You Don't Mess With The Zohan

Featured In Issue 136, November 2008

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Dennis Dugan
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Zohan (Sandler) is an Israeli counter-terrorist agent who has had enough of the constant fighting between the Palestinians and the Jews. After capturing the most wanted Palestinian terrorist, The Phantom (Turturro), Zohan is angry to find him out of prison shortly after capture, due to a prisoner exchange deal between the two waring governments. With dreams of becoming a hairdresser in the States, Zohan fakes his death and flees the Holy Land. After becoming a successful hairstylist in a mixed Jewish/Palestinian neighborhood, Zohan finds the violence of his homeland has followed him. But is it the Palestinians who are causing all the problems? Whoever it is better watch out, because the mild-mannered hairdresser has a secret identity—and is out to prove that You Don't Mess With The Zohan. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include two commentary tracks: one by Actors Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and Nick Swardson and the second by Director Dennis Dugan; ten featurettes: Look Who Stopped By (nine minutes), Dugan: The Hands-On Director (seven minutes), The Stunts Of Zohan (ten minutes), Dugan Español? (five minutes), Zohan vs. The Phantom (four minutes), Shooting Baja For Tel Aviv (seven minutes), All-American Redneck (four minutes), From Guns To Scissors (nine minutes), The Robot (four minutes), and Laughing Is Contagious (six minutes); 15 deleted scenes; and previews. Extra special features included on the Blu-ray Disc™ include five additional featurettes: Zohan's Doubles (seven minutes), News On 3: Missing Goat (two minutes), News On 3: Who Is The Zohan? (three minutes), News On 3: It's Very Good (three minutes), and Getting Sticky (five minutes); and a graphic-in-picture track Translating The Zohan.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.84:1 DVD has low overall contrast, with the picture looking washed out and poorly defined. Resolution is good, with fine details resolved well, but there are moments that are noticeably softer than others. Compression artifacts are rarely problematic, and edge enhancement isn't very strong. Fleshtones appear natural. Black levels are elevated, but details in the shadows are recognizable. Colors are fairly well saturated, but, like the rest of the image, are often faded and washed out. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc is still overly washed out. Resolution is somewhat soft compared to other high-definition releases. Fleshtones are too hot. This really is not a good picture. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack relies heavily on the center channel, and the front stage is very narrow and dimensionless. The entire soundtrack sounds very one dimensional in general. Fidelity is rather poor for the age of the recording, with poor articulation in dialogue and effects. The LFE channel is rarely used, and while the surrounds are active frequently throughout the presentation, they are at such low levels their effectiveness is limited. Still, there is a good sense of atmosphere delivered by the corner full-range channels. Spatially, the front stage sounds flat and lifeless, and dynamic range is limited. Bass is poorly defined, more of a rumble than anything else. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding has better overall fidelity than the DVD's lossy encoding, but the mix is still limited, and clipping distortion is audible at times. (Danny Richelieu)