BluRay/DVD Reviews

MEET THE PARENTS

By • Dec 14th, 2004 •

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Universal
108 min

The Meet The Parents DVD is part of Universal’s “Collector’s Edition” series. This series seems designed to take mediocre films and package them in a fashion that will make them irresistable to even the most critical DVD collector. The goal is to give the appearance of such an overwhelming amount of bonus features that even if you loathe the film, you may feel the need to purchase it. I fell for this con with the American Pie DVD, I won’t fall for it with Meet The Parents.

The biggest disappointment has to be the cast commentary. As expected, De Niro is pretty much silent throughout the whole thing. Towards the second half Rosenthal and De Niro actually leave the recording studio, only to return during the end credits! But what really bothered me was the complete lack of interest shown by Stiller. It sounds as though he doesn’t even like the film (which I can believe). I was amused by the palpable sense of desperation every time Roach tries to get De Niro talking. He keeps asking him questions about acting, theater, and improvisation, and every response given is either a one word answer or silence. I swear there were a few occasions where Raoch was simply ignored.

The Director and Editor’s commentary is better, but predictable. Lots of talk about scouting locations, script rewrites, editing choices and character developement. Not exactly exciting, but it is consistent and informative. Roach also makes some interesting comments concerning the cat, and its relationship with De Niro.

I have never been satisfied with any of the ‘Spotlight on Location’ featurettes. It seems to me that all they ever consist of is ten minutes of interviews spliced in between scenes from the film. This one clocked in at about 24 minutes, and about 15 of that were film highlights. The clips of Roach and Stiller just have them describing the plot to the audience.

One feature I did like was the Deleted Scenes with Commentary. Editor Jon Poll talks about things like pacing and structure and why scenes get removed even when they’re good. Unfortunately this feature only consists of two scenes, a grand total of four minutes. The Outtakes were also fun: the cast is constantly cracking up, and it looks like they were having fun.

Tht DVD additionally contains two games. The first one is a lie detector test where the viewer gets to answer questions similar to the ones Stiller has to answer in the movie. The other is a questionnaire about dating and meeting your significant other’s parents. When you’re done it tells you how you’d hold up. I guess they’re both cute features, but once they’ve been played I can’t see any reason to revisit them.

I can’t comment on the DVD-ROM section since I don’t have one, nor do I know anyone who does. From the description (Games, Screen Savers, and Wallpaper) I don’t think I’m missing much.


DVD Features:
Spotlight on Location
Commentary with Director Jay Roach and Editor Jon Poll
2nd Commentary with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Jay Roach and Producer Jane Rosenthal
Deleted Scenes with Commentary
Outtakes
Lie Detector Test
Forecaster Game


Cast:
Robert De Niro
Ben Stiller
Teri Polo
Blythe Danner
Owen Wilson

Credits:
Director: Jay Roach
Producer: Jane Rosenthal
Editor: Jon Poll

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