DVDizzy.com | DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Knocked Up: Extended & Unrated - 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD Review

Knocked Up movie poster Knocked Up

Theatrical Release: June 1, 2007 / Running Time: 133 Minutes (Extended Cut) / Rating: Not Rated (Theatrical Cut: R)

Writer/Director: Judd Apatow

Cast: Seth Rogen (Ben Stone), Katherine Heigl (Alison Scott), Paul Rudd (Pete), Leslie Mann (Debbie), Jay Baruchel (Jay), Jonah Hill (Jonah), Jason Segel (Jason), Martin Starr (Martin), Harold Ramis (Ben's Dad), Joanna Kerns (Alison's Mom), Charlyne Yi (Jodi), Iris Apatow (Charlotte), Maude Apatow (Sadie), Alan Tudyk (Jack), Kristen Wiig (Jill), Bill Hader (Brent), Ken Jeong (Dr. Kuni), Craig Robinson (Club Doorman), Tim Bagley (Dr. Pallagrino), Loudon Wainwright (Dr. Howard), Stephanie Mnookin (Dr. Howard's Nurse), Adam Scott (Male Nurse), J.P. Manoux (Dr. Angelo), Mo Collins (Female Doctor), B.J. Novak (Young Doctor), Tami Sagher (Wardrobe Lady)

Buy Knocked Up from Amazon.com: Unrated 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD Unrated 1-Disc DVD R-Rated 1-Disc DVD Blu-ray


After producing multiple TV series that received critical acclaim and a swift cancellation ("The Ben Stiller Show", "Freaks and Geeks", "Undeclared"), Judd Apatow stumbled upon a more lucrative gig: writing-directing racy R-rated comedies. In addition to largely favorable reviews, Apatow's feature directorial debut, 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin, won public approval to the tune of more than $100 million domestically, making it perhaps the least-expected among the year's most-attended films. Two summers and a blockbuster later (he produced Will Ferrell's profitable NASCAR farce Talladega Nights), Apatow returned with Knocked Up, a film which shared Virgin's foul-mouthed sensibilities and intended balance of big laughs and heart.

Knocked Up's premise is such an interesting "what if" that people have drawn comparisons (and at least one copyright infringement lawsuit) with other media. The film doesn't take too long to establish its start point, depicting two young people from very different modes of life.
Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is a chubby, scruffy slacker who regularly uses drugs and whose only job is to log the times of celebrities' nude scenes for a website he's long been casually developing with his friends/roommates/fellow stoners. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl, "Grey's Anatomy") is a pretty and hard-working producer for cable TV's E! network, who lives with her older sister Debbie (Leslie Mann), Debbie's husband Pete (Paul Rudd), and their two young children (Iris and Maude Apatow).

The paths of Ben and Alison cross on the night she's celebrating her promotion to on-camera work. Too much alcohol and not enough common sense finds the two sharing a taxi to her place, where they naturally "sleep together" and, thanks to a misunderstanding, without contraception. After one awkward morning together and eight weeks apart, Alison learns that she's pregnant with Ben's child, to the great surprise of both parents-to-be.

Alison (Katherine Heigl) and Ben (Seth Rogen) have an awkward first gynecologist visit together. Debbie (Leslie Mann) is bothered that Pete (Paul Rudd) doesn't take the threat of local neighborhood sex offenders more seriously.

Though this setup is somewhat unremarkable (and some have argued, unbelievable), it wins viewers over and so does what follows: a funny and earnest look at how Ben and Alison come together following their one-night stand to try to get better acquainted and to prepare themselves for their utterly unexpected introduction to procreation.

Apatow's sense of humor is noticeably different from today's other comedy filmmakers. It's more daring and a lot more effective. As this DVD reveals, the director's creative process is extremely encouraging of improvisation and requires a lot of footage being shot; each added effort pays off. Apatow clearly keeps the film in the family, employing his real-life family and friends with whom he has professional history. The only core cast member of both "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared", Rogen (who also appeared prominently in 40-Year-Old Virgin) gracefully leaps into leading man status here. Playing his roommates and friends under their real first names and with a camaraderie that can't be faked are a mix of "Freaks" and "Undeclared" alumni -- Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, and Martin Starr -- plus Jonah Hill, who's quickly joined their ranks and topped the cast of Rogen-Apatow's subsequently successful Superbad. Meanwhile, the nuclear family is portrayed by Apatow's wife Leslie Mann (George of the Jungle) and their cute real kids, with Paul Rudd (of Virgin and Apatow-produced Anchorman) filling in for Judd himself.

Since 40-Year-Old Virgin's success, Apatow now wields the clout to cast entirely as he wishes and his friends do not disappoint, each adding something comedically to the mix. Veteran actor Rudd and "How I Met Your Mother"'s Segel stand out the most, but the entire supporting cast gets its moments of hilarity, from former geek Starr's "Dirty Man Contest" efforts as a heavily-bearded subject of constant ridicule to newcomer Charlyne Yi as his loopy girlfriend. A couple of 1980s icons -- "Growing Pains"' Joanna Kerns and Ghostbusters' Harold Ramis -- turn up as well-meaning parental figures whose judgment seems questionable. Kristen Wiig brings some of her "Saturday Night Live" shtick to the big screen as Alison's passively condescending colleague. And the E! setting enables a few celebrities to cameo as themselves, most humorously "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

Pink eye claims three of Ben's roommate friends (Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill). With Do and Re out of town, Ben turns to Egon a.k.a. his Dad (Harold Ramis) for some fatherly advice.

One thing that will turn some people off to Knocked Up is just how far Apatow and company are willing to go. The language is sprinkled with profanity and conjures images most would consider inappropriate for discussion even among longtime close friends. The 40-Year-Old Virgin should be sufficient warning as to what to expect;
the writer-director and his troupe don't just push a little past the commonly-observed PG-13 bounds, they delve fully into R territory with a near-constant stream of the F-word, drug references, and bawdy sex talk. On the whole, the movie is quite a bit more obscene than it needs to be, but at least most of its vulgarities have some comic value and serve to underscore the differences between Ben's ribald crowd and Alison's more professional posture.

Knocked Up approaches an excess of talking, for most of the movie is just that and the fast-paced exchanges of dialogue (scripted or not) pack in an awful lot of discussion. The final product is over two hours and though that would seem to be much longer than it needs to be, few scenes feel deletion-worthy and the spunky pacing doesn't grow tiring. The relationship woes that plague the two most focal couples are a little iffy; at one moment, it feels like Apatow is carefully retelling real life stories, at others it feels like the opposition is contrived merely to provide the separation period that's practically required of a romantic comedy to provide conclusion incentive.

The movie's minor errs along the way get forgotten by the film's hospital climax. The final act hits all the right notes, avoiding sappiness but being sincere and seemingly doing great justice to the elaborate childbirth process that most people go through at least once in their life. As a film, Knocked Up provides clear improvement over 40-Year-Old Virgin, supplying more laughs, more heart, and a more fluid balance between the two. While the level of crassness proves to be an obstacle that many viewers either won't or won't want to overcome, those that can accept it should find the film to be a triumph. It's a much different triumph from those unforgettable "Freaks and Geeks" victories but Apatow and company are taking big screen comedy to new heights in much the same way they briefly did for the hour-long TV program.

Debbie (Leslie Mann) is uncertain of Ben's worth, but Alison smiles at her baby's daddy's antics. Ben prepares Alison for what the baby will look like.

With less star power than Virgin but a common distributor and similar release method, Knocked Up provided Judd Apatow with another box office hit. The movie's nearly $150 million domestic gross handily surpassed Virgin's $109 M and made it one of the summer's highest-grossing films, its R-rated sensibilities in stark contrast to the sequels and franchise flicks that were in the same stratosphere.

As with Virgin, Universal has treated Knocked Up to separate R-Rated and Unrated DVD versions. Whereas that earlier Apatow film caused a minor stir for forcing viewers to initially choose between a fullscreen version of the movie they fell in love with or a significantly extended (and, many argued, inferior) version in widescreen,
Knocked Up neither gets such a drastic elongation nor throws customers into a Sophie-like decision. The movie's extended cut runs a mere 4 minutes longer, providing a few colorful but easy-to-miss exchanges regarding threesomes and Julianne Moore's nether regions that naturally have very little effect, positive or negative, on the film as a whole.

As for the different flavors, Knocked Up arrives in five. There is a widescreen single-disc version of the theatrical cut, which is missing a few of the unrated disc's extras. The single-disc unrated version, (billed "Unrated & Unprotected" and offered in widescreen or fullscreen, comes with everything on the R-rated disc plus a few additional deleted and extended scenes. Carrying a list price of just $1 more (though typically selling for a few dollars more) is the red-colored 2-Disc Collector's Edition (also called "Extended & Unrated"), which includes the unrated DVD as Disc 1 and a robust multi-hour supplements disc. That is the subject of this review. Finally, retailing for $9 more than that, there is the HD DVD / Standard DVD Combo which offers everything from the unrated single-disc DVD (i.e. Disc 1 here) plus a high-definition feature presentation and exclusive content via a picture-in-picture U-Control feature.

Buy Knocked Up: 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD from Amazon.com DVD Details

1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Surround (French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Closed Captioned
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Suggested Retail Price: $26.98 (Reduced from $30.98)
Two single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s)
Black Keepcase with Side Snaps housed
in openable Cardboard Slipcover
Also available in 1-Disc R-Rated Widescreen, 1-Disc Unrated Widescreen, 1-Disc Unrated Fullscreen, on HD DVD / DVD Combo (Unrated), and on Blu-ray (Unrated)

VIDEO and AUDIO

Knocked Up appears enhanced for widescreen displays in its 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio on 3 of its 4 DVD incarnations. Like most new movies, it looks quite terrific on the format, with a perfectly sharp, bright, and clean presentation showcasing the expectedly nice-looking present-day photography.

As a clear majority of movie's audio is dialogue, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack doesn't deliver a house-rocking mix. But the speech is all crisp and discernible, the eclectic mix of music (from Wu-Tang Clan to Loudon Wainwright III) is adequately conveyed, and an earthquake scene packs a punch. Though there's not much surround activity, that's befitting the film and true to its theatrical exhibitions.

Uncomfortable weight discussions mark Alison's interview of Eva Mendes from Disc 1's deleted scenes. We're treated to only a little more of Ryan Seacrest's entertaining self-cameo in Disc 1's group of Extended/Alternate scenes. In-character or not, Leslie Mann has had enough of Paul Rudd's "Back to the Future" riffs in the first of three gag reels.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS and PACKAGING

Disc 1's extras begin with a hearty serving of Deleted Scenes (18:50). Most of these are pretty entertaining (especially Jason's nighttime chat with Ben and the group ridicules of Ben's Las Vegas idea), a couple are clearly disposable (like Alison's interview of a snotty Eva Mendes), and one (Jonah's 3-minute commentary on Brokeback Mountain) obscenely oversteps the bounds of good taste.

The four Extended/Alternate Scenes (8:25) include more of Ryan Seacrest sending up himself and his job, an aimless cut of Jonah wavering between praise and condemnation for Martin's beard, Alison interviewing Owen Wilson on the MTV Movie Awards red carpet, and a longer version of Harold Ramis' main scene.

"Line-O-Rama" (3:30) serves up a collection of alternate lines and deliveries for a number of scenes, viewed in succession. Appropriately tightly edited, there's humor abound. A Gag Reel (3:20) provides plenty of entertaining moments of goofs, outtakes, and assorted set antics.

Jay Baruchel expresses his reluctance to ride a Knott's Berry Farm roller coaster in a Disc 1 featurette. "Capote"'s Bennett Miller plays back seat director to Judd Apatow in Disc 1's mock featurette. Joe Henry and Loudon Wainwright III perform "You Can't Fail Me Now" on Disc 1's clip of their McCabe's Guitar Shop performance.

"Roller Coaster Doc" (5:15) covers the production's day of filming at Knott's Berry Farm, specifically focusing on actor Jay Baruchel's reluctance to ride the coaster for fear of anxiety attack.

"Directing the Director" (7:40) is an amusing piece which "documents" how Universal brought in Capote director Bennett Miller to fine-tune Apatow's directing. Played entirely straight-faced but clearly staged for laughs, the featurette's humor will register most with industry types, filmmaking buffs, and those aware of Apatow's studio run-ins in TV.

Next is footage of Apatow favorite Loudon Wainwright III and co-composer Joe Henry performing "You Can't Fail Me Now" (3:45) live at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica.

"Topless Scene - Web Design Company" is a 30-second clip of Ben at his legit office job, where he's here joined by two of his friends. It's less titillating than the title makes it sound.

Closing out the first disc is its longest extra, a feature audio commentary by Apatow, Seth Rogen, and, least expectedly, supporting actor Bill Hader. Apatow and Rogen do most of the talking, while Hader is there to entertain during lulls (perceived more than actual) with humorous and accurate impressions of Peter Falk, Al Pacino, Peter O'Toole, and Vincent Price. This spirited discussion is easy to listen to and filled with lots of actual information on the movie. The group chemistry yields lots of laughter and no shortage of profanity (I guarantee you'll never encounter a track with more uses of the "MF" word in verb form). Through the bawdy banter, however, there are many interesting things shared, from what jokes audiences (and Tobey Maguire, in particular) enjoyed to deletions and variations filmed for various scenes. Apatow points out the few extensions and also reveals how much of the film, especially the hospital parts, were inspired by his real life experiences. Overall, the track is enjoyable and enlightening if you can tolerate colorful language, but you must if you've seen the film and are considering listening to this.

Further illustrating the knack for quiet, nighttime, bedroom scenes he showed on "Freaks and Geeks", Jason Segel's in-bed chats with Ben are a highlight of both disc's deleted scenes sets. There's more of Alison's passive-agressive colleague (Kristen Wiig) to see in Disc 2's extended/alternate scenes. Knocked Up's writer-director Judd Apatow addresses the camera directly (while Nacho Libre looks on) to update viewers on production's progress in 22 Video Diaries.

The key word for Disc 2 is "more"; the second platter offers more of most of the things found on Disc 1 plus a bunch of short featurettes and still more that defy definition.

First up comes an hour of deleted and extended/alternate scenes. Of the exhaustive collection of Deleted Scenes (30:20), about twelve minutes feature 1-on-1 in-bed conversations between Ben and each of his friends, another six minutes depict more of the trying first visits to gynecologists. They're fairly amusing, as are the remainder of scenes in the hospital waiting room, at E!, and of Alison talking individually with two of Ben's friends.

The second serving of Extended/Alternate Scenes (29:00) provide long cuts of a few sequences, most notably the guys in the opening night club, the guys discussing contraceptive sex practices (and the A word), Pete and Debbie's nighttime lawn fight, Jonah's paranoid hospital rants, and Kristen Wiig's character's warnings to Alison.

Judd Apatow addresses the camera for 22 short "Video Diaries" (28:30), recorded regularly from the first day of filming to the last. In them, he discusses the movie's overall progress and the interesting things that have happened recently. It's a neat way of documenting the production, while also observing how the director's feelings toward the project (and facial hair) change.

Maude Apatow (Sadie) and Iris Apatow (the oft-costumed Charlotte), the offspring of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, are the focus of "Kids on the Loose." Bill Haverchuck (a.k.a. Martin Starr) gets his beard on in "Beard-o-Rama." David Krumholtz discusses his near-casting in "Gummy: The 6th Roommate."

"Kids on the Loose" (5:35) showcases unused footage of Iris and Maude Apatow in action, being young, cute, and not entirely cooperative.

"Beard-o-Rama" (4:00) provides cast members' in-character riffs on Martin's full beard
(often quite explicitly), along with actor Martin Starr complaining about the effects of having to play a faux-bearded character.

"Kuni Files" (5:25) follows actor Ken Jeong around the set, as he plays the irritable obstetrician Dr. Kuni.

"Gummy: The 6th Roommate" (6:35) tells the interesting story about David Krumholtz' near-involvement in the film. After being cast as one of Ben's friends, the "Numb3rs" actor dropped out to play the lead in a Woody Allen movie...only to have that film fall through. The tale is told in the words of Krumholtz and Apatow, and though it may seem like another deadpan joke, it checks out as an intriguingly true story.

The 2-minute "Stripper Confidential" profiles shooting the stripper scene in the film, mostly with Apatow sharing his thoughts.

Justin "Mac" Long could have starred in two of this summer's blockbusters, according to the faux documentary "Finding Ben Stone." "Kuni Gone Wild" lets the outrageous Asian gynecologist (Ken Jeong) loose, while male nurse Adam Scott and Seth Rogen try not to crack up and break character. Loudon Wainwright (who Apatow devotees will recognize as the father from "Undeclared") discusses making his first movie score.

You might think that "Finding Ben Stone" (30:20) is the closest thing to a real documentary on the set, but it's another joke supplement like Disc 1's "Directing the Director." Here, Apatow recalls the struggle to cast the male lead of Knocked Up with anecdotes and footage of actors who didn't work out including Michael Cera, Orlando Bloom, James Franco, Justin Long, Allen Covert, Gerry Bednob, Bill Hader, and David Krumholtz. This is one elaborate joke and while it does deliver a few laughs, there's not enough to justify all the effort that went into rounding up actor friends and filming scenes and B-roll footage. That said, it doesn't take much effort to watch and the high entertainment value definitely merits a viewing.

The extended sequence "Kuni Gone Wild" (5:45) lives up to its title, as the Asian gynecologist proves to be irate and insane in talking Alison through the delivery while trading barbs with Ben.

"Loudon Wainwright III Scoring Session" (4:40) covers Wainwright and Joe Henry's collaboration on Knocked Up's music, primarily through Wainwright's comments.

"Line-O-Rama Version 2" (6:30) provides quite a bit more of the cast improvising in alternatives to what made it into the film. Some of it's rather obscene, but some of it -- like Paul Rudd's endless Back to the Future talk -- is pretty funny.

A pair of additional gag reels -- "Version 2" (4:55) and "Version 3" (3:20) -- provide many more instances of the actors breaking into laughter, which occasionally feels contagious.

Another two straightforward Loudon Wainwright III performances at McCabe's are seen for the songs "Grey in LA" (3:12) and "Daughter" (3:45).

Rounding out the set is audition footage of Katherine Heigl reading for the part of Alison across from Seth Rogen. Ben rolls the dice in the unorthodox Disc 1 Main Menu. A Knott's Berry Farm drop ride is the setting for Disc 2's Main Menu.

"First Sex on Camera" (1:30) finds Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill talking about filming their respective first sex scenes. Interestingly, Hill's is neither in the film nor in any of the deleted scenes sections.

Another "Topless Scene" (3:25) finds Ben shirtless on his restaurant date with Alison. I'm not really sure what the point of it is, but there's more amusing improvising on topics as varied as successful former E! hosts and Jewish characters in Disney and Pixar animated films.

Raw footage is provided from two scenes between Ben and Alison,
"Geisha House" (10:50) and "Swingers" (7:18), illustrating the loose, improv-friendly acting style employed here and just how much was shot, considering these are just two set-ups.

Last but not least is tape from Katherine Heigl auditioning alongside Seth Rogen (2:40) on one of the film's most heated scenes.

Rather than the traditional montage and music approach, each of the menus is fixed on one setting or theme from the movie. The Main Menu features Ben and Alison's club dancing, the Bonus menu follows Ben and friends on their amusement park drop, and so on. On some menus, the cursors subtly nod at home pregnancy tests. Found at the start of Disc 1 are previews for "Heroes": Season One, White Noise 2 and Bring It On: In It to Win It plus a promo for HD DVD. In much-appreciated touches, all extras are enhanced for 16x9 displays and subtitled in English, Spanish, and French.

The near-requisite cardboard slipcover which replicates the keepcase artwork below is redeemed by the fact that its front opens up to reveal a collage of images and funny quotes from the film. The only in-case insert is a 4-page booklet promoting Universal films on HD DVD.

Don't assume that because "Knocked Up" is a comedy its hospital delivery climax won't be graphic. At least, Ben's strange roommates are there to provide the funny.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

If you can tolerate extremely racy dialogue and glorified drug use, then you should definitely give Knocked Up a look. While the coarseness isn't entirely justified, it is more for character definition than shock value and if you can get past the content, you'll be treated to one of the year's funniest comedies. Like many of writer-director Judd Apatow's past achievements, the film doesn't settle for just making you laugh a lot. It's also able to make you think and care while depicting the increasingly delayed transition to adulthood and celebrating the trials of pregnancy. Though not without some shortcomings, Knocked Up is entertaining, quotable, enjoyable, and a marked improvement over Apatow's much-liked first directorial effort.

If you're going to add the film to your DVD collection, the two-disc Collector's Edition is the way to go. It will likely set you back a few dollars more than the $1 SRP difference, but Disc 2 provides a wealth of supplemental goodness (more than two hours, nearly half being deleted and alternate scenes) that will entertain fans of the film, even those who shy from the more traditional making-of pieces absent here. That said, even the single-disc version nets you a fair amount of deleted footage, some featurettes, and a fun commentary. The only way you could really go wrong is if you avoid Knocked Up altogether.

Buy Knocked Up from Amazon.com:
Unrated 2-Disc DVD / Unrated 1-Disc DVD / R-Rated 1-Disc DVD / Unrated Blu-ray

Buy from Amazon.com


Related Reviews:
Funny People Superbad The TV Set Step Brothers Drillbit Taylor
I Love You, Man Tropic Thunder Hot Fuzz Adventureland Zombieland Evan Almighty Blades of Glory
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Edition Yes Man
Back to School: Extra-Curricular Edition Night at the Museum: 2-Disc Special Edition Wild Hogs
Grey's Anatomy: Season 1 Grey's Anatomy: Season 2 Grey's Anatomy: Season 3
Phil of the Future: Gadgets & Gizmos Unaccompanied Minors Boy Meets World: The Complete Second Season

DVDizzy.com | DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Reviewed October 14, 2007.



Text copyright 2007 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2007 Universal Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.