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Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig
Ben Stiller, John Hamburg, Nicholas Stoller, Justin Theroux

Derek and Hansel are lured into modeling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend:
$15,650,000 on 3,394 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-X
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Description
English DTS Headphone-X
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/23/2016

• “The Zoolander Legacy” Featurette
• “Go Big or Go Rome” Featurette
• “Drake Sather: The Man Who Created Zoolander” Featurette
• “Youth Milk” Ad
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Zoolander No. 2 [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 26, 2016)

When it hit screens in 2001, Zoolander didn’t exactly cause a sensation. It took in $45 million US, which plopped it firmly in 55th place for that year’s releases.

However, Zoolander enjoyed a nice “after-life” on home video. That audience turned it into enough of a cult classic to finally spawn a sequel via 2016’s Zoolander No. 2.

Should we expect a third Zoolander effort around 2031? I wouldn’t count on it. Even with the benefit of 15 years worth of inflation, No. 2 made notably less money than the first movie; it grabbed a sad $28 million US. This doesn’t prohibit it from future cult status, but I think that’s a spark unlikely to ignite twice.

Despite the various negatives, I wanted to give No. 2 a look, and that brought the Blu-ray to my player. When someone targets and kills many of the world’s pop stars, Interpol sends agent Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz) to investigate. She discovers a connection to former supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller).

Derek went into seclusion after tragedy struck, but an invitation from super-designer Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig) lures him out of retirement. This also brings back fellow aging male model Hansel (Owen Wilson), and Valentina recruits both to find – and stop – the perpetrators of the murders.

While the first film opted for The Manchurian Candidate as a prime influence, No. 2 prefers a heavy James Bond vibe. Oh, it comes with other nods as well – some Da Vinci Code, some Silence of the Lambs - but the Bond spoofery dominates.

Which I view as neither good nor bad. No. 2 uses these elements without seeming like a literal parody, which I like, but it fails to develop the spy spoof in a substantial manner.

Actually, No. 2 fails to emerge as a coherent movie anyway, as it seems lazy and pedestrian. While not a great film, the original Zoolander at least showed actual effort involved. No. 2 feels like the filmmakers wanted to ride their own coattails and not break a sweat.

This means two elements dominate No. 2: smutty gags and cameos. Good Lord, does this movie pour on the celebrity guest spots! We get one after another after another after a thousand more.

At first, these work well. Indeed, the opening scene in which the unknown parties chase and kill Justin Bieber might offer the movie’s most fun and clever sequence. It shows a knowing wit and willingness to semi-mock itself.

Unfortunately, this sets a trend that No. 2 beats into submission. Barely a scene passes without yet another “surprise” cameo, and this turns into diminishing returns. We like the guests for a while, but before too long, it becomes clear the movie has little else to offer.

This means the cameos eventually shift into a negative. When a scene starts, we pay no attention to story/character content – we just wonder what celeb will pop up next, and after a while, we don’t care about that, either. The inclusion of so many stars sounds good on paper but becomes a true liability in real life.

Not that I think No. 2 would be better without the cameos, as it shows precious little wit. Oh, that doesn’t mean no amusement results, as the occasional laugh occurs.

That results more from quantity than quality, though. No. 2 batters us with gags, and given the talent involved, it becomes inevitable that some will amuse.

Probably the film’s best moments come from Benedict Cumberbatch’s brief turn as an androgynous supermodel. He delivers one of the movie’s rare cameos in which a star doesn’t play him/herself, and he seems extremely game for the outrageous part. Cumberbatch becomes a brief shining light.

Most of the movie concentrates on cheap humor, unfortunately, and fails to develop much cleverness. One can see the jokes a mile away, and they never twist the material into anything interesting.

Perhaps I’m misremembering, but No. 2 seems much smuttier than the first film. No. 2 likes its sex/body function jokes an awful lot, and that adds to the general lack of creativity and inspiration on display.

Because I wasn’t wild about the first film, I went into Zoolander No. 2 without great expectations – and still came away disappointed. The movie offers the occasional chuckle but seems far too lazy to succeed.

Note that while No. 2 was “PG-13” theatrically, the Blu-ray offers an unrated version. I only saw the latter, so I can’t compare. I recall no content that seemed overtly “non-PG-13”, though.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Zoolander No. 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie boasted a generally good presentation.

Sharpness looked fine most of the time. Interiors occasionally seemed a little soft, but those weren’t a major concern, so the movie usually appeared well-defined. The image lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to materialize. Print flaws also didn’t show up in this clean presentation.

Like most modern comedies, No. 2 opted for a palette with a mild teal and golden tint. Within those constraints, the colors seemed well-rendered, and we found a decent array of purples as well. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows were decent, though some interiors appeared a bit thick. Overall, the movie demonstrated pretty appealing visuals.

As for the movie’s DTS-X soundtrack – which downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system - it opened up more than expected for a comedy, largely because it incorporated so many action elements. With the movie’s James Bond vibe, it came with plenty of dynamic moments. These used the soundscape in a vivid manner that utilized all the channels in an involving manner.

Audio quality was fine. Music seemed full and vivid, and effects showed good replication; those elements demonstrated solid clarity and heft. Speech was always distinctive and concise. The track narrowly fell short of “A”-level, as it turned into something effective.

Only a handful of extras appear here, and we open with The Zoolander Legacy. It runs nine minutes, two seconds as it involves writer/director/actor Ben Stiller, executive producer Ben Gallen, writer/actor Justin Theroux, fashion designers Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, producer Jeff Mann, and actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Cruz, Sting, Anna Wintour, Cyrus Arnold, Kyle Mooney, Justin Bieber, Tommy Hilfiger, Fred Armisen, Nathan Lee Graham, Milla Jovovich, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Billy Zane, and Will Ferrell.

“Legacy” looks at the first movie’s slow path to cult success as well as aspects of the sequel. “Legacy” involves a smattering of decent details but it mainly exists to praise the films.

During the seven-minute, 38-second Go Big or Go Rome, we hear from Stiller, Theroux, Wilson, Graham, Zane, Wiig, Armisen, Ferrell, Cruz, Mann, Sting, Jovovich, costume designer Leesa Evans, Cinecitta general manager Giuseppe Basso and actor Neil DeGrasse Tyson. As implied, the featurette looks at sets and locations in Rome.

Drake Sather: The Man Who Created Zoolander fills eight minutes, 26 seconds with comments from Stiller, Gallen, Wilson, Ferrell, and filmmaker Judd Apatow. We get some thoughts about Sather - the character co-creator who died in 2004 – as well as the development of Zoolander. Some good notes emerge here. Youth Milk. This one-minute, 30-second clip shows the complete advertisement briefly excerpted in the film. It offers a fun curiosity.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of No. 2. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

As a comedy, Zoolander No. 2 throws enough at the wall that some of it sticks. Unfortunately, its “humor batting average” seems awfully low, as the movie counts on cheap humor and cameos too much of the time. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio but lacks significant bonus materials. This isn’t a terrible movie, but given all the talent involved, it falls short.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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