Watching "Man on the Moon" on DVD, one thing becomes extremely clear- Andy Kaufman's humor was not for everybody. The film, directed by Milos Forman does a fantastic job of chronicling both the rise of Kaufman's comedic career and its various pitfalls, and allows the viewer the opportunity to try to get to know the real Andy and to realize how difficult an endeavor that actually is. As a result, at times, it's easy to become a Kaufman fan, and at other times, it seems much harder.
This is not likely to be a movie that has you laughing from beginning to end, but it is a highly entertaining film that really captures the talents of a great director and a great actor in the telling of the story of a truly enigmatic figure.
Jim Carrey gives an incredible performance seemingly channeling Kaufman. During the scenes from "Taxi", with almost the entire original cast of the show turning up for the movie, it becomes easy to feel like you are watching the show and forget that you are watching a movie. While, at first, the role of Andy Kaufman didn't seem like too much of a stretch for Carrey, a post-film viewing of the behind the scenes documentary really allows the viewer to see the way that Carrey naturally is, and it becomes much clearer how great a performance he gives in the film.
Audio/ Video: The film is presented in widescreen only. The print is quite clear and there are no visible problems which would inhibit viewing enjoyment.
The sound is generally quite clear and crisp. The film is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and the dialogue is easy to hear, despite the number of accents taken on by Kaufman in the film. The sound on the two music videos included in the bonus materials section is also quite good.
The menus The menus for this DVD are easy to navigate, but be careful because they show scenes from the movie and may give some thematic elements away. So on your first viewing, go straight to playing the movie and don't let the menu ruin any part of the movie for you.
Bonus Materials: There are a number of stories that surround the making of this movie, including an alleged injury to Jim Carrey and a fight that broke out during its promotion between Carrey and Kaufman collaborator Bob Zmuda. It is therefore quite sad that there is no director or cast commentary included on the DVD. While Milos Forman speaks in the documentary with a heavy accent which might make his commentary somewhat more difficult to understand, it would have really been a treat to hear commentary on this movie. I for one would have loved an explanation why Kaufman's starring role in "Heartbeeps" was not included. (Sorry to disappoint all the Heartbeeps fans out there but its better that you know going in). That being said, the Bonus Materials are quite enjoyable. The deleted scenes are surprisingly good and makes one lament their exclusion from the film. Some of them seem almost essential, and only a couple appear to have been cut for any reason other than to shorten the film. The videos from R.E.M. are enjoyable as well and make a nice addition to the DVD for collectors. The behind-the-scenes documentary is also definitely worth watching after viewing the movie, to hear a little about what brought the creative forces together to make this movie and to hear about the impact that Kaufman had on the lives of those who made the movie.
While some of Kaufman's antics caused conflicting feelings about him and the film, having a little distance from the film has caused me to like it more and more. This is definitely worth at least a rental and, if you are a Kaufman fan or a Jim Carrey fan, or find yourself becoming one while watching the film, it's definitely worth owning.