KNOCKED UP EXTENDED & UNRATED 2-DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION Studio: Universal Original Release: 2007 Length: 2 hours 13 mins Genre: Comedy (crossing Romantic Comedy and Slacker/Stoner Comedy genres) Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 French Dolby Digital 2.0 Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Commentary in English, Spanish & French Rating: Unrated (Originally Rated R) Release Date: September 25, 2007 Rating: ½ / Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel and Martin Starr Written and Directed by: Judd Apatow Knocked Up is a thoroughly entertaining comedy that adeptly crosses between the genres of romantic comedy and slacker/stoner comedy to become one of the best couples’ movies in recent years. As a result, the film was a big hit during the summer just behind us, and now is sure to be a big hit both on DVD and HD-DVD. The plot effectively begins as career woman Alison (Katherine Heigl) has a one-night stand with twenty-something slacker Ben (Seth Rogen) and winds up pregnant. The movie then combines the reactions of Ben’s slacker friends and Alison’s more uptight family as the pregnancy continues, and mines a lot of comedy from the ensuing situations. It’s a lot of fun to watch, particularly given the improvised nature of many of the scenes, and Apatow’s ability to skirt the edges of each side of the genre without either making the film too crude or too sentimental. As a result, the film should play equally well for a much larger audience, as we have seen from the successful theatrical release. The cast is clearly having a good time with the material, between the gang around Seth Rogen and the family around Katherine Heigl, played by Judd Apatow’s real wife and daughters. If you’re a fan of Apatow’s, either from The 40 Year Old Virgin or from his prior TV work on The Larry Sanders Show, you’re certain to enjoy this film. And if this is your introduction to his work, it’s a good place to start. Knocked Up is being released in multiple formats simultaneously. The original R-rated theatrical cut is being released as a single-disc affair, as is an Unrated cut with a commentary and a host of special features. There is also an HD-DVD release which includes the content of the single disc Unrated cut along with a picture-in-picture commentary. This review covers the 2-Disc Collector’s Edition, which includes the Unrated disc, along with a 2nd disc loaded with hours of additional special features. Taken together, the 2-Disc edition is the way to go if you are already a fan of this film or of Apatow and the guys. It’s simply LOADED with material – enough that it took me quite some time to go through everything, and I still think I may have missed something in here. (I have learned a whole new level of respect for the reviewers who tackled the Lord of the Rings discs!) I also note that the Unrated cut is only a few minutes longer than the theatrical release, with no major changes that I could tell. It’s nothing that particularly makes the film any raunchier, just a little more footage added back in here and there. That said, the film is already raunchy enough as it is. VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 Knocked Up is presented in a good anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer that gets the job done without too much fuss. There really isn’t anything spectacular here, nor is there any major detail work – it’s just an accurate transfer of the film. The colors feel accurate, and the various prosthetics used as the pregnancy continues match well with the real skin tones of the actress. The movie offers a little bit of everything in terms of exteriors and interiors, and a variety in backdrops, and the picture here captures it all fairly well. AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 Knocked Up is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English, with 2.0 mixes in French and Spanish. The English 5.1 mix is fine, with the overwhelming majority of the sound coming from the front and center channels. There is a little use of the surrounds for music, particularly in a dance club sequence early on, but nothing else of note. Given the nature of the movie, the mix fits in with the action on screen and isn’t obtrusive at all. SPECIAL FEATURES: 4.5/5 ½ It is in the special features that the 2-Disc Edition of Knocked Up truly shines. There is a cornucopia of material here that will take some time to discuss. I should also note that there are MANY SPOILERS involved. If you have not seen the film already, I recommend watching the film first before delving into the goodies. On both discs, all of the features are in anamorphic widescreen. On Disc 1: Feature Commentary with Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and Bill Hader - This is a pretty raucous group commentary between three guys who are clearly good friends having a good time. Apatow starts the adventure off by announcing that this will be a very informative track with lots of information, but then immediately qualifies that by saying that anytime they start to lag, Bill Hader will begin doing impressions. Sure enough, around ten minutes in, we get the Peter Falk impression. And things get messier from there. It’s a fun discussion, but it tends to wildly depart from the on-screen action. It can also be difficult to understand, as there is a lot of crosstalk, but you can get around this by using the subtitle function. While it isn’t listed on the packaging, you can access subtitles of the talk in English, French and Spanish. If you stick with it, there is a lot of information here mixed in with the jokes. Deleted Scenes– (18:56 total) – Here we have just about 19 minutes of deleted material. Basically, this is a potpourri of 14 brief scenes, including an alternate version of the guys playing blackjack in Vegas, and then striking out at a dance club, additional material of the slackers hanging around, an additional E! Interview with Katherine Heigl and Eva Mendes, an alternate ending that isn’t really all that different from the one used in the film, and a few other odds and ends. Extended/Alternate Scenes – (8:28 total) - Here are several extended versions of existing scenes. One gives us an uninterrupted rant by Ryan Seacrest, another gives us a staged argument between Katherine Heigl’s character and Owen Wilson at the MTV Awards, and another is a longer conversation between Seth Rogen and Harold Ramis in the part of his father. It’s fun to see the full versions, but it is very clear why they were edited down for the final release. Line-o-Rama - (3:36) – This is an edited sequence of ad-libbed one-liners from various scenes in the movie. Most of these lines are alternate takes of the jokes Apatow eventually selected for the final cut. As we can see here, he had a lot to choose from. Gag Reel - (3:28) - Here we have a brief collection of blown takes from throughout the film, involving flubbed lines, missed cues and the usual pandemonium. Roller Coaster Doc - (5:20) – This is an in-depth examination of Day 12 of the shoot, which took place at Knott’s Berry Farm. The biggest part of this featurette is the discussion of Jay Baruchel’s anxiety about roller coasters, something the filmmakers then gleefully put into the movie. As someone who has issues with roller coasters myself, I fully understand Baruchel’s situation here. The featurette gets a harder to watch as the other actors ride the roller coasters too many times and then suffer on camera. Viewers prone to queasiness should probably not watch this featurette. Directing the Director – (7:42) – SPOILER WARNING HERE! PLEASE WATCH THE FEATURETTE FIRST IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT FRESH! This is a kind of “Project Greenlight” look at the idea of Bennett Miller coming in to back-seat direct the movie and then having some, um, issues, with Judd Apatow on the set. Obviously, this is a mockumentary and an okay one at that. Once you see the first minute, you’ll know exactly where this is headed. Once the piece finally gets to that moment, it’s a lot of fun, but the buildup is a little like a shaggy dog story that goes a little too long. Loudon Wainwright III Live at McCabe’s: “You Can’t Fail Me Now” (3:49) – This is a filmed performance by Wainwright of one of his songs from the movie. If you’re a fan of Wainwright’s, this is a nice bonus. Even if you’re not familiar with his work, it’s a nice enough song. Topless Scene: Web Design Company – (0:32) - ANOTHER SPOILER WARNING! WATCH THE TOPLESS SCENE BEFORE READING THIS! Well, as you have gathered, there is a topless scene included on the DVD – no doubt to help boost the sales as we all know that topless scenes tend to generate more interest. Of course, what nobody has told you is that the topless scene in question is actually just an alternate take of a quick look at Seth Rogen’s character at his new job. And that the only one topless in the scene is Seth Rogen! My only response to this is “Seth, America’s not ready...” I should note that the menu screens for several of the features here contain additional footage that usually runs for about a minute to 90 seconds each. The main menu features a loop of Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl dancing at the club. (Or perhaps Katherine Heigl dancing and Seth Rogen throwing a lot of dice...) The languages menu features a loop of Seth Rogen’s unmistakeable laugh, lovingly culled from what feels like at least 30 different shots. The Bonus Features Menus (there are two, due to the amount of material here), each contain raw footage of the guys riding an up-down elevator rollercoaster at Knott’s Berry Farm. The first screen is a wide shot with all the guys just before the thing drops, and the second screen is a slow-motion close-up of Rogen’s reaction, to the tune of a Loudon Wainwright song. The Deleted Scenes Menus (Again, there are 2 here) contain footage of the guys staging combat and wrestling around and in their pool. The first screen is a match-up between Seth Rogen and Martin Starr, and the second screen is an in-pool match between Jay Baruchel and Jason Segel. Finally, the Extended/Alternate Scenes Menu features Judd Apatow’s daughter Iris helpfully spray-painting Katherine Heigl’s hair (and freezing her brain in the process.) Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish for the film itself, as well as for the special features. As stated above, the commentary track is also subtitled in all three languages. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference. When the first disc is initially started, the viewer is presented with an optional series of previews including Heroes: Season One, White Noise 2, Bring It On: In It to Win It, and the usual HD-DVD preview. Now, you may be thinking that this is a fair amount of special features, given that this adds up to about 52 minutes of features and a commentary, not counting the footage on the menu screens. And you would be right. But that was just the first disc. Onward to Disc 2: The first thing to note on the 2nd Disc is that the primary menu features the raw, uncut footage of Jay Baruchel’s only ride on the swirly rollercoaster at Knott’s Berry Farm, from the peak of the opening drop through the whole twister. Needless to say, there is a fair amount of screaming here... Deleted Scenes (30:27 total) – Here we have another half hour’s worth of 14 deleted scenes, including more improvs with the various gynaecologists, more of Katherine Heigl getting to know the guys, a sequence of Katherine’s co-workers at E! really needing to work to pretend they don’t know she’s pregnant, and a few other bits and pieces. Extended/Alternate Scenes – (29:05 total) – This is another half hour of extended and alternate versions of scenes, including more club footage of the guys, a longer version of a promotion scene for Katherine Heigle’s character, a different take of one of the arguments between Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann and an extended freak-out by Jonah Hill at the hospital. It begins to dawn on the viewer after a while that there is a LOT of deleted material from this movie... Video Diaries (28:35 total) – This is a series of quick looks at various of the 56 days in the film’s production, all introduced and narrated by Judd Apatow. There’s some interesting material here as we travel to the various stages and locations. The staged interviews at E! and the staged red carpet pieces are particularly fun. Apatow also tries to explain the filming of his daughter spraypainting Katherine Heigl’s hair various colors, as seen on the Extended Scenes Menu on the first disc. On the 49th day, Apatow celebrates having shot 1 million feet of film, with 7 days still to go in principal photography. This goes a long way to explaining the amount of additional material available on the DVD. (The basic mode of filming for this kind of comedy is to keep the camera running and have the actors play with the dialogue and the situation.) Kids on the Loose – (5:37) - This is a collection of footage of Judd Apatow’s real children working on the film in various scenes with their real mother Leslie Mann, and with Katherine Heigl. Additional coverage of the above-referenced hair-spraypainting scene is provided here. Beard-o-Rama (4:03) – This is a brief look at the “Dirty Man” competition shown in the film for Martin Starr and his beard. A few alternate and additional takes of the guys razzing Starr are included here, along with interview footage with Starr discussing everything he is enduring. Kuni Files (5:29) – This featurette focuses on Ken Jeong, the real doctor and comedian cast as a key gynaecologist in the film. The featurette is as tongue in cheek as his performance, and includes some cut scene material as well as on-set footage of Jeong at work. A brief excerpt is shown of an extensive improvised explosion done by Jeong to the applause of the cast and crew. Gummy: The 6th Roommate (6:43) – SPOILERS HERE! THAT’S RIGHT, SPOILERS! On this featurette, we get the tale of the near-casting of David Krumholtz of Numb3rs as the 6th roommate in the slacker house. Mostly through the contrasting interviews of Krumholtz and Apatow, we learn that apparently Krumholtz walked away from a small part in the movie to be the lead in a Woody Allen film that immediately fell apart. It should be clear to anyone watching that this is another mockumentary... Stripper Confidential (2:03) – This is a video diary of the filming of the strip club scene in the film. There’s not much to say here that the title doesn’t tell you right away. Finding Ben Stone (30:29) – YE OLDE SPOILER WARNING! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS! All right, now we’re really getting down to the serious mockumentary material. This is over 30 minutes of various other actors playing Seth Rogen’s part in scenes throughout the movie. In rapid succession, we get to see how various scenes would have played with Michael Cera, Justin Long, Orlando Bloom, James Franco, Alan Covert, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Gerry Bednob, and... wait a second, GERRY BEDNOB???? The list continues with David Krumholtz (fresh from the other mockumentary) and, inevitably, Judd Apatow himself. Kuni Gone Wild (5:53) – This is the improvisation done by Ken Jeong referenced in the Kuni Files featurette. It is a near 6 minute take, with occasional intercuts to Katherine Heigl’s reactions from another take. After seeing this, you may wish to ask for another gynaecologist to assist with your delivery, at least one who isn’t wearing new sneakers... Loudon Wainwright III Scoring Session (4:48) – This is a brief featurette focused on Loudon Wainwright’s work scoring the film with Joe Henry and writing a few songs for it as well. There is a little footage of an actual scoring session, but the majority of this is simply interviews with Wainwright. Line-o-Rama Version 2 (6:38) – Here we have another 6 ½ minutes of additional takes of ad-libs from throughout the film. There’s some good ones in here, including more takes of Jonah Hill’s outrage and Paul Rudd’s deadpan riffing on Back to the Future that gets him gagged by Leslie Mann on another bonus feature somewhere on the disc.. Gag Reel Versions 2 & 3 (5:00 and 3:26) – Two more gag reels are presented here, each with different footage from the other two. In one good moment in the 3rd reel, Heigl is stumped by a reference to Nancy Allen. When Rogen immediately rattles off a list of her movies from the 70’s and 80’s, Heigl begins making references to Rain Man. Loudon Wainwright III Live at McCabe’s: “Grey in L.A.” and “Daughter” (3:15 and 3:47) – Two more filmed performances by Wainwright are included here for his fans. Like the performance on the first disc, these are pleasant songs given a pleasant treatment. First Sex On Camera (1:32) – SOME SPOILERS HERE... This quick featurette centers on Jonah Hill’s first sex scene on film, and the advice he is given about it from Seth Rogen. Jonah’s foolproof way to stay professional during a sex scene? Picture Seth Rogen instead of the girl. Works like a charm for Jonah. This bit explains how Jonah winds up outside with a naked girl during the earthquake, as the actual scene was cut from the film and not included in the deleted or extended material sections. Topless Scene: Restaurant (3:27) – FINAL SPOILERS HERE! LAST SPOILERS OF THIS REVIEW! If you have already seen the topless scene from the first disc, then this one will not be a surprise for you. An early restaurant scene between Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl is played topless, clearly as a way to make sure that each disc of this DVD set contains one gratuitous topless scene. Of course, the only one topless is Seth Rogen, in the middle of an elegant restaurant. Here I must refer back to my earlier comment from the first disc: “Seth, America is still not ready...” Raw Footage: Geisha House and Swingers (10:52 and 7:22) – This is effectively another 20 minutes of deleted/extended footage of two key scenes in the movie. The first, running at nearly eleven minutes, is the master of Katherine Heigl’s revelation scene, with Apatow having the actors stop and restart multiple times within the take. The second one, coming in about 3 ½ minutes shorter, is the master of the morning after breakfast at Swingers Cafe in Santa Monica. If anything, these two reels are a document of the cast and director at work on the set. And they also help explain how that much footage was shot in the making of the film. Katherine Heigl Audition (2:44) – A video of Katherine Heigl’s audition with Seth Rogan is included here. They enact the car argument scene with an appealing amount of enthusiasm and humor, and get close to the tone they will later achieve in the final movie. It’s easy to see how Heigl was selected for the part. Now, you may think that this is plenty of material to put on 2 DVDs for a single comedy. The first disc has almost an hour of features, not counting the commentary, and the second disc has around 3 hours and 20 minutes more, giving you a total of over 4 hours of extras. But we’re not done yet. There is an Easter Egg here, too. Clearly intended as a gesture to fans of The 40 Year Old Virgin, it is a 2:51 clip that can be located on the 2nd Disc Languages Menu. Just look for the plus sign. And ask yourself what routine Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd might want to revisit and improve while trapped in a car on a greenscreen stage. I’ll give one hint. The question begins “Know how I know you’re...?” IN THE END... Knocked Up is a lot of fun, both as a film itself, and in the sheer volume of the extra materials included in the 2 Disc Edition. I can securely and happily recommend this film to all adult audiences, and I think I can safely say that any fan of the movie or of Judd Apatow would be well satisfied with this DVD. More casual fans may want to start with the single disc to rent, but if you’re looking to add the film to your collection, the 2-Disc Edition is a good idea. Kevin Koster September 24, 2007.