It’s been about a year since Warner Bros. released The Hangover on Blu-ray, so there’s a very good chance that you’ve already picked up a copy of the film if you were a fan. Recently, though, it was announced that the Brothers Warner had a new version coming out, something called the “Extreme Edition”. Is it worth the double-dip? Should you jettison that version you’ve already got in your Blu-ray collection for this new edition of The Hangover? Find out after the jump, folks.
By now, none of us should be surprised by the blatant attempts at “double-dipping” that the studios thrust upon us. Sometimes– as in the “Ultimate Edition” of Avatar that James Cameron and Fox are releasing later this year (which has an assfull of special features, extra footage, a new opening, and more behind the scenes featurettes than you’d ever bother watching)– the double-dip is simply obnoxious rather than criminal: you already paid for the movie you loved once, and you’re going to have to pay for it a third time (assuming you saw it in theaters) if you want that sweet, sweet bonus material. But if the added stuff’s worth the extra cost to you, you’ve got that option.
Something like Warner Bros.’ forthcoming “Extreme Edition” of The Hangover, though? It takes double-dipping to a very ugly place, indeed. When I received my review copy of The Hangover: Extreme Edition, I expected something with more footage added to the film. After all, it says “extreme edition” on the cover, right? Surely something “extreme” must have been added to the film in order to earn that title, right? My first task was taking down the Blu-ray copy of The Hangover that I already owned and placing it next to this new “Extreme Edition” for comparison’s sake.
Let’s see: in terms of bonus features, both discs feature “More Pictures From The Missing Camera”, the “Map of Destruction” that documents the film’s heroes on their warpath through Las Vegas, “The Madness of Ken Jeong”, the “Action Mash-Up”, the “Three Best Friends Song”, and the Dan Band’s performance of “Fame”. Totally identical in the special features department, apparently, so that means that the “Extreme” nature of this edition is surely located somewhere within the film, no?
No. Both versions of The Hangover on Blu-ray feature the standard, theatrical version– which runs at 100 minutes– as well as the “Unrated Version”, which is eight minutes longer. Same length, same versions, same movie. So, what’s “extreme” about it? Does this version drink Mountain Dew and snowboard, or something?
Turns out, the front cover of The Hangover: Extreme Edition differs from what the back cover of the disc says. Flip it over, and you’ll see this: “You’re Cordially Invited to Party in Hysterical Hi-Def With THE EXTREME HANGOVER DELUXE WEDDING ALBUM EDITION“. Huh, that’s not what the front says. On the front, it says The Hangover: Extreme Edition, nothing about a wedding album. Sneaky, sneaky, Warner Bros. Including a “CD Sampler” with a handful of songs and snatches of dialogue– which has just five tracks, one of which is the Baha Men’s “Who Let The Dogs Out?”– doesn’t make this extreme, either.
Yes, this new version of The Hangover is different only because of a 28-page, hardcover “wedding album” that’s included with the disc (and the sampler, if you can consider that part of the film). The book itself is fairly sturdy, and features a collection of the photos that you might be able to find in the “More Pictures From The Missing Camera” bonus feature that’s on the Blu-ray itself. These are the same pictures– well, some of ‘em are, anyway– that played over the end credits to The Hangover. You know: the ones you and your buddies sat and watched in the theater? Yeah, now they’re collected in a little book that you can pay $25 for the privilege of owning. If this isn’t the saddest excuse for a double-dip that I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.
Listen, if you don’t already own a copy of The Hangover, it wouldn’t hurt to pick this one up (depending upon the price difference between a copy that doesn’t include the wedding album and the “Extreme Edition”; you can probably find a used copy of The Hangover on Blu-ray for $15 right now, and you’ll sleep just fine without owning that wedding album and the chance to hear “Who Let The Dogs Out?” for the 407th time, trust me). It’s a great comedy, one of the best of that past few years, and you certainly want to be caught up before The Hangover 2 rolls around, don’t you?
But, if you’ve already got The Hangover in place somewhere in your collection, you’ll be furious with yourself if you spend money on this smack-in-the-face of a double-dip. Shame on you, Warner Bros: this is low even by Hollywood standards.