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June 16, 2009
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
19/2/200918/6/2009Village RoadshowKevin Smith
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1R18+Seth Rogen

THE MOVIE
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Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogen in Zack and Miri.

Perhaps it was the title but Zack and Miri Make a Porno didn't do nearly as well at the box office as one would have expected given the pulling power of the director and stars. With a production budget of $US24 million the movie only managed to gross $US40 million around the globe - well short of expectations. Still, if you haven't seen it then you're in for something rather entertaining.

Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) look to solve their respective cash flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought...

Director Kevin Smith has a massive following around the globe and has had a string of low budget hits to his name including Dogma, Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back to name a few, but I am not what you would consider a big fan. His movies are often funny, but not often in that belly laugh way that I get from someone like Judd Apatow. Still this is a good movie, with some solid scenes. Early on there is a scene with Justin Long and Brandon Routh which really is hilarious. Later in the movie is a standout scene with a cameraman - I won't spoil it, you'll know it when you see it and finally we have some passionate chemistry between Elizabeth and Seth's characters.

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Working in the coffee shop.
What makes this movie tick is the two stars. Seth Rogen is a comedic genius in my book with some brilliant lines, and their delivery, many of which were improvised on set. He's very likable and can certainly carry a picture from start to finsh. While he is brilliant, the real standout for me is Elizabeth Banks. She's gorgeous, hilarious, emotional and most of all, likable. Most well know for her role in The 40 Year Old Virgin she lights up the screen and comparisons to Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up are more then justified (indeed Elizabeth almost landed the lead role in that movie too!).

Ultimately Zack and Miri Make a Porno is an entertaining movie with some great dialogue, and a few moments of hilarity. I was surprised by the amount of swearing, and the lack of naked people (hell, you see a lot more in the making of documentary!), and the ending is a little obvious from the outset, but its well worth a look.

VIDEO
This is a very special review for one reason - this was the first movie we watched on my brother in law's new Epson EH-TW4000 1080p projector on 100" screen with 7.1 HD audio. Indeed it was a mind blowing experience, although for fairness we have re-watched the movie on our usual screen, a 46" 1080p Samsung LCD TV to ensure the video quality is compared to our other Blu-Ray reviews.

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The crew are making a porn movie...
Zack and Miri comes to Blu-Ray at 1080p at 1.78:1 using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. This is opened up slightly from the theatrical presentation of 1.85:1 and will fill a widescreen TV nicely. Image quality is good in a natural way with nice fleshtones (and there is a lot of flesh in some scenes!) while the level of detail also manages to impress. Admittedly Zack and Miri is not exactly the best movie to demonstrate the format but the sharpness and natural beauty in this movie really comes through.

AUDIO
The primary audio track on this release is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 effort an it's quite a brilliant effort. The movie is primarily dialogue driven, and everything is crystal clear. On some occasions when the music kicks in the sub-woofer may get a bit of a workout, but it's pretty rare. Surround sound channels get osme use in the ambient scenes such as the High School reunion, but you won't be jumping out of your seats at any point.

The other audio tracks on this disc include an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps and also a French Dolby Digital 5.1 track also encoded at 640kbps. Both of these offer a quite clear, and impressive audio experience. Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish (but no French!).

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Seth Rogen stars in a porn movie.
EXTRAS
While the list of extra features on this disc looks a little short don't worry as there are some brilliant items here to check out. We also wish to point out that this Blu-Ray release includes a Digital Copy of the film on DVD. Anyway onto the extras...

Popcorn Porn: The Making of Zack and Miri (74:48): Now this is a documentary. With a runtime of 74 minutes this includes interviews with pretty much everyone that participated in this movie. Everything from casting to filming, to the wrap party, test screenings, battles with the MPAA over the ratings, and release are covered in this documentary with some great behind the scenes footage - including the "shit cannon". It's brilliant, detailed, and well worth watching.

Deleted Scenes (95:02/HD): Are you kidding me? RIght here we have 95 minutes worth of deleted scenes, or 43 in total. Hell, you could almost re-watch the entire movie via these deleted scenes and get a good idea of how it all plays out. There are some great alternate takes here. Presented in HD with Dolby Digital 2 channel sound at 192kbps.

Money Shots: A Series of Webisodes (47:44): This is the series of 22 clips that were shown on the internet while production of the film took place. Not much detail (they don't want to give too much away prior to release), but generally very entertaining.

Comic-Con 2008 (23:09): This extra looks at the Comic Con presentation at San Diego in 2008 with interviews with Kevin Smith and the cast of the movie. Often hilarious this is well worth a watch.

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The Justing Long scene is a classic.
Outtakes, Ad-libs and Bloopers (13:00): As series of goofs and fluffed lines. One of the better sets we've seen on a disc to date.

Seth vs Justin: Battle for Improvisational Supremacy Part 1 (7:24): A scene with improved lines between Seth and Justin. Pretty funny. Not sure where part 2 is though.

OVERALL
Not one for this kids Zack and Miri Make a Porno is an amusing film with likable characters. The transfer to Blu-Ray is impressive and the extras certainly better then the short listing would suggest. This is worth a rent if you haven't seen it, and a purchase if you have seen and liked it, or you're a Kevin Smith and/or Seth Rogen fan.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
7/10
THE VIDEO
8/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
7/10
OVERALL
7.5/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.