UMD Review: Made

Written, directed, and starring Jon Favreau, Made is a subtly funny mob movie. While Favreau may have taken the workload, it's Vince Vaughn that steals this one. Another actor couldn't have handled his energetic, relentless, and even sometimes annoying chatter better if they tried.

A buddy movie that strays far from the typical buddy movie clich├ęs, Made isn't a story. In fact, that takes a behind-the-scenes role. The film is centered on two small time mobsters. Favreau and Vaughn's characters let the comedy roll out naturally. You need to pay attention to pick up a lot of it. It's buried in a sea of natural conversation and the ego of Ricky Slade.

Vaughn takes to that latter character like he's played it all his life. To say he's a vulgar, obnoxious, and over-the-top would be about right. It's what makes this entertaining, and with the use of "that" four letter word over three times a minute, it couldn't work any better. Every time he opens his mouth, it's funny.

A supporting cast with Columbo (Peter Falk), Sean Combs, and Famke Janssen round things off. It's easy to get lost in individual scenes and forget what the point is. Numerous scenes seem to drag on with nearly incoherent rambling, yet it all makes sense. It's a film to show how vital it can be to re-watch movies to grasp it all.

It's easy to overlook Made and pass it off. That's a mistake. Even if this were a solo effort by Vaughn, it would still be easy to recommend. With the light fluff for a story that's mentioned just enough to keep the viewer occupied and fantastic performances all around, this one comes up just shy of perfection. (**** out of *****)

On UMD, Made suffers from severe ghosting, easily the worst you'll see up to now. It's so bad in the 10-15 opening minutes, you'll start looking for a recall notice on Lions Gate's website. It's unwatchable, with a trail following even the smaller movements. As the film moves on, things improve, though it's still a slight problem. It mars a beautiful transfer otherwise, with incredibly deep black levels, sharp detail, and wonderful color when allowed. Compression is only sighted in a few scenes. (**)

Audio provides a noticeable improvement. Positional audio is phenomenal, and not just limited to ambient sound. Dialogue always finds itself in the proper speaker, and it adds an extra level to the experience. Bass is powerful, deep, and forceful. However, it's mixed precisely enough so that it doesn't interfere with the rest of the sound. (****)

At a brisk 90-minutes, Made doesn't offer any scene that's wasteful. The six minutes worth of deleted scenes show how the pacing would have played out. A few are wise cuts as they don't add anything to the characters (the extended bachelor party), but most could've stayed without much complaint.

The only other extra is listed as outtakes, yet they end up being as long as a short film. At over 25-minutes in length, these priceless, hilarious, and absolutely necessary clips are better than any commentary or featurette. You can only watch in amazement as straight-faced Favreau fails to continually contain his laughter while Vaughn messes up a single line because of the pressure. They nearly approach the level of comedy from the film itself. (***)

Fans should recognize the two leads from Swingers a few years prior in 1996. Both offer a unique style of comedy, and either film makes a great choice. It's impossible to take one over the other.

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