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While much of the humor is raunchy, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN ($30) is a surprisingly sweet movie that showcases the talents of funnyman Steve Carell. In THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, Carell is the title character, Andy Stitzer, a somewhat nebbish electronics store stock room clerk, who has yet to score with the opposite sex. Of course, once Andy’s oversexed co-workers learn of his plight, they make it their mission on life to get the sexual loser some action. What follows is a whole lot of bad advice that gets Andy into more trouble (and amusing predicaments), than in touch with members of the opposite sex.

However, things really start looking up for Andy when he meets Trish (Catherine Keener), an attractive woman, who operates her own small business across the street from the electronics store in which he works. After their first meeting, it actually takes Andy quite a while to work up the courage to ask Trish out on a date, especially after getting some more bad advice from his coworkers.  Although their first date ends on an amusing note and a compromising position, Andy and Trish definitely have some chemistry together, so he readily agrees to wait until their twentieth date before they consummate their relationship. The cast of THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN also features Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch and Gerry Bednob.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. This Blu-ray release contains The Theatrical Version of the film, as well as The Unrated Edition. The Unrated Edition lasts seventeen minutes longer than The Theatrical Version, adding back more funny bits and even more raunchy material than what audiences got to see in theaters. As for the 1080p presentations, they really are relatively pleasing. When I saw THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN in the theater, the cinematography didn’t read as particularly stellar, but I will credit the Blu-ray presentation for giving this modestly budgeted comedy a big visual boost over the SD DVD. However, even in high definition, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN doesn’t constitute demonstration material. The levels of image sharpness and detail are generally strong, plus the picture provides a nice bit of texturing, as well as respectable fine detail in the close-ups. Colors are rendered at a natural level saturation. The blacks and whites are just fine. Contrast and shadow detail are occasionally limited by the sitcom lighting. The elements from which THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN has been mastered do show occasional minor blemishes. Grain is a little too minimal and the picture sometimes takes on a slightly digital and over-processed look, with the actors’ flesh sometime appearing a bit waxy.

THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is your standard comedy mix without flourishes. As a dialogue driven comedy, the sound is pretty much front and center. Sound effects play across the front, with occasional bits finding their way to the back. Fidelity is better than the DVD, with the pop songs on the soundtrack sounding quite nice. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and always easy to understand. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director/co-writer Judd Apatow, co-writer/star Steve Carell, and much of the cast. Universal's U-Control interface is utilized for an interactive version of the movie that provides in context picture-in-picture, pop-up supplements (requires a Profile 1.1 player).

Other supplements include the following: Deleted Scenes with optional commentary. The Waxing Doc offers one a look behind-the-scenes at the film’s most brutal comic sequence. Date-a-Palooza provides an extended look at the speed dating sequence. Line-O-Rama offers tons of alternate improved lines from throughout the movie. My Dinner With Stormy features actor/co-producer Seth Rogen and adult film actress Stormy Daniels in an amusing bit. Other bits include You Know How I Know You’re Gay?, Judd’s Video Diaries, Auditions, Raw Footage, Rehearsals, Reel Comedy Roundtable, 1970s Sex Ed Film and a Gag Reel.

THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN is a great comic sandwich of raunchy humor and a feel good romantic comedy story. The Universal Blu-ray release is nice, but the material isn’t particularly challenging and doesn’t show off the potential of high definition. Recommended for content over presentation.



The 40-Year-Old Virgin [Blu-ray] (2005)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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