Blu-ray: Recommended
4 Stars out of 5
Buy Now
3rd Party $9.99
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Movie Release Year: 2012
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Wanderlust

Review Date June 7th, 2012 by
Overview - George and Linda are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George's awful brother in Atlanta. On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colorful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things. Money? It can't buy happiness. Careers? Who needs them? Clothes? Only if you want them. Is Elysium the fresh start George and Linda need? Or will the change of perspective cause more problems than it solves?
OVERALL
Recommended
Leave A Comment
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: Blu-ray/DVD/UV Digital Copy
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.85:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions: English SDH, French, Spanish

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

3.5 Stars out of 5

Is there a more likable actor than Paul Rudd? Watching him, no matter whether the movie is good, bad, or mediocre, is almost always a treat. At least for me it is. There's something about him that gives him that every-day-man quality. I just enjoy watching him act. His improvisational skills are fantastic. There are numerous scenes in 'Wanderlust' where you can tell that he's just been given a free reign to do whatever he wants and it works. This makes 'Wanderlust' yet another delightful Paul Rudd experience.

George (Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are married. They love living in the heart of New York City, even if that means paying an outrageous mortgage for a studio apartment…err…I mean "Micro Loft." Linda is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Her flight of fancy when the movie starts is filmmaking, but she's had her hand in so many different careers she just can't stick with one. George goes to a cubical farm, like many people do, and works 9 – 5 every day. That is until his business and its CEO are seized by the feds. Now George is out of work, Linda's filmmaking career is going nowhere, and now they have to move out of their expensive new place in New York and go live with George's brother (Ken Marino) in Atlanta.

On their way to Atlanta George and Linda stop at a bed and breakfast called Elysium. They soon find out that the place is a commune of hippies, who prefer the term "intentional community." So, that's the set-up. On the outside it seems rather generic in its premise. How do George and Linda, creatures of the city, meld with people who practice the sharing of all material possessions and the idea of free love? With anyone else in the role of George, maybe the movie wouldn't be as fun. It's that effortless Rudd charisma that keeps the movie flowing.

George and Linda decide that they want to stay in the commune because the world is a cruel place and going to work every day, eight hours a day, is for suckers.

After George and Linda make their decision, the movie simply glides through a series of hilarious hippie vignettes that more or less merge into a thin narrative. These really could end up being a series of 'SNL'-type shorts – hippies having trouble operating cars; nudist hippies; hippies going through natural birth; hippies tripping on acid – but what makes it fun is the way Rudd reacts to the situations placed in front of him.

Rudd really is the crux of the whole movie. Without him I'm afraid the movie wanders off into the mundane. He carries the jokes and the situations. Whenever characters are acting on screen and he's not around the movie seems less enjoyable.

'Wanderlust' follows the basic outline of an R-rated rom-com. First, the gimmick is setup, then comes the acceptance of a new life choice, then the eventual fight and finally the making up. We already know how this age-old story is going to play out, so what we're really interested is if the movie is funny. It is.

There's one scene where George tries to psyche himself up to having sex with one of the commune inhabitants played by Malin Ackerman, because it's time that he started practicing this "free love" stuff. He stares at himself in the mirror and then he's let loose. If you saw 'I Love You, Man,' and you remember the "Slappa da bass man," part then this scene will have you rolling. It's like "Slappa da bass," but a hundred times more crude. It works though, because Rudd is a master at improvisation. You can tell that the scene isn't really scripted, how could it be? For a solid minute Rudd stares at himself in the mirror and recites some of the most vulgar, yet hilarious encouragements any man has ever given himself before having sex. 'Wanderlust' is funny simply because Rudd is the right man for the job. He's able to sell the movie's gimmick with ease.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Wanderlust' is a Universal release. It comes in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack complete with an UltraViolet Digital Copy. The Blu-ray is a 50GB disc. There are two cuts provided on here. One is the theatrical release (1 hr. 38 min.) and the other is call The Bizarro Cut (1 hr. 20 min.). We'll talk more about it in the special features section. There is also a cardboard slipcover provided which features the same artwork as the case.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray/DVD/UV Digital Copy
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH, French, Spanish

Video Review

4 Stars out of 5

Universal's 1080p transfer of 'Wanderlust' looks exactly like what a brand new, light-hearted rom-com should look like. It's clean, clear, and doesn't feature many, if any, artifacting distractions.

The picture is bright and the colors are warm. The warm color palette is bolstered by the lush greenery of the woods surrounding Elysium. Skin tones may be a little orange in some cases, but most rom-coms that come out nowadays tend to have that. It seems to simply be the byproduct of a warmer color palette. Lines are crisp and fine detail is quite nice, although I did notice a few softer shots, particularly during back and forth conversations, that seemed a bit out of place (side note: when a group of nudists go storming down a hill, you might wish that the visual presentation wasn't as clear as it is).

As far as artifacts, I didn't notice any glaring ones. There are a few instances of shimmering, but everything else that would distract is non-existent. There's no source noise to speak of and I didn't catch a hint of banding or aliasing either. If you were expecting a clean and clear high-def picture then you're going to get it.

Audio Review

4 Stars out of 5

'Wanderlust' comes to Blu-ray with a nice-sounding DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. It's hard to quantify the audio presentation of rom-coms on Blu-ray since most of the new ones (filmed in the last few years) all sound more or less the same. It's not like they have a whole lot of action going on to perk up the ears, but they do what they're supposed to do, well (usually). 'Wanderlust' is the same way.

Here we're given a fairly strong surround sound experience considering that the movie doesn't really lend itself to a lot of audio pyrotechnics. The dialogue, of which there is a lot, is clear and concise. It's especially important in this movie since this is one of those comedies where many of the funny lines are whispered or said off screen – think 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.'

Elysium is a busy place with hippies frolicking in the grassy fields that surround it. Laughs, light conversation, and errant guitar music can be heard in the surrounds. There are a few times in the movie where the entire community gathers together which causes the rear channels to have a good bit of commotion going on. LFE is slim, but that's to be expected. There are a few songs on the soundtrack and some sound effects that require low-end accompaniment, but it's just that, there's really no rumbling of the walls to speak of but you really weren't expecting that anyway. 'Wanderlust' sounds exactly how it's supposed to sound on Blu-ray. It isn't going to blow you away, but it presents the movie like it was presented theatrically.

Special Features

3.5 Stars out of 5
  • Audio Commentary – This commentary features the likes of David Wain, producer/actor Ken Marino, and Paul Rudd. Wain runs the conversation by talking mostly about set anecdotes and different filming locations and techniques. I was actually pretty impressed with the amount of filmmaking knowledge that was dispensed, like how they were able to film Justin Theroux playing the guitar when he doesn't even know how to fake playing a guitar. They did everything from digital head replacement to having a guy stand behind Justin with his hands in his coat sleeves playing the guitar for him. Another interesting tidbit was the story about how the paparazzi were out in force to take pictures of Jennifer Aniston as she walked down a New York street during filming. They were so prevalent that they couldn't get them out of the shot so at times they had to digitally remove them from reflections in the windows she walks by. There are a lot of little stories and pieces of information like that on this commentary. Definitely worth a listen if you are a fan of the movie.

  • Gag Reel (HD, 6 min.) – There's a lot of standard gag reel stuff here like actors laughing in the middle of their lines, but there is a cool split-screen type look at how they did the CGI fly dream that George has.

  • Line-o-Rama (HD, 9 min.) – Improv riffing on many of the movie's scenes as Rudd and others come up with as many lines as possible for different scenes. They just keep improving with increasingly funny and outrageous lines. It's fun to watch to see what these actors can come up with without having a strict script to stick to.

  • God Afton! Behind the Scenes of 'Wanderlust' (HD, 27 min.) – This is the most promotional feeling extra of the bunch. There are a lot of interviews snippets with writer/director David Wain as he goes over the movie's themes, plot, and origin. These interviews are sprinkled in among many different shots of the movie's set.

  • Penis Envy (HD, 8 min.) – The penis that Joe Lo Truglio has in his role of Wayne the nudist, is actually a prosthetic. This is a short mockumentary about how Truglio was offended that the filmmakers didn't want to use his real penis because it was too small.

  • The Elysium Campaign (HD, 6 min.) – Actor Jordan Peele (Rodney) does a spot-on Obama impression and he goes around the set talking to people as if he were the president.

  • Wainy Days (HD, 8 min.) – Another short film. This time David Wain and a woman are stranded on the road and David has to find help at Elysium. He runs into all the characters that George and Linda cross paths with. It's kind of funny, but pretty forced comedy. Just some comedic filmmakers messing around really.

  • Trailer (HD, 2 min.) – The theatrical trailer is included.

Final Thoughts

'Wanderlust's success rests on the shoulders of Paul Rudd, who seems to effortlessly carry the movie's somewhat forced gimmick. If you're looking for a few good belly laughs then this is the movie for you. I really enjoyed it. The video and audio are both nicely done. There's a wide variety of extras, including that other cut of the movie, which while it is awkward at times it's still fun to watch the alternate takes and lines they did for different scenes. All in all, Universal's release of 'Wanderlust' is recommended.

Buy Now
3rd Party $9.99
See what people are saying about this story or others
See Comments in Forum
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray/DVD/UV Digital Copy
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.85:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH, French, Spanish
    Special Features:
    Commentary with director/writer/producer David Wain, writer/producer Ken Marino, actor/producer Paul Rudd, and impressions by Kevin Pollak
    God Afton! behind-the-scenes featurette
    Penis Envy mockumentary
    The Elysium Campaign skit
    "Elysium" webisode of Wainy Days
    Deleted, extended/alternate scenes
    Gag reel
    Line-O-Rama

Amazon Best Sellers & Deals

Trending deals on today's releases.