Good Luck Chuck [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (6th February 2008).
The Film

I once watched 'Redneck Zombies' a long time ago and while the movie has no redeeming values whatsoever, I did learn one thing. I realized there was a difference between movie comedy and buddy comedy. Movie comedy has to be intentional, but unexpected, and it can't be found in real life. Buddy comedy are the jokes you make with your friends, that are funny when you're with your compadres, but that aren't really funny to anyone else. This is probably what happened in 'Good Luck Chuck', as you definitely see the fun these people had on set. Unfortunately, fun on set doesn't really equal fun on film.

While playing Spin the Bottle at a birthday party when he was young, Chuck (Dane Cook) wouldn't kiss a goth girl, who then curses him. The curse says that whenever a girl sleeps with him, the next guy she'll meet will be her true love. This is all well and good until he meets Cam (Jessica Alba), which, I suppose, is okay. Being obsessed with Jessica Alba is understandable, but Dane Cook really goes overboard, being both unbelievable and unfunny. See, the joke is that he doesn't want to sleep with her, because of his curse. Funny, right?

As far as slapstick goes, this movie has some of the silliest around. From very early on, Jessica Alba is shown as being an utter klutz. So, we know that every time the movie's running a bit long, she'll either bonk herself on the head or do something that'll bonk someone else on the head.

Keeping up with this is the dialogue. With gems like these:
'Don't look at me in that tone of voice.'

And, after sleeping with a girl (not verbatime but shortened for conciseness), Chuck speaks first:
'What's your last name?'
'Ellis.'
'I knew a Matthew Ellis.'
'That was my name before the operation.'

You know it's going to be a laugh a minute. There wasn't one joke I found particularly funny, and I like my share of people getting hit in the groin or the head by various objects. There's just no real enthusiasm or energy in this movie.

There are no surprises in plot or in character development. You know exactly how things are going to go, especially once Dane Cook goes mental. This is a big disadvantage because you can see the jokes coming from a long way off. Originality counts, and this movie could use a bit more than it has. The premise is interesting, but by the time the movie finishes, originality is pretty much forgotten. Maybe for the sake of the movie itself, a few other things should be forgotten as well.

Video

1.78:1 widescreen. The movie looks pretty good, on the whole. The picture seems overall a bit flat, but that doesn't mean it's a bad transfer. Far from it, the colours are very strong and accurate. The level of detail is also pretty strong and everything is seen very clearly. There's no grain or specks. There are also no digital flaws, like edge enhancement or noise. It's a very clean and very well-done transfer. The overall picture may be a bit dark, but this isn't much of a problem, as everything else is so strong.

Audio

The movie comes in an English PCM 7.1 track (and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track as well). Now, Lionsgate's release of 'Delta Farce' stretched the reason a 7.1 track should be used. For a comedy, honestly, a stereo track could be used with no loss of quality. That said, the music is nicely spread across the soundstage. The dialogue is also clear and loud. The mixing is pretty good, with the various sound elements never impinging on each other. The surround and rear speakers get used once or twice (when there's no music, that is), making the 7.1 track a bit pointless. Overall, it's a nice-sounding movie, but nothing special.

English and Spanish subtitles are here.

Extras

Lionsgate was really generous with this release, starting with an audio commentary by director Mark Helfrich, actor Dane Cook, co-producer Mike Karz, and writer Josh Stolberg. As expected, this track is full of messing around and making fun of everything and everyone. From start to finish, there's never a minute that goes by where Dane Cook doesn't make fun of himself or some other actor, or the director or whatever. Likewise, the others get in their laughs at the same time. Strangely, there's also a lot of talk about other things. They mention Edmonton, shooting with the penguins. They also talk a lot about Vancouver and shooting scenes there. There are a lot of stories from the set, a lot of them either involving fake sex or people hurting each other, or people making each other laugh. It's a somewhat informative track, and if you enjoyed the movie, you'll really enjoy the commentary.

Next up is a series of seven featurettes each focusing on something different. They add up to about 29 1/2 minutes and are:
- Frank the Penguin Actor (2:49) is silly and doesn't start the section off too well. It talks about Frank the penguin and has Frank talking to the camera and the crew talking about Frank.
- Polymastia (4:15) talks about the girl with three breasts. The featurette also goes into a surprising amount of detail, showing you how they created the shot with CGI.
- Kama Sutra (2:42) has the director and Dane Cook talking about the montage. The director talks about the idea he had, and Dane Cook talks about the training he had for the scene.
- All About Penguins (7:42) shows you the animals and how they shot certain scenes. Some wranglers talk about the penguins and working on set. The director and Mr. Cook talk about the penguins.
- Eleanor Skepple (5:00) is about the actress. The producer talks about how he got the actress, and then Jodie Stewart talks about working on the movie and working with Dane Cook.
- Good Luck Chuckles (3:52) shows some general goofing off on set. This is basically a fly-on-the-wall video of various fun times the actors had.
- Real Life Chuck (3:00) has the writer (Steve Glenn) talking about his experiences with women, and a few crew members talk about how his story might be a good movie.

The next thing is the interestingly-titled Sex Matrix isn't much more than 16 clips from the montage, where Dane Cook has fun fake-boinking a bunch of actresses. Sometimes he ad-libs lines that aren't in the movie, but most of the time the clips are found intact. Most of these are 9 seconds long, but one goes up to 36 and one is 15.

Ad Libs are next and you can hear them for three different moments in the movie, 'Stu' (2:18) talks to some ladies, 'Charlie' (4:59) has fun with the penguin suit and 'Airport Security' (1:10) enjoys talking to the frequent flyers. They show some of the ad libs on set. Some are funny, some are not so funny, but this is fun to watch.

There are only two Deleted Scenes. 'Stoplight' (1:08) is kind of funny, but pretty predictable, and takes place when Chuck is rushing for the airport. The 'Alternate Ending' (1:36) isn't really different from the ending in the movie, only a bit longer. Some Extended Scenes are next. There are five scenes, 'Charlie Keeps Calling' (1:42), which takes place the day after, and has Chuck calling her incessantly, 'Spin the Bottle/ (0:24) is a short scene from the start of the movie, 'Phone Montage' (1:09) is what it says, 'Joe Narrates' (0:34) isn't really funny and 'Joe Can Relate' (0:29) is pretty much also not really funny. The extensions don't really do much to the movie and leaving them out changes very little. A few Alternate Scenes are also here. 'Charlie Beats Up George' (0:34) is a bit longer and has more Dane Cook plowing 'George' with a blow-up penguin, 'Crazy Breakfast' (0:20) is more of Chuck talking in the morning, 'Airport Security' (0:27) is probably the best of the bunch, 'Charlie & Cam Video 1' (0:32) is pretty forgettable and 'Charlie & Cam Video 2' (0:31) is kind of funny and probably should have been in the movie. All in all, the scenes either don't add much or what's in the movie was the better choice.

There's also a nice Outtakes/Gag Reel (9:29). It has some pretty funny moments. A lot of it is just Dane Cook messing around on set (much like he does in the movie), but everybody else has one or two things to add.

The somehat-misleadingly-titled Music Montages is actually a couple of photo galleries with some songs from the movie running over them. There's 'The Honorary Title : Accident Prone' (3:25), which has some film frames (or promo pictures), and 'The Flaming Lips : I Was Zapped By the Lucky Super Rainbow' (4:00), is more of a video gallery, with 'cute' moments from the movie. This actually looks very nice and is pretty well done (it kind of looks like the Stones' video 'Like a Rolling Stone/).

Also From Lionsgate shows some previews that are also start-up trailers. There's 'Employee of the Month' (2:23), 'The Condemned' (1:46), 'Crank' (1:57) and 'Lord of War' (2:17). You can also read the Disc Production Credits, if you're so inclined.

Overall

The Film: C- Video: B Audio: B Extras: B Overall: C+

 


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