DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ***** (out of 5 stars)

    Jason Segel as PETER BRETTER
    Kristen Bell as SARAH MARSHALL
    Mila Kunis as RACHEL JANSEN
    Russell Brand as ALDOUS SNOW
    Bill Hader as BRINA BRETTER

    Rated R/Unrated
    Studio: Universal

    Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
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When it comes to DVDs, there are a handful of filmmakers that you can really count on. Sure, the big budget releases like “Iron Man” have the oodles of bonus material that we expect. But sometimes, these major theatrical releases are rather thin in this department.

However, like Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow can be expected to deliver a fine DVD experience. Even if the movie isn’t the best work of that filmmaker, these DVDs are worth checking out – and often buying because you’ll need several days to work through all the bonus material anyway.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was a funny, somewhat raunchy springtime hit. It wasn’t a major blockbuster, but it was still worth a night on the town when it was in the cinemas. Now, it is available on DVD in a Collector’s Edition.

The film tells the story of a mid-list Hollywood musician named Peter (Jason Segel) who is living with a hot, sexy actress named Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). When she breaks up with him, Peter falls into a depression. In order to cheer himself up, he takes a vacation in Hawaii where he runs into Sarah and her new flame, swinging rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Fortunately, the cute hotel clerk (Mila Kunis) is there to help Peter get back on his feet.

After being inundated with Judd Apatow films over the past year and a half, there’s nothing that’s shocking about “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” It has its raw and raunchy moments (often featuring Jason Segel in various stages of undress. The film runs a bit long in parts, but it definitely works out the laughs. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and its unrushed timing makes it work well for home viewing.

Of course, “Collector’s Edition” doesn’t always mean much, considering that I’ve seen Collector’s Editions with nothing more than a trailer and a behind-the-scene doco to fill out the disc. However, like Judd Apatow’s other big releases (e.g., “Knocked Up” and “Superbad”), the “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” DVD is well worth the price.

First, there’s an unrated version of the film that is actually worth watching. Some films will tack on an extra 30 seconds or just add a scene that hasn’t been screened to the MPAA to meet the “unrated” criteria. The unrated version of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” while it isn’t loaded with more raunch, features seven more minutes into the film that highlights a missing yoga sequence and some other titillating items.

In addition to the unrated version, this double-disc set includes deleted and extended scenes on both the feature disc and the bonus disc. There are montages of sex scenes, drunk moments and alternate lines from the movie and the “Crime Scene” show-within-a-show.

For people who enjoy watching the making of a film from beginning to end, there’s a 35-minute behind-the-scenes video diary section as well as a slate of auditions from the cast. In particular, Russell Brand’s irreverent and wacky improvisational audition is worth checking out.

Other special features include a commentary with the cast and crew, alternate scenes from “Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime” and an uncensored Cinemax Final Cut interview with the filmmakers. However, the most clever sequence of bonus material comes with the multiple concepts for Sarah Marshall’s new crime-fighting show, which ends up as “Animal Instincts” in the final cut of the film.

I enjoyed “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” in the theaters, and catching the unrated cut of the film on DVD is definitely worth it. However, what makes this DVD a real good deal is the wealth of bonus features presented on two discs, along with an extra disc for Digital Copy.

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