I noticed how no websites have posted reviews for the upcoming National Lampoon's Van Wilder DVD, which comes out in four days. So since my copy came today, I decided to review it for the people who will actually be buying this title... Thinking about what I just said, I might be the only one who will end up owning a copy of this movie on DVD. Hmm, oh well. --- National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Unrated Version 2002 / Unrated / 94 Minutes The Movie (*** out of ****): After years of making direct-to-video movies, direct-to-television movies, and movies that have just bombed, National Lampoon attached their name to the college gross-out comedy Van Wilder. Back in April, the film made almost $25 million on a budget of only $6 million. How it made so much is beyond everybody (including me), as the film got negative reviews by almost everybody and their mother. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has only 12 positive reviews out of 68. Add my review, and that’s a total of 13 people who have admitted to have actually liked the movie. The film premise is simple. It deals with Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) who is in his seventh year of college. No, he’s not in college to become a doctor; he just really likes being in college. With his best friend Hutch (Real World Hawaii’s Teck “Money” Holmes… yes, that’s what he calls himself) and his personal assistant Taj (Kal Penn), they’re just out to have a good time. When Gwen (Tara Reid) is given the chance to write a headline story in the school newspaper, her editor (uncredited Tom Everett Scott) wants her to do the story on Van Wilder. Gwen doesn’t want to do it, but is given no choice and ends up trying to do her piece, even if she doesn’t like Van at first. As we all know, Gwen ends up falling for Van after getting to know him for a while, even if she already has a boyfriend. Just like in movies with the same scenario, her boyfriend is evil and wants Van to get kicked out of college while he has Gwen all to himself. I found Van Wilder to be one of the funniest films of 2002 (along with the underrated Undercover Brother). Maybe that’s because my sense of humor is that of an immature ten year old. The movie isn’t supposed to be taken seriously; it’s just an hour and a half of dick and fart jokes meant to make people laugh. Sure there are a few jokes that aren’t funny and some that just cross the line of what is good taste (can we say dog semen?), but a good amount of the material here is hilarious. If you like stupid college comedies, I’m sure you’ll like Van Wilder. And to those members who hated Van Wilder (yes, all ten of you), if you’re going to insult me for liking Van Wilder, then you better insult the packed theater I saw the movie with as they were laughing too. And let me just say, there were some huge men in that theater that could kick your ass. Video (*** out of ****): Artisan has included both anamorphic widescreen and pan and scan versions of the film on the same disc. The transfer included is good, but does have some problems. The two problems I encountered were that the transfer was too dark (I didn't remember it being that dark in theaters) and that I noticed compression artifacts every so often (probably because of fitting both versions of the film on one disc). Other than that, a good transfer (especially considering the low budget). Audio (*** out of ****): Artisan has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track (along with 2.0) which fits the film quite nicely. The Extras (*** out of ****): Artisan Entertainment has included quite a few extras on the DVD release of Van Wilder. Disc One just basically includes the movie, but let me talk about the menus before I go into the extras. Both discs include interactive menus hosted by Naomi (Ivana Bozilovic). On almost every menu transition, she takes off her shirt and puts a new one on. And yes my fellow males, she is braless (cha ching). You can have the menus at “censored” (when she takes off a shirt, you see a huge black bar) or “uncensored” (only on the unrated version) in which you basically see her breasts. There are also some Easter eggs on the first disc of Naomi dancing. Depending on if you have the menus set at censored or uncensored, you can see her in a dry shirt or a wet t-shirt (can we get another cha ching?). There’s another Easter egg on disc one that includes her flashing the camera (that’s a cha ching cubed). Disc Two is where all the extras are located. More Easter eggs are included on disc two, a majority of them include Naomi flashing you or dancing (with her t-shirt wet or dry), but there is one Easter egg on here that includes somebody else in a wet t-shirt. I won’t spoil it for you who is in that wet t-shirt (as it is quite hilarious). Starting at page one, the disc includes three trailers (teaser, green band theatrical, and red band theatrical) and all are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen. Next up are three television spots. Just like the trailers, all three television spots are in non-anamorphic widescreen. There is also a feature called Van Wilder Campaign Art Gallery. In the gallery are eight posters used for the film’s theatrical release. There is also a Sugarcult music video (for the song Bouncing Off The Walls) presented in 1.33:1 full frame. Also on the first page of menus, we are treated to nine deleted scenes (9 minutes total and in non-anamorphic widescreen). The deleted scenes are not funny and I’m glad they were left on the cutting room floor. One deleted scene includes Edie McClurg (who was in the final film for less than 15 seconds) while another one includes a cameo from Dr. Joyce Brothers. If you get the unrated edition, there is an extra deleted scene (which is the ninth one) dealing with “The Topless Tudors.” I found myself laughing at this scene (as I was expecting something else when I viewed this), but then again, I have the sense of humor of an immature ten year old. Also included are twelve outtakes (13 minutes total, also in non-anamorphic widescreen) which I found to be pretty funny. The last three features on the first menu page include The Music of Van Wilder that is basically a promotion for the film’s soundtrack. Included in this feature are thirty-second sound clips from all the songs on the soundtrack. Next up is a trailer gallery for other Artisan titles (Good Advice, Novocaine, Reservoir Dogs, Dune, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Rambo). The last feature on page one is entitled The Van Wilder Files, originally seen on the film’s website. Basically this feature includes pages of notes devoted to the man that is Van Wilder. Page two includes all of the film’s behind-the-scenes material. First up are three Burly Bear TV specials devoted to the film. Half Baked (13 minutes) is a short cooking show with special guests Ryan Renyolds and Tara Reid. Impostor (16 minutes) is a show that pulls pranks on people (I’m guessing as I rarely watch Burly TV). On the episode of Impostor on this DVD, the cast of Van Wilder helps in a fake dating game show. The third and final Burly Bear TV special is Movie Junky (15 minutes) where the host interviews cast members from the film. In the end, all three specials add up to 44 minutes. Also included is the special Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy: National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (21 minutes). Taking a different approach, this special promotes the film while interviewing the characters of the film instead of the actors themselves. The final few extras on page two include cast and crew biographies, production notes, and DVD credits. The only extra missing from the disc is an audio commentary with Walt “The Waltman” Becker (according to Mr. Whyte) and Ryan Reynolds. Overall (*** out of ****): Overall, a great DVD release for a film that is torn apart by a lot of people on this forum (I’m looking at you Jason, Scott, Nick, and Bill ). I’m glad that Artisan put lots of bonus material on this set (for the film's one true fan, moi) while including both anamorphic widescreen and pan and scan versions of the film (a practice that more studios should use). If you liked the movie (that is if you saw it during it’s theatrical release), go and buy the set for $15.99 at Best Buy on Tuesday. If you never saw it before, rent it prior to purchasing as you might end up hating the film. Oh yeah, do not get the R-Rated edition. Remember, get the Unrated.