Half Baked Fully Baked Widescreen Edition
Universal // R // $19.98 // February 15, 2005
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted February 13, 2005
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie

In a few words, Half Baked is a fun movie. It takes a very unrealistic approach about a group of friends whose lives consist of smoking pot and getting high. Nothing else in the world is as important, except of course satisfying their urge for the munchies. This 'Fully Baked Edition' offers the same exact movie that is found on the original DVD release. What makes this release special is that it has more language options: English DTS 5.1 and Spanish & French DD 2.0 tracks and a plethora of extras: audio commentary with director, three featurettes, nine deleted scenes, and an alternative ending.

For those that already own the original DVD release, there isn't a big reason to double-dip and purchase this 'Fully Baked Edition'. The 'Fully Baked Edition' just doesn't offer a lot that makes it worth purchasing again. However, if you don't fall into the previously mentioned category and enjoy mindlessly fun films about smoking pot, Half Baked is definitely something you want to check out.

This movie's storyline is not its strongest point. It is about four teenage friends who grew up together. One day in their youth, they discovered a fifth friend called marijuana. Fast forward into their mid twenties and they're still together, going absolutely nowhere in life. Of course, this doesn't seem to really faze them, because all they want to do is smoke pot and get high. However, the story becomes interesting when one of them accidentally kills a Mounted Patrolman's diabetic horse when he feeds the horse a bunch of junk food. In an effort to raise enough cash to bail him out of jail, the other three guys start selling marijuana. Afterwards, they embark upon an amazing and highly unrealistic journey that is filled with plenty of laughs.

As mentioned, the strength of this movie does not come from the storyline, because it's so hollow, corny, and overplayed. Rather, it's great performances from the likes of Dave Chappelle. I honestly do not feel that this movie would have been as successful as it was if it had not been for him. Perhaps the reason is that the majority of the film follows Chappelle as he attempts to build a drug empire and at the same time his romantic endeavors with a lovely woman who happens to be named Mary Jane offers a lot of great laughs. As for the other actors in this movie are funny, but they just don't have the same appeal that Chappelle offers.

In closing, Half Baked is one of those movies you can enjoy again and again. It offers a tremendously comical performance from Dave Chappelle that should leave you laughing and wanting a little bit more. Half Baked is one of those let-go-of-reality-and-laugh movies that while lacking a strong storyline it is still very entertaining.

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and is the same transfer found on the original DVD release. The picture quality is quite good and offers a clean and sharp picture. There are occasional compression artifacts that appear in the image.

Audio:
The audio options in the original DVD release were limited to a single English 5.1 track. The 'Fully Baked Edition' offers more language options that include an English DTS 5.1 track, a French DD 2.0 track, and a Spanish DD 2.0 track. Since I do not have a DTS enabled home theater, I could not sample it. However, the 5.1 track sounds good. Dialogue remains pretty flat and there is little use of the surround sound. Music comes off rich and vibrant and sounds great. Like the original release, there are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish and it supports closed captioning.

Extras:
Unlike the first Half Baked DVD release, this 'Fully Baked Edition' comes with a decent set of extras. There is an audio commentary with director Tamra Davis. It was fairly enjoyable, but there seemed to be fair too many dull points. Then there are deleted scenes and an alternative ending. I thought that they were the most exciting extras. The other extras include a few short featurettes, which are lackluster. First there is "Five Minutes with the Guy on the Couch". Hopefully not a surprise, it is five minutes of watching Steven Wright, who plays Guy on the Couch, on the couch. Nothing really happens. If his role in the movie really cracked you up, watching him sleep, fart, twist and turn might be worth a laugh. Then there is the "Different Types of Smokers Featurette", which represents five different types of pot heads in a short cartoon stints. Finally, we have "Granny's Guide to Bakin", which is supposed to be funny because a young woman dressed as an old lady makes various baked goods with marijuana. Overall, I enjoyed the extras, excluding the rather dull featurettes, but they have limited replay value.

Final Thoughts:
Quite frankly, Half Baked is not a movie for everyone. The humor is based upon antics of smoking marijuana, which is to say the least, not something that all people enjoy. However, if this kind of humor has tickled you well in the past, Half Baked is a great movie. The sole performance of Dave Chappelle is enough to warrant purchasing this DVD.

For those of you that own the original DVD release, the 'Half Baked Edition' does not offer a whole lot that makes it worth double-dipping. I suppose if you are interested in the additional language options it's worth looking into. However, if the extras are your sole reason, you might want to reconsider. While entertaining, they are not anything special.



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