TechnoFILE is copyright and a registered trademark © ® of
Pandemonium Productions.
All rights reserved.
E-mail us Here!
Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite on DVD

Napoleon Dynamite is not your typical film protagonist.

He’s not attractive, doesn’t wear the latest hip fashions, has a really bad attitude, and lacks enthusiasm for pretty much everything.

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 you’re waiting for us to give you a bit of info on the plot, you might as well stop waiting. There’s not a lot to this movie; on the other hand, there's an excellent reason to watch it: because it’s funny.

Or, if you’re in my situation, because you have a close friend who resembles Napoleon in almost every way – now that’s funny!

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.

It’s 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 it’s the same reason I still enjoy the company of my Napoleon-esque friend. (Just because he’s not the greatest guy on the surface doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look deeper).

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 you’re 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 it.

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 shouldn’t be. It’s 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 there’s not much here other than dialogue anyway, and it is always perfectly audible.

Extras include a rather amusing audio commentary by director/co-writer Jared Hess, producer Jeremy Coon, and Mr. Dynamite himself, Jon Heder. While you’re 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), it’s black and white, and some of the actors are different. Otherwise it’s 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
95 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













Support TechnoFile
via Paypal

TechnoFILE's E-letter
We're pleased to offer
our FREE private,
private E-mail service.
It's the "no brainer"
way to keep informed.

Our Privacy Policy