Tropic Thunder: Unrated Director’s Cut

DVD Reviews | Nov 21st, 2008

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Starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Brandon T. Jackson
Written By: Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Etan Cohen
Directed By: Ben Stiller
Studio: Dreamworks Home Entertainment
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One of the funniest movies of the year arrives just in time for the Holidays on DVD and Blu-Ray! Tropic Thunder features an all-star cast, many laugh out loud moments and lines that you will be quoting for years! If you love war movies, then you’ll Tropic Thunder spoofing the genre and spoofing Hollywood as well.

Tropic Thunder is about a bunch of prima-donna actors who are working on a war movie together. You have Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), Mr. Special Effects/ blockbuster actor, and the lead actor in the movie. You have Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), the king of Fart comedies and big-time drug user. The Oscar winner among the bunch is, Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.). An Australian who’s such a dedicated actor, he went through a controversial procedure to make him look darker. According to him, He doesn’t break character until hens done the DVD commentary. Rounding out the group of actors is hip-hop artist Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) and newcomer Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel). One day, while shooting on the set; the project goes over budget and things aren’t working out for everyone. The director gets a tongue lashing from head movie studio executive Less Grossman (Tom Cruise). The Vietnam Vet author (Nick Nolte) that the film is based on, tells the director to go off the grid and shoot a guerilla style movie instead. Of course, things don’t go as plan and the actors have to go up against Asian heroine makers. While some still think they are in a movie, others are trying to get out alive.

I thought Tropic Thunder was the funniest movie of the year. From the start of the movie, to the very end; everything was funny. The beginning has a bunch of trailers and commercials, showcasing the actors you’re about to see in the movie. It’s probably the best part of Tropic Thunder. Ben Stiller was always great at doing movie spoofs for The Ben Stiller Show. Of course, Robert Downey, Jr. steals the movie once again. His impersonations of African-Americans, Australians and Asians will have you bent over from laughing so much. It’s funny when he combines all three accents together towards the end of the movie. It’s quite impressive to see him pull off this character and for awhile it makes you really think hens this tough, drill sergeant character. I wanted to see the movie again just so I can hear what Kirk Lazarus was saying. Half the time in the theater, people were laughing so much; you ended up missing some lines.

Another person who stole the show was Tom Cruise. I know, I’m shocked by that statement as well. Cruise is unrecognizable in a fat suit and hens just so over the top & very vulgar. What’s scary is that I’m sure that character’s based on real studio heads. Of course I’m not talking about the ones that sent me this fine DVD. The entire cast of Tropic Thunder was excellent though, it just wasn’t Downey, Jr. and Cruise. Newcomer Brandon T Jackson held his own against the big name actors, and also had hysterical scenes. By having his character attack Robert Downey, Jr. throughout the film, it felt like it was okay to laugh at Downey, Jr.’s character. The film definitely was offensive to at least 2 groups of people, I’m sure there are more. They could make fun of everyone and I wouldn’t care. If it’s funny and done in a smart way, I have no problem with it. I’m sure some people got upset over Ben Stiller’s Simple Jack character. I think people need to lighten up a little bit and have a laugh.

If you buy the 2-disc unrated director’s cut, you’ll get loads of extras and an extended cut of the movie. I’m not entirely sure what was added, but the movie definitely feels a little longer. I know there’s some more scenes with Steve Coogan, I know that much. But in the end, it’s hardly noticeable. On disc 1, you have 2 commentary tracks. One is with the Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux and producers, etc. and the other track is with Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. I haven’t heard the tracks yet but I can imagine the cast commentary would be a good listen. All the featurettes are on disc 2. You have a lot of making-of type of featurettes and you get to see a lot of in-depth things. You have featurettes on blowing shit up, designing the sets, cast of the Tropic Thunder, deleted/extended scenes, an alternate ending, and an outrageous mockumentary called Rain of Madness. The mockumentary was great because everything was (it seemed), and it felt like an addition onto the movie. Steve Coogan and Robert Downey, Jr. were funny as usual. Steve Coogan didn’t have a lot of scenes in the feature film, but seeing him do more is nice. If there is one piece from the bonus features to watch, it’s that one!

Tropic Thunder spoofs the entire movie industry and it could be a little too inside sometimes. I still think Stiller & co. made a super hilarious and entertaining war comedy that most people will enjoy. The performances of Downey, Jr., Stiller and Cruise will make you laugh your head off. I think the movie starts to slow down at the end but overall, I really like this a lot. Go buy Tropic Thunder on DVD or Blu-Ray and have a movie night with your friends.

Disc 1:
– Filmmaker and Cast Commentaries

Disc 2:
– Before the Thunder
– The Hot LZ
– Blowing S#%t Up
– Designing the Thunder
– The Cast of Tropic Thunder
– Rain of Madness
– Dispatches from the Edge of Madness
– Deleted and Extended Scenes
– Alternate Ending
– MTV Movie Awards: Tropic Thunder
– Full Mags
– Video Rehearsals

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: The trailers, the opening scene, any scene with Robert Downey, Jr., Ben Stiller and the Panda, Ben Stiller throwing the baby at the end.
Rating: NR
Running Time: 120 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: