Made (2001)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: Jon Favereau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk
Extras: Commentary Track, Documentaries, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Edit Workshop, Trailers

One of Artisan’s highly touted films is now on DVD. It is the Mob comedy ’Made, ’ in which two small time mob-runners (Vince Vaughn and Jon Faverau) are given a big job in New York, only to mess it up with their innate inability. Sadly, not much of ’Made’ works. The characters are flat and especially Vince Vaugn’s character Ricky is outright annoying. I don’t mind a guy speaking his mind, but if you have someone in a movie who’s constantly spouting off, it just become tiresome and obnoxious. Ricky is funny in the beginning but quickly wears off. Sadly the same is true for the rest of the film. The story moves too slowly and gets caught up in endless talking. Movies are about visualizing things and not so much about saying things. Good directors are acclaimed for their abilities to capture meaningful actions in images not words – that’s what novelists do – and sadly Jon Faverau, who also directed and wrote the movie, doesn’t make use of the medium’s capabilities.

And for God’s sake, somebody give the man a tripod. While I understand that many directors prefer to shoot handheld footage, in ’Made’ it is sorely overused and, to make matters worse, it is used in the most inopportune situations. Shots that would be enhanced by the use of a handheld camera have been shot on dolly tracks, while shots that are basically static set-ups, suddenly shake as if they’re seen from a roller coaster.

The DVD comes as a Special Edition from Artisan and features an anamorphic widescreen presentation that is clean and clear. Some edge-enhancement is evident in the transfer, creating a look that is sometimes overly sharpened with unnatural edges. Other than that, the presentation is without flaws. Colors are vibrant and naturally rendered with deep blacks and good highlights. The compression is also without flaws and free of compression artifacts. The audio track on the DVD is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital and is good, although a tad restrained. Surround usage I good but never obtrusive.

The disc contains a commentary track by Jon Favereau and Vince Vaughn as they talk some more – no pun intended. The track contains some good information and worth checking out for those of you who enjoyed the movie.

A series of featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes trailers and other clips, as well as production notes and biographies are also part of the release, making sure the DVD is presenting itself nicely. Sadly, the movie just doesn’t quite cut it.