HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • 15 Deleted scenes - with optional director commentary
  • Audio commentary - Director Tom Shadyac
  • Featurette - The Process of Jim
  • Animated menus
  • Outtakes

Bruce Almighty

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

01:01 In the beginning Bruce created the heavens and the Earth. Or someone just like him.

Sorta.

Bruce is an average guy doing ordinary reporting for a Buffalo TV station. What he wants is to be anchorman on the newsdesk. Feeling God has some sort of grudge against him, he blames all of his malcontent on the Big Guy. So God answers him by donating all His powers to Bruce to see if he can do a better job of being God.

"You wanna see a miracle son? ...be the miracle."

Naturally, hilarity of biblical proportions ensues with Bruce learning the true value of his life and that which means the most to him.

Jim Carrey is back in Jim Carrey mode here after a couple of sojourns into dramatic work. And it’s good (it’s guuuurd) to have him back. He’s a funny guy. Remember when Tom Hanks used to be funny and now he’s just all solemn and stuff? “I wanna be taken seriously” etc. Cheesus dude, you're a comedian, get with the program!

So nice work, Jim. Hopefully you’ll give us a couple more films like it before returning to The Majestic 2 or something.

Dealing with a simple theme here (that people need to stop looking for a scapegoat and solve their own damn problems), the angle stays mostly on the comedy side, which works well. Carrey’s character is likeable and there are enough funny moments to offset the deeper meanings when they occur – which isn’t often, but when they do, they contribute to the film, rather than being the guilty token addition by a condescending Hollywood. No doubt having Morgan Freeman, that excellent stalwart who features briefly in the Bible (1 Peter 2:16), play God worked immeasurably for this film. He does so with style too; no cigar smoking George Burns here, but a bare bones, down-to-earth dude just trying to get along.

Overall it’s a funny film not swamped in its own omnipotence (or omnipresence even), and not overly smug in its approach. The point is made with subtlety and class, which is just how Mr. Freeman and God would do it.

  Video
Contract

Buena Vista are Gods themselves when it comes to transferring a film to DVD, and herein they do so magnificently, yet again. An occasional artefact springs up here and there, but this is nothing to get upset about. Colours are fine and evenly balanced and flesh tones are natural. Shadow detail is good, particularly where the power goes out, and in these instances there is no apparent graininess either.

While some of the computer visual effects have their dodgier moments (see inside the crater after the meteorite), there is also some nicer stuff. The dog on the toilet, for instance. And, I couldn’t skip by without making note of Jim Carrey, the live stop-motion animation model. In the scenes where Bruce is answering the prayers on his computer, he’s having a lot of fun and it’s also a lot of fun to watch.

  Audio
Contract

Standard Buena Vista delivery of Dolby Digital 5.1 surround here. This sounds just super, with some nice surround use of multiple praying voices in Bruce’s head and some thunderstorm activity early on. Music gets cranked up a bit too during the song The Power from Snap, and it all sounds cool. On that note, John Debney’s score adds its own subtlety to the film, but isn’t anything overpowering by any means.

Dialogue is fine and readily understood including the moments Bruce is paying back his work colleague on the newsdesk (and look out for the outtakes of this stuff in the extras. I dare you to keep a straight face).

  Extras
Contract

Not a great deal, but there are some gems amongst this motley collection. Tom Shadyac’s audio commentary is worth a mention here, even though it’s just him alone with us for the duration. He speaks well about many factors in the film and while not being so funny himself, is certainly likeable enough.

The Process of Jim is a 5:55 featurette detailing how Jim manages to get the best take. This is funny in itself and a worthy inclusion in which Shadyac introduces Jim’s novelty act while still acknowledging that we don’t want to see hours of unfunny garbage. Instead, we get the best of the method, and for that, Mr Shadyac, we thank you.

Outtakes are just that and contain more funny moments from Carrey and the cast. These run for 6:37 and have some genuine laughs among them. 1.85:1 without 16:9 enhancement.

Finally, a massive 30:30 of deleted scenes. While only having 15 scenes, they are placed into the film context and feature an optional commentary from Shadyac. Again, some gems in here and a worthy inclusion.

So just the four. However, they all have their moments and add that cherry to the top of this DVD package.

  Overall  
Contract

For fans of Jim Carrey Ace Ventura-style, this is a return to form, though he’s managed to mature the tiniest bit and avoid the talking arse gags (almost). Freeman is great as God while Jennifer Aniston is perfectly cast opposite Carrey’s neurosis.

It’s a fun film that prefers to let us figure out the simple message along with Bruce, rather than beat it into us from the outset, and that makes for some very entertaining and easily watched storytelling here. It’s not gonna win Oscars, but it will make you laugh, particularly those fans of Carrey who miss the olden days.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3551
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "Jim Carrey returns to his comedic roots here with a very funny portrayal of Bruce as God."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Jules Faber

    Narrow Margin
    "Gene Hackman as an action star? It happened… "

    A King in New York: SE
    "Taking a poke at too many demons makes this film a little stilted and not among his best works"

    A Zed and Two Noughts
    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

    Blake's 7 - The Complete Series One
    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

    Heavens Above
    "While not amongst some of Sellers’ more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of them…"

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss