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The 40-Year-Old Virgin(2005)
40-year-old Andy Stitzer has done quite a few things in his life. He's got a cushy job stamping invoices at an electronics superstore, a nice apartment with a proud collection of action figures and comic books, good friends, a nice attitude. But there's just one little thing he hasn't quite gotten around to doing yet—something most people have done by his age. Done a lot. Andy's never, ever, ever had sex—not even by accident. So is that such a big deal? Well, for Andy's buds at the store, it sure is. Although they think he's a bit of an oddball, there's certainly a planetful of stranger (and homelier) guys who've at least had one go at having a go. They consider it their duty to help Andy out of his dire situation and go to great lengths to help him. But nothing proves effective enough to lure their friend out of lifelong chastity until he meets Trish, a 40-year-old mother of three. Andy's friends are psyched by the possibility that "it" may finally happen...until they hear that Andy and Trish have begun their relationship based on a mutual no-sex policy.
For more about The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray release, see the The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on September 24, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Judd Apatow
» See full cast & crew
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray Review
Apatow and Carrell strike gold
Reviewed by Ben Williams, September 24, 2008
These days, Judd Apatow is a household name. With a half a dozen successful productions to his credit over the past five years, his brand of comedy has become almost synonymous with screwball over-the-top productions featuring eclectic casts of man-children. Long before his ubiquitous acceptance by the movie-going public, Judd Apatow was just another struggling writer with a few quality television credits to his name. That all changed in 2005 when he teamed up with rising comedy star Steve Carrell to pen The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a film that manages to mine the depths of comedic sweetness and vulgarity - - seemingly at the same time. The film was a surprising box-office smash and catapulted Mr. Carrell into the stratosphere of superstardom while giving Mr. Apatow the cachet to produce just about any film he so desired.
Andy Stitzer (Steve Carrell) has a secret: he's a genuine 40-year-old virgin. He hides this information as he goes through the daily motions working in shipping and receiving at a very Circuit City-like electronics store. Andy doesn't really have any friends and he spends his free time collecting comics and toys and playing a lot of video games. One fateful night, Andy is invited to a poker game with some of his coworkers and during a ritualistic sharing of past sexual escapades, Andy's secret is revealed. This sets into motion a series of events in Andy's life as he's suddenly surrounded by a new group of friends who have taken up the task of helping him find a willing female. Through a chance encounter, he'll also meet Trish (Catherine Keener), a woman who offers Andy much more than casual sex. With bad advice coming at him from all angles, Andy will face humiliation, drunk driving and a whole slew of odd happenings on his way to finding happiness.
I mentioned earlier in this review that The 40-Year-Old Virgin finds a unique blend of vulgarity and sweetness. That's very much the essence of the film as Andy's journey is grounded in the character's charm and warm personality. It would have been terribly easy to make The 40-Year-Old Virgin a complete exercise in foul mouthed sexual excess - - and there is a good amount of that here -- but the film is stronger for balancing both extremes into a very funny and sweet film. Sure, there is a ton of nudity, awkward sexual situations, four-letter-words and a particular discussion of sexual euphemisms that is downright foul, but it's all done with tongue placed firmly in cheek and it never devolves into objectifying women or with any amount of anger or negativity. It doesn't hurt that the entire film is side-splittingly hilarious either.
Another of The 40-Year-Old Virgin's great traits is its outstanding ensemble cast. Steve Carrell and Catherine Keener are, of course, lovable and excellent in their roles, but it's standout performances from Romany Malco (Jay), Seth Rogen (Cal) and Paul Rudd (David) that really make the film. All three actors are at the top of their game in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and its safe to say that Seth Rogan probably wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for this film.
I'm a huge fan of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and personally consider it to be a new classic in the world of cinematic comedy. This is definitely not a flick for kids and isn't even close to Grandma safe, but if you enjoy a good raunchy joke and have a soft spot for romantic comedies, then The 40-Year-Old Virgin is hard to beat.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray, Video Quality
Arriving from Universal in 1080p, on a BD50 and encoded with VC-1, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. I wish I could say that all of the disc space allotted for the film has given it room to breathe and left us with a flawless presentation, but that's simply not the case. Both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film are included here, so perhaps that took up a bit too much room on the disc, but the resulting image is rife with artifacts and other problems. In addition, this seems to be a direct port of the previously available HD-DVD version of the film, so a Blu-ray enhanced encode was apparently not done.
The primary problem with this version of The 40-Year-Old Virgin lies in some compression issues and a startlingly heavy case of edge enhancement. The latter is clearly visible in almost every frame of the film and does actually become a distraction during some scenes. I'm not stating that this is an absolutely horrible transfer, of course. In fact, it is very watchable and pleasant, but those with larger displays and front projection systems will doubtlessly notice the rampant edge enhancement. Color fidelity is also somewhat muted, though I couldn't say with any authority that this look wasn't intentional. In the end, this is a decent and rather ho-hum transfer that would have been infinitely superior if Universal had just avoided excessive edge enhancement and had optimized for Blu-ray.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray, Audio Quality
While the audio on The 40-Year-Old Virgin won't win any awards for surround content, this is a nice DTS-HD Master Audio track from Universal. As is usually the case with dialogue driven comedies, the strength of lossless comes through in crisp and clear vocals and dialogue. This is especially important in comedy as subtle nuances are often the joke in and of themselves. By utilizing lossless, these nuances are more easily detected and not drowned out in static and hissing caused by overcompression. What more is there to say, really? This DTS-HD Master Audio track does its job effectively, but won't light up your speakers like Master and Commander.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- Feature Commentaries with Judd Apatow, Steve Carrell & Cast
- Deleted Scenes
- You Know How I Know You're Gay?
- Judd's Video Diaries
- Raw Footage
- Reel Comedy Roundtable
- Cinemax Final Cut: The 40-Year-Old Virgin
-1970s Sex Ed Film
- My Dinner with Stormy
- Gag Reel
- Waxing Doc
At first glance, it would appear that this is a special edition of The 40-Year-Old Virgin that is chocked full of amazing bonus features. While you might be correct with several of the features, most of what has been included with this set are throwaway cut scenes and re-cycled material. I was particularly impressed with the ability to watch almost all of the special features while the feature is playing. This is a nice touch from Universal and allows the viewer to continue to actively watch the film while watching associated bonus content. I enjoyed the commentaries for their comedic content and the Waxing Doc for its brutality, but the rest of the assorted gag reels and short, uninteresting cut scenes left me a bit cold. Perhaps I'm just not the right audience for this stuff, but I was to the point of falling asleep during most of it.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is one of the few truly hilarious comedies we've been treated to over the past several years. It's a filthy good time with a nice level of sentimentality and a convincing love story all blended together. The interactions between the film's characters is what keeps me coming back for repeat viewings and I have a hunch it will for you too. Video and audio are average at best with an unfortunate amount of edge enhancement present in the video presentation. Supplements are also extensive, but a little too repetitive for my taste. In the end, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a great film that hasn't quite been given the technical treatment it deserves on Blu-ray. But for now, it'll do…
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