Eye For Film >> Movies >> Ali G Indahouse (2001) DVD Review
Ali G Indahouse
Reviewed by: Keith DudhnathRead Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Ali G Indahouse
Another beautifully presented modern film. The picture is crisp and bright, with no artifacting. There are a few scratches, but you'll have to look hard to spot them. The sound is clear and allows the hip hop soundtrack to shine. Subtitles are on offer in English or Dutch for both the film and the audio commentary.
The audio commentary by Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Ricky C (Martin Freeman) has a major flaw. Every time there is music in the film, the commentary is drowned out. The humour suffers greatly, as you're either struggling to hear what is being said or missing out on the comic delivery by having to read the subtitles.
Leaving that aside, the commentary isn't much cop. Performed in character, there is none of the usual information you might expect. There are funny moments, where Ali G and Ricky C are confronted with the evidence on screen that they're just wannabes, and a great bit where Martin Freeman slips out of character and attempts to ask Cohen why this film abandoned all the satire that made his early TV work so brilliant. For the most part, the commentary is padding. When the silence has dragged on a bit too long, one or other of them suggests lighting a joint. An opportunity missed.
The deleted scenes are introduced by Ali G as "...scenes you ain't seen before, cos they is too shitty to put in the finished film, innit?" He's a little unfair on himself, as some of them would have slotted in neatly, such as the fight with a bogey. Some deserve little more comment than "shitty", though!
Tacked on to the end are some outtakes, one of which makes me laugh every time I think about it, but most aren't that funny. The biggest problem with the deleted scenes is that they can't be selected individually.
Ali's Video Diary is, once again, performed in character. It's one of the better Behind The Scenes docs, being both funny enough that you bother to watch it in the first place and short enough that you don't tire of it.
Talkin' Da Talk may be an old joke - posh "translations" of slang used in the film - but still will have you screaming with laughter. I wonder if anyone considered extending the joke and having a full audio commentary "translated" like this?
The picture gallery is rather brief and can't be navigated manually. The trailers, on the other hand, are worth watching, as they're not simply made up of clips from the movie.
Overall, the DVD package is very good. It may not be full to the brim with 60 hours of extras, but those that are here, you will watch and enjoy. It's not perfect, and rests in that uncomfortable area known as "if only".
If only Talkin' Da Talk had been a full commentary; if only the audio commentary wasn't drowned out by the music; if only the navigation of the deleted scenes was better; if only it didn't have those annoying, time-wasting clips from the film wedged in every time you select an option from the menu.
Worth owning.Reviewed on: 16 Dec 2002