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I usually tend to enjoy Adam Sandler movies where he plays a "character," instead of an off the shelf regular guy, YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN ($39) finds Sandler in his best oddball character mode, with plenty of laughs to be had. In YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, Sandler portrays Zohan Dvir, Israeliís greatest counter-terrorism commando and one-man army. Tired of the non-stop fighting, Zohan fakes his death during a battle with his Palestinian terrorist nemesis The Phantom (John Turturro), and heads off to America to pursue his dream of styling hair and working at the Paul Mitchell salon in New York.

With no hairstyling credentials, the newly dubbed "Scrappy Coco" is turned down by Paul Mitchell, but is reluctantly given a job in the struggling hair salon run by a Palestinian woman named Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui). "Scrappy Coco" turns out to be a hit with the salonís older female clientele, not so much for his haircutting prowess, but for his sexual prowess that leaves a smile on the face of every woman he services. As Daliaís salon becomes a success, "Scrappy Coco" is recognized by a Palestinian cab driver named Salim (Rob Schneider), who first tries to deal with Zohan himself, but ultimately, The Phantom is called in to face off against his old enemy one final time. The cast of YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN also features Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Ido Mosseri, Dave Matthews, Michael Buffer, Charlotte Rae, Sayed Badreya, Daoud Heidami, Kevin Nealon, Robert Smigel and Dina Doron.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN 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 an Unrated Extended Edition. The 1080p presentation is generally very good, but the stylized look of the movie doesnít lead to an exemplary high definition video experience. YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN was shot with Panavision Genesis digital cameras, but the image appears processed to simulate the look of a foreign made production. Sharpness and image detail is at its best in close-ups, but there is a nice dimensional quality even in longer shots. Colors have good saturation, plus a golden glow and generally warm looking flesh tones. Blacks are a little weak, but whites are pure and crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are only average for a hi-def release. There is no actual grain, although some noise creeps in during the darker scenes.

YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Due to the cartoonish action moments, YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN features a better than expected comedy mix, with the outlying channels engaging nicely for said action. However, the rest of the time, YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN comes across as dialogue driven comedy, so most of the sound is localized to the forward soundstage. During the talky passages, one will also find the requisite ambient sounds and musical fill falling into the rears. Fidelity is very strong, especially where music is integrated into the track. Sound effects are very convincing and fully weighted by a strong, but not overbearing, bass channel. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the filmís dialogue is always completely understandable. A French Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is also present, as is a Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track. Subtitles are available in English, French, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Indonesian Bahasa.

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 extras. Two running Audio Commentary tracks are present; the first is with director Dennis Dugan and the second features actor/writer/producer Adam Sandler, writer Robert Smigel and actors Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson. Translating The Zohan is a graphics-in-picture track. Featurettes include Look Who Stopped By, Dugan: The Hand's On Director, The Stunts Of Zohan, Dugan Espanol?, Zohan Vs. The Phantom, Zohan's Doubles, Shooting Baja For Tel Aviv, All American Redneck, From Guns To Scissors, News On 3, The Robot, Laughing Is Contagious, and Getting Sticky. Deleted Scenes and BD Live content (requires a Profile 2.0 player) are also provided.

Sure itís not THE WATER BOY, but YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN is a funny Adam Sandler offering. The Blu-ray presentation is very good, considering that the production goes for a stylized look. Sandler fans will definitely get a kick out of it.



You Don't Mess With the Zohan (Unrated) [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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