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Nicholas Stoller
Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Liz Cackowski, Maria Thayer, Jack McBrayer, Jonah Hill
Writing Credits:
Jason Segel

A comedy about getting dumped, and taking it like a man.

Peter (Jason Segel) is a struggling musician who finds his world turned upside down when his TV celebrity girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), dumps him for a tragically hip rock star. It's the hysterically funny look at how far one man will go to forget a girl - and all the fun he finds along the way!

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$17.725 million on 2798 screens.
Domestic Gross
$62.877 million.

Rated NR

Widescreen 1.85:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (R-Rated Version Only)
Supplements Subtitles:

118 min. (Unrated Version)
111 min. (Rated Version)
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 9/30/2008

• Audio Commentary with Director Nicholas Stoller, Writer/Actor Jason Segel, Executive Producer Rodney Rothman, Producer Shauna Robertson, and Actors Mila Kunis, Jack McBrayer and Russell Brand
• Six Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Line-O-Rama”
• Gag Reel
• Music Video
• “Dracula’s Lament” Table Read
• “The Making of ‘A Taste for Love’” Featurette
• Raw Footage: Video Chat
• Trailer
• Previews


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Forgetting Sarah Marhsall: Unrated (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 3, 2008)

Has the Judd Apatow juggernaut started to slow? After three straight Apatow-supervised efforts yanked in more than $100 million apiece, the streak sagged with 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. While this one certainly didn’t bomb, its $62 million gross made it a disappointment when compared to its predecessors.

And I can’t blame audiences for their relative snubbing of Forgetting, since I’m starting to tire of the usual Apatow fare myself. While 2007’s Knocked Up was a “coming out” party for Seth Rogen, Forgetting brings his Freaks and Geeks co-star Jason Segel to the fore. He plays Peter Bretter, a musician who makes his money as the composer for a TV series called Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. Perhaps not coincidentally, Peter dates Sarah Marshall (Kristin Bell), the show’s star.

But not for long. After five years together, Sarah abruptly dumps Peter in favor of Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a British rock star. This sudden turn for the worse hits Peter hard, so he decides to get away from LA and take a vacation in Hawaii.

This doesn’t work out well, since it happens that Sarah and Aldous also wind up in the Aloha State – and at the same resort, in fact. The movie follows their interactions, Peter’s attempts to find romance with Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis), an employee of the resort, and connected concerns.

On the surface, Forgetting has as much going for it as its predecessors. And that’s probably the problem: a sense of staleness and ennui. The movie seems to hit the right notes, but they come with the feeling that we’ve seen them all. There’s not much here that feels fresh or makes the flick stand out when compared to the others.

This results in a rather tedious tale. Like the other flicks, Forgetting aims for some laughs with outrageous moments, though perhaps not to the same degree. This one’s big moment actually comes early in the film, as Segel provides rare – and not welcome – male full-frontal nudity. It’s the most provocative scene, but I don’t think it works. Maybe it’s just my aversion to the sight of cocks, but the sequence is too uncomfortable to be funny. I know that the filmmakers want the laughs that come with awkwardness, but I think the scene’s simply not very amusing.

Like most efforts under the Apatow umbrella, Forgetting goes on too long. This sucker last nearly two hours, and it grows tiresome well before it finally ends. We go through endless shots of Peter in Hawaii, and they don’t add up to much. Yes, I understand the desire to develop the characters and their interactions, but tedium results pretty rapidly.

I liked Segel as a supporting character with Freaks and Geeks co-star Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, but I don’t know if he has the charisma to take the lead. Maybe he just works better as a secondary character. He doesn’t provide a poor performance here, but he simply can’t carry the film. It always feels like there’s a void at the top, as Segel doesn’t make us terribly invested in Peter.

At no point does Forgetting Sarah Marshall become a bad movie, and it has some mild laughs. However, it just doesn’t ever turn into anything terribly involving. It’s too long and slow to keep us occupied.

Note that this DVD includes both the 111-minute theatrical version and the 118-minute unrated cut. About half of the latter’s extra footage comes from a scene in a Hawaiian yoga class taught by Kristen Wiig. The rest of the added material appears to consist of short bits here and there; the yoga sequence was the only significant change I noticed. It’s actually a decent scene, mostly due to Wiig’s funny performance.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Forgetting Sarah Marshall appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Expect a good but unexceptional transfer.

Sharpness usually appeared acceptably accurate and detailed. At times, however, I found the image to come across as a little fuzzy and soft, with lesser definition seen in some of the wide shots. Nonetheless, most of the movie appeared clear and appropriately focused. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, but I noticed some light edge enhancement at times. No print flaws materialized; the film remained clean and fresh.

In terms of colors, the flick went with a moderately subdued set of tones. Hues stayed on the natural side, with a mild golden feel to things that fit the Hawaiian setting. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image didn’t really excel, but it was good.

As for the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and that was all. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did no more than that.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.

When we head to the set’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Nicholas Stoller, writer/actor Jason Segel, producer Shauna Robertson, executive producer Rodney Rothman, and actors Mila Kunis, Jack McBrayer and Russell Brand. (Actor Kristen Bell also briefly shows up via phone.) The track looks at cast, characters and performances, story issues and influences, shooting in Hawaii and other spots, editing and changes made for the extended cut, and a mix of production anecdotes.

With so many participants, we expect a rollicking affair, and that’s largely what we get here. The commentary includes a lot of jokes and looseness, but it never becomes chaotic or disjointed. This isn’t the most informative affair, but it gives us a good look at the movie and entertains.

Like all DVDs for Apatow-produced flicks, we get plenty of cut footage. We find six Deleted/Extended Scenes that fill a total of eight minutes, 34 seconds. These include “Scooter” (0:46), “Lamp 1” (1:33), “Lamp 2” (2:02), “Darald and Wyoma at the Luau” (0:50), “Airport Goodbye” (2:04) and “’What’re You Gonna Do Now?’” (1:19). Clips two and three flesh out the Aldous/Sarah relationship a little more, while “Luau” adds to our knowledge of the newlyweds. “Scooter” offers an alternate intro to Peter’s first post-breakup sexual conquest, while “Goodbye” and “Now” give a bit more exposition toward the film’s end. None are particularly valuable, though I like “Scooter” just because it’s more efficient than the scene in the final flick.

More cut material comes from Line-O-Rama. It offers a seven-minute and 50-second collection of alternate lines. These mostly come from scenes that made the flick but provide different takes. They’re a lot of fun and often more amusing than the bits that ended up in the final cut.

After this we find a five-minute and 45-second Gag Reel. Some of these provide alternate lines, but they’re usually the standard goofs and giggles. Still, enough nutty moments emerge to make them moderately enjoyable.

Briefly seen in the movie, the DVD includes the entire music video for “We’ve Got to Do Something”. I like it as a curiosity, but it probably amuses more in its edited format since its gags wear thin before long. Still, I’m glad the DVD put it here.

Next we get a view of a short Table Read. This three-minute and 42-second clip shows a rendition of “Dracula’s Lament”, the song Peter performs at the Hawaiian club. This means the scene focuses almost exclusively on Segal and Kunis; we see other actors but don’t from them. It provides a mildly interesting glimpse behind the scenes but isn’t anything special.

The Making of A Taste for Love runs six minutes, 18 seconds gives us info about the Dracula musical featured in the film. We hear from Segel, Stoller, Rothman, Robertson, producer Judd Apatow, music supervisor Jonathan Karp, Peter Brooke and Muchael Oosterom of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, executive producer Richard Vane, and actor Bill Hader. It delivers a few details about A Taste for Love and its creation. Don’t expect a lot of depth, though; we hear a smattering of interesting thoughts but that’s about it.

Next we find seven minutes and 14 seconds of Raw Footage. This shows the “video chat” between Peter and his stepbrother as they discuss Peter’s time in Hawaii. It’s fun to see both sides of the scene at the same time, so this becomes a cool extra.

A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior, Leatherheads, Burn After Reading, The Incredible Hulk and Blu-Ray Disc. The disc also features the trailer for Forgetting - and it’s the red-band version, so it’s naughtier than most.

At no point does Forgetting Sarah Marshall become a bad movie, but it seems like a mediocre one. Indeed, it always feels like something that I should enjoy more than I do; its entertainment value just doesn’t hit the expected levels given the folks involved. The DVD provides good picture, audio and extras, so I can’t complain about the release itself. I just don’t have a lot of positive sentiment for the movie itself.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3076 Stars Number of Votes: 13
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