Blu-Ray Unrated Edition
Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Pall Rudd, Leslie Mann
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is living the easy responsibility-free life. A court settlement gave him enough money to sit around and get stoned with his housemate for a few years. In contrast, Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is an up and coming entertainment reporter working at E! These seemingly polar opposites both go out for a night of fun and end up hooking up for what it seems both intended to be a one-night stand. Too bad Ben didn’t use protection. Alison is pregnant, she’s keeping the baby, and the two decide to see if they are compatible enough try an actual relationship.
Rogen is a funny guy, but I think his Frat Pack cohorts may have put him on center stage too early. Despite its own charms, Knocked Up is not as good as some of the other FP movies out there. It fails to comment on the responsibilities of parenthood in the subtle ways the other films poke fun at social norms, but there is still plenty to find funny. I know I may be in the minority with that opinion, but to me, Knocked Up does not have the same rewatch value as other movies with this group.
Like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, another recent Frat Pack Blu-Ray release, Knocked Up is not a movie that benefits all that much from being in 1080p. Sure, the picture quality is astounding, pristine, a major step up from DVD, but there’s nothing in the movie that is going to pop out at you (no, not even the birthing scene) in HD. Nevertheless, if you’re spoiling yourself with Blu-Ray on an HDTV, it’s getting increasingly hard to go back to standard DVD.
The Universal release makes it easy to see why too, with “U-Control,” their name for the Blu-Ray 1.1 picture-in-picture control. Just like with other Universal releases, U-Control allows you to pull up bonus materials relevant to particular part of the movie with the push of a button. With all bonus features in 480i/p, seeing them superimposed on 1080p footage showcases just how much better Blu-Ray looks.
For you audiophiles, this release contains an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack as well as Spanish and French DTS 5.1 Soundtracks (special features are in English Dolby Digital 2.0). If you’ve got the setup, no reason not make sure of it.
Naturally, the disc is overflowing with special features, just like The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Unfortunately, the extended edition of the film only packs a whopping four more minutes of profanity, and like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the bonus features are largely the same ones available on the unrated two-disc set. Still, it’s nice to see a studio actually care about the special features they include with their releases. Admittedly, I did not find these extra snippets as funny as others. “Line-o-rama,” a 3-part feature on lines that did not make the cut, shows exactly why most of the lines were cut, just weren’t that funny. The big exception is Paul Rudd‘s attempt to make as many sexual euphemisms out of Back to the Future references as possible. Likewise, “Beard-o-rama,” a short piece on the “dirty man” competition in the film, shows how even some the cast thought the joke was a little belabored. In addition to the usually commentary track from Director Judd Apatow and Rogen, other special features include deleted/alternate scenes, gag reels (divided into three for some reason, “Stripper Confidential” (where we get to see how uncomfortable Judd Apatow is directing topless scenes), Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill (who later went on to star in Superbad) talk about filming their first sex scenes, raw footage, Katherine Heigl’s original audition and more.
Video Quality: A
Sound Quality: A
Bonus Materials: A+
Overall, if you liked this film and have the setup to enjoy the hi-def experiences, there’s no reason not to upgrade to Blu-Ray this time. I don’t see them releasing a better version of this film until the next generation of Super High Definition is released… don’t even get me started.