Ben Stiller has only directed a handful of movies, and his latest effort Tropic Thunder was probably one of the best comedies of last year. But his Derek Zoolander character still cracks me up even today, despite being made so long ago. I guess idiocy doesn't have an expiry date, and this features full DVD has plenty of those Zoolander-ish moments from the minute you pop it into the player.
You can read my review of the movie here.
Code 3 DVD by Alliance Entertainment is presented in anamorphic widescreen transfer, and audio available in either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or Dolby Surround 2.0. Subtitles are available in English or Chinese. Scene selection is available over 30 chapters. For a comedy, the animated menus here are really crazy, where you have Derek Zoolander do a hilarious walkthrough for the audience on the DVD menu options, which run through the submenus as well.
The Special Features are amazingly bloated in this one-disc edition. For those who can't get enough of Derek Zoolander and his clueless moments, then this is something you want to spend time ploughing through. First up, the Commentary by Ben Stiller and Writers Drake Sather & John Hamburg is something you'd want to listen to, as deleted scenes get revealed and explained, and a lot more on the creation of the characters get discussed. You'll appreciate just how many drafts and rewrites they have to go through in order to make this a laugh fest from start to end, and hear how seed ideas get taken away and developed into the final scenes. The trio are also quite unselfish in revealing which ideas and scenes are credited to, and clue you in on some of the hundreds of cameos in the film, such as Vince Vaughn and even James Marsden!
Everything else here gets presented in matted letterbox format with English subtitles only. The Deleted Scenes included (without play all function) are those that you've heard from the earlier commentary, and so made quite relevant to see and hear (with Stiller's commentary) why they were left out, either due to pacing, or from the negative reactions of test audiences. To activate these clips, you have to select them, then choose whether you want Stiller's commentary to be on/off, before you can proceed. Included in this section are Additional VH1 Interviews (0:26), Hansel and Winona (1:05) Ryder that is, the entire Moomba (4:40) sequence which was cut off. This was discussed in the commentary and contains a variation of the scene between Hansel and Winona, and a scene which I thought was frickin' hilarious actually, involving bouncers and queues and VIP rooms. Wrapping this section up are an Additional Mine Montage (1:07) and the Zoolander Center (0:22) with David Duchovny.
The Extended Scenes too doesn't come with a play all function, and included here are also stuff that were mentioned in the fillmmakers' commentary. The Opening Interview (1:45) is just a tad longer, which is based on the original and first Zoolander short film, followed by the much talked about Earth To (1:47) sequence which had to endure countless of reshoots and permutations just to get it right, only to have them totally reshot because test responses were largely negative. Matilda and Archie (1:45) was a mini-subplot on the latter's obsession with the former and contains 2 separate scenes here. Alternate Brainwash (2:04) was an entire sequence that had cheesy graphics meant to be placeholders for actual CG work, while Walk-off Elvis/Fosse (0:34) had to be removed because there was no music clearance.
A 6:33 long Outtakes had plenty on offer, but contains the usual flubbing of the lines. The VH1 Fashion Awards Skits is where it all started, as we can witness the birth of the character in 2 shorts here, first in 1996 (2:45) and then in 1997 (3:52), where Derek Zoolander spots a goatee and opens a University for male models. The Music Video "Start the Commotion" by The Wiseguys (2:45) is also included, as are standard Photo Galleries containing Derek's Portfolio (8 stills), Hansel's Portfolio (12 stills) and 19 Zoolander Production Stills.
Plenty of Promotional Spots for you to feast on Zoolander's stupidity as well, starting with the Public Service Announcements which run about 15 to 20 seconds each, which covers the topics of Racism, Dating, Globalization, World Hunger, Literacy and Education. MTV "Cribs" contains three thirty second clips of a visit to Derek Zoolander's home, complete with a home practice runway that has to be seen to be believed. And wrapping this section up are the Interstitials, which contains 30 second interviews with Ben Stiller / Derek Zoolander discussing fancy lingo, Will Smith and the Fonze, Matilda, Mugatu and Derek Messes Up.
Last but not least, there's the Alternate End Title Sequence (2:14) which I thought was more colourful with Will Ferrell being let loose to do this little jig while the end credits rolled. What's missing in this Code 3 version is an Easter Egg which the Code 1 version had included, which is where you can activate the Mugatu logo on the second page of the special features section in order to watch the rehearsal of the Walk-off scene with a Ben Stiller commentary.