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Meet the Fockers
DVD disk
04.26.2005 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Meet the Fockers order
Director:
Jay Roach

Actors:
Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes
Ben Stiller as Gaylord Focker
and Dustin Hoffman as Bernard Focker

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In what I guess could be termed the rich manís Dharma and Greg, Ben Stiller reprises his role as the tragically named male nurse Gaylord Focker, a nice but goofy fellow desperately trying to remain in the good graces of his future father-in-law, retired CIA agent Jack Byrnes (De Niro). This time around, Gaylord gets help screwing things up from his kooky folks, a stay-at-home dad (Hoffman) and his sex therapist wife (Barbra Streisand). Some very familiar humour abounds.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?

If youíre interested in seeing this flick I would imagine itís because youíve seen its prequel, MEET THE PARENTS. Well Iím here today to tell you that if youíve seen MEET THE PARENTS, youíve already pretty much seen MEET THE FOCKERS. The film starts off much like its predecessor, which is to say that it actually starts off very funny. Unfortunately, MEET THE FOCKERS soon slams into a brick wall named Hoffman and Streisand and itís nothing but a slow trudge with intermittent bouts of snickering from thereon. Itís not so much that I have a problem with Hoffman and Streisand themselves although I usually cringe at the simple thought of Babs. Itís simply that their characters, who are supposed to be the kooky, zany, funny hippies in the story, are so totally devoid of any originality that whatever good the rest brings is sucked down a vortex of utter predictability that quite simplyÖ sucks.

The sole redemption of this film remains the interaction between De Niro and Stiller whose characters are so far apart on the personality spectrum that they may as well be different species. Never mind that most of the jokes are rehashes from MEET THE PARENTS, theyíre the kind of humor that never dies especially to anyone who can relate to the son-in-law/father-in-law relationship. Some of the slapstick stuff that happen all around was also a riot and I can even remember really belting out some laughs during a few occasions such as Gaylordís babysitting adventure and a side story in which Jack tries to prove that Gaylord may have a few skeletons in his closet. Unfortunately those moments, however funny they might have been, were wrapped around too many of the very standard ďodd coupleĒ gags in a movie that ran a good twenty minutes too long (118 minutes) to even come close to being as funny as its predecessor. Too bad though although if you donít mind waiting fifteen minutes for each great joke to come up, then you might get a kick out of this.

THE EXTRAS

Deleted Scenes (15 mins): The DVD contains 20 deleted scenes of which ten are reinserted into the Extended Edition of the movie which you can also find on this disc. They range from sappy to lame to hilarious but most of them never really get past ďfunnyĒ.

Bloopers (11 mins): I honestly canít think of too many types of special features that anger me more than the blooper reels (actually I can think of many but stillÖ) Youíll get the usual fodder of flubbed lines and on-set crack ups here, most of them courtesy of Hoffman, De Niro and Streisand.

Inside the Litter Box: Behind-the-Scenes with Jinx the Cat (4 mins): An inside look at what itís like to work with a furry star, consisting mainly of some phony comments from cast and crew members. Cute at first but a tad long considering itís the same joke that comes back every 10 seconds.

The Manary Gland (3 mins): A brief segment with Prop Master Eugene McCarthy who explains the whys and hows of a prop used by De Niro to breast feed his grandson. Iíve got to admit, Iím usually not one for crude humor but seeing De Niro with a tit almost brought tears to my eyes.

Full Length Commentary Track with Director Jay Roach and Editor/Co-Producer Jon Poll: This was definitely not one of the most entertaining tracks Iíve heard but at least what was said stayed relevant and they did put a lot of the gags within the context of MEET THE PARENTS as well which was cool, especially if itís a while since youíve seen it. Other than that it was very standard with discussions about production, the shoot, the cast and some anecdotes about life on the set.

Fockersí Family Portrait (6 mins): A set of three vignettes describing each of Bernie Focker (Hoffman), Roz Focker (Streisand) and Gaylord Focker (Stiller) with the actors themselves giving their thoughts on their respective characters. In the grand scheme of things: irrelevant.

The Adventures of a Baby Wrangler (6 mins): A pretty neat feature focusing on the two young twins who played LJ, Jack Byrnesí grandson. Thereís nothing really surprising thatís said, just that the two little kids are damn cute.

Matt Lauer Meets The Fockers (8 mins): NBC shill Matt Lauer interviews the cast members about the film in a staged interview which turns out to be a lot of back-patting and declarations that this was the greatest film ever for all to have worked on but look closely at De Niroís face once in a while and youíll notice he seems like not only does he want nothing to do with this whole thing, but heíd also like to go all Jimmy Conway on Lauerís ass!!

The rest of the stuff consists of Cast and Crew Bios and the Theatrical Trailer for the flick.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS

If it wasnít for fond memories of itís predecessor, this film probably would have made a hasty exit from the big screen but at least a few funny moments courtesy of Stiller and De Niro manage to rescue a bit of what is overall a rather flat comedy that plays it safe with some potty humor and big name actors. Save yourself the trouble and rent MEET THE PARENTS again, youíll get all thatís good in MEET THE FOCKERS with none of the bad.

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