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Man on the Moon
Rated R
Runtime: 1hr 58min
Starring: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love and Paul Giamatti

MFG Rating: 4/5

DVD Features

Video: Excellent video quality and it is widescreen enhanced. No flaws and the movie does an excellent job of bouncing between various settings while maintaining a great picture.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 but this movie is mostly dialog so there's nothing really to exploit it. A few booms during the wrestling entrances, etc.

Extras: Very nice collection of extras if you're a Kaufman fan as most of the "On Location" stuff is spent with cast and crew talking about Andy instead of the movie. You'll also get deleted scenes, videos, plus the usual production notes, trailers, etc.

DVD Quick Take

All DVD's should exhibit a picture as good as this one. It is anamorphically enhanced and provides brilliant color and contrast in a wide range of settings. The movie bounces from goofy black and white stuff to old home movie type looks to smokey comedy clubs to TV sequences to wrestling arenes, etc, etc, etc. And the picture quality in each of those settings despite drastically different lighting and such is absolutely excellent. If we gave star ratings just for picture quality, it would get a 5 out of 5.

There's not much to the audio. Even though it is Dolby Digital 5.1, this movie is dialog based, so there's not alot of opportunity for surround or low frequency effects. A few sneak in, especially during the wrestling scenes, but that's about it. However, this certainly doesn't detract from the movie.

As for the movie itself, if you're a fan of either Kaufman or Carrey, you've gotta have this one. I can understand why this movie didn't do well at the box office as Kaufman's humor is a bit of an acquired taste. However, I thought Carrey's portrayal of him had Oscar written all over it, and he got the big snub. When you view this movie, I think you'll agree he was ripped off.

- Billy Bob

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Movies For Guys' Original Review of the Theatrical Release

Man on the Moon is the story of the life of Andy Kaufman. For those who do not remember him or weren't born yet, Kaufman was a comedian who also starred as Latka on the TV show Taxi during the late 70's and early 80's. Actually, Kaufman would reject being called a comedian and in fairness, he is more of a performance artist. I'm not sure he ever actually told a single joke on stage. His comedy was unique to say the least. He also died as the undefeated Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World. Like I said, he was unique.

The movie is the true story of Kaufman's life particularly his rise to stardom. Andy was an odd bird, so how factual the accounts of some of the really weird parts of his story are is debatable, but his closest friends were very much involved in the production of this movie, so it's as accurate as it can be without input from Andy himself. Kaufman was always prone to inside jokes and even fooling those who were closest to him. It can also be said that there's often a thin line between genius and insanity, and he not only walked that line but was prone to stagger just a bit.

Jim Carrey has been widely praised for his portrayal of Kaufman in this movie. And after seeing the movie, it is all well deserved, he should get serious Oscar consideration. I'm not sure there's anyone else on the planet who could've done the job as well. Quite simply, Carrey nailed him. Many people only remember Jim Carrey from Ace Ventura forward, but his background in the 80's was comedy clubs and impressions. This makes him extremely well suited for this role. He has Kaufman's voice, his eyes, his mannerisms and somehow even gets that magical child like quality. The movie is worth seeing just to see Carrey transform himself into Kaufman.

The director is Milos Forman who also did a wonderful job with The People versus Larry Flynt. He does a great job with this flick of reproducing the scenes from Andy's life that people remember from the set of Taxi up through Andy getting bitch slapped out of his chair by Jerry Lawler on Letterman. Most of the people involved portray themselves including most of the Taxi cast, even those who hated Kaufman's guts. And wrestling fans will be happy to know that The King plays himself. If there's a flaw in the movie it's that many of these people look kinda funny reprising their roles as they're all 20 years older than they were when this stuff was first run.

My big concern with this movie is that Andy Kaufman was definitely an acquired taste. And by the time he died there were probably alot more of his fans who absolutely despised him than enjoyed his work. He was just so far out on the edge. I wasn't sure how that humor would play with audiences that never saw him or may barely remember him. However, as it turns out the answer is it plays better than it did when it was live. Alot of Andy's humor was at the expense of the audience, watching it now instead of being the butt of the joke, it's like we're in on it and get to laugh at the audiences who were being subjected to his antics back then. I think anyone will enjoy this movie whether they were an Andy Kaufman fan or not. And it makes for a compelling story and a great performance by Jim Carrey even if you have never heard of Kaufman. In short this is a great flick that I think everyone will enjoy.

- Billy Bob


Vital Stats

Gun Play
A little pyro during the wrestling sequences is as close as we get.

Blood & Gore
Nothing significant, though cancer aint pretty.

Car Chases
Andy didn't seem to be into cars.

Hooter shots from some ho's and some panty shots during intergender wrestling.

You'll laugh out loud a number of times, but there's some heavy drama mixed in especially toward the end.