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March 10, 2008
Good Luck Chuck Uncut Version
Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
25/10/20075/3/2008Sony PicturesMark Helfrich
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHDMA15+Dane Cook
Jessica Alba

THE MOVIE
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Dane Cook and Jessica Alba.
Good Luck Chuck could best be described as a romantic comedy in the vein as American Pie and There's Something About Mary. That is, a romantic comedy with plenty of sexual humour and gross-out moments. Were it not for Jessica Alba we suspect this movie would have sunk quicker then the Titanic, but due to her it did capture our interest, and managed $US58 million at the box office. Let's look at the story then shall we...

It all started when Charlie Kagan was ten years old. Breaking the cardinal rules of spin-the-bottle, Charlie refused to lip-lock with a demented Goth girl – and she put a hex on him. Now, twenty-five years later, Charlie (Dane Cook) is a successful dentist... and still cursed. While his plastic surgeon best friend, Stu (Dan Fogler), pursues as many of his patients as possible, Charlie can't seem to find the right girl. Even worse, he discovers at an ex-girlfriend's wedding that every woman he's ever slept with has found true love – with the next guy after him. Before he knows it, Charlie's reputation as a "good luck charm" has women – from sexy strangers to his overweight receptionist – lining up for a quickie. But a life filled with all sex and no love has Charlie lonelier than ever – that is, until he meets Cam (Jessica Alba).

An accident-prone penguin specialist, Cam is as hard-to-get as she is beautiful. But when a genuine romance develops, Charlie realises he’s got to find a way to break his good-luck curse... before the girl of his dreams winds up with the next guy she meets.

While not a bad movie, Good Luck Chuck isn't really that great either. This movie just didn't click for some reason and it wasn't just myself, but also my wife, sister and another friend had exactly the same feelings at the end of the movie. Jessica Alba is as hot as always and Dane Cook is charming enough to carry the movie, but something simply doesn't quite work. One possible reason is that so many of the jokes are so blatantly obvious. Walking down the street, well it's obvious she's going to walk into a pole. Trying to jump-start a car - of course she's going to electrocute him. Many of the jokes seem quite forced and, to be honest, we've seen them all before. In fact one of the funniest moments comes about with Cam's stoner brother sitting in the penguin enclosure kicking them when they walk up to him. It's sad I know, but had us chuckling.

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Sitting back taking it easy.
Perhaps another reason I didn't like this movie was the opening scene which sees a bunch of 10 year old kids playing spin the bottle. This isn't innocent fun though as they talk about getting blowjobs, fingering, sucking titties - and that's before you've spun the bottle. The twn year old Charles is then locked in a cupboard with a 10 year old (in real life and the movie) gothic chick who strips, jumps on Charles kissing him and then scratching him and pulling his nipples. While it may happen in real life, to some people (but probably not with any reasonable parent's consent!) it feels exploitive, and wrong, in a movie like this. Surely they could have been a couple of years older!

Another thing to mention is that this isn't a movie for youngsters - not in the least. I'm pretty open minded when it comes to vulgarity and sex in movies (I love Superbad, American Pie and so on) but this movie really does push new boundaries in a couple of scenes - particularly the sex montage which shows Charlie doing it with a series of women in numerous positions and a masturbation scene with, ermm, some fruit. I guess these scenes are what bumped this to an Unrated movie with an additional 5 minute runtime over the theatrical release.

So I've bagged this movie for a number of reasons, but the biggest problem is that it just doesn't feel like a love story. Jessica Alba and Dane Cook don't really sizzle on screen as much as I expected, and with such a predictable plot it just falls flat. Sure, you may like it more but I'm not seeing much love from too many people that have seen it.

VIDEO
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Dan Fogler as the vulgar Stu.
Presented in 1080p at the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and encoded in AVC MPEG-4 Good Luck Chuck is a good looking movie. Many of the scenes, particularly those outside, are quite colourful and detail is fairly high. Interior and dimly lit shots look wonderful with impressive detail in the darkest areas of the shot.

Make no mistake, if you have a Blu-Ray player this version is vastly superior to the DVD release and is the preferred viewing option, but it's not a reference quality disc. There were times when I felt that this transfer lacked detail. It was almost like some of the film was shot slightly out of focus or the movie was upscaled. What makes this even more surprising is that the movie has a bitrate constantly over 30Mbps, even in static, or near-static scenes. There were also occasions when contrast seemed overly high with whites blooming, particularly in some of the outdoor scenes.

AUDIO
Good Luck Chuck comes to Blu-Ray with an English Dolby TrueHD Audio track. For the most part this dialogue heavy movie sounds pretty impressive. Speech is clear at all times while the movie has some use of directional sound and sub woofer. There is some music used throughout but it isn't a facet of the movie you're likely to remember.

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A date... from hell!
Sony have gone to town with the other audio tracks on this disc. These includes Spanish 5.1, Portuguese 5.1, Czech 5.1, Hungarian 5.1, Thai 5.1, Turkish 5.1 and Polish 5.1. We sampled each track briefly and each is certain to be more then acceptable. Subtitles are also given a fair go with English, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Thai, Turkish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, English SDH, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, and Slovene. That's quite a mix and seems to cover most bases however it does miss major languages like French, German, Dutch. Sure they may have different Blu-Ray master but there are plenty of people here that could use those tracks - how many people require Icelandic? From brief samples of the English track it seems accurate to the dialogue on screen.

EXTRAS
Sony Pictures have loaded this Blu-Ray disc up with quite a few extras - some of which are quite worthwhile, others which are certainly questionable in terms of their content, and usefulness. It certainly appears that we do get quite a bit more content then the American release which is a bonus.

Audio Commentary with director Mark Helfrich, producer Mike Karz, screenwriter Josh Stolberg and star Dane Cook: An interesting commentary with quite a few stories about the production of this movie. The participants to veer of course on occasions but it's rather entertaining. Given the vulgarity of the movie I was actually surprised how tame this commentary was - especially when you compare it to, say, the commentary on Superbad.

Featurettes (29:02/HD): A series of smaller featurettes which covers several aspects including casting Eleanor Skipple, Kama Sutra which looks at filming the numerous sex scenes, Polymastia which looks at the three breasted woman, The Real Life "Good Luck Chuck" which looks at Steve Glenn who was the inspiration of the story, All About Penguins which looks at the penguins that were a central point of the movie, Frank: The Penguin Actor focuses on a single penguin in the movie, and Good Luck Chuckles which shows some more set goofing around. These featurettes are all presented in HD with Dolby Digital 2 channel sound at 224kbps.

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Woo Hoo! Jessica Alba in the bath.
Gag Reel (9:29/HD): A decent gag reel with almost 10 minutes of stuff-ups from the filming of this movie. Some pretty funny stuff here and it's worth a look for some laughs.

Ad Libs (8:28/HD): Again some rather amusing scenes this time showing the Ad Libbing by actors in various scenes.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (9:32/HD): To be honest there isn't much here which we wanted back in the movie. Most of the deleted scenes are minor cuts to scenes already in the movie.

Sex Matrix (HD): Basically a 4 x 4 grid of all the sex scenes in the movie. Take your pick and then watch the scene. Probably worthwhile if you need some new positions in the bedroom, but honestly, quite pointless and annoying with each scene, a couple of seconds long, being followed by an equally long copyright notice.

Trailers (8:51/HD): Trailers for Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Jane Austin Book Club, Close Encounters of the Third Kind Ultimate Edition and Bollywood film Saawariya. All trailers are presented in High Definition.

OVERALL
Good Luck Chuck is an average love story with plenty of nudity, vulgarity and sex thrown in for good measure (or, more likely, ticket sales). The transfer is solid, and there are quite a few extras to enjoy - perhaps more so then the movie. Overall Good Luck Chuck is another impressive Blu-Ray release from Sony Pictures which is primarily let down by the movie itself. If you have seen the movie, and liked it, you’ll enjoy this release.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
6/10
THE VIDEO
7/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
5/10
OVERALL
6.5/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.