Fox // 1998 // 119 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 4th, 2009
"Those goofy bastards are just about the best thing I've got going in this crazy world."
Ah the memories, watching this thing for the first time with a group of college friends and attractive girls. The awkward, awkward, awkward memories.
Ted (Ben Stiller, Tropic Thunder) is a hapless loser who's been known to trap his junk in his pants zipper and get framed for serial murder. The one thing in his life that gives him hope and succor is his unending infatuation for Mary (Cameron Diaz, Charlie's Angels), the girl of his dreams from high school. He makes a big mistake hiring a shifty private investigator (Matt Dillon) to track her down, thus kicking off a love...rhombus or something. It seems no one is resistant to Mary's charms. Plus, a small dog is set on fire!
In the history of my life, there are few movies which have elicited such hearty, spleen-rupturing gut laughs from my silly face. I had no idea what to expect when I sat down in the theatre for this, what, about 11 years ago? A group of us went, including some nice, good-looking underclass ladies. What better way to make yourself the cool guy by both a) laughing deliriously like a drunken longshoreman, and b) shifting uncomfortably during the neverending masturbation scene. Hey Farrelly Brothers, could you have made that sequence just a little longer? I was this close to setting the world record for most liters of blood flowing to one's head in embarrassment.
Unquestionably the funniest thing the Farrellys ever put out (though Kingpin is close), There's Something About Mary has preserved its hilarity, even more than a decade later. Sure we've had a legion of gross-out flicks since, but this stuff -- the impromptu dog resuscitation, the zipper mishap, the hair gel of course -- is still cringeworthy and unforgettable.
So many of the actors here do some of their most animated work here. Stiller turns in a legendary performance, as the one of cinema's greatest lovable losers; Dillon is great as a sleazy con artist; Cameron Diaz is bubbly, likable and hot; and Chris Elliot doesn't want to make me stab the TV with a Phillips head screwdriver. Then there's the real star of the film, Keith David...and that's all I really need to say about that.
I don't need to go on, right? Everyone has seen this flick, right? If you haven't and you want to see one of the few movies which dwell on the Pinnacle of R-Rated Comedies, track this down immediately...because it's the best version out there.
Containing both the theatrical and extended cuts, the Blu-ray sports fine high-def presentation of both. The colors of Miami, Matt Dillon's pants, and Chris Elliot's hives pop with gusto, giving what was already a bright, engaging DVD transfer, a new shot of life. The increased resolution is easy to see and results in a worthwhile upgrade to the picture quality. Audio gets a nice boost, courtesy of the DTS-HD Master Audio track. The soundtrack, which I've always had a soft spot for, sounds great. The beaucoup extras are familiar to anyone who has the special edition DVD release: commentary tracks from the Farrelly Brothers and the writers; clay animated titles; the large "AMC Backstory" documentary; featurettes looking at the cast, the music, and the prop effects; interviews; outtakes; a music video; a Comedy Central segment; karaoke; and a lame "Around the World with Mary" bit which renders the last scene in a number of languages.
It's the best release of an iconic comedy, though the moderate uptick in visual and audio fidelity is enough to give fans who own the loaded DVD pause about the investment.
Not guilty, Rollerpig.
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Extended Cut
* Music Video