Epic Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Expect a virtual repeat of the Date Movie transfer from this acceptable but unspectacular effort.
Sharpness generally seemed good, but not always. Some wide shots displayed moderate softness, though those occurred fairly rarely. For the most part, the movie appeared acceptably crisp and well defined. Jagged edges and moiré effects caused no concerns, but I did notice edge enhancement on occasion. Print flaws seemed non-existent.
Colors often looked good, as the movie featured a nicely broad palette of bright and vibrant hues. However, the tones occasionally seemed a bit pale. At times the colors came across as somewhat thin. Black levels appeared deep and dense, however, and shadow detail was appropriately dark but not too thick. Ultimately, Epic Movie looked reasonably good much of the time, but I thought the DVD suffered from a few too many problems for a brand-new offering.
On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Epic Movie offered a pretty involving effort. All of the action sequences brought the five channels to life. These presented good localization of elements and blended together nicely. The material spread out the spectrum and made this an active, involving setting much of the time.
Audio quality appeared good. Speech sounded distinct and natural, and I encountered no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Effects appeared clean and accurate, and they showed reasonable depth when necessary. Music also demonstrated good dynamics, with bright highs and rich bass. Overall, the audio of Epic Movie supported the material acceptably well.
Though Epic includes lots of extras, don’t expect many of them to be worthwhile. We start with an audio commentary from writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They provide plenty of filmmaking details – all of which are lies. Yup, this is one of those comedy commentaries in which the participants offer up fake facts, most of them about sex or bodily functions.
Often I criticize commentaries for dead air, but here, I prayed for empty spots. But no, Friedberg and Seltzer kept up their deadpan shtick from the beginning to the end, with barely a pause for air. While it shows more wit and intelligence than the movie itself, it never actually amuses. Instead, it turns into a long, tedious exercise in pointlessness.
Another audio program comes to us with Breaking Wind: An Epic Journey Into the Sounds of an Epic Movie. This redoes some of the effects work for the film, which means that it adds lots of belches and farts. To my amazement, this gross-out version of Epic is even more painful to watch than the regular cut. It’s an idiotic extra – why did anyone waste their time making it?
For an interactive feature, we find How Gratuitous. If you activate this component, a beaver icon will occasionally appear onscreen during the flick. Press “enter” when this occurs to see outtakes of the movie’s scantily clad babes. These follow the music video model and offer modest titillation. Note that the nude woman in the cabinet comes in a bikini here; I’d assume those shots were used for the “PG-13” theatrical version.
A collection of Outtakes goes for three minutes, 39 seconds and presents the standard assortment of bloopers. An Alternate Ending lasts one minute, 32 seconds. It brings back Willy for a bookend that proves no more – or less – satisfying than the conclusion in the actual flick.
A series of featurettes follow. Everyone Loves Beaver: Epic Hook-Ups runs four minutes, 18 seconds as it presents movie clips, shots from the set, and interviews. We get notes from actors Adam Campbell, Faune Chambers, Fred Willard, Hector Jiminez, Kal Penn, “Harry Beaver”, and Jayma Mays. They talk about all the “hot action” between folks on the set. It’s an attempt at comedy that falls far short of hilarity, so skip this waste of time.
Next we find the nine-minute and 34-second Making the Video: Lazy Pirate Day. It presents notes from Seltzer, Friedberg, Penn, producers Paul Schiff and Rod Liber, locations manager Craig Van Gundy, choreographer Stacy Walker, and actor Darrell Hammond. Finally – we get some actual information about parts of the production! We learn a little about the “Pirate” song and filming the video seen in the flick. The featurette provides a decent examination of the topics involved, though there’s an awful lot of happy talk – except for the ever-wacky Friedberg and Seltzer, as they stick with jokes as usual.
Epic Porn – What Would Your Porno Movie Be Called? lasts two minutes, 29 seconds and shows a fake ad for a faun sex chat line before some participants tell us what they’d call porn flicks that star their characters. We hear from Penn, Mays, Willard, and actors Carmen Electra and Kevin Hart. Actually, Electra tells us a little about getting made up as her character while the program occasionally cuts to lustful fake reaction shots from Campbell and Penn. This is another useless piece.
During the two-minute and eight-second What Makes Aslo So Irresistible?, we hear from Willard, Campbell, Mays, Chambers, and actors Tony Cox, Crispin Glover, and Jennifer Coolidge. Yup – it’s another joke featurette. We get comments about why Aslo is such a sexy beast. Nothing entertaining pops up here.
Another short clip arrives via Hot or Not: Character Turn Ons and Turn Offs. It goes for one minute, 44 seconds as it features “Harry Beaver”, Hart, Jiminez, Campbell, and Willard. Ugh – please save me from these inane attempts at comedy! This one wastes time and that’s it.
Now we go to the seven-minute and 18-second Making a Spoof featurette. Hosted by Willard, he initially just alludes to the movies being parodied while we see clips from Epic. Willard also makes jokes about “details” from the production. Since Willard is a charming personality, we get a couple laughs here, but this remains a less than stellar program that exists for promotional purposes.
More from the actor pops up via In Character With Fred Willard. It fills nine minutes, five seconds and comes from the same sessions that produced “Making”. Willard gives us a comedic look at his life and career. Again, it has nothing to do with the actual making of Epic, but Willard is entertaining enough to make it amusing. Actually, we find more wit here than during the 92 minutes of Epic.
For something unusual, we go to Die Libre: The Winning Short from the Epic Movie Viral Video Contest. The clip runs three minutes, one second
In addition to a Reno 911!: Miami trailer, we find at least one Easter Egg. On the main menu, click “up” from “Special Features” for a two-minute and 20-second featurette about Hart and his work. Mostly he jokes around about the flick. Note that no trailer for Epic appears here.
While I wouldn’t call Epic Movie the crummiest parody I’ve ever seen, it’s in the ballpark. Not a single laugh ever emanates from this tired, predictable, inane nonsense. The DVD presents erratic but generally good picture, strong audio and extras that do little to tell us about the production. This is a decent release for an atrocious movie. Avoid this disaster.