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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Get Him to the Greek

October 6th, 2010

Get Him to the Greek - Buy from Amazon: Single-Disc DVD, Two-Disc DVD, or Two-Disc Blu-ray

Forgetting Sarah Marshall was no more than a midlevel hit when it was released during the spring of 2008. Granted, it earned excellent reviews and managed better legs than most movies do, but it still finished its run being no more than a midlevel hit. So making a spin-off seems like a risky thing to do. It mostly lived up to its predecessor at the box office, mostly, but will it be able to live up to its high quality level?

The Movie

We are re-introduced to Aldous Snow as he is in the middle of filming the worst music video of all time. It's so bad, that it practically ends his career, and his relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Jackie Q.

We are next introduced to Aaron, and not Matthew, as Jonah Hill's character was known in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Kind of confusing. He's a low level talent scout at Pinnacle Records, which is also Aldous's record label. He's in a relationship with Daphne, who is interning to be a doctor. Because of her long hours at work, she's often very tired. And because his job involves seeing a lot of new talent, he needs to go out quite a bit. So the two rarely see each other and their relationship is suffering as a result.

Meanwhile, Pinnacle Records, is in some trouble of its own. It has been losing money for some time and the CEO, Sergio, is looking for ideas. After dishing abuse for a while, he confronts Aaron, who has been quiet the whole time. Aaron suggests Aldous Snow perform a concert at the Greek theater the following month to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a famous live show, which sold millions. At first Sergio is less than impressed by they idea, but at the last minute, he tells Aaron that they are going ahead. However, it is Aaron's job to get Aldous from London to New York City, where they will announce the concert, and then to Los Angeles in time to perform at the Greek Theatre. Sergio makes it clear that this will not be an easy trip, as Aldous is, well, an egocentric, drug crazed lunatic, who is very difficult to control.

Just before he gets ready to leave, he learns Daphne was offered a job in Seattle, which would be a huge promotion for her, but he reacts... poorly. And as a result, it appears their relationship is over.

But he has a job to do, so he's off to England...

And with that we are off to Unacceptable Spoiler Territory. The rest of the movie is basically a Road Trip / Buddy Comedy movie with a couple of relationship stories thrown in. While the film wasn't directed by Judd Apatow, it is definitely one of his films and it is blessed with his signature combination of low humor and genuine sweetness to the relationships. It is very hard to pull off that combination. While this film is a little weaker in the latter aspect than the former, it still gets it right in both areas. For instance, the scenes in Vegas with Aldous and his estranged Dad, played by Colm Meaney, have some sentimentality to them, but like most of the movie, that scene is at its best when the action is the most out of control. Also, the poor lonely rock star routine is a little too much at times.

That said, there are more than enough riotous scenes in the movie to make up for whatever weaknesses it has in the sentimental department. The aforementioned Vegas scene and the fight between Jonathan Snow and Sergio is a classic. Absolute classic.

The Extras

I only have the Two-Disc Blu-ray, so it is a little tough to know what is and what is not exclusive. Extras on the Blu-ray include the theatrical and the unrated versions. There is also an audio commentary track with Nicholas Stoller, the director, and Rodney Rothman, the producer, as well as several of the actors. (Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Jonah Hill, and Elisabeth Moss, who is on the phone.) High energy and plenty of information. There is also a U-Control track, which has information on all of the songs in the movie, and there are a huge number of these.

There are a trio of featurettes on the Blu-ray, starting with a 32-minute making featurette that's on the movie in general. There's a 14-minute featurette on the music. And finally a 6-minute in character featurette on African Child, the album in the film. There are about a half-a-dozen music videos, plus almost a dozen live performances from the film. Overall the extras on the Blu-ray alone run nearly as long as the movie itself.

There are BD-Live extras, including a trio of movies you can stream for free.

The DVD includes 10 minutes of outtakes, 9 minutes of alternate lines, even more deleted / extended / alternate scenes... It's like they filmed two complete movies. There is a two-and-a-half minute preview for Blind Medicine, the fake TV series starring Sarah Marshall. There are four fake interviews, and finally five audition tapes.

The film looks good on Blu-ray, bordering on great. Some of the darker scenes in the movie has issues where the blacks swallow up the details, while the opening music video looks no better than the average music video would. On the other hand, the Blu-ray sounds fantastic. This is not a shock, considering how important music is in the movie. It's a movie about the music industry, after all. The music is immersive, there are great use of directional effect, etc., but even in the loudest moments, the dialogue is clear. Very well done.

As far as the price is concerned, it only costs $1 more to upgrade to Blu-ray, so it is clearly worth it.

The Verdict

Get Him to the Greek tries really hard to mix the frenetic energy and sentimental relationship parts of the film, and while it is not as successful as The Hangover in this regard, it's close enough to call it a victory. Add in a virtual ton of extras, and it is easily worth picking up, with the Two-Disc Blu-ray being the best deal out of the three versions.

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