Death at a Funeral – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Frank Oz

Cast

Matthew MacFadyen … Daniel
Keeley Hawes … Jane
Andy Nyman … Howard
Ewen Bremner … Justin
Daisy Donovan … Martha
Alan Tudyk … Simon Smith
Jane Asher … Sandra
Kris Marshall … Troy
Rupert Graves … Robert
Peter Vaughan … Uncle Alfie
Thomas Wheatley … Reverend Davis
Peter Egan … Victor
Peter Dinklage … Peter

The Movie

2007 was a year of the Apatow comedy, for sure, as Knocked Up and Superbad were monstrous hits out of nowhere and Walk Hard achieved a modest commercial and critical success as well. Apatow’s signature brand of profane comedic stylings ruled the box office, but one of the more over-looked comedies of the year didn’t have his handprints on it. Death at a Funeral was a quirky British comedy that never saw the marketing hype or word of mouth and was just as good as either of the three movies that Apatow was involved with.

Death at a Funeral surrounds the quirkiness surrounding the death of a man. Daniel (Matthew McFadyen) is his loyal son who stayed at home for many years to help out around the house. His brother Robert (Rupert Graves) is a famous author who lives in New York. Their cousin Sandra (Jane Asher) is waiting for the right time to break news of her engagement to Simon (Alan Tudyk). Simon took some acid before the proceedings, thinking it was Valium, from Sandra’s brother Troy (Kris Marshall). Throw in their wheelchair bound Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughn), a preacher (Thomas Wheatley) concerned with logistics than grieving and a midget (Peter Dinklage) who no one is sure about. To talk about it in any more depth would be to spoil the plot, but it’s markedly funny. Anytime a film can pay off the same gag (the Valium bottle) three separate times and make the very last one the funniest gag (and the film’s finale), something’s been done correctly.

It’s a quirky British comedy, meaning the humor isn’t in long moments of vulgarity or other forms of blue humor. In a year where many comedies failed but were filled with all sorts of gags revolving around bodily functions, Death at a Funeral revolves around interactions with people and dialogue; it’s a higher level of humor that’s less accessible to those ingrained to laugh as soon as someone uses a profanity or breaks wind. It’s more evolved, which is why it never received a wide release at the start nor did it receive the sort of marketing campaign that Bratz received. This is a shame, really, because the film is markedly funny and is well worth the viewing.

A/V QUALITY CONTROL

Presented in a widescreen format, with a Dolby Digital surround, the film has a top notch audio/visual presentation. The colors, which aren’t very vivid or memorable, come through cleanly and clearly and a premium has been paid on the dialogue. It comes through crystal clear.

The Extras

A Gag Reel is included with all sorts of interesting bloopers.

Trailers for the film Blue State and the MGM library are available.

There are two commentary tracks. There is a Commentary with Director Frank Oz as well as a Commentary with Writer Dean Craig, Actor Alan Tudyk and Andy Nyman.

There’s also a preview for other titles from Legend House, mainly grindhouse and adult flicks.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Death at a Funeral
CATEGORY RATING(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

9.0
THE VIDEO

8.5
THE AUDIO

8.5
THE EXTRAS

3.0
REPLAY VALUE

8.5
OVERALL 8.0(NOT AN AVERAGE)