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Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Unrated (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 13, 2009 by  



“Hilariously wild and bold!  Jason Segel shows he has more to offer beyond television, as does Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis.  But there is no doubt that Judd Apatow and Jason Segel work great with each other. ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Unrated’ is a jam-packed, gorgeous Blu-ray worth having in your collection.”

Images courtesy of © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Unrated

DURATION: 1 hr., 51 minutes for the theatrical version, 1 hr., 58 minutes for unrated version

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

COMPANY:  Universal Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Sexual Content, Language and Some Graphic Nudity) / NOT RATED for unrated version

Release Date: September 30, 2008

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Written by Jason Segel

Executive Produced by Rodney Rothman, Richard Vane

Produced by Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson

Music by Lyle Workman

Director of Photography: Russ T. Alsobrook

Edited by William Kerr

Casting by Jeanne McCarthy

Production Design Jackson De Govia

Art Direction by Scott Meehan, Alicia Maccarone

Set Decoration by K.C. Fox

Costume Design by Leesa Evans

Starring:

Jason Segel as Peter Bretter

Kristin Bell as Sarah Marshall

Mila Kunis as Rachel Jansen

Russell Brand as Aldous Snow

Bill Hader as Brian Bretter

Liz Cackowski as Liz Bretter

Maria Thayer as Wyoma

Jack McBrayer as Darald

Taylor Willy as Kemo

Jonah Hill as Matthew the Waiter

Paul Rudd as Chuck

Kalani Robb as Helpful Hawaiian Waiter

Billy Bush as himself

William Baldwin as Detective Hunter Rush

Jason Bateman as Animal Instincts Detective

Peter (Jason Segel) is a struggling musician who finds his world turned upside down when his TV celebrity girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristin 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!

Hilariously wild and quite bold!

For fans of the television show “How I Met Your Mother”, actor Jason Segel (“Freaks and Geeks”, “Undeclared” and “Knocked Up”) shows us that he has a lot to offer beyond television.  And what better than to team up with friend and producer Judd Apatow (“Freaks and Geeks”, “Undeclared”, “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, “Knocked Up”, “Superbad”, “Pineapple Express”, etc.) and director Nicholas Stoller (who worked on “Yes Man” and “Undeclared”).  The film featured cinematography by Russ T. Alsobrook (“Superbad”, “Reign Over Me” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”) and music composed by Lyle Workman (“Superbad”, “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Yes Man”).

Joining Segel are fellow talents who also have extensive television experience such as Kristin Bell (“Veronica Mars”, “Gossip Girl” and “Heroes”), Mila Kunis (“That 70’s Show”, “Grounded for Life” and “Family Guy”), Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”, “Superbad” and “Knocked Up”), William Baldwin (“Dirty Sexy Money” and “Danny Phantom”), Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”, “The Jake Effect”, “Hancock” and “Juno”) and Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock” and “Arrested Development”).  Also, starring in the film is popular British comedian Russell Brand (“Bedtime Stories”), Jonah Hill (“Strange Wilderness”, “Superbad”, “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up”) and Paul Rudd (“I Love You, Man”, “Knocked Up” and “Night at the Museum”).”

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is about television composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) who is dating TV starlet Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) who is on the TV crime drama series “Crime Scene”.  Sarah comes home much earlier than expected and Peter who is expecting a surprise, ends up being dumped by Sarah.

Not taking it well, Peter tries to get over Sarah as best as he can to no avail.  His brother Brian (Bill Hader) and his wife Liz (Liz Cackowski) try their best to help Peter by suggesting that he date other women.  But no matter how many women he dates and sleeps with, Sarah stays in his mind.  His home is a constant reminder of Sarah.  Depressed and still taking the breakup very hard, he takes his brother’s advice and goes on vacation to Hawaii.  A chance for him to get away.

In Hawaii, not sure what he’s going to do, he is helped by the hotel receptionist, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) but as he prepares to get on with his vacation, he spots his ex-girlfriend Sarah at the same hotel.  It appears that Sarah and her boyfriend, rock singer Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) also chose to go on vacation to Hawaii.  The experience is humiliating for Peter, especially for the fact that she’s already found someone and to make things worse, she’s in the same area and the same hotel.

So, it seems his vacation in Hawaii is going to be be difficult as there is possibly no way for him to forget his ex-girlfriend.  But fortunately, things may change when Rachel shows him a part of her world.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” also features a crazy group of characters such as Darald (Jack McBrayer) and Wyoma (Maria Thayer) as the Mormon newlyweds who try to have awesome sex, Chuck (Paul Rudd) as the surfing instructor who acts as if drugs have cost him precious brain cells, the Aldous Snow fanboy and restaurant waiter Matthew (Jonah Hill) and many more.

The Blu-ray comes with both theatrical and unrated versions of the film.  Also, a second disc with a digital copy of the film is included in the release.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (with an aspect ratio of 1:85:1) and in 2008, it was one of the first Blu-rays released that showed us how lush and beautiful Hawaii can look via High Definition.  The film is absolutely vibrant, skies and oceans are blue, the green lush foliage and trees in the background and of course, the vibrant bikini’s come out in full force.  There is no doubt that this film sports eye-popping colors and I found no digital artifacts and for the most part, the film does not have excessive DNR (digital noise reduction) or banding problems.  Blacks are nice and deep and for the most part, this Blu-ray does feature awesome picture quality.

As for the audio, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (Spanish and French via DTS 5.1) . The film for the most part is a dialogue driven film.    There are scenes that utilize music but for the most part, this is a front and center channel driven film and the lossless audio track works well for this type of film.   Dialogue is clear and understandable but there are times where I had to turn on the English subtitles to understand some dialogue.

As for subtitles, the film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Unrated” is one Blu-ray release that comes with hours of special features.  Included are:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Nicholas Stoller, writer/actor Jason Segel, executive producer Rodney Rothman, producer Shauna Robertson, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Jack McBrayer (via phone) and Kristin Bell (via phone) – The film features a hilarious audio commentary.  While scenes are discussed and everyone is having a blast making jokes and talking about their role and their experiences. Also, learning about the film and how it was inspired by Segel’s real life breakup and the incorporation of Segel’s dracula puppet play.
  • U-Control – If there is one thing that I enjoy about Universal Blu-ray releases and that is the U-Control feature.  With most picture-in-picture, some viewers tend to have to switch the audio portion of their Blu-ray player to hear the sounds of the picture-in-picture commentary but with U-Control, you can select the visual commentary (featuring the people involved with the audio commentary) via picture-in-picture, picture-in-picture featuring behind-the-scenes footage and also the karaoke portions.  U-Control shows you the chapter breakdowns and which scene has which function which is nice.
  • Karaoke – (17:42) A total of six videos with karaoke with or without karaoke subtitles.  Included are Russell Brand’s “We’ve Got to Do Something” and “Inside of You”, Jason Segel’s “Dracula’s Lament” and “A Taste for Love” and the Hawaiian “Hula Medley” and “Home on the Range”.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (19:24) – Eleven deleted and extended scenes which include: Scooter, Lamp 1, Lamp 2, Horseback Riding, Darold and Wyoma at the Luau, Peter plays drunk piano, lip reading, Sarah and Aldous in bed, aborted sex, airport goodbye and “What are you gonna do now?”.   I know that some of these were trimmed to keep the final cut time down but there are some that some may feel should have been in the final cut.
  • Puppet Backup – (2:28)  A scene not in the final cut of the film from “A Taste for Love” featuring Dracula getting dumped.
  • Line-O-Rama – (7:47) Improvisational scenes in which the talent keep doing their own improv versions of a scene and various cuts.
  • Sex-O-Rama – (2:42) Sex scenes that were cut out of the film.
  • Drunk-O-Rama – (2:29)  A scene with Peter and the bar drinking down many various types of alcohol and various cuts featuring him experimenting with the alcohol.
  • Gag Reel – (5:44) A hilarious blooper featurette.
  • The Making of “A Taste for Love” – (6:17) A featurette about how Peter’s dracula play which he created many years ago became part of the film.  The crew were a bit iffy but in the end, everything worked out well.  Also, working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and training with puppets.
  • Dracula’s Lament (Table Read 4/7/07) – (3:12) A hilarious table read featuring the segment in which Jason Segel had to showcase his Dracula song, definitely taking the other actors and crew by surprise.
  • Russell Brand: Aldous Snow – (5:55) How the casting of Russell Brand changed the film’s screenplay from a British writer to a British rockstar and what he was able to bring to the film.
  • The Letter “U” – (3:45) In Sesame Street-style of fashion, what if Aldous Snow had to appear on the show and present the letter “U” and be around kids.
  • We’ve Got to Do Something” Music Video – (3:47) Aldous Snow’s music video
  • Crime Scene – (4:10) Footage from Sarah Marshall’s drama series “Crime Scene” with Billy Baldwin as Detective Hunter Rush.  Also, includes Hunter Line-O-Rama (1:53) featuring Baldwin’s improvisational scenes.
  • Sarah’s New Show “Alts” – (2:14) Footage from Sarah Marshall’s new animal psychic drama series.
  • Raw Footage Video Chat – (7:12) Via splitscreen, we learn how the video chat between Jason Segel’s character and Bill Hader and Liz Cackowski’s characters were created.
  • Video Diaries – (35:16) – A total of 21 videos with an option to watch all or watch each separately.  The making of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” through 21 days of video diaries featuring behind-the-scenes making of the film.
  • Red Brand Trailer – (2:55) Red Brand trailer of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” which includes profanity.

I actually enjoyed “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” a lot.  There are a lot of things going for this film, from it’s hilarious screenplay, the colorful characters in the film, witty dialogue and of course, it helps that the film was filmed in beautiful Hawaii.

I absolutely adore Kristin Bell and Mila Kunis from their own respective TV shows but of course, the big surprise of this film is Jason Segel.  It’s one thing to write and star in our own film but the “How I Met Your Mother” star really surprised people by going full frontal and full rear in the film..  I suppose with so many of these wild and crazy films typically showing nude women, the film went the other direction by showing a nude guy and suffice to say, the film generated a lot of talk and hype because of it.

But like most Judd Apatow films which are wild and crazy, the film would also showcase British comedian Russell Brand and definitely introduce him to American viewers and again, many other talents who have been able to transcend from being a television star to appearing on major films.

As for the Blu-ray release, the unrated version features seven minutes of extra footage which showcase more about Peter’s character and his funk that he’s in due to Sarah being with Aldous.  So, for those wondering if it’s more of Jason Segel full frontal scenes, fortunately it’s not the case.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is definitely one of the most beautiful Blu-ray releases to come out in 2008.  I had no doubt in my mind that capturing Hawaii on film and for High Definition is going to look beautiful.  The Blu-ray definitely shows off eye-popping visuals and although the lossless soundtrack has no action sequences to show off an audiophile’s 7.2 or more home theater setup, the DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track gives us clarity with the dialogue and music also comes out alive as well via the front channels.  And of course, fans of special features are just going to love this Blu-ray release for the sheer amount of content that is included.

Overall, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is a wild and crazy film that has a lot of positive things going for it.  Sure, the comedy is similar to the crazy style of antics of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” and other Apatow-related films but overall, it was a hilarious film worth watching and also worth having in your Blu-ray collection.






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