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Beerfest
DVD disk
01.19.2007 By: Scott Weinberg
Beerfest order
Director:
Jay Chandrasekhar

Actors:
Steve Lemme
Erik Stolhanske
Kevin Heffernan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of beer-lovin' Americans decide to invade a super-secret international drinking competition -- against the world's most powerful alcoholics.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I warmed up to SUPER TROOPERS quite a bit later than most of my comedy-lovin' friends, but I've since come to accept the flick as a truly humorous little concoction -- and therefore I consider myself a fan of the "Broken Lizard" boys who put the thing together. But then they took a surefire idea (a slasher comedy starring Bill Paxton!) and turned it into a movie that was stunningly free of laughs.

So with the arrival of the Lizard's most recent experiment, the goofily enjoyable BEERFEST, I approached the thing with equal parts optimism and skepticism. And while the movie certainly contains a solid handful of real laughs, I'd also agree that the movie's like not enough peanut butter smeared over too much bread. Basically, the laughs-to-running time ratio is a whole lot lower than it should be -- which tells me that the Lizard boys should have either A) come up with a few extra jokes, or B) trimmed this thing down to about 88 minutes. (Frankly there's no freakin' way a movie like BEERFEST should run 116 minutes, and yet it does. And it feels like it.)

The Lizards are still to be commended for their "anything for a laugh" mentality, because there's nothing more entertaining than absurd slapstick done well. Unfortunately, for every 2 or 3 BEERFEST jokes that fly, there are 4 or 5 more that just sort of ... lay there. The troupe members are as amusing as ever, and they're flanked by game support in the form of Cloris Leachman, Jurgen Prochnow and Eric Christian Olsen...

The flick's just got a whole lot of dry stretches in between the truly funny material.

THE EXTRAS
For some strange reason the five Lizards are broken up into two audio commentaries, the first one with Kevin Heffernan, Erik Stolhanske & Paul Soter, and the second with Steve Lemme and Jay Chandrasekhar. Both tracks do a fine job of doling out the production tidbits and delivering some random goofiness, but the Lizards seem a little more sedate than usual.

Next up is approximately 30 minutes of deleted scenes (some of which are funnier than material left IN the film), which you can watch with your choice of commentary grouping, or as plain old deleted scenes.

The remaining featurettes (Beer 101 (10 minutes), Party Foul (15m) and Frog Fluffer (4m)) are typically Lizardesque silliness, and should prove at least mildly diverting to the troupe's loyal fans. Rounding out the disc is the flick's theatrical trailer.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
You've heard the phrase "Five pounds of sh!t in a 3-pound bag" (or something like it, I'm sure), but BEERFEST is kind of the opposite: It's five pounds of (funny) sh!t in a 12-pound bag.
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