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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Van Wilder - Unrated
Van Wilder - Unrated
Artisan // Unrated // August 20, 2002
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 29, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" (later just "Two Guys and A Girl") was likely one of the most ripped apart TV shows in the past several years. If there was one good thing in the series, it was Ryan Reynolds, an underrated comic actor who has sense of comedic timing like David Spade with the sarcasm turned down a bit.

Reynolds, with his great delivery, is barely able to make anything out of "Van Wilder", a somewhat depressing romp through largely predictable gross-out territory. Reynolds stars as Van Wilder, a seventh-year college undergraduate who's coasted through his years at school, just getting good enough grades and putting together enough great parties to get by. When his father (Tim Matheson) cuts off the finances, Van Wilder decides to make money by planning parties and offering the services of topless tuitors, aided by his assistant.

I certainly do enjoy gross-out comedies as much as anyone else (especially old-school Sandler like "Billy Madison" or "Happy Gilmore" - which this film rips from in one scene), but there's really little in "Van Wilder" that hasn't been seen before. The film's attempts to try and top the gross-outs of its similar prior films aren't funny and only seem desperate for a laugh. The romance between Wilder and Gwen could have likely been left on the editing room floor, as the two have little in the way of chemistry and their romance isn't very well-written. "Van Wilder" boasts a decent cast, but not enough happens in the picture and most of the humor is uninspired.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Van Wilder" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen by Artisan Entertainment. Although not a very visual movie at all, "Van Wilder" suffers from some further flaws on this edition from the studio. Sharpness and detail are okay, as the picture remained a little on the soft side throughout, with a flat look and average detail.

Some other problems occur throughout the picture: a few minor instances of pixelation were spotted, as was some minor edge enhancement and print flaws. Colors remained decently presented here, looking a little smeared now and then, but usually pretty crisp.

SOUND: "Van Wilder" is presented by Artisan in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film goes purely with a "comedy" presentation, hardly using the surrounds and keeping most of the audio's focus on the dialogue.

MENUS: In what has to be a first in the history of mainstream DVD, "Van Wilder" actually offers the option of "uncensored" menus that have a stunning actress taking her shirt off for all of the menu transitions.

EXTRAS: All of the film's supplements are included on the second disc: we get 9 deleted scenes, 6 outtakes, a music video for "Bouncin' Off the Walls"; trailers for other Artisan titles (including "Glengarry Glen Ross" - never thought that movie would be associated with this one, did you?); Comedy Central "Reel Comedy" featurette; music promos; 2 trailers; production notes; credits and "Wilder Files" text pages.
Final Thoughts: Reynolds tries enough with his performance that "Van Wilder" had a few moments. Still, not a whole lot happens in "Van Wilder" and other films have went over this ground better. Artisan's DVD offers really nice menus, but only decent audio, video and supplements. Rent it.

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