HTF REVIEW: "Shallow Hal" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, May 28, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Shallow Hal

    Studio: Fox
    Year: 2001
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 113 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)

    The Biggest Love Story Ever Told
    At the age of ten, a chubby little boy named
    Hal was ordered by his dying father to seek
    out in his lifetime only women of great beauty,
    not to settle for any girl who was any less than
    Now in his mid-life, Hal (Jack Black) has become
    a shallow, superficial, chauvinistic pig, who
    tries to pick up women who are out of his league --
    ignoring those who are not attractive physically.
    Hanging out with his best friend Mauricio (Jason
    Alexander), at the local club, he finds himself
    getting turned down by women time and time again.
    Hal's life suddenly changes upon getting stuck
    in an elevator with self-help guru Tony Robbins,
    who takes a great interest in Hal and decides to
    help him by only letting Hal see a woman's inner
    Suddenly, Hal finds that beautiful women are
    responsive to his approaches, and no longer hostile
    to him as was the case before. The reason, quite
    obvious to the viewer, is that Hal is hitting on
    ugly fat women, only seeing their inner beauty.
    Hal takes a personal liking in a 300 pound woman
    named Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), who he sees as
    a slim, fit 110 pound beautiful woman. The two
    begin a comedic romance that pokes fun at the way
    we look at beauty from outside in.
    From the Farrelly brothers, Shallow Hal is
    a wonderfully funny and enjoyable film with less
    gags and more sweetness than what we have come to
    expect from the Directors who brought us Something
    About Mary
    . The film is filled with lots of
    great laughs while delivering a very important
    message as the characters, one by one, reveal their
    actual physical appearances at the very end of
    the film, after both Hal and the audience have
    gotten to know them for their true, beautiful selves.
    How is the transfer?
    What can I say other than this is a Fox DVD?
    The transfer is wonderful, sporting a very clean
    print that exhibits only a hint of video noise
    in darker scenes. Colors peak out wonderfully --
    especially Gwyneth Paltrow's pink dress. There
    really is nothing negative I can say about the
    quality of this transfer.
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix gives the film's pop
    soundtrack a nice punch. It's kind of cool to
    hear Neil Young's "Goldrush" being played across
    each of the channels. It is also the film's pop
    music and score that puts out explosive LFE
    channel bass that had my subwoofer pounding away
    with each beat. The LFE channel is very aggressive
    in this mix, and I miss such bass in some of the
    more recent films I have reviewed. The rest of the
    mix is dedicated to surround effects like crowd
    noise that come off very nicely in the scenes inside
    a nightclub or restaurant.
    Special Features
    Fox has put together as much extra material that
    they could fit into one disc without even hailing
    it as a Special Edition, despite the fact it has
    very special content.
    Once inserting the disc, you are treated to a
    rather cool psychedelic animated sequence that
    has character heads popping in and out of a
    pinwheel background while audio clips from the
    movie play in loop.
    The DVD features a full-length commentary by
    Directors Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly.
    Being Shallow Hal, is not your typical
    HBO promotional fluff-piece as it starts off
    with host Brooke Burns interviewing people on a
    Santa Monica promenade about what it means to
    be "shallow". The featurette than becomes more
    typical as we get the general overview of the
    movie with lots of clips and videotaped interviews
    with the likes of Bobby & Peter Farrelly, Jack
    Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. Something everyone
    will enjoy seeing is make-up Effects Designer
    Tony Gardner explaining the make-up done on
    Gwyneth. We are treated to actual videotape of
    makeup tests that were done in a NY hotel room.
    After she was made to look 300 pounds, she took
    a walk through the hotel bar, where nobody made
    eye contact with her. This turned out to be a
    very sad and startling experience for the actress.
    The rest of the featurette deals with behind-the-
    camera antics that took place on the set as well
    as the cast talking about how much they admired
    working with each other.
    (length: approx. 14 minutes)
    Reel Comedy: Shallow Hall is a Comedy
    Central featurette that gives a general overview
    of the movie using clips and interviews. This
    is more of a vehicle for Jack Black to joke around
    about the movie, along with Tony Robbins, who
    clown around about what happened during their
    scenes together. Gwyneth joins in later as she
    talks about how intimidated she felt about working
    with Jack Black, but was surprised at how he made
    her feel so comfortable. All in all, this
    featurette adds no particular insight, becoming
    a showcase for Jack Black to act silly.
    (length: approx. 21 minutes)
    No less than 11 Deleted Scenes can be
    played back with or without commentary by the
    Farrelly brothers. Some of which include:
    * Hal fooling his co-workers into thinking he
    just received a promotion.
    * An extended scene at the health club where
    a very funny joke involving Walt (Rene Kirby)
    on a treadmill was ultimately cut.
    * A scene with Walt (Rene Kirby)singing in a
    country bar.
    * A scene in the park where Hal and Maurice
    fight with each other.
    The Farrelly brothers explain that most of
    the material was cut simply because they tend
    to write very long scenes. Their movies also
    tend to become up to 3.5 hours in length, and
    they are faced with cutting lots of material
    out of it after screening it to test audiences.
    DO play the commentary during these deleted
    scenes as it's VERY funny.
    The most interesting added feature on this disc
    comes in Seeing through the make-up where
    make-up Effects Designer Tony Garner walks us
    through the process of turning slim Paltrow into
    a 300-lb woman. Initial problems with her makeup
    hid the characteristics of the actress. The make-up
    artists wanted to bring out Gwyneth's own natural
    features through the suit and make-up. Using pictures
    of heavy nude models, the makeup team was able to
    get an idea of how to design their ideal person.
    One heavy self-confident female was brought on the
    set to consult Gwyneth on how to properly portray
    a heavy person. There's a really neat look at how
    at how burn make-up was applied to a little girl
    and the importance of not using the color red in
    the makeup. I think you'll have a lot of fun
    watching this make-up featurette.
    (length: approx. 13 minutes)
    In the deep end with Shallow Hal takes
    us pool side as we learn how the gigantic splash
    sequence was done using a hydraulic system and
    different diving boards.
    (length: approx. 2 minutes)
    Shelby Slynne's Music Video, "Wall In Your
    Heart" is included as well as a promo spot
    for the original motion picture soundtrack.
    In addition to the film's Theatrical Trailer,
    there are trailers for Minority Report and
    Unfaithful, as well as a film called The
    Banger Sisters with Goldie Hawn looking like
    her daughter. A promo trailer for Farrelly
    Brothers films on DVD is also presented.
    Final Thoughts
    You know, for a title such as this that comes
    simply packaged, I just spent about 4 hours
    going through all of the material on this
    Shallow Hal DVD.
    I would heavily (pun intended) recommend this
    DVD just because the film is entertaining and
    the supplements are fun to wade through.
    Lots of fun to be had here for about $20 on-line.
    Another quality release from Fox!
    Release Date: July 2, 2002
  2. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

    Aug 24, 2001
    Likes Received:
    thanks ron for the wonderful review.
    i will be picking up this dvd for sure, looks like fox has done another wonderful job putting out great dvds [​IMG]
  3. Bill Crosthwait

    Bill Crosthwait Second Unit

    Apr 30, 2000
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    Thanks Ron...Just pre-ordered
  4. Dave_P.

    Dave_P. Supporting Actor

    May 20, 1999
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    I loved this flick and can't wait for the DVD! What's with the almost 9-month DVD window though???
  5. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

    Apr 11, 2000
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    What no DTS... Just kidding looks like a great disc and being a fan of Jack Black and Tenacious D I will have to pick this one up. Thanks for the great review.
  6. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

    Jul 10, 2000
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    I wanted to see this in the theaters, but my gilfriend and I never made it. I wish we didn't have to wait until July, but I expect that I will be buying this one.
  7. Oscar

    Oscar Second Unit

    Apr 1, 2002
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    I also liked this movie.
    But i found it less enjoyable than There is Something About Mary.

    Yet i enjoyed it, i may pick this one up.
  8. Michael Dueppen

    Michael Dueppen Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 19, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I have never really been interested in this movie since I thought it sounded kinda stupid.
    But after your review I definitely changed my mind and I will probably pick this up.
    Thanks for another great review, Ron.
  9. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

    Feb 12, 2002
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    Thanks for the in-depth review, Ron. Was intending to rent it, but the amount of bonus material may make this one a "keeper".

    I saw this at the theater with some of the girls, and we all agreed on one thing: it amazed us how Hal and his buddy would keep hitting on ONLY gorgeous women who were clearly "out of their league". (Did THEY never look in a mirror?)
  10. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Jul 27, 2001
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    Simply put - this puppy is a no-brainer purchase. Even my good friend, who wouldn't normally watch a Farrelly brothers film or anything to do with Jack Black, absolutely loved this film.
    I can't wait for this DVD. [​IMG]
  11. AndrewW

    AndrewW Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 21, 2001
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    Saw this in the theaters. Wasn't that impressed; too predictable. Would make a decent rental, but I wouldn't buy it.
  12. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Mar 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    This is a no brainer for me, if Gwyneth Paltrow is in it, i'm all over it! [​IMG]
    Besides it looks damn funny too.
    One question though Ron, regarding the commentary track, do they go on endlessly about everyone they grew up with in Providence who they no doubt populated the film with as they always do? That's getting tired and I just wanted to see if you've had a chance to listen to a sample of it. Thanks.
  13. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

    Sep 14, 2001
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    Is anyone looking forward to this disc as much as I'am?
  14. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

    Feb 27, 2001
    Likes Received:
    The Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    Rich Travale
    I just watched this and I have to say it was great. It was funny like the other Farrelly Brothers movies but it was also tender. I even got pretty choked up at a few parts.
    I recommend this to anyone [​IMG]
  15. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

    Nov 23, 1999
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    Great review, Ron. Picked it up based on your review, and am pretty pleased... though the second half of the movie pixelated every 5 seconds and the sound kept stuttering. Nothing visibly wrong with the disc, so maybe I just got a bad one. We'll see when I get another copy of it today.
  16. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Jul 27, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Got my copy of this last night. Again, it was a wonderful film that will please both guys and gals alike. The video transfer on this disc looks really good on my Hitachi - the audio mix just as Ron said has alot of "punch" to it. With this type of film, I could care less if the disc doesn't include a DTS track [​IMG].
  17. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

    Mar 14, 1999
    Likes Received:
    My 500th post!

    My son and I watched the rented DVD of this last night. Great movie and not nearly as gross-out as other Farrelly movies. Even the "fat" jokes were there not to offend, but to prove a point. The disabled actor/characters are handled with respect. And when Jack goes back to the hospital to find Rose and sees the little girl Candace, well, I even felt an honest tear in my eye.... We really enjoyed it.

    We did notice a buzz in the dialogue of one scene, however, as Jack and Rosemary are standing outside his place. The buzz went away during the following scene.

    Otherwise, this could be the first Farrelly Bros. movie I actually buy...
  18. Clint

    Clint Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 22, 1999
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    Want to purchase but what are the odds that they will come up with a special edition down the line?

  19. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

    Apr 19, 2000
    Likes Received:
  20. Clint

    Clint Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 22, 1999
    Likes Received:

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