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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Kevin EK, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer

    May 9, 2003
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    HTF REVIEW: Let’s Go To Prison



    Studio: Universal
    Film Year: 2006
    Film Length: 90 minutes
    Genre: Comedy

    Aspect Ratio:

    • 1.85:1 theatrical ratio

    Colour/B&W: Colour

    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    • French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

    Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
    Film Rating: Unrated Version
    (R Rated Theatrical Version also on disc)

    Release Date: March 6, 2007.

    Rating: 2/5

    With: Dax Shepard, Will Arnett, Chi McBride and Dylan Baker
    Written by: Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon & Michael Patrick Jann
    Directed by: Bob Odenkirk

    LET’S GO TO PRISON is a kind of modern-day ANIMAL HOUSE or PORKY’S, only this time the hijinks happen in the jail of the title. Dax Shepard plays a perpetual jailbird who takes revenge on the judge who repeatedly sentenced him by getting the judge’s son (Will Arnett) incarcerated with him. (That doesn’t really count as a spoiler of the movie, as it happens in the film’s opening act) The comedy here is pretty broad and loud, but the gross-out humor is thankfully restrained, even in the unrated cut I viewed for this review. At its heart, this is essentially a film about friendship in the unlikeliest of places – you just have to get past the stabbings, beatings and toilet wines to fully appreciate it. And Chi McBride’s scenes are surprisingly touching in their own way.


    LET’S GO TO PRISON is presented in a bright anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer that is easy to watch. The colors come off well, but it should be noted this isn’t an especially colorful film. Much of the prison settings are pretty muted, and the primary color visible throughout is the orange of the prison jumpsuits. That said, it’s a good transfer, and what blacks can be found are satisfyingly deep.


    LET’S GO TO PRISON is presented in a decent 5.1 surround mix in English, French and Spanish. It’s pretty easy to understand the dialogue, but the mix doesn’t really come to life until the score and songs kick in. Once the music starts, the surround channels pick up and things become a bit more interesting. This isn’t a bad mix at all. It’s just that it doesn’t really make use of the surround possibilities other than for music.


    • ALTERNATE ENDING (3:31): The disc includes a non-anamorphic alternate ending that’s a bit different from the one finally chosen. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that the one used in the film is preferable. The alternate is probably a bit more believable, but by 90 minutes in, any pretense of realism is long over, and it’s more fun to just continue in the same direction the movie's already been going…

    • Deleted Scenes– (4:21 total) Two non-anamorphic deleted scenes are included here. One extends the early courtroom work by another two minutes, and the other is an alternate introduction between the main characters. There’s nothing really deep or memorable here – just additional minutes of output from the Avid.

    • Let’s Go to Prison Soundtrack Sessions – (6:10) This is a brief look at the R&B musicians assembled by Alan Elliott to perform his score. A few interview fragments between Bob Odenkirk, Elliott and the musicians provide the obligatory mutual compliments and thank yous. It’s nice to see the guys all playing together, but there isn’t much substance here. The one point of interest for me was to see Ray Parker, Jr. (“Ghostbusters”) playing session guitar here.

    There are a couple of Universal trailers presented as you first activate the disc, but as usual, no trailer is presented for the film itself. Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish and French. A scene index is provided with plenty of chapter stops throughout the film.

    IN THE END...

    LET’S GO TO PRISON is pretty much what you would expect from a comedy with that name, albeit not as crude as you might fear, even in the unrated version. If you took the plot and transposed it to a high school or a college fraternity, you’d still essentially have the same movie. It’s not really my cup of tea, but if you’re into Bob Odenkirk’s movies or if you enjoy Dax Shepard and Will Arnett, you’ll have a good time here.

    Kevin Koster
    March 11, 2007.
  2. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

    Sep 19, 2002
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    I don't think that fans of Bob Odenkirk's MR SHOW will think this is worth the rental. I loved that, as well as Arnett's ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, yet thought this was a pretty lousy film.

    I speculated in my review that maybe it is David Cross' involvement in both shows that saves them. But this film, while not terrible, isn't worth seeing.

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