Man on the Moon

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Milos Foreman has been lucky enough to be associated with two of the greatest films of all time. One, of course, being “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and the other “Amadeus”…both of which won the Oscar for Best Picture. If it’s Milos’ genius or the script or some outside element, it’s hard to say…either of the three is a winning combination. So when he took control of the “Andy Kaufman” movie, it was for the best and was basically accepted to be a winner. He did do something very unorthodox though, he actually made actors audition for the parts (imagine the shame). It was Jim Carrey who eventually won the part and rumors followed that he actually stayed in character when shooting was taking place (in between takes as well). Carrey, a comic genius in his own right, is perfect for the part and delivers what I think is his best performance to date.

Man on the Moon is nothing more than the biography of Andy Kaufman’s career. We see Andy before his Saturday Night Live Days, as a struggling comic trying to be discovered. His initial love of music was fleeting, and he turned to comedy as his true love. Kaufman was the kind of comic that you had to either love or hate. He was immensely popular after his SNL days and as a regular on the TV series “Taxi”. We learn through the movie, though that he was not too fond of the TV show and made it very apparent that he felt that way. With wild, outlandish, demands on the producers and cast. We see Andy and his agent, played by Danny DeVito, go through different phases of his rise (and eventual fall). It’s hard not to mention Memphis, Tennessee and Andy Kaufman onthe same sentence. His obsession with the pro-wrestling circuit and wrestling star Jerry Lawlor in particular. All in all, Carrey helps us understand Kaufman’s genius through a little bit of his own.

Carrey plays the part to perfection and it’s a shame that he was skipped over for an Oscar nomiation for the second straight year (it’s just something about a guy who has previously talked literally out of his backside, I guess). While I’m not alone in my opinion of the movie, in such that the movie itself wasn’t all too great, you must see it strictly for Carrey’s performance. Not only is the physical likeness uncanny, but he sounds just like Kaufman as well. Overall, Carrey and Foreman make a great team, but more of a script would help everyone out in the long run.

Video: How does it look?

Being a brand new “Day and Date” movie, the transfer is a brand new anamorphic widescreen of what was just in theaters. The 2.35:1 image looks stunning. Black levels are perfect, and there are no artifacts to be found anywhere. Colors are very detail oriented and look great. Quite simply, this is one outstanding transfer and it will look good on your TV, regardless of it’s a 16:9 or a regular TV. Nice, nice job!

Audio: How does it sound?

Universal continues their trend of putting both a DTS and a Dolby Digital soundtrack on one disc. Warner is starting to adapt this as well, but Universal pioneered it. The Dolby Digital soundtrack sounds fine by itself whereas dialogue is clear and surround effects are present. The DTS version sounds almost the same as the DD version, except there are minute differences. Like always, the DTS wins out with it’s richness and depth, but you can’t go wrong either way. However, if you have a choice, go with the DTS.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Universal’s standard editions are among the best out there. Not only do they include standard cast bios and production notes, but the addition of the dual 5.1 soundtracks is always a nice touch. Also included is a trailer and a 20 minute “Spotlight on Location” featurette which sheds a lot of light on how the movie was made. Not bad for your money, at the very least it’s worth a look…

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