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DVD Review The Compleat Al DVD Review (1 Viewer)

Todd Erwin

HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Apr 16, 2008
Hawthorne, NV
Real Name
Todd Erwin
The Compleat Al DVD Review

Long out of print, The Compleat Al first appeared on Showtime in 1985, later to be released on Beta, VHS, and Laserdisc by CBS/Fox. This mockumentary on “Weird Al” Yankovic very loosely follows his early career, tying in his first eight music videos. Prior to this DVD release, fans have been paying top dollar for used and bootlegged copies on eBay.

Posted Image

Studio: Shout! Factory

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 480I/MPEG-2

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: English 2.0 DD

Subtitles: None

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 1 Hr. 42 Min.

Package Includes: DVD

Clear DVD keepcase

Disc Type: DVD-5 (single layer)

Region: 1

Release Date: 11/11/2014

MSRP: $19.97

The Production Rating: 2.5/5

Taking its title from a real and popular documentary on The Beatles (The Compleat Beatles), The Compleat Al tries to give us odd, quirky stories on how “Weird Al” Yankovic rose to fame in the mid-1980s by combining real home movies of the musician, interviews with the real Mr. and Mrs. Yankovic (as well as Phil Ramone, Dick Clark, and Rick Derringer), highly fictionalized meetings between Al and his “manager” Barry Cohen (Kevin Seymour), concert footage, and clips from the infamous AL-TV specials on MTV, all tying in (some successfully, some painfully) the eight music videos that Al had made prior to this special. The result is a moderately successful, sometimes amusing film that pokes fun at the life of celebrities, long before Behind the Music first aired on VH-1. One of the fictionalized accounts that this special is famous for is the re-creation of Al meeting Michael Jackson to obtain permission for Eat It.The special includes the music videos for Ricky, I Love Rocky Road, Eat It, I Lost on Jeopardy, This Is the Life (replacing clips from Johnny Dangerously with stock footage), Like a Surgeon, One More Minute, and Dare to Be Stupid. But time has not been kind to The Compleat Al, mostly due to its juvenile sense of humor that today falls flat when compared to how much Al Yankovic has matured as an artist and comedian with his more recent music videos. One thing fans will get a kick out of, though, is the inclusion of the CBS/Fox Home Video logo at both the beginning of the disc and this special, providing an extra sense of nostalgia.

Video Rating: 3/5 3D Rating: NA

Produced on a shoestring budget in 1985, shot for the most part on 16mm and standard definition analog video (and posted in SD), this is probably as good as The Compleat Al will ever look. The image is overly soft, with weak contrast and colors that occasionally bleed. Overall, this is an improvement over the VHS copy most fans have in their collection, but not by much.

Audio Rating: 3/5

The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is acceptable, with clear dialogue and music, but there are a few spots where the sound levels in the right channel will cut out slightly for a second, then fade back up to normal levels. This is likely inherent in the sourced master used for this release.

Special Features Rating: 1/5

Film Trailer (0:32): More of a TV Spot than a trailer, this is a very brief, fast paced montage of clips from the film.Extended Film Trailer (5:18): This extended trailer starts off with the CBS/Fox logo, and contains longer clips and interviews from the film.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Fans of “Weird Al” will want to pick this one up to replace their aging VHS (or dare I say, Beta or Laserdisc) copy of this long, lost cable special. The Compleat Al also makes a nice companion piece to their new Blu-ray 25th anniversary edition of UHF to add to their collection of the artist’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Reviewed By: Todd Erwin

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Senior HTF Member
Oct 11, 2006
Real Name
I have to know, is the fake copyright warning still there at the beginning?

My Laserdisc is rotted, but I never heard any audio dropouts.

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