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Forgetting Sarah Marshall(2008)
Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has spent six years idolizing his girlfriend, television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). He's the guy left holding her purse in paparazzi photos and accidentally omitted from acceptance award speeches. But when she decides to break up with him, Peter's world falls apart. To clear his head and lift his spirits, he takes an impulsive trip to Hawaii, where he runs into the last thing he expects to see: His ex and her hip new British-rocker boyfriend, Aldous (Russell Brand), staying at his hotel. Even as Peter keeps running into the two people he is trying to avoid, he finds comic relief and support in his new-found hotel buddies, including a growing flirtation with Rachel (Mila Kunis), the beautiful resort staff employee whose laid-back philosophy inspires him to get back on track and rejoin the world. In the process, Peter discovers what makes him feel truly happy...his vampire musical project, a daring albeit unplanned dip in the ocean, and the pleasures of many, many fruity cocktails.
For more about Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray release, see the Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray Review
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd
Director: Nicholas Stoller
» See full cast & crew
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray Review
Jason Segel and Russell Brand combine forces for a truly inspired comedy.
Reviewed by Ben Williams, March 17, 2009
The Judd Apatow comedy machine has churned out some of the most memorable comedic films of the last decade. His name has become synonymous with wacky comedy that presents real-life situations and events, intertwined with over-the-top antics and a cast of characters that exist in a state of arrested development. The latest film from the Apatow stable is Forgetting Sarah Marshall; a quirky love story about loss and sadness, played out over the most extreme situations. The film is a showcase for writer / actor Jason Segel; a popular sitcom star poised to break out as a leading comedic talent. Here, he writes from real-life experiences, while never shying away from presenting himself in embarrassing situations.
Things couldn't be better for Peter Brettler (Jason Segel). Along with girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), a popular action series star, he lives a carefree slacker life, composing television soundtracks, unaware of the problems of every day life. Until, that is, one fateful day, when Sarah breaks off their relationship and proclaims she's seeing another man. Peter hits rock bottom, hooking up with any available woman in an attempt to ease his pain and distract himself from the loss of his beloved girlfriend. On the advice of his step-brother Brian (Bill Heder), Peter takes off for Hawaii for some alone time and a chance to reflect on his misery and failed relationship. As luck would have it, Sarah and her new boyfriend, an obnoxious British rock star named Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), just happen to be staying at the same Hawaiian resort as Peter, and keep managing to run into him at inconvenient times. As Peter prepares to flee back to Los Angeles, he comes into contact with a quirky young hotel employee named Rachel (Mila Kunis). The two become fast friends, and Rachel takes it upon herself to help Peter in his quest to forget Sarah Marshall. Can Peter find love with Rachel with Sarah peering over his shoulder, or does he really want Sarah back?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall impressed me almost immediately by managing to be both hilariously offensive and sentimental, often at the same time. It's a delicate balancing act that is pulled off to perfection. Jason Segel moves from the sidekick status he inhabited in previous film outings, to a full-on leading man in the film. He's a terrific comedic talent; something all the more impressive considering he wrote the film as well as starred in it. He's pretty fearless in the film; fans of full-frontal male nudity will get their fair share of Mr. Segel. Mr. Segel also provides some genuinely hilarious songs for the film; "Dracula's Lament" being the highlight.
The supporting cast is equally impressive; fan favorites Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis both dial up the babe factor in the film and are both effective, provocative and funny. The real breakout star of the film, however, is British bad-boy Russell Brand. He steals every scene as the notorious rock star Aldous Snow; he's smarmy, vulgar and sexist, while remaining sweet and almost disarmingly innocent in the process. Look out for cameos from Judd Apatow favorites Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd; both deliver some of the film's most memorable lines.
Is Forgetting Sarah Marshall the best comedy of the past few years? Definitely not. The film could probably lose about 20 minutes and still be just as effective. Regardless, it's a sentimental, delightfully dirty and downright funny film that manages to tell an original story in a non-conventional way. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is highly recommended!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray, Video Quality
As a result of being filmed in scenic Hawaii, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is considerably more lush in its photography than most comedies. The film showcases the island's famous black sand beaches, colorful flora and stunning ocean vistas; these colorful locations are infinitely more interesting than the usual Los Angeles setting that seems to be a predominant aspect of many recent comedies. Universal has encoded the film using AVC Mpeg-4, in 1080p, while maintaining the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a colorful film loaded with deep green hues and vivid primary colors. Detail isn't as refined as the best Blu-ray encodes, but is entirely consistent with the film's theatrical exhibition. Contrast is stable, if a little heightened, while black levels skate just above reference level. Picture anomalies are noticeably absent, save a few instances of edge enhancement. Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn't a reference-grade encode, but it does do a faithful job of recreating the film. Recommended.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Comedies aren't generally renowned for their cutting-edge use of sound, so it should come as no surprise that Forgetting Sarah Marshall does little to break with this tradition. The film is primarily front-loaded with only the occasional ambient effect appearing in the rear channels. Universal has wisely chosen to stick with their usual 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio standards; the film might not provide much action, but lossless audio still helps to improve the presentation.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall relies heavily on dialogue, an area where this lossless encode excels. Voices are grounded in the center channel, never sounding distorted or suffering from a lack of intelligibility. The film also features a large amount of music; both Jason Segel and Russell Brand play musicians in the film who often break into song during the course of the movie. These musical asides, along with the score to the film, are heavily rooted in the front of the soundstage, anchored by responsive bass and outstanding musical fidelity. While Forgetting Sarah Marshall doesn't break any new ground in sound design, it is a nicely assembled soundtrack that manages to remain faithful to the intent of the filmmakers. Recommended!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Deleted Scenes
- Extended Scenes
- Gag Reel
- "A Taste of Love"
- "Puppet Break-up"
- "Dracula's Lament"
- "Russell Brand: Aldous Snow"
- "We've got to do Something"
- "Crime Scene"
- Video Chat
- Video Diaries
Replete with a wealth of features, Forgetting Sarah Marshall contains one of the funniest selections of supplements I've yet seen on Blu-ray. Judd Apatow's productions seem to always focus on the development of the comedy that makes it on screen, rather than a lot of boring technical featurettes. As such, this disc is littered with small, throwaway comedic moments that manage to be genuinely funny. Russell Brand is the focus of much of the behind the scenes information; he's shown learning his character's songs, doing his hair and generally acting like one would expect Russell Brand to act. "Dracula's Lament" is another side-splitting aside that pulls material directly from the film. The deleted and extended scenes are funny and worth watching, while Sex-o-Rama provides some of the biggest laughs of the entire package. The special features from Forgetting Sarah Marshall aren't going to teach anyone how to direct a movie, but they do offer an alternate dose of the film's brand of comedy. Highly recommended!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Even though it's known as a Judd Apatow comedy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is really the work of Jason Segel, an underrated comedic actor with a definitive talent for comedic writing. The film performs a delicate balancing act, often swinging between sweet and vulgar within the same scene. It's terrific stuff that's genuinely entertaining. Universal has given the film an accurate and colorful transfer that highlights the film's Hawaiian locations. Audio is also well presented, if a little on the subdued side. The film's supplements are first rate and give a genuinely entertaining look behind the scenes. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a surprisingly endearing and hilarious movie that's sure to appeal to fans of over the top humor. Highly recommended!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Other Editions
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Forgetting Sarah Marshall Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - September 30th - September 30, 2008
Today marks the beginning of the fourth quarter in retail sales, a time where manufacturers, content providers, and retailers join together in order to provide the largest variety of titles and hardware in anticipation of the holiday gift-buying season. How appropriate ...
• Official Specs for Forgetting Sarah Marshall - August 13, 2008
Universal Studios Home Entertainment have revealed the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of Judd Apatow's 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall', due to hit store shelves on September 30th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Coming on a ...
• Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin Specs Announced - July 18, 2008
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced the specs for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Judd Apatow's 'Knocked Up' and 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin', both due to hit store shelves on September 30th. Available individually or as part of the 'Ultimate Unrated ...
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