My Name Is Bruce appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Much of the transfer satisfied, though some weaknesses appeared.
For the most part, sharpness satisfied. Wide shots tended to be a bit iffy, but the majority of the flick demonstrated nice delineation and clarity. I saw a few examples of jagged edges, but I noticed no shimmering or edge enhancement. Other than some light artifacting in darker shots, the image remained clean and lacked any source defects.
Colors tended to be solid. The movie featured a clear palette that looked lively and full throughout the film. Blacks were deep and dense, but shadows were a weakness. Low-light shots could be awfully dark and vaguely impenetrable at times. The flick looked good enough for a “B-“, but the occasional softness and the thick shadows created concerns.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of My Name Is Bruce, it also came with pros and cons. While the soundfield proved quite active, that wasn’t always a good thing. The movie boasted effects and music from all around the spectrum, but those elements didn’t always appear especially well-placed. Some parts of the track showed up in accurate spots, but others seemed more vague, like the audio wanted to impress us with quantity over quality. It wasn’t a bad sense of spatial delineation, but it could’ve been more defined.
Quality was positive. Speech seemed a little canned but usually appeared acceptably natural, and the lines were always intelligible. Music was the most impressive aspect of the mix. The score and songs showed nice range and definition. Effects were also pretty solid, as they demonstrated good clarity and impact. The lack of a natural soundfield made this one a “B“, but it did have many strengths.
In terms of extras, we open with an audio commentary from director/actor Bruce Campbell and producer Mike Richardson. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. They chat about cast and performances, references to other Campbell films, sets and shooting in Oregon, budgetary concerns, and a few other subjects.
Campbell has a good reputation as a commentator, and he generally lives up to that here – at least during the movie’s first two-thirds or so. Things peter out a bit during the last act, as the chat becomes less informative.
Still, Campbell and Richardson usually give us a lot of good info, with the actor/director in the lead. Richardson chimes with decent frequency, but he seems too quiet by comparison. I don’t know if Campbell is naturally louder or if the recording levels were unbalanced, but Campbell’s comments were much more prominent, and that made it tougher to hear Richardson at times. In any case, this turns into an engaging and likable chat.
A documentary called Heart of Dorkness: The Making of My Name Is Bruce runs exactly one hour and includes remarks from Campbell, Richardson, writer Mark Verheiden, director of photography Kurt Rauf, special makeup effects artist Melanie Tooker, associate producer Craig “Kif” Sanborn, actor/featurette director Mike Kallio, featurette DP Mark Elliott, mask maker/actor Jamie Peck, Land Mind Productions owner John Foote, special effects coordinator Bill Boggs, and actors Danny Hicks, Tim Quill, Ellen Sandweiss, Ted Raimi, Ben and Butch McCain, Mike Campbell, Colin Campbell, Vincent Angelinni, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, Janelle Farber, and Ali Akay. The program looks at the flick’s genesis and development, working in Oregon, cast and crew, and set design and creation. We then follow the production through its shooting schedule.
While “Dorkness” includes some good insights and glimpses of the production, it tries too hard to be clever and nutty. The show comes chock full of silly elements that undermine its effectiveness. There’s still enough interesting material to make it worth a look, but the goofy bits get old quickly.
Next comes a two-minute reel entitled Awkward Moments with “Kif”. It shows us associate producer Sanborn in various little tidbits from the set. Expect more forgettable wackiness in this pointless piece.
We hear more from the actor/director during the four-minute and 11-second Bruce On… featurette. Here we see nuggets in which Campbell rambles about various topics. None of them go anywhere.
During Beyond Inside the Cave: The Making of Cavealien 2, we find a fake featurette about the non-existent movie within Bruce. It runs eight minutes, four seconds and offers more of the painful “comedy” that mars many of the DVD’s extras. It’s a cute concept but a flawed, annoying program in reality.
Another quirky feature arrives via the two-minute and 46-second ”Kif’s” Korner. It shows us the associate producer as he attempts to create fake movie posters for use in the flick and the DVD. This provides a few decent thoughts about this process.
Three Galleries also appear. These look at “Poster Art” (22 frames), “Props Art” (10) and “Photos” (88). The photos aren’t particularly interesting – and in a glitch, they repeat the posters – but the other two domains give us some fun elements.
Two more wacky reels come next. We find The Hard Truth (3:53) and Love Birds (1:09). “Truth” shows us a “revealing behind the scenes” of scandals in Campbell’s life, while “Birds” looks at the gay romance between two movie characters. Neither of them amuse or entertain.
Some ads open the disc. We get promos for Keith and Palo Alto. The DVD also includes trailers for Bruce and Cavealien 2.
Inside the DVD’s case, we locate a mini-comic book. It focuses on events inside the cemetery where Guan-Di first arises and does his thing. It’s a decent little addition to the set.
A parody of a mockery of a spoof, My Name Is Bruce tries too hard to be too many things. It fails as action flick, comedy or anything else it might desire. The DVD provides generally good picture and audio along with extras marred by too many jokey elements. This is a generally positive DVD but the movie doesn’t go anywhere.