Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
From Happy Madison Productions comes a comedy with bite. In order to save his wildlife TV show from being cancelled, dim-witted host Peter Gaulke (Steve Zahn) and his half-baked crew of misfits have one last chance to turn the ratings around. Desperate to stay on the air, Peter hatches a plan to track down the most elusive beast on Earth - Bigfoot. But when killer pygmies, frisky border guards and an amorous turkey threaten to cut their expedition short, the crew of Strange Wilderness will soon discover that nature is one bad mother.
For more about Strange Wilderness and the Strange Wilderness Blu-ray release, see Strange Wilderness Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 25, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, Kevin Heffernan (I), Ashley Scott (II), Peter Dante
Director: Fred Wolf
» See full cast & crew
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray Review
Another lackluster Nature Comedy hikes onto Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 25, 2009
No matter how many sea lions are eaten each year by sharks, it never seems like enough.
Perhaps it's time to retire the old "Outdoors Comedy" once and for all. It seems like the last one worth anything was 1988's The Great Outdoors, which starred a pair of "they-don't-make-'em-like-they-used-to" comedians, John Candy (Uncle Buck) and Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters). Strange Wilderness is simply painful to watch. Oddly enough, it offers plenty of laughs, but in between those laughs is a movie so poorly-written, lackadaisically-paced, and haphazardly-executed that it becomes an exercise in frustration, futility, and fruitlessness. Granted, it's unfair to expect all that much out of this sort of movie, but when a film must resort to mentioning the inclusion of an "amorous turkey" on the back of the box, one can safely assume said movie isn't destined for a sweep at the Oscars. At least they got the "turkey" part right.
"Strange Wilderness" was once a hit television show but has since fallen on hard times now that its popular host is long gone, replaced by his not-so-well-to-do son, Peter (Steve Zahn, Rescue Dawn). When the show's ratings tank thanks to its poor management by an absentminded and drug-using cast and crew, the network gives the show two weeks before being replaced by another program. Desperate to do something to save their show, Peter and the gang receive a break when Bill Calhoun (Joe Don Baker, Cape Fear) provides them with evidence that Bigfoot is alive and well in Ecuador. The team sets out on a quest to make what could be the biggest discovery in the history of nature television that would surely save them from cancellation -- assuming they can remain sober and drug-free along the way.
For such an insignificant Comedy, Strange Wilderness offers up a plethora of big-name talent. Assemble a cast of Steve Zahn, Jonah Hill (Superbad), Kevin Heffernan (Beerfest), Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Joe Don Baker, and Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch), and few movie fans would outright refuse to give the movie a shot. It's an impressive list that would appeal to several generations of cinephiles, and they've come together for a movie that flops on almost every level. Fortunately, they all deliver the goods; they're simply in a movie that gives them little to work with. The trio of older actors -- Baker, Borgnine, and Patrick -- turn in completely over-the-top efforts and almost make the movie worth watching. Of the others, Justin Long is the best of the bunch as a stoner without a clue. The dialogue amongst the cast is generally witty, but the positives stop there. Strange Wilderness is just too, well, strange, for its own good. The idea of tackling the plethora of nature shows that have been a staple of television for years is a good one, but it never really manages to seal the deal. The movie is sometimes funny, sometimes dull, and sometimes somewhere in the middle, tending towards the middle of the three. It's far too reliant on genital jokes that always play as too disgusting or too unfunny, and oftentimes as both. The film is hard-"R" material through-and-through, but generally to the detriment of the film.
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, Video Quality
Strange Wilderness roams onto Blu-ray with a satisfactory but generally underwhelming 1080p transfer framed in a 2.35:1 window. Detail ranges from solid to subpar from beginning to end. Most impressive is the visible detail on the more mundane objects seen throughout the film: the pavement on the road, leaves, foliage, and tree trunks, and the siding on the "Strange Wilderness" RV. Elsewhere -- facial detail, for example -- is adequate but far from exemplary. Colors are generally natural in tint and the film never appears too warm or too dull. Between the outdoors locales and the varied shades of clothing worn by the characters, the image never lacks for color but they don't always look as defined and natural as those seen in the best of transfers. Many scenes also take on a soft and unfocused appearance. Flesh tones are fine, and black levels are deep and dark. Strange Wilderness offers up a sufficient high definition video transfer, but hardly one that will impress longtime fans of the format.
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Strange Wilderness comes to Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This is a bland, mostly front- and dialogue-driven generic soundtrack that offers only an occasional spurt of sonic excitement. The music heard throughout offers a nice presence across the front; it's sometimes seemingly a bit low in volume compared to dialogue and sound effects, but clear and pleasing. Bass is occasionally both heard and felt, the rumbling of the "Strange Wilderness" RV as it pulls out for the trip to Ecuador serves as a good example. The track features precious few surround effects. There are several sequences that take place outdoors, such as a campfire sequence in chapter seven that is ripe for a true surround-sound experience, but it offers little in the way of immersive atmospherics. A barrage of gunfire opens up the soundstage to fine effect in the final act of the film; shots fly out from every corner and explode through each speaker. It's a short burst of excitement in an otherwise dull soundtrack that compliments the movie well enough but never elevates it to another level.
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Strange Wilderness roams onto Blu-ray with a few supplements. Cooker's Song (480p, 5:48) is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of one of the film's musically-inclined scenes. The Turkey (480p, 6:47) looks at how the "amorous turkey" sequence was set-up and filmed. What Do We Do? (480p, 6:06) examines the application of Justin Long's unique makeup and the filming of the "roundtable discussion" sequence. Reel Comedy: 'Strange Wilderness' (480p, 21:16) is an extended interview piece with various members of the cast as they recount the plot and their character's traits and motivations. Finally, a series of 13 deleted scenes (480p, 22:13) conclude this supplemental package.
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
In the not-so-great tradition of Without a Paddle: Nature's Calling, Strange Wilderness is a critical and box-office flop. Whereas the former was a mostly innocent yet nevertheless lame-brained film, the latter is just too vulgar, both verbally and visually, the film seemingly an excuse to cram as many crude gags as possible into its 85-minute runtime. Whereas the formula might work in a movie with a superior script and a point, like the better of the Judd Apatow Comedies, Strange Wilderness is a hodgepodge of toilet and genital humor centered around a loosely-structured plot with nothing going for it save for a bit of witty banter and the presence and several good actors doing their best with the material. Paramount brings Strange Wilderness to Blu-ray with results that are satisfactory for the content of the film. Neither the video nor audio presentations rank among the best of the format has to offer, and the included supplements are few and not all that interesting. Fans of any of the actors might want to give this one a rent, but most are advised to skip it altogether.
Strange Wilderness: Other Editions
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Strange Wilderness. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Strange Wilderness in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Last Kiss, Mean Girls, and Strange Wilderness Coming to Blu-ray - January 27, 2009
In an early announcement to retailers, Paramount Home Entertainment has revealed that they will bring 'The Last Kiss', 'Mean Girls', and 'Strange Wilderness' to Blu-ray on April 14th. Technical specs and special features have yet to be announced at this time, but ...
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Strange Wilderness Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Strange Wilderness Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.