Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor
Release Date: Steelbook Blu-ray Giftset Now Available Only At Wal-Mart
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
Clear the runway for Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), VH1’s three-time male model of the year. His face falls when hippie-chic Hansel (Owen Wilson) scooters in to steal this year’s award. The evil fashion guru Mugatu (Will Ferrell) seizes the opportunity to turn Derek into a killing machine. It’s a well-designed conspiracy and only with the help of Hansel and a few well-chosen accessories like Matilda (Christine Taylor) can Derek make the world safe for male models everywhere.
The hilarious comedy classic (and one of my all-time personal favorites) ‘Zoolander’ has officially arrived home on Blu-ray exclusively at Wal-Mart (available both in-store and online) in an impressive Collector’s Edition giftset release suitably titled ‘The Blue Steelbook’ just in time to allow fans ample opportunity to fit in some repeat viewings of the film prior to the release of the long-awaited sequel which is set to arrive in theaters this upcoming February.
Following legendary male model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) who has been enjoying the prime of his career, after losing the Male Model of the Year award to hippie newcomer Hansel (Wilson) he begins to feel it may be time to retire from the business. Unfortunately for Derek evil fashion mogul Mogatu (Ferrell) has other plans for the young model and in cooperation with his long time agent and supposed friend Maury (Stiller Sr.) begins taking steps to brainwash Derek into a hitman he can utilize in order to blamelessly assassinate a world leader who is threatening clothing production costs with his intentions of eradicating child labor.
Ridiculously goofy and at times downright stupid, yet always in the best way possible, ‘Zoolander’ easily still holds up today fifteen years after its initial release. Ben Stiller directed (and co-wrote) the film in addition to flawlessly portraying the title character and it easily holds up as one of his most notable directorial efforts to date, which is quite the statement from a huge fan of nearly all of Stiller’s efforts behind the camera. ‘Zoolander’ has always held a special place in my heart and since my initial theatrical experience fifteen years ago has firmly held onto its place as one of my favorite comedy films of all time. Featuring a plethora of comedic talent including Ben Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor, his father Jerry Stiller, along with Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and many more, not to mention plenty of hilarious celebrity guest appearances, if you haven’t had the pleasure of the comedic gem that is ‘Zoolander’ I would highly suggest rectifying that, this one is not to be missed.
After years of waiting, fellow fans of the wonderfully goofy comedy classic ‘Zoolander’ can finally own the film on Blu-ray. Any fan of Stiller’s comedic gem who has been patiently waiting to upgrade to Blu-ray such as myself and didn’t want to cough up the high cost of rare or imported releases will almost surely agree that it was well worth the wait. I can’t imagine a more fitting Steelbook release than a ‘Blue Steelbook’ of this film and fans will definitely want to make certain to pick up a copy to add to their collection. In addition to the exclusive Steelbook packaging and the giftset extras which include a ticket to the upcoming sequel and a ridiculously good looking Zoolander headband complete with Zoolander hair, the release delivers exceptional high definition video and audio presentations along with a solid helping of supplemental material which includes some all new extras such as hilarious rehearsal footage of Owen Wilson and Justin Theroux preparing for the Breakdance Fight and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) easily making this release a definite must own.
This Blu-ray release of ‘Zoolander’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks phenomenal, delivering a consistently sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate and suffering no notable faults. It holds up beautifully even during the darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should easily thrill the fellow fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds fantastic, providing a clean, smooth and at times quite aggressive audio presentation, frequently utilizing all five available channels to fully surround the viewer with the films wonderful soundtrack in addition to a number of suitably fitting surround elements such as crowd chatter, some action effects and more, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The ‘Zoolander: The Blue Steelbook’ Giftset release includes a number of enjoyable extras including a couple of new behind the scenes goodies in addition to some bonus physical inclusions. The physical extras include a ticket to see the upcoming sequel (or up to 8 dollars off) and a ridiculously good looking Zoolander headband complete with Derek’s hair. The supplemental material on the disc includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Ben Stiller and writers Drake Sather and John Hamburg’, plus some behind the scenes footage of the sequel in ‘A Really, Really, Really Cool Teaser for Zoolander 2’ (running approximately 1 minute). We are also treated to a number of fun videos, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes and much more within ‘Zoolander’s Closet’, the included content here features the new extras ‘Breakdance Fight Rehearsal’ (approximately 4 minutes), and ‘Alternate Brainwashing Sequence Storyboards’ (5 minutes), in addition to a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ with optional commentary by Ben Stiller (approximately 8 minutes altogether), ‘Extended Scenes’ also with optional commentary by Ben Stiller (8 minutes in total), ‘Outtakes’ (7 minutes), along with ‘VH1 Fashion Awards Skits’ (7 minutes combined) “Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys – Music Video (3 minutes), ‘MTV Cribs’ snippets (2 minutes altogether), a number of ‘Interstitials’ (3 minutes in total), and a few ‘Photo Galleries’. There is also a hidden Easter Egg included on the release which features some hilarious behind the scenes footage of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson rehearsing for the Walk Off scene. This hidden Easter Egg can be found by going into ‘Zoolander’s Closet’ in the Special Features, highlighting the ‘Breakdance Fight Rehearsal’ and then hitting the left directional key to reveal a green Z which you can then select.