Dodgeball: Unrated review by Mike Long

(In this review, I'll be focusing on the newly released Dodgeball: Unrated DVD. For my thoughts on the film itself, or the original DVD release, please check out this review .)

In this "age of the DVD" in which we are living, we have become accustomed to many things, such as releases of films which had been previously unavailable on home video, extra features, special editions, and the inevitable "Double Dips". A "Double Dip" occurs when a film is released on DVD more than once, typically with different extra features on each release. We've seen many kinds of "Double Dips" recently, but few as odd as the Dodgeball: Unrated DVD.

As with many films of late, Dodgeball was a PG-13 rated comedy which contained some mild profanity and many racy jokes. This new "unrated" cut is most likely an R-rated cut which was submitted for approval and had to be cut to achieve a PG-13. As with the PG-13 rated theatrical cut, the "unrated" cut comes in at 92 minutes long. As far as I can tell, this new cut essentially replaces the PG-13 jokes with edgier jokes and a few "F-bombs". There are no new scenes, no new subplots, and none of the things that we typically see in "unrated" cuts, such as additional violence and nudity. Basically, the Dodgeball: Unrated DVD gives us a look at what the film could have been...

...which isn't much different from the PG-13 cut. Honestly, this new cut won't change your feelings about the movie -- if you liked it before, you'll still like it, and if you didn't, this version won't make it any more endearing. I laughed in all of the same spots that I did when I saw the PG-13 version. The only "new" joke that I laughed at actually appears in the theatrical cut, but here "hump" is replaced by "f*&$" and that made my inner-child chuckle. (This particular quip, which comes from Rip Torn, is interesting because the view cuts away from Torn in the PG-13 cut, so that the "hump" line could be dubbed in.) For those who haven't seen the film, it actually doesn't matter which version you watch. Unlike films such as The Grudge, where I'd recommend seeing the unrated version, the two versions of Dodgeball mirror each other to the point that choosing one is of little consequences. (Unless of course you'll be watching the film with children, then I'd go with the PG-13 cut.)

The Dodgeball: Unrated DVD arrives courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. From a technical standpoint, the DVD is identical to the original DVD release. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The transfer looks good, as it's sharp and clear, showing little grain or artifacting problems. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track impresses with clear dialogue and a nice arrangement of surround sound and subwoofer effects.

The extra features on the Dodgeball: Unrated DVD are the same as the original DVD release, right down to the menus, save for three new additions. This new DVD features a truly odd audio commentary from director/writer Rawson Marshall Thurber, and stars Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. This is a mock commentary track, as the three insult the film and one another. Vaughn crunches potato chips into the microphone while Stiller complains constantly. There are some truly funny moments here, but at some point, I wanted to learn more about the film and we don't get many facts from this commentary. This disc contains 2 new deleted scenes, one of which was probably considered too racy for the PG-13 DVD. Also racy is a new "featurette" with the "Dodgeball Dancers". This is basically extra footage of the scantily-clad dancers lasting 2 1/2 minutes.

4 out of 10 Jackasses

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