Plot: What’s it about?
I vaguely remember watching the commercials for “Strange Wilderness” not even 90 days ago and about the only thing that stood out was that the movie opened on my birthday. That aside, I do remember seeing something about a shark with an overbite. Yes, you read that correctly. After having seen the film in its entirety (and that word has new meaning after you’ve watched it), I can say that it’s either destined to become a cult classic or the biggest waste of time in my life. I’d say that it probably resides in between the two though. First of all, “Strange Wilderness” has a fairly decent cast attached to it. We’ve got veteran actors like Ernest Borgnine, Joe Don Baker and Robert Patrick as well as a pretty experienced younger cast led by Steve Zahn, Justin Long, Jonah Hill and Allen Covert. You’ll most likely recognize the faces more so than the names. The cast is good and certainly capable of doing good work, but the plot is the problem here there doesn’t seem to be one.
But I digress, as I did some thinking and did manage to piece together a plot and here goes. Peter’s (Steve Zahn) father used to host a wildlife show entitled “Strange Wilderness” back in the 60’s. It was very popular and very highly respected. Since his death, Peter’s taken the reigns and has managed to run the show into the ground. The network has given Peter and his crew two weeks to save the show and wouldn’t you know it that Bigfoot has been discovered. Peter and the gang are on their way to South America to get some exclusive footage that will undoubtedly save the show. The problem is that Peter and all of his comrades are, well, idiots. Half of them are stoned or recovering alcoholics and that just doesn’t make for the most productive team. Throw that in with sex with turkeys, piranhas and a whole lot of pot and you’ve got yourselves a movie, right? While “Strange Wilderness” is certainly not your typical movie, it’s something you can sit back and enjoy and think to yourself “Hey, if this can get made then I have a shot at being a filmmaker!”
Video: How does it look?
“Strange Wilderness” came out in the brief time when Paramount was in between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Well, they’ve finally gotten around to offering this title on Blu-ray and the 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer really surprised me as the colors popped off the screen. Edge enhancement wasn’t a factor and I was impressed by the lack of any sort of artifacting. I compared it with the standard DVD and there is a noticeable difference between the two. While the standard DVD looked pretty good, this one seems to have a sharper image as well as a bit more depth. A good transfer, and worth the wait.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio has been bumped up to a Dolby TrueHD mix from the previous 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is the main focus of this track and the front and surround channels are used for mere ambiance, though the “Bigfoot” scene does strike me as one of the more memorable ones. There’s not a whole lot else to say here, it’s an upgrade over the previous 5.1 soundtrack, but not much of one.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Paramount has ported over the exact same extras from the standard DVD. The supplements on “Strange Wilderness” seem as haphazard as the film itself. We get a dozen deleted scenes (and it’s clear as to why some of these didn’t make the final cut) and a few featurettes. The best feature has to be “Reel Comedy” where the stars of the film are interviewed for a show (“Reel Comedy”) and they try to explain the plot.