Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Meet the Fockers |
Actors: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand
Meet the Parents found such tremendous success in the chemistry produced by the contrasting personalities of stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller that the film's creators went for broke with the same formula again in Meet ... more »
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So nice to have her back where she belongs...
L.A. Sam | Los Angeles, CA | 04/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big Barbra Streisand fan, but to be honest, even I lost patience with her last few movies. She seemed to play into this lofty image of herself as this sophisticate whom no man she meets can live without or is worthy. In The Prince of Tides, I thought that if she wasn't careful, Barbra the actress was going to do in Barbra the director. That was borne out in her last movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces. Happily, in her return to the screen here, she goes back to the kind of comedy that she does so well, that a lot of younger people have never seen. (Check out The Owl and the Pussycat and What's Up,Doc? kids.) Yes, some of them can't believe that they are enjoying her (it must be killing Mssrs Parker and Stone!), but Barbra hasn't been this loose and in over 30 years. And as if she isn't good enough, she works for the first time - at long last - with BOTH Hoffman and DeNiro! I will even committ an act or heresay and say that I think Hoffman stole the picture. However, his chemistry with Barbra is wonderful and a treat to watch. What the hell took so long?
The rest of the cast does fine, considering what they are working with. Yes, DeNiro has been slumming, but it is fun to see him and Babs have a couple of scenes along together, though one of my favorites was seeing Barbra reunited with Blyth Danner whom she directed in Prince of Tides, coaching her as a sex therapist!
OK, so maybe Babs, Dusty and Bob should have done something more topical and serious with Scorcese instead of this silly fluff with Jay Roach, but I'll bet it wouldn't be anywhere near as fun!"
Streisand and Hoffman Lend Buoyancy as Mother and Father Foc
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 04/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It shouldn't be too big a surprise that this movie is a fairly mediocre Hollywood confection, but I did have a whimper of a hope that this was going to be an edgier social commentary given the comedy potential of the situation. Alas, it would be too much to expect director Jay Roach to be in the same league as David O. Russell or Alexander Payne given that his track record is mostly made up of Austin Powers movies. I never saw the original Meet the Parents, so luckily I don't have that point of comparison, but one can easily fill in the blanks with this soft-centered sequel. Written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg, the plot seems ready-made from an instant pudding mix. Having given permission to Gaylord Focker to marry their daughter Pam, the white-bread Byrnes family from Oyster Bay now prepares to meet their new in-laws in Florida (of course).
Simple enough, but the big surprise is that Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand (third and fourth-billed, no less) seem to be having such a great time playing Bernie and Roz Focker that you can almost overlook the script deficiencies. Each had auspicious film debuts over 35 years ago (he in The Graduate, she in Funny Girl), and they have known each other since their struggling New York days in the early sixties. That history is helpful in explaining their natural chemistry here, and you're left wondering why these two never worked together before. Streisand, in particular, seems relaxed as a free-wheeling, caftan-wearing, opinionated sex therapist, which seems like a send-up of her self-important psychiatrist in her own The Prince of Tides. For once, she's not bathed in candlelight in some Harlequin romance with a blonde gentile unable to commit. Rather, she lends credibility to a grounded character in an often hilariously passionate marriage to a physical and intellectual equal, and at certain moments in this film, I don't think I've liked Streisand more onscreen.
If Hoffman seems less surprising, it's only because he has already proven to be a masterful comic actor with Tootsie and Wag the Dog. Even when the running gags (a passion for capoeira, overzealous displays of affection) get tired, he still imbues his caricature with a zestful spirit. The remaining elements of the film seem tired in comparison, and unfortunately I have to include the original stars. Perhaps it's because they are recycling behavior that would be hard to refresh a second time. Robert DeNiro's tiresome portrayal of Jack Byrnes, the intimidating ex-CIA spook, is particularly disappointing and not so much because the actor is slumming (which he is) but because his character works on only one motivation, to humiliate and eventually eject his future son-in-law from the "circle of trust". There are hints that the summit meeting of Hoffman, DeNiro and Streisand would turn into something more substantial, but the sitcom dimensions of the script quickly extinguish the possibilities. Ben Stiller, who is the actual protagonist of this comedy, seems to be sitting back as his character, Gaylord, recedes into the background. He has exactly one funny scene on his own, when he spouts his honest feelings after being injected with a "truth serum".
The whole subplot with Gaylord being accused of fathering his former family housekeeper's son seems tired and superfluous. I like Blythe Danner as Jack's wife, Dina, looking to resuscitate some spark in their marriage, and Teri Polo, who actually seems sharp and worthwhile as the fiancée at the center of the story. But neither is given much to do except a funny scene where Roz uses hand puppets to teach Dina how to get sex out of Jack. If seeing DeNiro wearing a homemade rubber "manary gland" sounds hilarious, by all means go see this movie. For me, it just made me think how it would be great to see Hoffman and Streisand re-team in a James Brooks comedy, how DeNiro should go back to Scorsese for career guidance and how Stiller may want to take a break before he plays yet another nebbish character. By the way, I'm guessing Streisand's "A Star Is Born"-era hairdo is an in-joke to her partner since her character's name was Esther Hoffman. Now that's the kind of subtlety this comedy needed.
The 2005 DVD features two versions of the film - the theatrical cut and a completely unnecessary extended cut, which edits in several deleted scenes. Like the DVD treatment for Ray, the additions are announced to the viewer through a blinking gimmick and consequently inhibit the flow of the narrative. It's better to see these understandably excised scenes separate from the film. Roach and editor/co-producer Jon Poll provide a so-so commentary track, and there is also a fitfully funny blooper reel. Several disposable shorts are included, among them "Fockers' Family Portrait" featuring brief snippets from Hoffman, Streisand and Stiller; a behind-the-scenes look at Jinx the Cat ("Inside the Litter Box"); another behind-the-scenes look, this time at the infant ("The Adventures of a Baby Wrangler"); a five-minute featurette on "The Manary Gland"; and a Today Show interview with the entire cast."
Convoluted, unfunny mess
Sean P. Logue | Research Triangle Park, NC USA | 11/06/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Well, the first movie was a gem. Very funny, situations flowed well, most of it worked, and worked together as a cohesive whole. Pretty much the opposite of this poorly put together sequel, which wastes a lot of good talent.
The jokes are stupid, over the top, and require the characters to do a lot of actions that seem to be done just so the situations can be set up. The humor is dull and slapstick, and isn't funny. The "risque" jokes intended to be funny just by virtue of making the audience uncomfortable fall flat. They didn't make me uncomfortable, and they weren't funny. I did feel somewhat sorry for the actors forced to deliver the lines, but I figure they saw the script before they agreed and decided to do it just for the money.
Save your money and spend it on the original, or on Zoolander instead of this."
YES - A BIT CRUDE - BUT AFTERALL THIS IS "PG-13" ENTERTA
Dr. Luther Wolfgang Polaris | orbiting within the Oort Cloud | 01/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"TWO-HOUR SITUATION COMEDY AT ITS FINEST!
This is a terrific modern comedy with a classic theme. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand brought added chemistry and welcome diversity which really helped this character-driven sit-com. Whereas "Meet The Parents" had numerous funny "gags" and a lot of comedic tension, "Meet The Fockers" takes embarrassment to a new level for Greg Focker. Although this movie is 115 minutes long, there is hardly a dull moment. I have already viewed this DVD about 15 times.
Yes, the film does resort to some cliched, overused themes, some of which are a bit vulgar and may even be offensive to some viewers. However, the enormous credibility that the all-star cast brings, and delivers, to this sprawling situation comedy, more than makes up for the predictable silliness, and occasionally irksome crudeness that sometimes gets tiresome.
ABOUT THE DVD:
The sound and visual quality of this widescreen DVD is about what you would expect from a new big-budget release ... about perfect. It does contain quite a few features that I found interesting, but the extended version option was by the best of them. Although it does make the movie 150+ minutes, it adds some new insights into the characters and their motivations. One such extended scene depicts Greg with the father of the boy that Jack wrongfully believed was his Greg's son. Of course, Ben Stiller played the very odd, minor league baseball coach meeting Greg [himself]. Sure it's a cliche, but it was funny. There were also deleted scenes and bloopers. They were mostly okay, but some seemed contrived.
There are three behind-the-scenes featurettes: one about the baby wrangler's role (pretty interesting), another about the mammary gland prop, and the third was titled "Inside the Litter Box" and was of course about that darn cat, "Mr. Jinx". The featurettes are a little over the top as features go, but it is, after all, a comedy.
BOTTOM LINE: ENTERTAINING, BUT OFTEN AT THE EXPENSE OF GOOD TASTE!
Is "MEET THE FOCKERS" as entertaining as "Meet the Parents"? I believe so, but unfortunately, in many instances, it is done so at the expense of good taste. After viewing the movie and all the features only one question remains in my mind (as well as in the mind of many others, I'm sure.) ... Will they all return in yet another sequel, "MEET THE LITTLE FOCKER"?