily Tomlin) says he's a shoe-in, she accidently sends out
    the wrong transcript, and Shaun isn’t accepted.
    [​IMG]
    Shaun seeks the help if his family and friends
    to get him accepted. This certainly isn't easy
    when your family consists of a neurotic mother
    (Katherine O'Hara), drug-dealing brother (Jack Black),
    a self-obsessed father (John Lithgow) and
    environmentalist girlfriend (Schuyler Fisk).
    [​IMG]
    Although the movie is filled with sex and drug
    jokes that always dominate teen movies, one must
    admire that the film also promotes the importance
    of family values and remaining true to ones self.
    Certainly, the best reason to watch Orange
    County is for the performance of Jack Black,
    who proves he is one of the hottest on the rise
    comics around. This film is also a decent start
    for Colin Hanks' breakthrough role as a starring
    actor. There are times you close your eyes and
    swear you were listening to his father.
    How is the transfer?
    It has become very easy to talk about transfers
    by just saying the name of the studio. In this
    case it's Paramount, who always delivers a
    crisp anamorphic transfer. Picture is very
    sharp, with only a hint of video noise. Colors
    are very vibrant throughout. An all-out nice
    transfer that will not disappoint.
    [​IMG]
    The 5.1 surround mix is not very active, only
    giving support to the film's heavy rock soundtrack.
    There is the occasional sound of traffic noise,
    but other than that, this is not a movie whose
    purpose is to impress you with its sound.
    Special Features
    One thing I must talk about first is the several
    minutes I spent struggling to open the DVD case
    for this movie. It wasn't until I had wasted
    5 minutes that I saw the tabs on the side of the
    box that must be lifted to be opened. Perhaps
    this is exclusive to only Canadian discs, since
    I think my screener copy came out of Canada. I
    just want to put you on alert when attempting to
    open this case.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The menu structure of this DVD is quite unique,
    and I applaud the folks at Paramount for being
    very inventive. The menu contents are aligned
    in criss-cross patterns with motion sequences
    from the film played in two small boxes.
    The DVD features a full-length commentary by
    Director Jake Kasdan and Writer Mike White.
    There are 4 short deleted scenes that
    include:
    * Lance (Jack Black) escaping from the police
    after the University fire, and stumbling upon
    Dean Durkett who is coming down from a drug high.
    * Shaun (Colin Hanks) fantasy of being on the
    Stanford campus and being adored by the college
    women.
    * Lance talking about a rehab center while
    riding in the car with Shaun and his girlfriend.
    * Mrs. Cobb (Tomlin) getting revenge and on the
    loose with a stun gun.
    This is very interesting. How many ways
    can you promote Orange County? The
    studios use a very interesting advertising
    technique known as Interstitals, which
    to the best of my knowledge, is an alternative
    to standard advertising on the internet. Studies
    have found that more users click on interstitals
    than on banner ads. There are 15 of these little
    advertisements that are very funny to watch.
    They feature mini-scenes produced at the time of
    the initial filming, which end up as promotional
    advertising. Some of the clips here show Jake
    (Jack Black) writing a recommendation to Stanford,
    or the English Teacher comparing Macbeth to
    Shakespeare In Love. Watching these shorts is
    as funny as watching the movie itself and I am
    so happy that Paramount included these on the DVD.
    Finally, the Original Theatrical Trailer
    is included.
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    Orange County rises up above the typical
    teen movie by giving us a little more than just
    gross-out jokes. The film definitely packs some
    laughs and showcases young new talent while
    featuring some really cool cameos from several
    older talents in Hollywood. To name them all
    would just ruin the surprise.
    Release Date: June 18, 2002
     
  2. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Well-Known Member

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    I love Jack Black and was thinking about picking this one up just because of him. Sounds like it will be a worthy buy. Thanks Ron for the excellent review.
     
  3. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Well-Known Member

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    thanks ron for the great review, i'll be ordering this one up soon, i have been looking forward to getting this movie on dvd that last few months [​IMG]
     
  4. Wes C

    Wes C Well-Known Member

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    This movie is MUCH better than I expected! I thought the two best things going for it are Jack Black and its length (82 minutes). These days its nice to see a movie that knows how long it should be.
     
  5. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Well-Known Member

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    I saw Orange County in the cheap second-run theaters in my city and I have to say, I thought it was damn funny. I'll certainly be picking this up.
     
  6. Brett Hancock

    Brett Hancock Well-Known Member

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    I loved Orange County and am picking it up the day it comes out. Still, thanks Ron for making me anticipate this release even more.[​IMG]
     
  7. Kajs

    Kajs Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to disagree with everyone, but I thought this movie was a huge let down. All the funny parts were in the previews. I think I saw every Jack Black scene before I saw the movie, they were good, but they weren't funny anymore. To call this teen comedy "one movie that stands above them all" is a joke. There was nothing outstanding about it and it was like "let's throw in as many cameos as we can to save this movie," which appears that Austin Powers 3 is doing.
     
  8. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably going to buy Orange County used at Blockbuster as:
    A) When I saw Orange County only four people in the whole entire theater were laughing (my friend, two guys in the back, and myself).
    B) The audience who this film is targeted at (teens) won't like it as it's actually "smart" (I know a lot of people who are my age and just simply did not like the movie, yet like shit like Sorority Boys).
    So I'm sure the used copy I buy will probably haven't been touched by anybody (like Mulholland Dr.). [​IMG]
     
  9. Kajs

    Kajs Well-Known Member

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    My friends I saw it with also saw all the funny parts already.

    I wouldn't call it "smart", maybe just "smarter". There was more behind it, but it was typical and predictable.
     
  10. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Well-Known Member

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    Saying that Orange County is a better film than Van Wilder or Sorority Boys is kind of a back-handed compliment, isn't it?
    Of all the teen flicks made over the past three years (and there have been a LOT), this one does manage to rank near the top...but that's hardly high praise.
    Nice job with the review, Ron, and I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I wouldn't mind seeing it again on cable someday, but it's not one I plan on adding to my collection.
    Do any of the deleted scenes contain the Jack Black "Yo, Stanford...What's up?" scene that was in the previews but NOT the final cut?
     
  11. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Well-Known Member

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  12. John Cain

    John Cain Well-Known Member

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    I thought Standford was a University, not a College???

    Am I incorrect??
     
  13. Jim Golden

    Jim Golden Well-Known Member

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    This is one that I hadn't heard much about. I rented it last night, and thought it was the best comedy I've seen in a couple of months. A true hidden comedy, like Bowfinger,

    Jim
     
  14. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Well-Known Member

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    I remember an interstitial that is not on this disc. The one about poetry. It contained an extended quote from one of Missy Elliot's songs. Was there a rights problem?
     

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