The Superbad DVD Review

Yet another addition to the summer lineup of foul mouthed comedies, Superbad like Knocked Up’s own weird feat, is it’s so bad that it’s good. A kind of high school locker room fusion of standup and phone sex, Superbad takes talking dirty on screen to a new level that will serve as shock treatment for some, and leave the rest in stitches.

A teen sex comedy that should definitely have some kind of surgeon general’s warning or other on the ticket stub, Superbad’s got a brand of brazenly uninhibited humor that crosses over into the outer limits and beyond. A glance at the roster of unsurprising suspects implicated in masterminding this nasty but strangely irresistible guilty pleasure cinema, says it all. Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers) resurfaces after laying low for years to direct the movie, which is produced by Judd Apatow and Shauna Robertson (40-Year-Old Virgin). The script was written by Knocked Up’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg when they were just teenagers, and Superbad’s two stars share their names, though hopefully not too much else. Rogen moves on here from his condom-challenged loser in Knocked Up to the wrong arm of the law, as a seriously unhinged cop on the local beat.

In any case, what would an Apatow outing be without a virgin on hand, and in this case make that three. Fanatics about rounding up some girlfriends, at least for one night, before heading off to college in the fall, three nerdy perverse pals make moves on some of the prettiest girls in town and, unbelievably, get lucky. Shy bookworm Evan (Michael Cera) and tubby sex maniac Seth (Jonah Hill) with SAT and XXX mindsets respectively, manage to get invited to a major party by the girls, but only on condition that they figure out a way to supply the liquor to the underage crowd. Enter skinny super-geek Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). He’s got a master plan to infiltrate the neighborhood liquor store without arousing suspicions, by producing a fake ID procured off the black market somewhere, with a new and improved adult identity for him as a Honolulu playboy dubbed McLovin.

With subplots and misadventures too numerous and out there to mention, when not just pretty much better left undiscussed in polite society, the film finds the boys mugged, run over, semi-seduced, and unknowingly engaged in a bit of unhygenic dirty dancing, enough said. Matters take a further detour from sanity when the cops show up and have apparent amnesia that they’re on duty. Officers Michaels (Seth Rogen) and Slater (Bill Hader) grab the illegal stash of booze from the boys, crack open the brews for themselves, and freak out playing pass the breathalizer.

Though Superbad has a determined retro ’70s grainy look, feel and funk sound, there’s a here and now, in the moment desperation to these guys that feels real, and pulls you into their grossed out universe. Maybe it’s the way they grasp for mismatched bits of hyper-male identity from movies and music videos, in the growing absence of any valid role models around them. But if there’s one perhaps contradictory observation that can be made about Superbad, it’s that this movie really excels in bad taste.

SONY Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD Features: The DVD comes in four versions: Blu-ray Disc 2-Disc Unrated Extended Cut, DVD-R Rated, DVD Special Edition Unrated Extended Cut 2-Disc Set, and UMD Extended Unrated Cut. Additional release material includes: Additional Release Material: Unrated Footage, Audio Commentary, and Behind the Scenes – The Making of SUPERBAD, Deleted and Extended Scenes. Featurettes: LINE-O-RAMA, COP CAR CONFESSIONS – Ride along with Clark County’s Finest, ORIGINAL TABLE READ 2002 – with Seth Rogan, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS – Exclusive First Look, CAST AUDITION FOOTAGE, PRESS JUNKET MELTDOWN, THE MUSIC OF SUPERBAD, EVERYONE HATES MICHAEL CERA, ON-SET DIARIES, and Gag Reel. Interactive Features: Menus – Featuring Seth’s Doodles.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.