This is 40 [Blu-Ray] Judd Apatow

This is 40 [Blu-Ray] Judd Apatow
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Are you a fan of unrepentant overstuffing? Judd Apatow certainly hopes so. Not only is This is 40 already far longer than it needs to be, but the Blu-Ray release includes an unrated extended version of the movie and quite possibly more special features than have ever been crammed onto a single disc in the history of home video. If you worship at the altar of Apatow, this is a good thing, but it's hard to imagine there are many fans dedicated enough to one man's personal likes that everything included will be of interest. As expected, the unrated version doesn't enhance the story; it just makes it a bit filthier and longer. Apatow's highly personal depiction of a couple going through minor mid-life crises is still a meandering and unfocused slice of existence that lacks narrative focus. It plays like little more than a collection of scenes of a funnier-than-average family working through their issues. The confessional candour — stealth smoking and junk food eating, erectile infirmity — is good for some laughs, but it's hard to empathize with affluent Caucasians stressing out over the struggle to continue living above their means. Pete (the ever-affable Paul Rudd) is trying to make a go of an independent record label that specializes in releasing albums from legacy artists past their prime. Graham Parker & the Rumour are his going concern for the story and the joke isn't just how pedestrian such an intense love for an artist so accomplished at mediocrity is. As demonstrated by a loving documentary on the band's reunion specifically for the film, Apatow legitimately doesn't understand why people aren't falling over themselves to shower Parker with praise and money. If you're a Graham Parker die-hard, you're in luck: full performances by both the man solo and backed by the Rumour are included in the "Music" section of the disc, which also features a few songs by Ryan Adams. Further celebrating Apatow's fondness for bland middle-class icons, there's a whole section on Albert Brooks in the "Documentaries" section. The primary feature in that sub-heading is a two-part "Making Of" that deals with the production of the film, in exhaustive detail. Unsurprisingly, the most honest voice comes from the person least interested in kissing the writer/director/producer's ass: his daughter, Maude, who plays Pete's daughter, Sadie. Aside from that and some vocal defense of the comedic talents of Megan Fox, it's mostly comprised of the cast members saying complementary things about the experience and Apatow questioning his sanity, in regards to filming acts like his children receiving actual vaccinations. His preoccupation with fawning footage of his offspring contributes to much of the movie's sagging runtime, and there's more where that came from. "Kids on the Loose 3" is essentially just Iris Apatow being a wacky kid with real-life, and fictional, mom Leslie Mann. Additionally, there's a two-part gag reel, a two-part "Line-O-Rama," a "Brooks-o-Rama" and another for Robert Smigel called "Biking with Barry." If that seems like more than enough, you're right… but wait there's more. "Extended and Alternate Scenes" play with variations on dirty talk, like one character's strange fixation on having anal sex with Judge Judy; the "Deleted Scenes" are mostly forgettable, save for a bit that riffs on the eccentricity of E from Eels; and a "Bodies by Jason Commercial" is just kind of there. Hold on though, we're still not done. Apatow does a commentary track for the theatrical cut, in which he tries to be more informative than funny, and also includes a radio interview conducted between himself and WHYY, Inc.'s Terry Gross. Finally (thank whatever spiritual being you believe in), the funniest part of the entire package is an appearance by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, which sees the cigar-chomping rubber hand puppet mercilessly terrorize everyone he talks to with ugly truths, including some highly appropriate zingers about Apatow's weakness for excess. (Universal)