40-Year-Old Virgin: Unrated (The) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Universal Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Graeme Tuckett & Noor Razzak (6th November 2008).
The Film

AND this just in from our department of pleasant surprises... "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is a far better film than anything trading under that particular moniker really has any right to be.

Not, as many assumed, a docu-drama about the editor of DVDcompare, the film is about Andy Stitzer (Steve Carrell), a, like it says 40-year-old virgin. He's a bit shy, a bit geeky, pretty tightly wound, and through a combination of bad luck, bad timing, and by possessing the social skills of a hedgehog, he has never quite managed to be there when someone utters those immortal words "let's play hide the sausage".

Andy's co-workers assume he's gay, and fear he's a serial killer. Women find him approachable and friendly, but resolutely non-shaggable. The rest of the world just ignores him as he cycles past on his way to work at an electronics store.

When they rumble his condition, (Andy describes a fictitious girl friend as having breasts like "a bag of sand") Andy's commendable co-workers make it their mission to hook him up with someone ready, willing and able, and thus deny the producers any chance of a sequel. A great set-up, and one that 99 times out of 100 would lead to an absolutely shite film, but not today "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", in between being as crass as any of its "Something About Mary" (1998), "American Pie" (1999), "Road Trip" (2000) antecedents, also manages to be kind of sweet, goofy, big-hearted and very funny.

Including a couple of set pieces that will enter popular history, and some dialogue wittier and more engaging than anything heard in "serious" films in bleedin' ages, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" not only does everything it sets out to do (make you laugh, wince, and go "awww..." at the end) but it pulls it off (fnarr, fnarr) with flair and generosity, all of that and Catherine Keener too. Nice.

This Blu-ray release includes both the original 'Theatrical' version and the longer 'Unrated' version of the film.

Video

Presented in the film's original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 this image has been mastered in high-definition 1080p 24/fps and created using AVC MPEG-4 compression (I believe this is a new transfer for this Blu-ray disc as the HD-DVD edition was mastered with VC-1 compression). The first DVD release was included a fairly decent transfer, but had some problems considering it was a recent release. This HD version is a considerable upgrade, with sharpness that's infinite, detail that's equally excellent (I'm pretty sure you can count all of Carell's hairs during the waxing scene). Colors look really good and are vibrant, skin tones are perfect, blacks are deep and the image is clean and light on grain and noise. This film looks fairly naturalistic, there's no special attention required after all it's comedy that was shot relatively simply and this image preserves the look and does it well.

Audio

The film includes three separate audio tracks, the first of which is the English DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 surround track, the other two are French and Spanish DTS 5.1 surround tracks. For the purpose of this review I chose to view the film with its DTS-HD track. This is a comedy and is basically dialogue centric, there aren't any explosions, there aren't any deep majestic visuals and backgrounds that require atmospheric surrounds, or an epic score so what you get here is basically just like the DVD release this is a decent track that presents the dialogue clear and distortion free, albeit with a little more depth and range than the standard Dolby Tracks on the DVD release.
The disc also includes optional subtitles in English for the hearing impaired, French and Spanish.

Extras

Universal have included a nice collection of supplements for fans, we get an audio commentary, several deleted scenes, a handful of additional and extended scenes, alternate takes, featurettes, a gag reel and a picture-in-picture commentary among other things. Below is a closer look at each of these extras.

First up we have a feature-length audio commentary by director/co-writer Judd Apatow, co-writer/star Steve Carrell, and cast members Shelley Malil, Seth Rogen, Gerry Bednob, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch and Romany Malco. Apatow kicks off the commentary by informing us that it is being recorded two weeks before the movie comes out, and if they get cocky about it and it bombs, they'll all look a bit silly. Well luckily for him the film was a success in theaters and seems to have found a larger audience on DVD/Blu-ray. The commentary's tone is very much established by Apatow's opening remarks. It's generally very lighthearted and at times extremely humorous and as entertaining as the film itself (The last time I heard a commentary that was as entertaining as the film itself was the track on "This is Spinal Tap" (1984) with the actors all in character). Apatow and cast discuss the early development of the project, Carell had originally thought of it as a sketch during his time with the Second City Comedy Troupe (the sketch was never used), and it developed into this film shortly after Carell's star making turn in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2004). The cast also talk about their favorite moments as well as provide the listener with amusing trivia and behind-the-scenes info on the making of the film. I've listened to many commentaries in my time and many of those are dry, witless and sometimes take on a serious tone (there are a few comedy films' commentaries that suffer from this) I'm glad that Apatow and cast have recorded a track that's in the same tone as the film, funny and entertaining, nice job.

A collection of 16 deleted scenes are up next and some (not all unfortunately) of these scenes include optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Judd Apatow and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen. Apatow and Rogen basically joke around when watching these scenes, and in-between they manage to tell us why the scenes were removed from the final version. These scenes can be viewed with a 'Play All' option or can be viewed individually. The scenes include:

- "Getting Ready" which runs for 38 seconds and is an extension to an already existing scene, were Andy asks Cal's (Seth Rogen) opinion on his yellow shirt, after that moment Jay (Romany Malco) informs David (Paul Rudd) about their game plan for Andy getting laid.
- "Rooftop Confessions" runs for 3 minutes 18 seconds here, David, Cal and Jay confess their embarrassing first time stories to each other and Andy. We discover that Jay lost his virginity at the age of 9.
- "Kid Customers" here David has a bad time with some kid customers, in the first part we see a cameo from the film's director and his real life daughter.
- "Andy and Jazzmun" runs for 4 minutes 7 seconds and is an extension to the scene were Jay hooks Andy up with the transvestite hooker (Jazzmun), here the two end up watching "The Hulk" on TV.
- "Andy's Fantasies" runs for 1 minute 58 seconds, and shows one extended fantasy and one fantasy not used in the film, the first features the porn star he dreams about Stormy in full frontal nudity and the other about a topless news woman.
- "Cal and Paula" runs for 2 minutes 34 seconds and is more improv from the scene where Cal and Smart Tech Store Manager Paula (Jane Lynch) talk shit on the showroom floor, they cover sex, drugs, jacking off and Paula getting a Job at Home Depot in the plant department. (interestingly enough in the commentary Apatow mentions that the original take lasted over 10 minutes, yet we only get just over 2 and half minutes! I'm guessing the rest wasn't all that funny but it still would have been nice to check out the complete version of this improv scene).
- "Advice From Mooj" which runs for 1 minute 22 seconds, this is an unedited take of Mooj (Gerry Bednob) talking about obscene sex acts, but assuring Andy that it's not really about that. There's some funny stuff here especially some of the things he describes.
- "Telemarketer Call" runs for 52 seconds, a telemarketer calls Andy at home enquiring about his internet habits and tells him to call back at a later time.
- "Neighborly Love" runs for 1 minute 1 second, Andy hears his neighbors making love and tries to distract himself.
- "6-Year-Old Andy Nightmare" runs for 40 seconds, Andy mother tells him not to act on his urges.
- "Only Hit On Drunk Girls" runs for 47 seconds, Andy tries to hit on some girls in the club but is real awkward about his approach.
- "Jay's Apology" runs for 2 minutes 11 seconds, Jay apologizes to Andy about getting his chest waxed.
- "Just Ask Questions" runs for 1 minute 38 seconds, Andy hits on the bookstore girl.
- "Orange Soda Kiss" runs for 1 minute 5 seconds, Andy asks Trish for an orange soda as they share a kiss in the kitchen.
- "Date Book" runs for 35 seconds, Andy tells Jay about he'll tell Trish about why he can't have sex with her.
- "Jay Prepares Jazzmun" runs for 3 minutes 53 seconds, Jay informs Jazzmun about how to handle Andy.

Next up is "The First Time" extended/additional scenes, and only the first scene includes optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Judd Apatow and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen, These scenes can be viewed with a 'Play All' option or can be viewed individually. The scenes include:

- "Karaoke" runs for 2 minutes 2 seconds, and follows after the poker game where Andy's secret is revealed for the first time, here the boys take Andy out for a night of drinking that leads to karaoke.
- "Trespassing" runs for 21 seconds, a drunk Andy jumps off a digger at a construction site.
- "Peeing in Public" runs for 2 minutes 4 seconds, Andy tries to pee in public as he's encouraged by his friends to just do it..."
- "Fight" runs for 32 seconds, Andy gets into a fight with some guy using the public phone.

"Tales from the Stock Room" is next and are four additional scenes and only the first scene includes optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Judd Apatow and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen, These scenes can be viewed with a 'Play All' option or can be viewed individually. The scenes include:

- "Whack Off" runs for 2 minutes 36 seconds, an improved scenes where Cal tells Andy about how many times he whacks off and about what he thinks about while whacking off.
- "On Meth" runs for 1 minute 23 seconds, more improved moments with Cal and Andy, this time he tells Andy what he did on his weekend.
- "On Dust" runs for 33 seconds, more of Cal and Andy as Cal tells Andy that dust is 70% human skin and that women are basically covered in feces.
- "Speed Dating" runs for 55 seconds, Cal tells Andy that the 'spank bank' has been filled after the speed dating they went to.

"You Know How Do I Know You're Gay" extended scene is next and runs for 5 minutes 30 seconds, this is the complete unedited improv of the scene were Cal and David are playing video games at Andy's house. The sequence started out as the two making fun of each other while playing some combat video game, eventually it led to the infamous line that was used throughout the film. This scene includes optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Judd Apatow and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen as they comment on the scene and how this joke came about.

"Date-A-Palooza" is a other extended scene which runs for 9 minutes 17 seconds, this is the complete version of the speed dating scene, we cycle through the different single women many of which are sidesplittingly hilarious especially the woman whose breast pops out with her not realizing it, the look on Andy's face is priceless.

"Line-O-Rama" which runs for 6 minutes 19 seconds, this is a series of alternate takes from various scenes in the film. It's interesting from an editing point of view as to how many options the filmmakers had at their disposal cutting this film.

We also get a gag reel that runs for 4 minutes 34 seconds, this is a collection of flubbed lines, mistakes and goofs, some are funny while others are just lame.

"Judd's Video Diaries" are a collection of 12 days worth of production videos that runs for a total of 20 minutes 44 seconds. You can watch these videos with a 'Play All' option or individually, they cover the Pre-shoot day, day 1, 2, 5, 7, 13, 17, 30, 36, 42, 48 and 52. They basically behind-the-scenes clips taken from the filming as we get a look at the cast and crew shoot various scenes from the film. It's a fairly cool feature as Apatow takes us through the production process and updating us on how the movie is going.

Following that is the first featurette entitled "Waxing Doc" this piece runs for 3 minutes 31 seconds and is a behind-the-scene look at the filming of the scene. We get some multiple camera angles as well as some reactions from the director during the filming, what's interesting to know is that is Carell's real hair they are waxing. I was convinced for sure that it was fake hair. This piece is very brief but it's like all the other extras, entertaining.

The second featurette is entitled "My Dinner With Stormy" this runs for 2 minutes 8 seconds, this is a silly extra that features porn star Stormy and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen, however she doesn't seem all that interested in dinner and skips straight to desert.

"Raw Footage" features three additional clips of... raw footage from three scenes complete with slates from Carell's angle only and provides viewers a neat look at the options the director had when cutting the scenes, although good they could have benefitted from a commentary. These clips can be viewed with a 'Play All' option or can be viewed individually. They include:

- "Poker Game" which runs for 9 minutes 39 seconds.
- "Waxing" which runs for 5 minutes 18 seconds.
- "Bathing Beth" which runs for 4 minutes 26 seconds.

"Poker Game Rehearsal" footage is a video that runs for 5 minutes 12 seconds, and is the first time the cast have read through the scene after a massive rewrite of the scene.

Auditions include footage of 7 cast members auditioning for the film as they act various scenes from the script. These clips can be viewed with a 'Play All' option or can be viewed individually. They include:

- Jonah Hill which runs for 46 seconds.
- Elizabeth Banks which runs for 37 seconds.
- Romany Malco which runs for 1 minute 14 seconds.
- Shelley Malil which runs for 49 seconds.
- Jane Lynch which runs for 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Gerry Bednob which runs for 1 minute 1 second.
- Jazzmun which runs for 1 minute 31 seconds.

Comedy Central's "Reel Comedy Roundtable" TV special runs for 21 minutes 6 seconds, and is a special which features the director and cast members of the film as they talk about the film, key scenes from the film and the genesis of the idea of the film among other things. This is basically a promotion clip which aired on the Comedy Central network during the theatrical run of the film.

Cinemax's "Final Cut: The 40-Year-Old Virgin" TV special runs for 12 minutes 44 seconds, and is another promotional clip which is an interview with the director and three of the stars of the film as they talk about the film and we see clips from the film intercut in-between the interviews as they talk about the tone, the humor, the characters etc.

"1970's Sex-Ed Film" is a informational film that runs for 5 minutes 26 seconds, and is a very funny if not a little preachy educational film about sex that would have been shown to school kids as part of sexual education during the 1970's.

Also included is the film's original theatrical trailer which runs for 2 minutes 33 seconds.

Finally the disc also includes a High-Definition exclusive bonus feature as part of the "U-Control" interactive experience, the feature is a Picture-In-Picture commentary. This feature requires a profile 1.1 or greater player. At this time this extra goes unreviewed as this reviewer currently only has a profile 1.0 player.

There also a "My Scenes" feature that allows viewers to bookmark their favorite scenes from the film.

Overall

The Film: A Video: A Audio: B+ Extras: A+ Overall: A

 


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