Get Him To The Greek Blu-ray Review

Get Him To The Greek’s (2010) story is simple enough. Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is a record company intern tasked with escorting British rock star, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand reprising his role from Forgetting Sarah Marshall), from London to Los Angeles for a decade anniversary concert at the Greek Theater. Recovering from a bad breakup, Aldous is emotionally out of control and parties hard enough to make Keith Richards jealous which turns babysitting him into the hilarious contrivance driving what little there is of a plot. And if this were the whole movie, as weak as it may sound, we could have enjoyed the next Hangover.

Yet writer/director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) misguidedly thought we should care about the characters. The ineffective emotional subplots throw off the pacing (when you’re craving shallow inanity you don’t want to be reminded that people have real feelings) and pad the run-time by an unnecessary 20ish minutes. When Greek works, it earns its R-rating with gut-busting hilarity garnered from crude sexuality, heart attack inducing drug use, slapstick violence and ample vomiting. Yet many moments of laugh out loud glee are terminated with a buzz kill reminding you of Aaron’s boring home life or Aldous pining for his ex.

While the best comedy doesn’t require debauchery, Greek does low-brow humor really well, just with an infuriating lack of consistency. I appreciate aspirations to give the characters depth and will even admit vaguely relating to Aldous’ emotional sickness by the finale, but it makes for one very uneven ride (a better scriptwriter and/or editor might have remedied this). Still the reoccurring “African Child” joke (a song so awesomely bad as to be labeled the 3rd worst thing to happen to Africa behind famine and Apartheid) and the pinnacle of brilliant stupidity with the furry walled, “Jeffrey” smoking (a joint containing more drugs than I can recount), knockdown, drag out fight in a Las Vegas hotel suite are so worth watching. Plus against all expectations, Sean Combs’ (yes “P Diddy”) barely controllable rage and maniacal antics are the most persistently funny bits throughout. If only the whole film were this consistently laughable.

High-def Presentation

Get Him to the Greek visually resembles most Judd Apatow productions with somewhat over-saturated colors and boosted contrast making whites edge towards blooming and skin tones run slightly hot. Still this isn’t the kind of film that will wow you with great cinematography, and Universal’s 1080p Blu-ray is as about as good as I’d expect the comedy to look. Nice amounts of detail and a solid grain structure (shot on 35mm) are tempered with noticeable but not overly distracting edge enhancement. This is a pretty good looking but never stunning high-def image.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio doesn’t fair quite as well as the high-def video with a surprisingly front-heavy presentation. Rear presence is flat and underutilized which, for a movie with so much enjoyable music, is disappointing. The front speakers do a commendable job, as constant dialog is never hard to discern, but the lossless audio seems constrained when action or tunes kick in. Not bad for a comedy but the soundtrack should have been more immersive considering.

Beyond The Feature

Extras are where Universal’s Blu-ray of Greek excels spreading the load across two discs. The main BD contains:

Commentary with Director Nicholas Stoller, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss and producer Rodney Rothman. You get a lot of joking around and shooting anecdotes that help you appreciate how much the cast and crew enjoyed making the film mixed with sparse behind the scenes details.

Getting To Get Him To The Greek (32:07, HD) – A enjoyable “making of” look at the “puke handoff,” not improvising the huge fight scene, staging a fall off the hotel roof, recording a real rock concert and a table read where the actors can’t stop joking around.

Getting in Tune with the Greek (13:47, HD) – Delves into the copious original music used in the film.

The Making of African Child (6:26, HD) – Done with Brand in character showcasing one of the funniest bits in the film.

Music Videos (all in HD) – 5 videos (13:52), Greek Concert 1999 (6:35), Greek Concert 2009 (11:36), Today Show: the Clap (3:04) , VH1 Storytellers (3:22) , World Tour (3:28), London O2 Concert (11:00) and 9 Karaoke songs with lyrics.

U-Control – About as pointless as it gets with the ability to pull up credits on the songs in the film while watching. Really a waste of time.

A second DVD contains the following overflowing of outtakes and gags that are almost more enjoyable than watching the movie due to not having to weather the inconsistent pacing and just be delivered solid laughs. They’re all in standard-def but that doesn’t detract much from the humor value. Also included is a digital copy of the movie.

  • Gag Reel (10:18)
  • Line-O-Rama (9:11)
  • Alternate Intro (5:52)
  • Alternate Ending (3:17)
  • Deleted Scenes (18:19)
  • Extended and Alternate Scenes (35:45)
  • Blind Medicine (2:31)
  • Interviews (18:00)
  • Auditions (17:46)

Get Him To The Greek had the potential to be 2010’s best stupid comedy but overreaches its grasp and turns in a sadly uneven effort. Still the funny moments are damn hilarious (get ready to use your remote to skip around to find them) and who knew Sean Combs would steal every scene he is in. Universal’s BD turns in pretty decent, if not overwhelming, HD video and supplements, especially the copious outtakes and deleted scenes, well worth checking out.

– Robert Searle

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