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Although not written or directed by Judd Apatow, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL ($40) does feature his services as producer, and therefore the film does have the same vibe as THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN and KNOCKED UP, not to mention featuring some familiar faces from Apatowís stock company. While FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL delivers the requisite doses of raunchy humor, the film is first and foremost a romantic comedy. Written by leading man Jason Segel, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL tells the story of music composer Peter Bretter (Segel), who is making a nice living creating musical cues for a television police procedural entitled "Crime Scene", which also happens to star Peterís girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). However, Peterís content little existence is thrown into turmoil when Sarah dumps him for British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).

Of course, Peter falls into a deep depression, which leads to an impulsive Hawaiian getaway to help him forget his troubles. However, upon his arrival at his hotel, Peter discovers his worst nightmare waiting for him- Sarah and her new boyfriend are also staying at the very same resort. However, hotel receptionist Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) takes sympathy on Peterís plight and sets him up in an unoccupied suite. As expected, Peter and Rachel form a friendship, that quickly leads to something moreÖ and when Sarah sees her ex-boyfriend with someone new, she is left wondering if she has made the right decision about Peter. Although one might not expect it going in, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is a surprisingly insightful comedy about breaking up and the heartbreak it brings. Additionally, Jason Segel is perfect as the ordinary Joe who has his heart ripped out and served to him for lunch, while Mila Kunis is more adorable in this film than she was on THAT 70íS SHOW. Supporting performances are also right on the mark, with many proving to be truly hilarious, especially Jack McBrayer as the conservative newlywed having trouble pleasing his eager new bride. The cast of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL also features Bill Hader, Liz Cackowski, Maria Thayer, Taylor Wily, Davon McDonald, Steve Landesberg, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL 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 1080p presentations are both highly pleasing. Image sharpness, detail and dimensionality can be pretty terrific, especially during sequences that take place in the sun-drenched Hawaiian locations. However, the interiors and the night scenes do look a little more ordinary. Fine details such as individual hairs and textures on objects are effectively rendered. Colors are usually vibrant and the flesh tones attractive. Blacks are deep and whites are crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are very good, but the film doesnít make too many demands in this area. The film elements used for the transfer are virtually pristine. Grain is mild, but the presentation seems pretty organic.

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Surprisingly, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL comes with a better than average comedy mix. There is a bit more directional activity than most comedies, with the surrounds coming across somewhat livelier manner. This isnít to say there is an overwhelming amount of active sound effects, just a nicer use of ambient sound to complement the natural environment. For the most part, the soundstage has an uncluttered quality, which provides a sense of spaciousness. Fidelity is great; there is a lot of music and songs in the film that sound remarkably good, plus sound effects are convincingly reproduced. Dialogue is crisply rendered and fully intelligible. 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 Nicholas Stoller, executive producer Rodney Rothman, producer Shauna Robertson, writer/star Jason Segel, as well as other cast members Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand and Jack McBrayer. 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). A picture-in-picture version of the above commentary can also be accessed from the U-Control interface, as well as a Karaoke sing-a-long for songs from the movie. Other bits include Line-O-Rama, Sex-O-Rama and Drunk-O-Rama, plus Video Diaries, eleven Deleted/Extended Scenes, a Puppet Break Up clip, rehearsal for A Taste of Love, The Letter U, Crime Scene Clips, Table Read Footage, a Theatrical Trailer and a Gag Reel. A Digital Copy of the film is also provided on a second disc.

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is a surprisingly insightful romantic comedy wrapped in crunchy candy coating of raunchy humor. The Blu-ray looks and sounds just great. Recommended.



Forgetting Sarah Marshall [Blu-ray] (2008)


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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