on the Moon" on DVD
Jim Carrey proves
once again that he's more than just a funny face in Milos Forman's biopic
about the life of Andy Kaufman.
"Man on the Moon"
is a terrific vehicle for Carrey, whose performance is bang on throughout
the film. There are many times you forget it's the same Jim Carrey here
as it was in "Ace Ventura" and the other lowbrow films in which he's starred.
Forman's film, just
like Kaufman's career, is very different. From the opening monologue and
simulated "closing credits crawl," the movie gives a very sympathetic
view of Kaufman's life and death, exposing the person behind the hype.
Not content to be
merely a traditional comedian, according to Forman's portrayal, Kaufman
wanted to shake things up, to mess with people's heads. And he succeeded
so well that he in effect lost any credibility he may have earned, to
the point where people could never trust or believe anything he said or
Anyone who only knows
of Kaufman through "Taxi" or media reports is in for a surprise to find
out just how broadly his brush painted. From little "mind games" like
building into his TV special a vertical hold flaw designed to make the
audience get out of their chairs to see what was wrong with their TV sets
to extravagant pranks like his wrestling schtick, Kaufman wanted to -
and succeeded at - keep the world a little off balance.
There are some good
bits here, as well as some wonderful filmmaking in Forman's tradition.
But despite the strong cast (including many uncredited performances by
Kaufman's peers appearing as themselves) it's Carrey's movie all the way.
And that's fine.
The supporting cast
includes Danny DeVito (who also produced) as Kaufman's manager, Courtney
Love as his girlfriend, and Paul Giamatti as his best friend/co-conspirator.
Whether you liked
Andy Kaufman or not (the only Kaufman bit this reviewer had ever liked
before this movie was his "Mighty Mouse" lip sync), "Man on the Moon"
is a good movie and a worthwhile view - just like any Milos Forman film.
The DVD is presented
in widescreen and features Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks on the same
disc. The audio and video (we used the Dolby Digital tracks in our viewing)
quality are superb. There is also plenty of extras, from a decent "Spotlight
on Location" feature to a feature on Kaufman himself that includes some
live performances. You also get deleted scenes (some of which we would
have liked to see included in the final film), a couple of REM music videos,
DVD ROM features, and the trailer.
Man on the Moon, from
Universal Home Video
119 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital and DTS
Starring Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love
Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Written by Scott
Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Directed by Milos Forman
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