Aldous Snow needed a spin-off, he really did. Comedian/actor Russell Brand first brought the fictional rock star to life in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.' Snow was celebrating seven years clean and sober in that movie, until he was given a drink on accident. 'Get Him to the Greek' begins with the rapid descent of Snow's stardom. From his breakup with his girlfriend, to run-ins with the paparazzi, to his insanely racist new song "African Child." A headline skirts across the screen, "'African Child' worst thing to happen to Africa since Apartheid." A once great rock star is slowly descending into irrelevancy.
Aaron Green (Jonah Hill, who was also in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' but doesn't play the same character) is a music executive who works for Sergio (Sean Combs). Sergio is a demanding record label owner, and wants his employees to think up some ideas that will bring in revenue, because in his words, "I've got six kids! Do you know how many pairs of Air Jordan's six black kids wear?" Sergio is a man on a mission, and is surprisingly well acted by Combs, who hasn't really shown his comedic skills until now.
Aaron, who is a lifelong fan of Snow, thinks that an anniversary concert of Aldous Snow's famous Greek Theater concert will generate millions of dollars in revenue. Sergio likes the idea, there's only one catch. Aaron has to fly to London to pick up Aldous and bring him back to LA for the concert with a stop in New York for the 'Today Show.'
Aaron is shy, quiet, and reserved. Aldous is anything but. Brand is a fantastic actor, and embodies the role of Aldous so perfectly that you wonder if he's actually just playing an eccentric version of himself or if that's just him. Aldous has long since become addicted to drugs again and wanders around life with no direction. He's still insanely rich, loves to party, and tries to fill the void in his life with drugs and booze.
'Get Him to the Greek' is a gross-out, over-the-top R rated comedy about what it's like for a regular person to be thrown head first into the life of a rock star. It's produced by Judd Apatow, and directed by Nicholas Stoller who directed 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.' Stoller knows the Aldous Snow character and it shows. What could easily have become a vulgar stream of bodily function jokes, becomes much more than that (that's not to say those jokes aren't there though).
Yet Aaron and Aldous share something in common though, they've both lost the girls that they loved. Even though they don't show it much, they're both lonely. Aldous has everything in the world, but still in the end has no one except his music. The genius of the character is that Brand doesn't play him as a nihilistic, stupid rock star. Aldous is actually very intelligent and reasonable, but the drugs have taken their toll. A telling scene occurs when Aaron, fed up with Aldous' drug use, spills his heroin on the floor. This is the only time we really see Aldous upset. This is what drugs have done to him.
Brand is called upon to perform a few rock songs, that actually sound like real-life rock songs only with a hint of 'Spinal Tap' wit written into them. Kind of a tongue-in-cheek jab at the music industry in every one of the songs preformed. The song "I'm Coming Up" is actually pretty inspiring, but funny at the same time. A hard feat to achieve.
'Get Him to the Greek' is much more than a sophomoric gross-out comedy. There's substance here. Aaron and Aldous feel like real characters going through real problems, not just clichéd caricatures, which they easily could have been. Brand and Hill are good actors. Hill has finally shown us here that he can carry a movie. He's stepped out of the supporting character shadow and into the spotlight. Brand is infinitely watchable. He's like a modern version of a Monty Python character. His comedy is layered, thoughtful, and funny.
I was surprised by 'Get Him to the Greek.' I'm always apprehensive about character-based spin-offs, but it works here. I guess if there's any supporting character that needed his own story to be told it's Aldous Snow.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Get Him to the Greek' comes labeled as the 2-Disc Unrated Collector's Edition. It comes complete with a slip cover and a keepcase that contains both the BD-50, and a standard DVD that contains some of the special features.
The 1080p presentation of 'Get Him to the Greek' offers a AVC encode and, for the most part, a spectacular looking image. The beginning of the film, which is the music video for "African Child," is given a yellowish tinge, but not to worry, it's just for the effect of the music video. After that the movie becomes bright with an abundance of nicely saturated colors that simply shine. The warm palette is reminiscent of most modern comedies. Detail is striking. Both Aaron and Aldous have stubble, but you can tell that Aaron's is longer while Aldous' is nicely groomed. Textures are well done too (Furry Walls!), take for example when Aaron wakes up in London after their night of partying and realizes they're late for their flight. The tiny stitching on the pillow he's sleeping on is intricate and completely visible. Tighter, woven patterns and textures, like Aldous' knit cap, prove to be a slight problem. As Aldous sits in the airport talking to Aaron, his cap causes slight aliasing that makes the cap appear to be shimmering as he moves his head around.
Everything else about the look and feel of this video presentation is top-notch. The concert scenes look fantastic, and with all those flashing lights and quick camera movements, not a hint of artifacting was spotted. The image is also free of and dirt or specks that could detract from pleasurable viewing.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix accompanying 'Get Him to the Greek' services the film well enough, but still has a few instances where it doesn't quite measure up to where it should.
For much of the film you'll notice that the soundtrack, and all of its rock songs, are in need of a healthy soundfield in which to flourish. Here they do. The music from the soundtrack to the actual concert tracks performed by Brand are centered in the front with screaming crowds and echoing lyrics bleeding into the rears. LFE is nicely balanced too, giving the rock songs a good low bass emphasis when needed. Dialogue is nicely placed, with directionality working perfectly. Where the sound falls a little short is in the quieter conversations, mainly the conversation between Aldous and Jackie Q over the phone. They talk softly, and Aldous cracks jokes because of how Jackie responds to him. Only there are a few instances where you can't even hear her responses, therefore leaving you a little dumbfounded by Aldous' retort. This is my one nitpick in an otherwise full-bodied rock-centric sound design that not only delivers a more than serviceable audio presentation for a comedy, but also has its moments when it bursts into a full-blown concert Blu-ray.
Who knew P. Diddy could act? One of the many hilarious revelations from Nicholas Stroller's riotous comedy about rocking out and living it up. I liked 'Get Him to the Greek' a lot more than I thought I would. It reminds me of 'The Hangover' only, dare I say it, funnier. It's got the perfect balance of over-the-top humor, and sweet, honest life reflection. The video is almost as good as it gets for a comedy, the audio is just as well done with concert scenes sounding great. The special features are extensive and most of them are well worth watching, adding more laughs to the movie itself. Overall, 'Get Him to the Greek' on Blu-ray comes highly recommended.