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You Don't Mess with the Zohan(2008)
Zohan is the finest counterterrorist agent the Israeli army has. That is, until he fakes his death and travels to Manhattan to live his dream... as a hairdresser. Now this skilled fighting machine who used to clip bad guys is out to prove he can make the cut as a top stylist. All goes silky smooth until his cover is blown when he's recognized by a Palestinian cab driver. Now, The Zohan must fight to live a peaceful new life in New York.
For more about You Don't Mess with the Zohan and the You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray release, see the You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray Review
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Dave Matthews
Director: Dennis Dugan
» See full cast & crew
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray Review
Do you want silky smooth?"
Reviewed by Sir Terrence, December 2, 2008
I do not like to talk about what could have been, because it really isn't reality. But You better not mess with Zohan could have been a really good comedy if the director would have told more story, worked on character development a little more, and back off the rapid fire back to back over the top gags, and ethnic jokes. In this case, less would have been more, as we are numbed to death by the end of the movie with all of the constant gags, kicks and gyranting, disco dancing, and ethnic verbal and character stereotypes. You do not get a chance to soak it in before the next gag or ethnic joke is in your face. Now I am not a prude type, but having sex with elderly women is not funny to me. Chris Rock's attempt at being a Jamaican cab driver made me squench, but I did chuckle a bit at how bad it was. Sandler's attempt to use a Middle Eastern accent was better, but still pretty bad. The love story between Zohan and Dalia gets lost in this entire mumble jumble. There were just too many points trying to be made at the same time, and while they are not difficult to follow separately, they were impossible to follow simultaneously. This killed the pacing and flow of this movie, which is too bad because it could have been really good. This movie tried hard to shock me with its comedy, and it kept going lower and lower until I was either drowning in it, or overloaded by it. Now this film was not all bad. There were some interesting points in it. However they were covered by too many layers to clearly make them out, you really had to dig to find them.
I have seen Adam Sandler in better movies than this, and he certainly does not have to dig this deep to get a laugh. I wanted to like this movie, but it was just too much to swallow. This movie was definitely targeted towards Sandler fans, but its appeal could have been larger had it relied a little less on overt sexual innuendo, ethnic stereotypes, and over the top action scenes with no basis in reality.
Zohan Dvir (Adam Sandler) works for Mossad, and Israeli anti-terrorist organization. His knows he is the bomb. Terrorist fear him, ladies love him, and when he is not playing ping pong with a grenade, he is playing hacky sack or catching fish with his butt cheeks. However he is growing tired of his job and his life. He tells his mother and father he wants to leave for New York City, and become a hairdresser. His mother and his father find this rather amusing, as his father fought In Israel's six day war.
With that, Zohan fakes his own death while in pursuit of the Phantom, and the Phantom believes he has killed him. Zohan smuggles himself on a flight bound for New York City in a pet crate with two dogs named Scrappy and Coco. He changes his look and name and sets out to finally pursue his dream. H e also becomes friends with Michael (Nick Swardson) who gives him a place to live. He also meets Oorui (Ido Mossen), a fan who knows Zohan's true identity. At first he could not get hired at a shop, but he finally lands a job at the beauty shop of a Palestinian woman named Dalia. She will not let him do hair as he has no experience. She finally relents after he gives an elder lady a decent haircut and some sexual pleasure. However things began to go wrong, as people begin to recognize him, and old enemies try and kill him. However Zohan is determine to fulfill his dream.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray, Video Quality
Zohan hack sacks its way onto Bluray in a clean 1080p/AVC encode framed at a 1:85:1 aspect ratio. Since this was shot with digital cameras, there are no film related artifacts on the source. It looks a little soft filtered to make it look more like film, and that keeps it from being razor sharp like digital video can look. Details both in the foreground and background are quite good, so the images have a nice three dimensional character to the eyes. I found the overall look of the film rather pushed towards a golden yellow hue, which skewed colors in a way that appeared very unnatural. The yellowing also affected contrast, black levels, and skin tones in a unfavorable way as well. When the yellowing was not present, colors appeared natural and nicely saturated, black levels were stable and deep, contrast was spot on, and the look overall was very natural; so it appears this yellowing was an artistic intention that just is not flattering to the overall look of the film. I am not so sure the yellow filtering was necessary, but I do not know exactly what look the filmmakers were trying to achieve.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack featured on this film is well put together, and works very well with this film. Dialog is always crisp and clear, and never covered by sound effects or music. The surrounds are intermittently used for ambience and music that is nicely folded over from the front soundstage. The front soundstage images high and wide, but not very deep towards my front wall or into the room. Most of the bass is found in the front three channels, but the LFE is used nicely to highlight some of the action scenes and the music as well. This is by no means an aggressive mix, but it does at times fill the room with nice clean sound that presents a very coherent soundstage from front to back.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Commentary with Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Rob Schneider, and Nick Swardson - This commentary is fairly entertaining. These guys discuss the film in a laid back fashion, having fun, and some laughs along the way.
Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan - was a pretty boring commentary. Stick with the first one, its more interesting.
Translating the Zohan - There are a lot of foreign expressions that are used in the film that are quite humorous, so it's nice that this pop-up feature is included to fill in some of the translation gaps, and help us understand the context.
Look Who Stopped By (9 minutes) - Sandler has tons of friends in Hollywood, so the film has an avalanche of cameos. It's a fairly entertaining feature that highlights the stars that took the time to make an appearance in the film.
Dugan: The Hand's on Director (7 minutes) - The cast and crew give props to Director Dennis Dugan for being a professional, yet entertaining guy to work with.
The Stunts of Zohan (10 minutes) - Stunt Coordinator Scott Rogers informs us of how the stunts were pulled off during the action heavy sequences in the movie. It is fairly informative for being as short as it is.
Dugan Espanol? (5 minutes) - This is absolutely hilarious. Dugan tries to speak Spanish to a bunch of extras, and it's unfortunate for him that he wasn't fluent in the language before giving it a try.
Zohan vs. The Phantom (4 minutes) - John Turturro is interviewed about his character, The Phantom, which is Zohan's bitter enemy.
Zohan's Doubles (7 minutes) - This feature covers the stunt doubles that filled in for Sandler during the movie.
Shooting Baja for Tel Aviv (7 minutes) - This feature covers the filming at the location that was used for Zohan's hometown.
All American Redneck (4 minutes) - Dave Matthews is amongst the many cameos in the film, although he doesn't play himself. He actually plays a part leading a pack of rednecks.
From Guns to Scissors (9 minutes) - This feature discusses the issues the film used about the Arab and Israeli conflict. Some of the supporting cast in the film originate from that area and are able to provide some good insight on the situation.
News on 3(8 minutes) - There are three mini-featurettes here. We have some of the co-stars that play Zohan's friends, as well as his enemies, providing short news interviews about the Zohan himself.
The Robot (4 minutes) - This feature shows us a character that didn't make it into the final product.
Laughing is Contagious (6 minutes) - This is a gag reel that's been pieced together with music, highlighting some of the dialog mistakes, and goof-ups that happened while filming.
Deleted Scenes (13 minutes) - There are fifteen scenes here. After viewing them, I understand why they ended up where they did.
Getting Sticky (5 minutes) - Girls in bikinis gush over the Zohan for a good five minutes. While the girls are just plain fine, I was bored after a minute of so.
This disc is BD live enabled which allows you to download extra content from the studio's servers.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I really like comedies in general, and the better they are the more I enjoy them. There are elements in You don't mess with Zohan that are pretty good, but they are hidden nuggets of humor you have to dig for. This film just falls under the weight of the non stop gags and endless verbal innuendo that as much as I wanted to like it, I could not. A lot of the jokes violated my sensibilities, and by the end of it all, it numbed them. As I said before, in this case less would have been more, as it would have allowed the pace of the movie to just flow and breathe. You have to let the comedy advance and enhance the story, not the other way around. For those who like Adam Sandler movies, you could do better than this one, but I am sure you will enjoy it. For the rest of us, I suggest you rent it. Maybe you will like this movie better than I did.
Blu-ray bundles with You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2 bundles)
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Blu-ray, News and Updates
• More Special Features Revealed for Zohan - August 11, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed the complete list of special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan', due to hit store shelves on October 7th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Both rated and unrated versions ...
• Zohan Going Blu-ray This Fall - August 4, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the Adam Sandler film 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' to Blu-ray on October 7th, day-and-date with the DVD release. The film will be presented in its unrated form with video being presented in ...
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