Joe Dirt (Blu-ray)

July 1, 2015 9 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The life of Joe Dirt (David Spade) hasn’t been an easy one, but no matter what happens, he keeps pushing ahead and remains positive. He was abandon as a child at the Grand Canyon and ever since, he has been on a wild adventure to locate his folks, no matter what the costs. He hasn’t had much luck however, as he has stumbled from town to town, getting into more trouble each time, but never getting closer to his parents. But when he passes into a place called Silver Town, he finds some peace there and decides to remain there for some time. He becomes best friends with Brandy (Brittany Daniel), a beautiful young woman, as well as her lovable dog. But the local bullies don’t like Joe and Brandy’s dad is a drunk, so Joe still doesn’t have it all, but at least he feels somewhat welcome in Silver Town. But when a train runs over Brandy’s father’s legs and he shoots the dog out of wrath, Joe packs up and continues his search. He runs into all sorts of people and gets involved in all sorts of hijinks, only to be a guest on the radio show hosted by the top rated Zander Berkeley (Dennis Miller). But will Joe ever be able to find his parents and see Brandy again, or is luck simply not on his side in life?

I saw The Adventures of Joe Dirt at the theaters based on the premise of a white trash hero and I assure you, I was not disappointed. David Spade is pure white trash in this movie, down to his speech patterns, facial hair, and of course, the ever-present mullet. The title has been shortened to just Joe Dirt for the home video release, but the movie is the same and of course, that means Joe Dirt’s full white trash fun value is intact. Spade drives this film of course, with some hilarious material to work with, which he and Fred Wolf penned. This is low brow stuff to be sure, but the white trash angle is so humorous, I couldn’t help but love this flick. I love Joe’s rustbucket car, I love this outrageous persona, and in the end, I loved his movie. No, it isn’t high cinema and it has some serious flaws, but it is a comedy after all and it never tries to be more, so there’s no real reason to bash it, I don’t think. Columbia has released Joe Dirt in a real winner of a disc, so if you’re at all interested, I highly recommend this title, as it flat out rocks!

The man behind the mullet is David Spade, who is best known for his sarcasm laced characters, to be sure. Some of the elements from his sarcastic days, but Joe Dirt is a character unlike his others, without a doubt. Spade handles the downtrodden Joe with ease, never having to force the material, so Joe seems like a realistic dude, I think. I’ve seen people who are like Joe in real life and I have to say, I think Spade nailed the role here, right down to the small touches. His overall persona seems very natural, as do his vocal patterns and facial expressions. I love his lines however, as he says some classic white trash phrases, such “Van Halen…not Van Hagar” and the like. You can also see Spade in such films as Lost & Found, Tommy Boy, Coneheads, Senseless, and Black Sheep. The cast also includes Dennis Miller (Bordello of Blood, Madhouse), Jaime Pressly (Ringmaster, Poor White Trash), Adam Beach (The Last Stop, Mystery Alaska), Christopher Walken (Sleepy Hollow, True Romance), and Brittany Daniel (Tv’s Dawson’s Creek).

Video: How’s it look?

Admittedly it’s been quite a few years since I sat down to watch Joe Dirt. I’m always amazed at how time passes since a movie. I’d have sworn this came out in 2005 or 2006. At any rate, the film’s debut on Blu-ray looks about how I thought it would. The print looks very clean and shows minimal grain, so the other elements can come through in fine form as well. The colors are bold and vivid, free from any errors and flesh tones look natural also. No trouble with the contrast either, as black levels are dead on and never falter in the least. This is not a reference level transfer and some small flaws are evident, but this is still a fantastic visual presentation.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DVD didn’t feature a DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, but this Blu-ray sports all of the shit-kickin’ verbal awesome-ness that is Joe Dirt! Yes Haw!  The mostly classic rock tunes sound excellent here, with wide dynamic range and presence, very immersive in tone. But due to the material, the music has most of the surround use to be heard, as this is a front channel based operation. This is how it should be however, so no real complaints, since the track sparks when it needs to. The vocals are crisp and never hard to understand, while volume balance is consistent as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This Blu-ray actually recycles a lot of the supplemental material from the original DVD, but there is some new content to be found.

  • Audio Commentary – Director Dennie Gordon, obviously very energetic and has a real love for the material, comes off as very relaxed and open, though not a lot of technical information is shared. I was able to find some cool tech tidbits however, and since Gordon is so talkative, lots of humorous moments are present.
  • Audio Commentary – The second track features David Spade and is more laughs, as Spade offers tons of false information, but also some entertaining stories about the production, as well as writing process.
  • The Making of Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser – You didn’t think it was pure happenstance that this movie is just now coming to Blu-ray, did you? A teaser for the long-awaited sequel is shown here.
  • Joe Dirt: The Return – I find it difficult to type “retrospective” when it comes to talking about this film, but yes that’s just what it is. The cast reflects on the original as well as its cult status and what made the movie so unforgettable.
  • Outtakes – Shenanigans on the set.
  • Deleted Scenes – Eleven total and a few available with commentary from Dennie Gordon.
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

You know what you’re going to get when you put a movie like Joe Dirt into your player. If you’re a fan of rude, crude and lewd behavior then odds are I don’t need to tell you what you’re in for here. It’s nice to see that this is seeing the light of (blu) day, though I’m sure the sequel is responsible for that. The Blu-ray offers up improved audio and video as well as the same supplements from the original DVD but adds a few more. For fans of the movie, this is a no-brainer.

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