The 40-Year-Old Virgin appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This isn’t a total disaster, but it’s a flawed presentation.
The main concerns came from all the digital processing that occurred. It appeared that the transfer underwent lots of digital noise reduction, and that gave the image a lifeless feel. Skin tones had an awful gray, clay-like tone, and the entire package suffered from an artificial smoothed-out feel.
Overall definition was still decent, though overly aggressive; the movie tended to seem hyper-sharp, largely due to all the edge haloes along for the ride. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and print flaws were minor; I saw a few specks but nothing more.
Except for those grayish skin tones, colors were fairly accurate, though they seemed to be a little murky at times. The film stock used didn’t resolve the hues terribly well, so while they generally appeared acceptably vivid and bright, they lacked tremendous tightness. Black levels were fairly deep and rich, but shadow detail was mediocre. Low-light shots offered decent delineation at best. Despite a few strengths, a boatload of negatives made this a surprisingly bad presentation.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a functional effort and that was all. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got exactly what I anticipated. Surround usage stayed limited most of the time. A few shots that got us inside Andy’s head used the rears to decent effect, but otherwise the back speakers added reinforcement to the front and nothing else.
In those forward channels, the music provided good stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but they conveyed a decent sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story.
Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct.
Music lacked much low-end much of the time. Bass wasn’t poor, but it seemed lackluster. Otherwise the music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2007 SE DVD? Audio was a bit warmer and fuller, and visuals showed better sharpness. However, all the processing made the image too problematic for me to view this as a real improvement; I guess it’s superior to the DVD but it’s so ugly that I can’t recommend it.
The disc duplicates old extras and adds some new ones. For the first time, we get both the theatrical cut (1:56:09) and the extended cut (2:12:27) in the same place. It’s been so long since I saw the shorter version that I can’t remember the differences, but I’m happy we get the option.
Alongside the longer cut, we get an audio commentary from writer/director Judd Apatow and writer/actor Steve Carell, actor/co producer Seth Rogen, and actors Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Romany Malco, Shelley Malil and Jonah Hill. All of them sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion, though Hill arrives late.
With so many participants, I feared this track would become disorganized and incoherent. Happily, it always stays pretty focused. It touches on the origins of the project and influences for many scenes, research into subjects like speed dating, improvisation and the work of the actors, elements added to the unrated cut, and other aspects of the participants’ careers. Lots of joking occurs as well, and we even learn how the Bible teaches us ways to pick up chicks. This proves to be an informative and entertaining commentary that never turns messy or chaotic.
16 Deleted Scenes run a total of 27 minutes, 31 seconds. I didn’t think there’d be any cut footage left from a movie as long as Virgin, but I thought wrong! Clearly it’s a good thing that the movie didn’t include all of this material; it’s too long as it is, so it doesn’t need even more footage. That doesn’t mean we don’t find plenty of amusing stuff, though. In fact, the majority of the material seems quite enjoyable and funny, so you definitely should give them all a look.
Note that the first six scenes come with optional commentary from Apatow and Rogen. They give us background about the clips and relate why they didn’t make the film. They continue to be entertaining and informative.
Four more cut scenes show up under The First Time. These go a total of five minutes, two seconds and deliver more fun but superfluous material. Additional commentary from Apatow and Rogen fleshes out the first clip.
Tales from the Stockroom follows the same lines with four more cut sequences. These occupy five minutes, 29 seconds and work the same as all the other stuff we’ve seen. That means more Apatow/Rogen commentary for the first scene.
Next we find You Know How I Know You’re Gay?. This runs five minutes, 31 seconds and includes more cut footage similar to the other bits. It also comes with more useful commentary from Apatow and Rogen. The shots are fun and this is another nice component.
After this we get a three-minute, 31-second Waxing Doc. This gives us behind the scenes shots of the waxing sequence and begins and ends with comments from Carell. At the start, he thinks it won’t hurt; at the end, he realizes his error. Nothing substantial appears here, but it acts as a cute glimpse of the production.
A longer segment comes from the nine-minute and 18-second Date-a-Palooza. I don’t know why it gets placed on its own here, as it’s just a longer version of the scene that made it into the final flick. On its own, it’s quite amusing, especially when a character from earlier in the movie makes a return appearance.
For still more unused footage, we move to Line-O-Rama. The six-minute and 20-second compilation collects lots of alternate lines for scenes that made the flick. We get lots of funny stuff in this fast-paced piece.
An odd little comic clip, My Dinner With Stormy runs two minutes and eight seconds. It presents a meeting between Rogen and the porn actress in which she hits on him. It seems kind of pointless, but it’s short enough to be decent.
A Gag Reel lasts four minutes and 35 seconds. A little more cut footage and some alternate lines pop up, but mostly we get the standard goofs and giggles.
Judd’s Video Diaries collects 12 clips; all together, they last 20 minutes, 46 seconds. These start on January 12, 2005, with the first day of production and continue through April 1, 2005, the final day of the shoot. Through these, Apatow talks about his experiences during filming and also shows us some behind the scenes bits. He complains a lot, but in a funny way, and these are entertaining insights.
Auditions splits into seven sections with a total running time of seven minutes, 33 seconds. We get try-outs for Jonah Hill, Elizabeth Banks, Romany Malco, Shelley Malil, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob and Jazzmun. These are fun to see, partially because some of the lines differ from those in the final flick. Hill also auditions for a part different than the one he plays in the movie.
Next comes 19 minutes, 23 seconds of Raw Footage. The first half shows a long reel of Carell as he improvises various reactions and lines during the scene where his pals find out he’s a virgin. The second portion gives an uncut take on his chest waxing sequence and then we see Andy’s bathtub encounter with Beth. These offer a good view of the filmmaking process since they let us see the production without cuts.
When we move to Poker Game Rehearsal, we find five minutes, 12 minutes of material. It shows the first read-through of the poker scene after it went through revisions. It’s another cool glimpse of the production’s development.
Two promotional shows arrive next. Reel Comedy Roundtable goes for 21 minutes, eight seconds. We hear from Apatow, Carell, Rogen, Rudd and Malco as they sit together to discuss the flick. They chat about the poker scene and its origins, their own sexual histories, real-life mates in the film and thoughts on various co-stars, and shooting different sequences. Some of the banter among the guys is enjoyable, but the promotional nature of the show rules all. We get tons of movie clips here, so they make an otherwise interesting program turn tedious.
Cinemax Final Cut: The 40-Year-Old Virgin runs 12 minutes, 44 seconds and features Carell, Rogen, Apatow and Rudd. They discuss the flick’s title and tone, characters and various scene specifics, the script and Apatow’s directorial experiences, and thoughts about co-stars. As with “Roundtable”, this one includes some decent notes but suffers from lots and lots of movie snippets. That makes it only sporadically useful.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a 1970s Sex-Ed Film. This five-minute and 26-second clip isn’t as absurd as one might expect. Sure, the participants suffer from plenty of bad fashion choices, and some little skits meant to illustrate points are silly, but the information still makes sense and doesn’t seem dumbed down or patronizing. It’s an odd extra, but a kind of cool one.
New to the Blu-ray, U-Control offers a picture-in-picture component. This runs alongside the extended cut and mixes footage from the set and interviews. We hear from Apatow, Carell, Rogen, Malco, Rudd, Banks, Lynch, producer Paula Robertson, stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and actor Catherine Keener.
“U-Control” covers the film’s origins and development, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, and various scene specifics. The program starts out well but becomes less involving as it goes, mainly because the segments appear less and less frequently. When they show up, the clips are useful, but they peter out too soon.