HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:82
“Zoolander” has been thought of as almost as elusive a title as the constantly moving target that is “Rush Hour 2” or “Bad Boys II” (which ironically also JUST got a Blu-ray release), as it was scheduled to be released by warner brothers back in October of 2014. Part of the distribution agreement between Paramount and Warner Brothers, “Zoolander” went right up to release day and then “poof”, it vanished. A few people reported getting copies from Movie Stop, or other smaller facilities, and even a few Amazon orders made it through, but the title almost immediately went into perpetual backorder. Confusion reigned supreme as people struggled to understand what was up as WB was silent on the issue. The only tentative consensus was that Paramount or WB had pulled the title at the last minute and were going to release it when “2oolander” was released theatrically. Lo and behold those predictions turned true, as Paramount themselves (not WB) announced last month that “Zoolander” would get a special collectible steelbook release with an exclusive Derek Zoolander heandband and movie cash to see “2oolander” only at Walmart (at least for the time being).
“Zoolander” is probably one of the craziest and zaniest comedies that Stiller has ever directed and starred in. Recently Stiller has been more concerned with pulling a Bill Murray, and making quirky, more introspective hipster comedy movies, but back in the early 2000’s and earlier he was making pure slapstick comedies for the masses. Albeit with an underlying hint of intelligence that belies Stiller’s paradoxical nature. The film feels much more like “Tropic Thunder” or at least one of the commercial at the BEGINNING of “Tropic Thunder” than anything else, with a narcissistic and insane edge to it. Opening up right after 9/11 (days after actually), it became one of the biggest hits of all time. You might say that it would be poor taste to be released so soon after, and that people are more concerned with other things, but having something to laugh at with abandon was something that was VERY MUCH needed for this country, and Zoolander skyrocketed to the top.
Stupid, insane, narcissistic and completely hysterical, “Zoolander” was and is one of my favorite comedies of all time. There are so many quotable lines in the film that I can’t count how many times my friends and I have given each other Blue Steel, or mentioned that even really really ridiculously good looking can die in freak gasoline fight accident. The character of Derek Zoolander was actually created a couple years earlier for the VH-1 movie awards as a couple of short films (which are actually included on disc), but it caught on quickly and in 2001 we were blessed (or cursed depending on your tolerance for unadulterated stupidity) with “Zoolander”
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=60122[/img]The fashion world is not as we see it. While we see men with chiseled abs and perfect features walking down the runway in their skivvies while their intelligence seems to dribble out their ears. However there is a dark side to this glamour. Behind these vapid, but gorgeous faces, are the masterminds of the industry. Fashion moguls who thrive on child labor in other countries to make their fancy designs on the cheap while they sell their wares to the masses. After the Prime Minister of Malaysia (Woodrow Asai) raises the cost of living to fair wages in his country, the fashion moguls decide to assassinate the man to keep their sweat shop prices the way they are. Sending their lead liaison, Fashion designer Mugato (Will Ferrell) to recruit an assassin from the ranks of the male modeling world, the cabal works to fix this problem and regain their prices.
Flash forward to Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), 3 time male model of the year, and really really ridiculously good looking man. He’s just lost the award to his upcoming rival Hansel (Owen Wilson), a hipster model who taking the scene by storm. Devastated (once it gets through his thick skull), Derek is the perfect vessel for Mugato to use for his assassination attempt. Grooming Derek to be his personal model, Mugato brainwashes the vapid model into his ranks. The only person who recognizes the strangeness of Mugato’s techniques is reporter Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor, who happens to be Ben Stiller’s real life wife). Convincing Derek of Mugato’s intentions she and Derek Zoolander (along with the help of Hansel) have to try and outwit (ok that made my brain hurt even saying it) Mugato and his evil Henchwoman, Katinka (Milla Jovovich), from killing the prime minister before it’s too late.
“Zoolander”, for all its stupidity, is a scathing commentary on the emptiness of the modeling industry and the pack of lies they try to sell us on a daily basis. The film CONSTANTLY rags on the modeling industry to the point gagging if there wasn’t so much humor involved. There are elements of “The Manchurian Candidate” involved as Mugato’s grooming of an unknowing assassin play out very much like the classic Angela Lansbury film, as well as some wink wink moments as Stiller plays out a scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey” complete with theme music.
There are enough cameos in the film to choke a horse with Andy Dick covered up in fat suit and makeup as the Masseuse, Ana Mearse (Ben Stiller’s own mom) as an angry anti-model protester, Billy Zane, Donald Trump, Cuba Gooding Jr. (back when he was relevant), Natalie Portman, David Bowie, Lennie Kravitz, and the list goes on and on, including some hi profile fashion moguls from the real fashion industry.
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and drug references
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=60098[/img]“Zoolander” is a bright and colorful film, filled with extravagant excesses of the modeling industry and the video encode from Paramount is a pleasing replication of the theatrical experience. Colors and detail are surprisingly bright and detailed for a catalog title, and there is a LOT of color saturation in the film (excepting when Derek goes back to his home town where the color palette is naturally drained and drab). If you watch the extras Stiller explains that he shot the film in 2.35:1 scope because of all the crowds and characters that he wanted to fit in the frame. Fine detail is very solid, with only a few moments where it wavers with some unnatural softness (there’s a scene during the middle of the film where it shifts between Stiller, Taylor and Wilson and for some reason the shots that focus on Christine Taylor are incredibly soft). Black levels are rather nice, with good shadow detail and no sign of any digital artifacting like black crush. To put it simply, “Zoolander” looks like a walking talking music video, with the crazy colors and oversaturation of that industry to imitate the life of a model, and it works superbly.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=60106[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track included on the disc is vibrant and full of life, with the most rocking scenes when Derek is pulling off his runway scenes, or when the invigorating 80s rock songs fill the sound stage. The crowd roars and comes to life from all angles when Derek is living his dream on stage, and the surrounds pulse with action much of the time. The sound fades back a bit when Derek and Hansel try to use their talking skills (painful as that may be for intelligent human beings) and the dialog is wonderfully replicated with a nice balance to the 80s songs. Bass is heavy and punchy, adding to the music as well as the depth of the roaring fan base (whether that be in Derek’s imagination or in reality). As much fun as the film’s dialog may be, the real fun is from all of the 80’s tracks and remixes included within. Especially a little remix of “Relax” or “Wake me up before you go go “ (which you will never be able to see again the same way).
• Commentary by Ben Stiller and writers Drake Sather & John Hamburg
• A Really, Really, Really Cool Teaser for Zoolander No. 2
• Breakdance Fight Rehearsal—NEW!
• Alternate Brainwashing Sequence Storyboards—NEW!
• Walkoff Rehearsal Footage with Ben Stiller commentary
• Deleted Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
• Extended Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
• VH1 Fashion Awards Skits
• Music Video “Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys
• Public Service Announcements
• MTV Cribs
• Photo Galleries
I LOOOOOOOOVE “Zoolander”. It’s completely inane and stupid, but Ben Stiller has a way with stupidity as proven by “Tropic Thunder”, one of my other favorite comedies. Laced throughout all the narcissistic stupidity though are plenty of jabs at real life laws in our society and extremely quotable lines making it a movie just sticks with you, even if you don’t want it to. After over a year of impatiently waiting for a ghost release of “Zoolander”, we’re finally given it in this fully collectable and upgraded version of the single disc release that was KIND OF put out by warner last year. The steelbook is a nice boon, the movie money and digital copy are nice throw ins and there are even a few extra extras (say that ten times fast). Audio and video appear to be the same encodes from the 2014 release (not surprising) and look rather nice, and the rather copious amount of extras is just icing on the cake. “Zoolander” is definitely a highly recommended release.
Starring: Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Written by: Ben Stiller, Drake Sather
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Runtime: 90 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 1st 2015
Buy Zoolander On Blu-ray at Walmart
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
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