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TROPIC THUNDER 2-Disc Director's Cut
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 120 minutes, two audio commentaries, multiple featurettes, fake documentaries, deleted and extended scenes, alternate ending, MTV Movie Awards skit, video rehearsals, raw footage
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Surround]
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

STUDIO: DreamWorks Pictures/ Red Hour
RELEASE DATE: 11-18-2008

TROPIC THUNDER is an over realized joke. It takes reality of Hollywood and distorts it to the nth power. It starts with fake trailers for the actors that actors play in this film, then it is followed by a Vietnam War movie that is spinning out of control at the start of the shoot. In an attempt to salvage the trouble production, the director takes the cast out to the jungles of North Vietnam. While there, the actors get mistaken for real US soldiers by heavily armed drug makers.

Robert Downey Jr. stills the film from everybody else in his role as Kirk Lazarus (who decides to make himself black to get a role in the film Tropic Thunder). Jack Black's personality works for his character while most of the films I can't stand Black at all. Ben Stiller takes a backseat as Tugg Speedman sometimes (because he did direct and help write TROPIC THUNDER).

The first disc has two audio commentaries. The first is with Ben Stiller, co-writer Justin Theroux, and a couple other crew members. Stiller also appears with Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. from track two.

The big load of extras is on disc two. The Water Buffalo deleted scenes was a good cut while one of the two extended scenes deserved being edited down (the other has some good extra material). The alternate ending features some material I wish they kept in. An introduction by Stiller and editor Greg Hayden is included (Hayden sometimes doesn't look too excited). They provide a little audio commentary for the scenes too. Tom Cruise's make-up test features his character's hip hop dance routine that Cruise came up with (it also has an intro by Stiller and Hayden). Then Stiller and his editor introduce 40 minutes of raw takes of four scenes. The scenes with Downey Jr. are fun to watch as Downey keeps getting better and better while the water buffalo tries to steal teh scene from Downey in one. Also the MTV Movie Awards skit for promoting TROPIC THUNDER is included on this disc.

The next best extras are the fake documentaries (about an hour of material) that look into the troubled production of the film within the film narrated by German documentary filmmaker Jan Jurgen (Justin Theroux) for the RAIN OF MADNESS and DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE OF MADNESS. It is a parody of HEARTS OF DARKNESS (the documentary on the filming of APOCALYPSE NOW).

BEFORE THE THUNDER- the genesis of the story (it took 20years) and the cast talk about the script
THE HOT LZ- a look at the shooting of the opening scene
BLOWING S#%T UP- the explosions of TROPIC THUNDER
DESIGNING THE THUNDER- the production design of TROPIC THUNDER which was filmed in Hawaii
THE CAST OF TROPIC THUNDER- several featurettes on the cast of the film

FINAL ANALYSIS: TROPIC THUNDER features a show-stealing performance from Robert Downey Jr. Fans of the film should buy the two disc for some of the funny disc 2 extras. The only thing missing on the set is the original theatrical trailer.

this DVD review is (c)12-3-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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