Meet Dave [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Andreas Petersen (4th January 2009).
The Film

Sometimes a movie concept is so absurd and stupid, that a part of me thinks ďOh, this could work.Ē This thought rang through my head when I first witnessed the ad campaign for "Meet Dave." At a glance, all I needed to know is that the movie was about a robot Eddie Murphy, who is controlled by a tiny Eddie Murphy. This alone sold me. However, now that I have actually seen the movie, Iím sorry to say, it didnít even live up to my lowest of standards.

"Meet Dave" tells the story of a human-shaped spaceship (Eddie Murphy), controlled by a crew of aliens about the size of your thumb. The captain of the ship (Eddie Murphy) has been sent to Earth to drain the planetís oceans of water to harvest the salt, and along the way, learns what it is to be human through interaction with Josh (Austyn Myers) and Gina (Elizabeth Banks). Now, the movie starts off in such a way, that I even thought to myself ďWow, am I actually going to like this movie?Ē The opening montage of when Dave (or so the ship is called) first lands is actually pretty funny. Murphyís physical comedy legs are being stretched, at times literally. Dave moves about humans, mimicking their mannerisms in exaggerated ways that actually seems to work in the realm of comedy.

However, the laughs stop there. As the plot moves on, the crew of Dave see that humans are fun, and that love is important, and being different is good, and other schmaltzy crap like that. While the movie isnít trying to be touching, it begins to fail at comedy. Gina asks Dave to help her clear the table after a meal who then proceeds to knock all the dishes onto the floor. This is quintessentially the predominant comedy in the film.

The whole plot feels very standard, borrowing from many other family films in which an alien tries to be human, acts as a father to a fatherless child, and ends up saving the world (sorry to spoil that, but you had to see that coming). There just didnít seem to be anything exciting or new about the movie. It is also interesting to see Bill Corbettís name attached as a co-writer of the film (opposite Rob Greenberg). Corbett, known better as Crow T. Robot on cult show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988-1999), a show lampooning bad films, is attached to one himself. However, Corbett has mentioned in his blog that he wrote a very early draft of the movie, at that point called "Starship Dave," and felt as though he had nothing to do with the finished project.

Aside from a narrative standpoint, "Meet Dave" continues to falter. The movie is effects heavy, especially in scenes involving the tiny aliens interacting outside of the ship, relying on green-screen footage. These scenes look atrocious, and completely shatter any sort of illusion that is meant to be attained.

I feel bad for overanalyzing a movie about a big Eddie Murphy controlled by a tiny Eddie Murphy, but "Meet Dave" just didnít live up to my odd standards of wanting to see a bad albeit enjoyable film.

Video

"Meet Dave" is presented in a 1080p 24/fps High-Definition 1.85:1 transfer mastered with AVC MPEG-4 compression, and in my opinion, is pretty inconsistent. At times, the picture quality of crystal clear, and at others, I felt like I was watching an up-converted DVD image, with moments of intense grain and odd coloration. Though the movie is bad when it is bad, it is also really good when it is good. This particularly rings true of the opening shots of the film, set in space. Overall, I just wish the movie could have continued to look that good throughout.

Audio

"Meet Dave" is presented in an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track mixed at 48kHz/24-bit as well as English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. The DTS-HD track delivers where the picture didnít. The outlandish sound effects come through clear enough, and the movement around from speaker to speaker is decently impressive. Also, dialogue and music sounded just fine. Itís hard to find anything to complain about concerning the audio, so I wonít even attempt to.
Optional subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired, English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Extras

Fox has included numerous extras on this disc, including a gag reel, deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes, among others, all of which are examined below.

First up is "Crew Profiles" which acts as sort of an interactive game, in which the viewer can learn more about the crew on Dave. So if you ever wanted to learn more about Lieutenant Buttocks, this is the feature for you.

Next, is a gag reel, running for 2 minutes and 42 seconds. This is typical blooper reel affair, with footage of actors flubbing their lines. I never really like these features, and this is a perfect example of why.

Also included are four deleted scenes. They are:

- "Did You See That?" running for 1 minute and 8 seconds, in which officer Dooley (Scott Caan), suspects that an incoming meteor is a space ship.
- "Art on the Floor and Making Out in the Elevator" running for 30 seconds, in which the crew of Dave begins to act more human.
- "Arrest This Traitor" running for 29 seconds, in which new captain of Dave (Ed Helms) arrests a dissenting voice.
- "And Another Thing Number 4" running for 17 seconds, in which the new captain tells Number 4 (Pat Kilbane) to stop acting gay.

Also included is an alternate ending, running for 47 seconds, in which closure is given between Gina and her boyfriend (Marc Blucas), and Josh reiterates the filmís message of being a small person is OK. Overall, a very lame a hokey ending to an already lame and hokey film.

"The Making of Meet Dave" featurette, which runs for 22 minutes and 29 seconds, is pretty standard. The cast and crew are interviewed, and basically everyone professes their love of the movie. One of the more interesting things I saw in this however was the subdued Corbett being interviewed, not speaking ill against the movie, which he had on his blog. Other than that, this feature was of little interest.

Three featurettes have been included from the Fox Movie Channel. They are:

"Life After Film School" running for 28 minutes and 58 seconds, in which three pretentious film students get to interview director Brian Robbins, as he spouts out everything every mainstream director tells film students. I found it ironic that these impressionable film students sought guidance from the director of "Meet Dave," a film lacking any real artistic merit.

"Making a Scene" running for 9 minutes and 54 seconds, examines a sequence in which two of the tiny aliens are blown out onto a busy Manhattan sidewalk. This scene included some of the movieís worst green-screening, and thought it was funny to hear crew working on the scene speaking about the illusion they were trying to create, citing that believability was their main concern.

"World Premiere" running for 4 minutes and 35 seconds, chronicles the red carpet event that was the world premiere of "Meet Dave." Cast and crew are interviewed, reiterating how much they love the movie, much to the same affect as in the making of feature.

Overall

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

 


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