Napoleon Dynamite on DVD
Napoleon Dynamite is not your typical film protagonist.
Hes not attractive, doesnt wear the latest hip
fashions, has a really bad attitude, and lacks enthusiasm for pretty much
He spends his days drawing mythical beasts (including the liger --
half lion, half tiger; probably his very favorite animal), duking it out with
his effeminate brother, Kip, and avoiding contact with his Uncle Rico.
But things change when his grandma is admitted to the hospital and
good ol Uncle Rico comes to live with them.
If youre waiting for us to give you a bit of info on the
plot, you might as well stop waiting. Theres not a lot to this movie; on
the other hand, there's an excellent reason to watch it: because its
Or, if youre in my situation, because you have a close
friend who resembles Napoleon in almost every way now thats
There are quite a few guffaws spread throughout, and unlike most
movies these days, it sticks with you for weeks afterwards as you quote its
lines and imitate its title character.
Its well directed, original, clever, and all of the actors
play their roles to perfection. Even though Napoleon Dynamite speaks in a
disinterested, monotone voice and is frequently rude to his friends and family,
for some reason we still want him to triumph. I guess its the same reason
I still enjoy the company of my Napoleon-esque friend. (Just because hes
not the greatest guy on the surface doesnt mean you shouldnt look
The film grabs you bright and early with a creative title sequence
that probably took longer to shoot than the film itself. If nothing else, you
feel as if youre going to be in for an amusing hour and a half.
First time filmmakers Jared and Jerusha Hess have crafted a fun
little movie that lets you simply enjoy it without thinking too much about
Napoleon Dynamite comes very highly recommended.
The DVD is pretty basic. The disc comes complete with full screen
and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen versions, with picture quality that could be
better, but which for the sake of this particular movie shouldnt be.
Its grainy, muddy, and soft, and while such hindrances would lessen other
films, here it gives it a perfectly nostalgic, indie feel. Bright colors are
handled well, as are darks.
Audio, despite being a typical Dolby Digital 5.1 track, is nothing
to write home about. There is precious little surround use or separation, but
theres not much here other than dialogue anyway, and it is always
Extras include a rather amusing audio commentary by
director/co-writer Jared Hess, producer Jeremy Coon, and Mr. Dynamite himself,
Jon Heder. While youre not likely to discover the meaning of life or
anything, the trio has a good sense of humor and enjoys the film thoroughly.
Peluca is an 8-minute short film which is basically a
rough draft for the movie. Some scenes are taken right from the movie (or vice
versa, if you want to get technical), its black and white, and some of
the actors are different. Otherwise its pretty much the same thing
not that we have a problem with that. There is a short, superfluous making-of
featurette, some deleted scenes (which are unfortunately not as good as you
would hope), a still gallery, and trailers.
Napoleon Dynamite, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino
Produced by Jeremy Coon, Chris Wyatt, Sean Covel
Written by Jared Hess and
Jerusha Hess, Directed by Jared Hess
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think