Plot: What’s it about?
Steve and Doug Butabi (Will Ferrell & Chris Kattan) live somewhat unusual lives. Still living at home, the two spend their days working in their father’s silk flower shop and their nights cruising the clubs, trying to be cool and make friends. But making friends isn’t easy for these two, and why is a little hard to explain. The two wax each others’ backs, bob their heads all the time, and even think a chance run in with Emilio Estevez makes them a friend of his. Emilio! The Might Duck Man, I swear to God. They work out every day and spend hours getting ready, just hoping they can finally enter the club of all clubs, The Roxbury. But no matter how hard they try, every night they get turned away, until one day they decide it’s now or ever, and give it one last chance. Dressed to the nines and ready to impress, the brothers walk up to door, and are turned away again. Inspiration hits though, and they look for an ATM to withdraw money from to give to the bouncer in order to get in. In the process, the brothers get rear ended by former 21 Jump Street star Richard Grieco, who agrees to get them in the club if they keep quiet about the accident, which involves Grieco’s car, which is not street legal. They enter the club and even discuss business with the owner, and life seems to be going their way for once. But things spiral out of control, ending with the brothers disowning each other. Will the bond the two share be enough to bring them back together, or have these two bobbed their heads in tandem for the final time?
This is another in the line of movies based on Saturday Night Live skits, which means it was panned by critics and scorned by many others. When the Roxbury skits would air on SNL, I never really liked them, so I didn’t expect to like the movie based on them either. I mean, how can you make a movie out of a very brief skit like that? Well, the result of the movie show a storyline that may be cheesy, but it is better than I ever expected, and I ended up loving the movie. Perhaps I have a curse to like most of the movies featuring SNL’ers, but I loved Tommy Boy, Superstar, and even the Stuart Smalley flick. I may have lost some credibility in saying that, but I liked them, and I liked this movie. Sure, the dialogue and characters are shallow, but they’re also funny as hell, which is the point of this type of movie. It never pretends to be anything but harmless fun and entertainment, which is why I don’t see how people can be so hard on it. Does Citizen Kane suck because it isn’t a western? I think not, so why criticize a movie like this because it isn’t a cerebral comedy? If you need a hilarious movie to perk up your evening, give this flick a chance, I think you’ll like it. This new Special Collector’s Edition boasts a new transfer and some minor extras, so if you’re a fan of the movie, an upgrade is justified even if just for the improved visual presentation.
The director of this movie is John Fortenberry, and while you might not think much directing is called for, the camera work here is quite good. The club scenes are well organized, with excellent visual impact. Fortenberry also directed the Pauly Shore vehicle Jury Duty, as well as episodes of Get A Life, The Ben Stiller Show, and Spin City. The main stars of A Night At The Roxbury are Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, who reprise their SNL characters for the big screen. Say what you will about the acting, but these guys make the cinematic Butabi brothers mirror their small screen versions, which is what is need. Kattan (House On Haunted Hill) is great as the hapless, bitter younger brother Doug, while Ferrell (The Suburbans, Dick) seems at home as the “very good looking” but dim older brother Steve. The two have excellent chemistry and timing, and carry the movie quite well. Molly Shannon (Superstar) is hilarious as the sex starved tart who seeks Steve’s affections, and Chazz Palmenteri (The Usual Suspects) is comical as the club owner who seems to think everyone is grabbing his ass. Others appearing include Richard Grieco (Tv’s 21 Jump Street), Dan Hedaya (Commando, Dick), Loni Anderson (Stroker Ace), Colin Quinn (MTV’s Remote Control), Viveca Paulin (Money Talks), and Elisa Donovan (Clueless).
Video: How does it look?
A Night at the Roxbury is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I was glad to see Paramount revisit this movie, as the visuals were need of an upgrade. This new anamorphic widescreen treatment is that upgrade, as the shimmering and jagged edges seen on the previous transfer have been reduced greatly in this new version. The image just seems more refined and clearer, with no real softness issues to report. I found colors to be bright and vivid, as they should be, while contrast is even and accurate. Not much else to say here, this is a much better visual effort from Paramount.
Audio: How does it sound?
The same Dolby Digital 5.1 option returns, but it still sounds acceptable. This is a basic dialogue driven comedy soundtrack, enhanced by a thumpin’ techno soundtrack. So when the music is there, which is often, there is some presence in the audio. In most scenes however, the dialogue dominates and that means a more laid back, reserved experience. Not a problem however, since the movie needs that kind of soundtrack and when the beat kicks in, the audio picks up some presence. So not a memorable soundtrack, but a solid one. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, a French language track, and English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I wish we had more in terms of supplements, but at least Paramount has thrown on a few new elements. A total of four featurettes are included, one of which is a general look back at the production. This isn’t in depth, but then again, I am kind of surprised it was made in the first place. You can also watch featurettes on the movie’s fashion and dance moves, in case you want to be the long lost Butabi brother. The last featurette offers tips on how to get into clubs and onto their lists. Sadly, the film’s theatrical trailer has been excluded this time around.