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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Made (2001)

"Did you just let Screech in the club? I'm waiting in line, and you just let Screech in the club?"
- Ricky (Vince Vaughn)

Review By: Dan Heaton  
Published: November 27, 2001

Stars: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Sean Combs, Famke Janssen
Other Stars: Faizon Love, David O'Hara, Vincent Pastore, Peter Falk
Director: Jon Favreau

Manufacturer: Wamo
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some drug use, and sexuality
Run Time: 01h:34m:35s
Release Date: November 27, 2001
UPC: 012236122456
Genre: action comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+A-A- A

DVD Review

Ricky (Vince Vaughn) and Bobby (Jon Favreau) begin the story in a boxing ring fighting each other in silly fashion. Ricky dances around and taunts his opponent with clumsy footwork. Bobby retains a stone face throughout the bout and appears to take the match very seriously. This fight summarizes the basic idea for Made—a clever buddy film that presents an alternative to the typical gangster picture with plenty of heart and enjoyment. The two characters spend much of the film cursing at each other and fighting, but they still maintain a strong friendship that carries them to the end.

Favreau and Vaughn became household names after the astounding success of Swingers—an entertaining tale of young, aspiring actors in Los Angeles. Both actors return for this low-budget production that effectively ridicules the supposed hipster persona of these characters. Favreau writes the film in realistic fashion by keeping elements from moving too far over the top in the comic moments. Once again, Vaughn steals the show with a memorable performance of likable cluelessness. His unknowing ability to get under the skin of a flight attendant is one of the best moments in the movie. Similar to a child in a candy store, he sits in first class and fails miserably to act cool and remain on top of things.

This story follows Ricky and Bobby from Los Angeles to New York on a job for Max (Peter Falk), a small-time crime boss. Following the arrival, they meet a score of oddball characters, including Ruiz (Sean "P. Diddy" Combs), a respectable and sharp-dressed criminal; Jimmy (Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos), an apparently harmless limousine driver; and the Welshman (David O'Hara), a fun-loving guy with an eye for acquiring cocaine. Through each meeting, both Ricky's paranoia and Bobby's naïvété become apparent and lead to numerous amusing situations. While they spend their free time hitting the town, they continue to bicker and fall into further disarray. Favreau wisely avoids slapstick and places the humor with the dialogue and subtle elements, which keeps the tension alive and makes the events more accessible.

Made succeeds through the persistent efforts of an excellent cast of supporting characters and brief cameo appearances. Pastore lurks in the background for much of the events, but he observes everything for some type of mysterious purpose. His imposing presence places the character on another strata even while he does absolutely nothing. Combs nicely spoofs the gangster persona and perfectly showcases complete exasperation with his novice co-workers. Falk has several classic scenes while he wonderfully berates Vaughn and Favreau. The cameos work across the board, especially in one hilarious moment from Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell). Sam Rockwell (Galaxy Quest) also does well in a silly cameo as a demure hotel worker smitten with Ricky.

Although this film focuses on the exploits of Ricky and Bobby in New York, its heart remains with a young girl in Los Angeles. Bobby resides with his stripper-for-hire girlfriend Jessica (Famke Janssen) and her young daughter. They are not related in any way, but Bobby and the girl possess a trascendent close bond. He accepts the job more for her and Ricky than for his own needs or the money. Similar to his character in Swingers, Favreau brings a strong emotional center to the story that makes it more than just an amusing time waster. While it is still pretty light fare, the overall story offers a surprising level of depth and touching humanity.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.77:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Made features a nearly pristine 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that presents the sights of the New York City nightlife in all of its glory and decadence. The scenes in the dark clubs hardly offer only a slight hint of grain or fuzziness, and the picture remains bright and colorful. During daytime outdoor scenes at sights ranging from the zoo to their old high-school, the images appear impressively with considerable clarity. Artisan deserves significant credit for giving this enjoyable film the top-notch treatment it deserves.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The numerous jazz tunes jump successfully from the speakers of this impressive 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio transfer. While many of the songs are fairly mellow and slow, the melodies ring nicely through the entire sound field. When the volume cranks up for the heavier rock tracks, this track utilizes considerable power to convey those songs. Music plays a crucial role in setting the scene in this film, and this release helps the story by providing a solid avenue for these sounds. This disc also offers a decent 2.0-channel Dolby Surround track, which fails to hinder the film but lacks the same level of complexity.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 TV Spots/Teasers
5 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
Production Notes
1 Documentaries
2 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (with telestrator option)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Nine outtakes and nine alternate scenes (both with commentary)
  2. 12 used and 26 unused music cues
  3. Scene edit workshop
Extras Review: This special edition release of Made contains a score of extra features that will keep you busy for countless hours. Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are everywhere on this disc, and their feature-length commentary contains a nice combination of silliness and insight into the production. Co-producer Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from The Christmas Story) also joins them early in the track and provides some interesting details. During this feature, viewers have the option of including items with Favreau and Vaughn writing on the screen with a telestrator. This device often appears in football games from announcers like John Madden and allows them to circle something specific in the shot. They also utilize it to count the considerable use of the "f" word during one short scene (40 times) and play a quick game of tic-tac-toe. This enjoyable track showcases the enthusiasm by both lead actors for this story and reveals their tight camaraderie that pervades the entire piece.

This release also offers three featurettes that each present a different side of the production. Getting it Made includes interviews with Vaughn, Favreau, and Billingsley concerning the original ideas for the movie. This 8-minute segment also quickly covers the photography, cast, and musical choices intermixed with film clips. The Creative Process shifts more towards a promotional vein, with plenty of backslapping about the Jon Favreau's genius. However, this 14-minute featurette does honestly present his ideas within this hype. Finally, The Music of Made conveys the family feeling between the music supervisors and the lead stars. Their environment seems very low-key and fun and gives everyone a chance to contribute to the process.

The most surprising element of this release is the amazing collection of deleted and alternate footage. First of all, it includes 5 scenes completely removed from the original picture. Running for about seven minutes, these moments would add interesting elements to the story, but they would slow down its pace. This section contains an alternate ending, which moves the final location but keeps the tone of the original scene. A much larger section is the collection of 9 alternate scenes that offers much longer versions of the original moments. This area covers 34 minutes and fleshes out some of the smaller characters, including the girls played by Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam) and Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos). Both of these areas feature the option of listening to commentary from Vaughn and Favreau over the scenes. Once again, they really enjoy talking about this film and reveal plenty of insight into these cuts. This disc also has 22 minutes of outtakes—an incredible amount for any film. Much of the material concerns actors cracking up (especially Favreau and Faizon Love), and it's a silly inclusion.

Made also offers several fairly unique extras that don't appear too often on DVD releases. First, there's a scene edit workshop that allows you to put together four shots into a coherent whole. Each one presents four options to choose for editing, and the final result is compared to the original version. This is a fun piece, but its slow pace and clumsy editing hampers the overall enjoyment. There's also a huge collection of music cues presented without the visuals. This section presents the importance of the sounds to the story, but it's not as effective without the original pictures on the screen. The large collection of 26 unused cues is interesting because it presents additional musical options for conveying a scene.

The remaining supplements include a decent cast and crew section, brief production notes, and the original theatrical and teaser trailers—presented in a widescreen format.

Extras Grade: A

 

Final Comments

Made works well as a comedy and features some hilarious moments, but it also showcases original characterizations and a decent amount of depth. While Swingers succeeded due Doug Liman's flashy direction and some witty set pieces, this production remains more low-key and subtle. The result is an enjoyable creation that offers plenty to like for a diverse array of viewers. Offering impressive transfers and numerous supplements, this disc comes highly recommended.

 


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