BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003520Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Napoleon Dynamite (SE)
DVD disk
May 23, 2006 By: Jason Coleman
Napoleon Dynamite (SE) order
Director:
Jared Hess

Actors:
Jon Heder
Aaron Ruell
Tina Majorino

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The story of a high school geek, who through his “skills”, tries to help his friend become the school president. Throw in a shy love interest, a cyberspace addicted brother, a sleazy meat loving uncle, chickens with large talons, and a Lama named Tina, and you’ve got one of the most original comedies to come out of Sundance since CLERKS. (Dang, that was a long sentence!)
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Rarely do small films ever reach the status of being a cultural phenomenon. As a film, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is more then just a comedy, more then just a catchphrase. If you look deep enough, it’s a film about friendship and loyalty. Yes, it’s masked in headlocks, tot squishing, and melon throwing, but that just adds to the film's genius. It all starts with a good script, which NAPOLEON DYNAMITE has, and the famous and often quoted lines are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the film’s desire to take its time, build its laughs and story, that make Hess and company such a force to be reckoned with. When you can recall, scene after scene, great moments in any film, let alone one as small and unassuming as this one, it really says something special.

The other half of the credit has to go to the film's cast, as there is not one, not one false performance in the bunch. This film made Heder a star and it's obvious why; he plays stupidity with a hit of sensitivity like it was second nature. Ruell is a wonder as the calm Kip, Jon Gries so perfectly creepy as Uncle Rico, Efren Ramirez hits the spot as the emotionless Pedro, and Majorino, who prior to this film was on a recent self imposed hiatus (what a shame!), gives the most subtle and sweet performance of the entire movie. Everyone is perfect, in fact, I can’t imagine anyone else playing these roles and why would you want to? The film already has it all, funny moments, touching moments, moments of quiet reflection, all of which ring true and real to an audience eager to see more then the standard studio fare. “You complete me”, nah, for me there is no more romantic a phrase ever been said then “I caught you a delicious bass” - love and skills Napoleon style.
THE EXTRAS
This new Vote For Pedro – Like, The Best Special Edition Ever, is no lie; it’s a new set that makes you forgive the fact that the filmmakers are double dipping. Just sell your old one and make a sweet jump to this newest collectable!

Disc One:

Commentary (with Director Jared Hess, Actor Jon Heder and Producer Jeremy Coon): The original commentary form the first release, with all talking about the making of the film. Director Hess sure takes a lot of this story right from his own personal experience, but I would have preferred a little more solo Heder stories. All in all though, a worthwhile track for fans!

Commentary (with Actors Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries and Tina Majorino): This new track starts off looking like it’s gonna be a boring, ass kiss fest, but at the nineteen minute mark, Ruell starts to take over a bit and asks the others direct questions. From then on in, it’s like doing the shading on an upper lip, totally cool! (But speak up more Ramirez; I almost forgot you were there!)

Disc Two:

This new Second Disc starts with a great interactive menu of the video game Cage Fighter featuring Kip and Rex squaring off! (Bow to your Sensay!) With so many extras, it’s time to eat. Eat…eat the food…eat the FOOD!

On Locations: Napoleon Dynamite (41:36): This is exactly what is says, being on the set for the shooting of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, in various scenes, with cast, crew and even Director Hess on the set doing his thing. Has an Individual or Play All feature and while it’s nice to have a choice, the individual is better, as you can remember where you left off and not miss a thing! It’s a rare and unique look into the making of a film that most will never get to see and for the fans who want more of a Napoleon fix, dude, its friggin’ sweet!

Halls Of Academe (9:57): A look at the school hallways scenes, including a scene of Randy hammering yet another innocent kid and plenty of Heder himself getting slammed, bruised and head locked, over and over and over again! On set gossip is in full force here to, as they end up being front page of the local paper, with karate goof Diedrich Bader giving a hold to an unsuspecting woman. This is a documentary mixed with a little Project Greenlight reality and I’m lovin’ it!

Steak Toss (3:49): A look at the steak tossing scene, from both sides of the camera and the meat is looking even more gamey! Looks like the fourth throw was the charm!

Cage Fighter (5:47): It’s so great to see some of my favorite scenes from different angles! I really feel like I’m watching stuff I shouldn’t be seeing! More of the kitchen “on line with Babes all day” scene, with Napoleon, Kip, multiple takes of the facial hits, and a dang Quesadilla!

Nap Dance (1:01): Thought you were gonna get a pure, unedited look at the famous Napoleon dance sequence? Think again, as Hess announces no videotaping will be allowed! Bastard!

Grandma On The Dunes (2:12): I don’t know which is scarier, seeing an expensive camera rigged to a motorcycle or seeing the stunt guy putting on Grandma’s bra and outfit to fly over the dunes! Two great takes and it’s over!

Sweet Jumps (4:08): As fans know, the jump for Napoleon is not so sweet, as we see the brave Heder make his balls blue during four takes of this funny but painful gag.

Neck Meat/Time Machine (5:52): Hess really knows his comedy, telling Ruell to stress the meat portion of the line “You’re bruising my neck meat!” Mixed with a little Napoleon strapped to the “time machine” and you got pretty much the worst video ever made. (Just kidding!)

Gold Bracelets and Tiny Seahorses (4:38): Little Kip, little Uncle Rico and a bowling lane – sounds like a field trip I would have liked!

Odd Job (8:32): Spending a little time in the chicken hut looks just like how everyone describes the smell - rank and disgusting. Ah, but breathe deep, it’s all for the sake of art! (Great wrap up collage!)

World Premiere: Jared Hess (43:28): Want to see the ride of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE the film with Director Hess? You got it, in this revealing mini-doc that goes from getting accepted into Sundance to the aftermath. Interviews and talk with friends, family, cast and fans, it’s got it all.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (with Optional Commentary by Director Jared Hess, Actor Jon Heder and Producer Jeremy Coon) (18:59): Way to work hard and give us all these friggin’ extra scenes, Kip! A collection of various deleted, extended, and outtake footage guaranteed to make your wildest dreams come true! With over three pages of scenes, each with an Individual or Play All feature, you're gonna be watching TV longer then Kip surfing the net! Yessss! (And I’ll be damned if all of this stuff isn’t as funny as the stuff in the film itself!)

2nd Locker Room (0:48): More ribbing of Napoleon by Don and his cronies. Funny stuff, but the commentary is too short to get anything out of it!

Holy Chip (1:12): A goofy and funny story of Pedro and the evil Taco. Funny stuff, with commentary telling the origins of the real story.

Extended Thrift Store/Lotto Ticket (3:23): Pedro, Napoleon, and a naked Mannequin. Sweet! (Was cut for time!)

Kickball And Outtakes Montage #1(2:46): By far the opening sequence with the kickball is the best scene of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (next to the dance scene!) and it wasn’t even in the film! Even the guys don’t comment much, watching and laughing!

Current Event – Ext. Scene (0:57): A little extra Randy bashing in this extended scene of the “blow Nessy out of the water” speech. (Find your Grandma!)

Chapstick – Ext. Scene (1:53): Extended Kip and Napoleon and after laughing again, my lips hurt real bad! (Keep grating that cheese, you sicko!)

Nupont Fibre-Woven Bowls – Alt. Scene (0:25): Kip rolls over the plastic bowl, only with much different results. Watch and see! (I’m not going to give you everything!)

Ext. Time Machine (1:56): A little extra time machine goes a long way!

Kip’s Love Poem (0:58): Kip riffing a poem while “chatting online with babes all day” – this is for all those skeptics out there who think Ruell doesn’t have the goods!

Outakes Montage #2 (4:41): A bunch of goofy outtakes; they’re laughing and so are we!

Lord Of The Dance (8:32): A rare piece of Napoleon history, with Heder doing a small dance at the end of the short film Peluca after Hess states that there is a little film left. It’s this dance act that inspired the great “skills” dance scene in the final film! It’s awesome, it’s…incredible!

Casting Napoleon Dynamite (13:06): First off is an interesting interview with Casting Director Jory Weitz (good for you for casting non-name actors!), then on to rare Audition Tapes (5:14) with Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez, and Haylie Duff, they all got skills!

Peluca (with Optional Commentary by Director Jared Hess, Actor Jon Heder and Producer Jeremy Coon): The short film that inspired it all. It has the basic framework, but Hess really helped it grow from this small seed to a flourishing flower. Commentary is interesting, if for anything to hear the evolution of all the characters.

Napoleon Sightings: Need more Clips? How about a delicious Bass with a side of Clips From TRL, Tankman Begins Clip From 2005 MTV Movie Awards, Opening Of SNL With Jon Heder, 2004 Teen Choice Awards - Napoleon Dynamite and Nicole Richie Play Tetherball, 2005 Teen Choice Awards - Hissy Fit Award, Spelling Bee, Utah State Fair TV Ads - Horses, Wild West, and Worst Ride Ever.

And if that’s not enough you sicko, there is a Still Gallery, MTV On-Air Promos, and The Wedding Of The Century ending by itself. What, you want more? Ahh…idiot!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It’s strange, but the moment that sticks with me most in NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is not the Rex-Tae-Kwon-Do sequence, not Napoleon doing the happy hands club butterfly, and not even the steak in the face gag, it’s the ending sequence, which is brushed with just a hint of sweetness and sentimentality. Not many comedies can achieve such a feat, but NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is not just another comedy; it’s one of those films that only come along once in a while. And now with this new edition, you can re-live the experience once again and not feel ripped off for buying a new version, in fact, you’ll truly feel “luck-ey” for having bought it – “sweet” has never been so sweet!
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or