Movie: There is a general rule of thumb that holds any movies made by former cast members of the weekly television show, Saturday Night Live, will be really lame. Out of the dozens of such movies over the last twenty-five or so years, only a couple have risen above the SNL curse. I don't think it's because the performers were untalented so much as because the material unable to support the longer format of a full-length movie. The latest release in a long line of losers is The Animal: Uncut And Untamed, recently re-released on DVD in an uncut version.
The movie focused on a clerk, Marvin (Rob Schneider) who wants to be a hero and join the police force as an officer. The biggest problem for Marvin is that he is scrawny and weak willed, something that keeps him from passing the yearly test to join the force. As a result, everyone from small children to little old ladies bullies him, and the general consensus of the community is that he's a loser (which even gets spray painted on his chest by a kid at one point).
One day, Marvin answers a burglary call in his beat up jalopy and ends up in a tragic accident, falling off a cliff. He briefly wakes up on an operating table but dismisses it as a dream when he finds himself okay. Little does he realize that he has been given animal parts to save his life, parts that end up giving him unique abilities (and deficiencies). He then saves a young child's life using these powers and becomes an officer, utilizing the powers in his everyday fight against crime. The problem arises when he becomes the primary suspect in a rash of attacks that he can't recall. Will Marvin be hunted down like an animal (by such notables as Norm MacDonald and Adam Sandler) and will he get the cutie he's been chasing or will he save the day?
The primary difference between this version and the original DVD release appears to be a tiny bit of additional footage, the most notable of which seemed to be a tiny bit of female nudity in the Badger Milk commercial. I think there was a swear word or two extra as well but nothing noteworthy enough to warrant a new edition. If you're a huge Rob Schneider fan and don't already own the original release, it may be worth checking into but otherwise, this is yet another example of extraneous versions being released to cash in.
Further, as a fan of Schneider, Sandler, MacDonald, and a bunch of other SNL alumni, even I thought the movie was among their weakest work. I'm rating it as a Skip It for all the weaknesses in direction, the formulaic plot, and the acting but it was cute enough that those who are less demanding may appreciate watching it once or twice while very, very drunk.
Picture: The picture was presented in anamorphic widescreen with the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The box claims the movie was remastered in High Definition but it looked exactly like the original DVD release. This is not a bad thing because the picture was crisp and clear when first released, just as it is here, with accurate fleshtones, true black, and few compression artifacts (a couple scenes had some minor mosquito noise though). The lighting was flat, as though filmed for video, and the contrasts few, but for fans of television, satisfying enough.
Sound: The audio was presented 5.1 Dolby Digital surround English with optional English or French subtitles. The vocals were about average but the music had a lot more dynamic range and separation. The biggest problem with the vocals appeared to be that they were slightly hollow and the mix favored the music too much. .
Extras: The primary extras included two audio commentaries; one with the director, Luke Greenfield, and another with star Rob Schneider and producer John Schneider. The director commentary didn't really offer any insights to the making of the movie and the star commentary was fairly weak, with Rob making up a lot of anecdotes as though they really happened. The producer jumped in a couple of times but really didn't seem to be there to do anything more than keep Rob in line. The extras also included four deleted scenes, none of which were more of passing interesting to me. I did sort of enjoy the Comedy Central featurette (I liked it on cable when I first saw it too) as well as the shorter Making Of… featurette (that was mostly interviews and clips). There was a game where you picked different animals and got to watch a short clip of Rob acting like an animal (not much replay value for anyone over 6 years old though) and some trailers but that's it. I believe the extras were all duplicates of the original release of the movie, with the only changes being a different set of trailers.
Final Thoughts: If you like bad comedies by former SNL cast members, you may enjoy this one but this new edition really didn't add a lot of value to the initial release. The extras were the same, the picture and audio seemed the same and a tiny bit of barely noticeable footage is hardly a reason to purchase the movie all over again. Technically it was okay but conceptually, it wasn't worth another edition.