Fox // 2007 // 83 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Erich Asperschlager // September 23rd, 2008
"Who gave topless a gun?"
If you're in the market for the movie Reno 911! Miami on DVD, you've got plenty of choices. There's the theatrical cut, the unrated cut, and now the brand-new More Busted Than Ever edition, which includes both the unrated and so-called "Lost Version" cuts of the film.
If you bought this movie once, or twice, before and are wondering whether this third release is more than a big ol' "f -- -- you" to fans, skip ahead a couple of paragraphs. I'm just gonna take a few moments to summarize the movie for folks who haven't seen it yet.
If you've never seen Reno 911! before, on TV or DVD, I suggest reading one of the many, many reviews you'll find on this site. There's a lot of great info, written by some really talented people. Go ahead. I'll wait. If you're too lazy to read about the show, don't worry. Reno 911! Miami does a decent job of introducing its characters and Cops-style documentary conceit, which is good because the movie's plot -- about Reno's inept sheriff's department taking charge of Miami after the nation's collective police force is rendered helpless by a bio-terrorist attack -- is incidental at best. Like the Comedy Central series, Miami is almost entirely improvised. The bare-bones story is there to provide an excuse for Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver (all members of The State, a show that hasn't gotten any DVD release yet), and the rest of the gang to goof around town in a series of sketches co-starring comedians and celebrities ranging from Patton Oswalt, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner, to Paul Reubens, Danny DeVito, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Reno 911! Miami is raunchy, offensive, and often hilarious. It's not perfect, and it's certainly not for everybody, but if you don't mind a good dose of anatomically correct humor mixed with senseless violence, there's plenty to recommend about this uneven comedy.
But fans know all that. Why should they care about this More Busted Than Ever triple dip? Because it includes a particularly tasty extra: a "Lost Version" cut of the film. Though it runs a little shorter than the already short feature film (70 minutes instead of 83), the "Lost Version" is a complete re-edit, made up of new scenes, extended sequences, and alternate takes -- all by-products of the Reno folks' improv workflow. The new cut includes things like, truth or dare on the bus ride to Miami, a subplot about a guy who steals their luggage (explaining why Dangle's only outfit is a leather-jacket-and-Morrisey-t-shirt combo), an alternate version of the Dangle-Wiegel "sex" scene, and a Star Wars-trash-compactor-inspired foam bar sequence. Some of the scenes are full versions of what appeared over the film's credits, some fill in gaps, and some are, well, just weird.
A whole new version of the film sounds awesome, right? It is...mostly. The biggest problem with this "Lost Version" is that you can tell why a lot of this material was cut. Some scenes run a lot longer than they probably should. Others fall flat. Really, this is just a different way to show deleted scenes. A cooler way, sure, but there's no way anyone would choose to watch this version instead of the original.
The remaining extras include a short in-character introduction to the "Lost Version," a trio of fake Public Service Announcements, a blooper reel, a digital copy of the film on a separate disc (because whose morning commute doesn't need more topless beach whale explosions?), and four extended scenes with optional commentary. Although there are far fewer extended scenes here than on the unrated cut, having the "Lost Version" makes up the difference.
What the "Lost Version" can't replace, however, is the cutting of the three commentaries available on the previous release down to just one. The commentary that made the leap features Lennon, Garant, and Kenney-Silver yukking it up and talking about a lot of the stuff they shot but didn't ultimately use. Given that most of that material is restored in the "Lost" cut, it's pretty obvious the commentary is recycled.
Both the unrated and "Lost" versions of the film are presented in anamorphic widescreen with a surprisingly rich 5.1 surround audio mix -- giving the new cut a leg up on your average deleted scene reel.
Reno 911! Miami: More Busted Than Ever Edition is a hard sell to anyone who already owns the movie on DVD. The scaled back extras keep this release from leapfrogging the unrated cut, which is a shame because the "Lost Version" is something fans really should see. In this case, maybe Rent-a-cop is the way to go.
Not guilty, but mostly because all the evidence is at the bottom of a pool. Don't ask.
Review content copyright © 2008 Erich Asperschlager; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Unrated "Lost Version"
* Audio Commentary by Director/Writer Robert Ben Garant and Writers Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver
* Special Introduction to the "Lost Version"
* Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
* Public Service Announcements
* Digital Copy