There isn't a lot of difference between the English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix and the English language DTS-ES 6.1 Surround Sound mix on this release – both sound very good, with the DTS track getting the slight edge for better and stronger bass. While almost everything comes at you from the front speakers the rears are used now and again for background music and sound effects and they do serve to build up a bit of atmosphere in a couple of scenes. Dialogue is clean, clear and free of any hiss or distortion, though some scenes probably could have been slightly boosted in the rear channels to make the surround activity that does happen a bit more pronounced. Aside from that one minor quibble, however, everything comes through nicely on this DVD. A Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track is also included and the disc comes with an English closed captioning option and subtitles available in French and Spanish.
First up is a look back at the making of the film courtesy of a retrospective documentary entitled Still Dumb After All These Years. Through interviews with the Farrelly Brothers, the producers of the film and Jeff Daniels we learn about casting decisions, how the script was proved to be a very tough sell to certain studio parties, and about the relationship that developed between Daniels and Carrey on set and how the worked on some specific scene details together. Apparently the Farrelly Brothers sold the producers on the movie by acting out scenes in the office, and initially Steve Martin and Martin Short were wanted for the leads. While Carrey himself isn't interviewed here (which is a shame), there are plenty of clips of his antics from the film used to highlight certain moments in here. The piece is a bit on the short side seeing as it's the only documentary/featurette on here (it's 18:08), but it's interesting and kind of fun to hear some of these stories – thankfully it's more than just electronic press kit and talking head material. Brady Bluhm and Karen Duffy are in here as well, talking about their parts, Duffy's part was originally intended for a man. Mike Starr talks about what it was like to be 'the gas man' while Cam Neely talks about how his roots in rural Canada allowed him to turn into a redneck easily enough. Harland Williams covers how he was originally trying for Daniels' role and ended up as the cop.
New Line has also supplied twelve deleted and/or alternate scenes that weren't used in either the theatrical version of the movie or the slightly longer version present on this DVD. Two alternate endings can also be found alongside this material. When it's all said and done, this material runs a combined total of approximately forty-one minutes. The scenes break down as follows (MILD SPOILERS AHEAD):
The Box (with introduction from Karen Duffy and Charles Rocket): (3:27) Duffy and Rocket talk about how they worked on this scene for days and how it never showed up in the movie. It's basically Duffy and Rocket messing around with someone locked in a box in the basement. From there we see them lounging around and discussing how they're going to have to take on Harry and Lloyd with comments from the two actors interspersed.
Soup's On: (1:48) Our two heroes make ketchup soup while freezing outside beside the lake. Carrey talks about how good it tastes when you're really hungry, then proceeds to pick out a piece of old beef jerky from between his teeth. You can imagine what happens next…
Hey Get Me A Cracker!: (2:01) Carrey impersonates Dionne Warwick, confuses Daniels, and then decides he wants some crackers. They eventually get them from the back of the van, still moving, and Harry accidentally spits on the inside of Lloyd's passenger side window.
Somebody Else's Money: (4:08) Lloyd and Harry decide to go nuts with all the money they've found themselves with and completely live it up for a night, and then change their minds when they find out that a special two hour episode of Cops is on TV.
Pissed Off Dead Guy: (1:08) Harry expresses his concern with the Gas Man's passing and how he might now be haunted by him for the rest of his life. Lloyd helps by trying to choke his friend and impersonating Linda Blair from The Exorcist.
Typical Aspen Love Triangle: (1:16) Rocket's character is holding Lloyd, Harry and Mary hostage, tied to the bed in a hotel room, as he orders a one way ticket to Amsterdam. Lloyd retaliates with some insults.
Deleted Short Scenes And Shot Montage With Jeff Daniels: (5:30) Daniels introduces the segment by talking about how cool it is to be able to see deleted material that maybe didn't work in the movie but that is funny none the less. We see Lloyd and Harry talk about seatbelts, a bit with Petey the dead bird, a segment with Mary and her parents in Aspen having tea, more of Harry and Lloyd on the road trying to read a map, more footage from the Mexican restaurant, Lloyd and Harry talking to the bell hop at the hotel in Aspen, hair cut footage, tipping at the hotel, their entry to the benefit event for the owl, and finally, some Harry versus Lloyd action from the scene where the kidnapping is finally resolved towards the end of the film.
The Mime: (1:38) A mime at a skating rink entertains people pretending to get his tongue stuck on a ski while Harry sits there, with his tongue really stuck on a metal pole. Mary finds him and tries to help, while Karen Duffy takes a shot at him. Guess who she hits?
Lloyd And Seabass: (3:44) Harry pumps gas while Lloyd relieves himself in the men's room. He reads the note about meeting Seabass, and Seabass comes into the stall looking for manly love. There's some dialogue, Lloyd tries to find his happy place, Harry saves him. It plays out a bit differently than it does in the finished version of the movie and it's cool to be able to see both versions of one of the funniest scenes in the film.
R.I.P. Petey: (4:41) Our two heroes grieve for Petey, rant about the state of their lives, and Lloyd decides they should go to Aspen. They argue, then make up, and Harry bawls like a baby over his bird. Again, it's slightly different than the scene in the finished version of the movie, there's some different dialogue here and there, but the differences are quite subtle.
Alternate Ending #1: (2:58) Lloyd and Harry walk downstairs, talk to the bell hop, pack up, only to have the bell hop ask them to stay, offering them a job and a place to stay provided they work with him as bell hops. Lloyd and Harry's reaction is pretty funny, but not as funny as the bell hop's final goodbye to them.
Alternate Ending #2: (1:08) Again, Lloyd and Harry get ready to take off, the bell hop offers them a job and a place to stay, though this time the job entails taking care of his grandson, Billy, the blind boy.
Rounding out the extra features for this disc are two fake trailers for Dumb And Dumber, the real trailer for the film, a television spot, and some promos and trailers for other, unrelated New Line DVD releases.
If you look around, you'll find an Easter Egg (1:50) that explains the origins of the infamous fight scene that takes place in Aspen between Jim Carrey and the Asian cook played by Jesse Borja. It's pretty interesting to hear, through Borja's own words, how Carrey improvised a lot of what you see in that scene.
While it's a shame that neither the Farrelly Brothers or Daniels and Carrey were brought on board for a commentary track, the extras that New Line has supplied for this release are pretty amusing and of fairly decent quality – even if there could have been more effort put into fleshing out the documentary a little bit more.
With a much improved transfer, better audio, a longer if not all together different cut of the film and some funny and interesting extra features, fans of Dumb And Dumber and the Farrelly Brothers will probably want to snap this one up even if they own the previous release. The movie remains a completely immature and absolutely ridiculous film from start to finish, but it's so blatantly stupid that you can't help but laugh throughout. Highly recommended!
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.