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Get Smart Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Review

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More like a masquerade party than an homage to an iconic 1960s television series, Get Smart is a historically stale stroll down memory lane in title only. This contemporary gross-out fare in retro-espionage spoof clothing is more giggles than satirical grit, and simply lacks the comic punch and charisma, along with the pungent Cold War flavor of the times that energized the original.

Steve Carell, who is miscast through no fault of his own, does Don Adams' Agent Maxwell Smart as laid back and mostly reactive, as opposed to the late, great comedian's spunky and goofy caricatured US spy. The agency is still in covert warfare with the Russians, though what all that particular fuss is about in the 21st century is more of a mystery than the arms race issues at hand.

The former fatty Smart is turned down for a promotion to field agent even though he's watched his carbs diligently. But a brewing crisis gets him called up to duty with famed hottie with a pistol and a nifty lethal kiss, Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Posing as husband and wife, the pair embark on a mission to Russia, to track down Bosnian bad guys dabbling in a nuclear weapons enterprise.

While Smart is mostly preoccupied with fretting over calories, along with the the world situation and the ill-advised donning of boxer shorts while on duty, Agent 99 picks up the slack by neutralizing most of the villains. Including the foiling of a major subversive plot that has something to do with Beethoven's Ode To Joy.

It quickly becomes evident that there's a problem at hand beyond espionage dilemmas, when the funniest moments in the movie are Bill Murray gabbing covertly inside a tree trunk, and Smart singing the praises of the end of communism because now he's free to run over old ladies in the street. Or a mostly buffoonish Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stapling documents to assorted low IQ staff foreheads.

Too bad, Carell, you're no Don Adams or a nutty James Bond for that matter, however fine an actor you may be. And no need to be an espionage agent to figure out what went wrong here, did I mention those delightfully daffy MIA Get Smart creators, Buck Henry and Mel Brooks?

Warner Home Video
Rated PG-13
2 stars

DVD Features: Available on single-disc DVD (Widescreen), single-disc DVD (Full-screen), 2-disc Special Edition DVD (Widescreen), and in high-definition on Blu-ray (Widescreen).

Bonus Features:
* Play the movie straight through or in Comedy Optimization Mode, with Get Smart Takes (over 20 minutes of alternative jokes).

Bonus Features (2-disc DVD Special Edition):

Disc 1:
* Play the movie straight through or in Comedy Optimization Mode, with Get Smart Takes (over 20 minutes of alternative jokes).
Disc 2:
* The Right Agent for the Right Job: Behind-the-Scenes Training
* Max in Moscow! - On Location or on a Soundstage? Watch and Decide.
* Language Lessons: Spotlight on Linguistics Master Steve Carell.
* Spy Confidential: Gag Reels.
* Spying on Get Smart's Bruce & Lloyd Out of Control.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray Special Edition):

* Play the movie straight through or in Comedy Optimization Mode, with Get Smart Takes (over 45 minutes of alternative jokes).
* The Old "I Hid It in the Movie" Trick: Find where director Peter Segal concealed references to the classic TV series.
* The Vomit Reel: More on-screen ways to depict it than youŽd ever think.
* The Right Agent for the Right Job: Behind-the-Scenes Training.
* Max in Moscow! - On Location or on a Soundstage? Watch and Decide.
* Language Lessons: Spotlight on Linguistics Master Steve Carell.
* Spy Confidential: Gag Reels.
* Spying on Get Smart's Bruce & Lloyd Out of Control.
* BD Exclusive Bonus Disc: - Get Smart: Kaos Control DVD Game.

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

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