20th Century Fox presents
Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
"And then?"- Woman at Chinese restaraunt
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott
Other Stars: Kristy Swanson, Marla Sokoloff, Jennifer Garner
Director: Danny Leiner
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (language, some sex and drug related humor)
Run Time: 01h:26m:00s
Release Date: 2001-06-26
DVD ReviewFor anyone expecting a good film going into Dude, Where's My Car?, there is a good chance that you may just be as stupid as the main characters in the film. This isn't Citizen Kane or even The Mighty Ducks for that matter, but there in lies the rub. Dude, Where's My Car? doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. The movie itself is dumb and half the jokes don't work, yet at the rate that they come across the screen some are bound to be funny sooner or later.
The plot—at least I think there is one—focuses on Jesse (Kutcher) and Chester (Scott), two stoners who wake up one morning and can't remember what happened the previous night. What they are sure of is that Jesse's car is missing and that there girlfriends are angry that they trashed their house with a wild party. Not only does the missing car contain their girlfriends' anniversary gifts, but also a number of other items, not the least of which is a suitcase full of money that belongs to a transvestite stripper, and a device that may or may not be the key to travel beyond the stars. Add to this a very beautiful Kristy Swanson, who saw only the back seat of Jesse's car (ah, but he is looking for "the whole thing"), as well as a pot-smoking dog and you have Dude, Where's My Car?.
If there is a simple reason why this movie succeeds on any level, it is because of the sheer volume of jokes that fly at the screen in its short eighty-six-minute running time. Unfortunately, only a handful of jokes leave a lasting impression that can be thought of after the movie ends. One in particular, involving a drive-thru at a Chinese restaurant, had me laughing for quite a while, but it is a shame that in the next scene the jokes come nowhere close.
For anyone who is doubting the kung fu grip that the MPAA holds on studios, one should look no further than this film. As I was watching, the thought that kept running through my head was one of confusion. Why is it that a film would play it so safe, even though we know that the two leads are indeed "stoners"? Not once are they, or anyone else (except the dog) shown feeding their habit. It isn't that I advocate smoking marijuana, but I do have a problem with editing a film simply to get a rating that will give it a bigger box office.
As for the leads, both Kutcher and Scott give good performances considering the material. Kutcher seems to be playing simply more of a new millenium version of his That 70's Show character, and he does it well. Scott, who is making a name for himself in the teen gross-out comedy genre, draws from the same well one more time; but hey, I always tend to enjoy him in films, so I will let it slide. Other supporting performances and cameos from Brent Spiner, Fabio, Andy Dick, and Swanson are never on screen long enough to matter, but they serve what there is of the plot.
Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, I can just say that dude, this is a sweet transfer. The abundant use of color is vibrant and beautiful, with black levels rendered perfectly. Edge enhancement and pixelation are never a problem, although there is one moment where a small amount of edge enhancement can be seen; it is so quick, though, that by the time your mind processes the fact that you saw it, it is gone. This is a beautiful transfer from Fox.
Image Transfer Grade: A-
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 track that Dude, Where's My Car? sports is indeed quite "shibby". Surround speakers come alive quite often with ambient sounds and with the rock music soundtrack. Dialogue is clear and understandable while the .1 LFE hits hard with the abundance of music. This isn't a terrific mix, but it is better than I had expected, much like the film itself.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English and Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 TV Spots/Teasers
7 Deleted Scenes
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Danny Leiner and actors Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott
- Music video for Stoopid Ass by Grand Theft Auto
- Soundtrack promo
There are seven extended scenes that ultimately add up to nothing more than just a few lines of dialogue added to scenes already in the film; several are funny and worthy of a look. A short featurette that gives away too many of the jokes from the film is also provided and so should be watched after the feature. A music video for Stoopid Ass by Grand Theft Auto is the final noteworthy extra feature on the disc.
Finally, the theatrical trailer, as well as three TV spots and a soundtrack promo are offered.
Extras Grade: B+
Final CommentsAs it stands, I am in limbo as to whether or not I enjoyed Dude, Where's My Car?. Part of me liked the film for its inane stupidity, but the movie-lover side saw just how stupid it really is. Your sense of humor will make up your mind for you on this one; as for the DVD, it is a beauty. With a terrifically funny commentary track and nice audio and video portions I will recommend the disc as a whole but with the lions share of the praise going to the DVD.
Kevin Clemons 2001-06-12