Written by: John Hamburg, Drake Sather & Ben Stiller
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, and more celebrity cameos than you can shake a stick at
- Running audio commentary by Stiller, Sather & Hamburg
- 5 deleted scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
- 5 extended scenes with running audio commentary by Stiller
- Music video – “Start the Commotion” by the Wiseguys
- 2 original skits from the ‘VH1/ Vogue Fashion Awards, 1996/97’
- Alternate end title sequence
- Photo gallery
Released by: Paramount
Anamorphic: Yeah, bro.
My Advice: Rent It.
[ad#longpost]Even for the really, really, really good-looking, life can be a trial. Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), for example, just lost the Male Model of the Year Award to the new model of the block Hansel (Owen Wilson), three of his model friends barbequed themselves during a gasoline fight, and his Time interview written by Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor) depicted him as vain, self-absorbed, and unbelievably stupid. Things look up when the hottest designer around, Mugatu (Will Ferrell), chooses Derek to headline his new “Derelicte” fashion line. But Mugatu has sinister plans for Derek. Can Derek, Hansel, and Matilda foil Mugatu’s evil scheme and still make it to the after party?
Movies based on comedy skits rarely work. The premise that is funny for two to five minutes can get very old very fast when expended to a 90-minute movie. If Zoolander just centered on the character of Zoolander, this film would have tanked big time. Stiller plays Zoolander with a comic mix of sophistication and naivetÃ©, but it’s not enough to carry a movie. So Stiller adds other strong roles to help carry the load. Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell particularly stand out by playing their roles with comic abandon, perfectly willing to look and sound ridiculous for a good laugh. Even in small roles, Jerry Stiller and David Duchovny give great performances. Christine Taylor is a perfect straight man, sharing the audience’s sheer disbelief at the fashion world and its antics. While the movie makes some satirical jabs at the fashion industry and our obsession with celebrity, this movie is best when it’s being silly. And there is plenty of silliness.
The DVD is crammed with special features. I’m surprised I didn’t find a kitchen sink in the thing. The disc has the original Zoolander skits from the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, photo galleries of Derek and Hansel for fictitious ads and magazine covers, and even the video for the song “Start the Commotion” which has scenes from the film in it. And those are just a few of the features. One of the features I really liked though was the selection of deleted and extended scenes. With most DVDs, the cut scenes are simply there. But Stiller added commentary to these scenes explaining the inspiration behind them and why they had to be cut.
The commentary for Zoolander itself shows how this movie changed from the first drafts of the script (one discarded idea was for Derek to have taken a smart drug that only activated when he hit his head) to the final edit (a cut subplot had Matilda’s assistant having a sweet and disturbing crush on her). One thing that wasn’t covered that I would have liked Stiller to talk about was what was it like to direct himself. Did he have others give an opinion on his performance or did he trust his own judgment? Still, the flick is fun and silly and worth heading down to the local video store.