Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal

3.8 9
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Cast: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jack Black

     
 

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Comedy is measured in laughs, not weight, in the Jack Black comedy Shallow Hal. Fox has done a passable job on this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, though overall this is an only mediocre effort. While the colors and black levels are all mostly solid and detailed, a fair amount of edge enhancement and haloing show up in multiple spots. The soundtrack is…  See more details below

Overview

Comedy is measured in laughs, not weight, in the Jack Black comedy Shallow Hal. Fox has done a passable job on this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, though overall this is an only mediocre effort. While the colors and black levels are all mostly solid and detailed, a fair amount of edge enhancement and haloing show up in multiple spots. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. This is an adequate sound mix that aptly supports the film. There are a few directional effects to be found here, though nothing that would constitute a thoroughly exciting track. All aspects of the mix are free and clear of any hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are Dolby 2.0 Surround tracks in Spanish and French, plus English subtitles. Fox has made sure this DVD is worth its weight in extras, starting with a commentary track by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. While this commentary is full of funny and amusing anecdotes about the production, overall there isn't a lot of technical information to be found here. An HBO special titled "Being Shallow Hal" features actress Brooke Burns interviewing people on the street about being shallow, as well as some clips from the film. This is a fluffy yet entertaining piece that should please fans looking for a few more chuckles. "Reel Comedy: Shallow Hal" is a 22-minute piece that doesn't give one much insight on the making of the film -- it's basically an extended trailer. Next up are some deleted scenes with optional director's commentary. Some of these cut sequences are fun, though most were rightly left on the cutting-room floor. Two featurettes give the viewer a rather neat look at the special effects and body suits used in the movie ("Seeing Through the Layers" and "In the Deep End"), allowing a rare peek into the effects department. Finally there is a music video by Shelby Lynne for the song "Wall in Your Heart," a 30-second promo for the film's soundtrack, a non-anamorphic theatrical trailer, and various trailers for other Fox films.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The dynamic sibling duo of Bobby and Peter Farrelly use relative newcomer Jack Black to great effect in Shallow Hal, squeezing every comedic drop out of an oh-so-high concept. High Fidelity's Black plays Hal, a shallow if affable loser with an overactive libido who's hypnotized by self-help guru Tony Robbins to see only the inner beauty of everyone he meets. He soon falls head-over-heels for a 300-pound behemoth of a kindhearted altruist, who appears to him as svelte beauty Gwyneth Paltrow. The Farrellys explore every nook and cranny of their gimmick, delivering a host of sight gags and having their characters constantly talking at cross-purposes, as everyone else sees the true girth of Hal's furniture-crushing beloved. And it's precisely because they push their fantasy to the breaking point that the conceit is so tantalizing. The leads pull their weight admirably -- Black walking a fine line of boorish likablity and Paltrow sweetly oblivious to her own charm. Jason Alexander costars, playing true to his Seinfeld form as Hal's even shallower best friend. Don't expect the Farrellys' patented gross-out humor, though: Shallow Hal is a sentimental fantasy with wise-guy wit, reminding viewers that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A familiar sentiment, indeed; but rarely does one ever see it delivered with such goofy, compassionate humor.
All Movie Guide
Shallow Hal caused an immediate furor about its alleged characterization of fat people as the grotesque butts of sophomoric jokes. Of course, most of those complaining hadn't seen the source of their outrage. Peter and Bobby Farrelly's sixth film is about much more than the questionable sight gags that punctuate the trailer. For the first time in their scatological careers, the directors have made a film that actually provokes thought, delivering a message about social perception that's far more idealized than wicked, and not fixated on weight alone. There's natural discomfort in the fact that some punch lines revolve around seeing what Hal's beauties really look like, but the directors twist this brilliantly to help the audience reexamine its own ingrained shallowness. With the notable exception of cruelly exaggerating Rosemary's appetite, they rarely flog the joke, instead rendering the characters with painstaking dignity. The set-up also allows the actresses, from anonymous babes all the way up to a touchingly sweet Gwyneth Paltrow, a rare opportunity to demonstrate their ability to play characters with low self-esteem. Jack Black is perfect as Hal, a generally decent guy whose major flaw is shared by most of the audience -- that his cultural upbringing has taught him to judge the book by its cover. The "freaks" the brothers have always employed as part of their tasteless humor finally have thematic relevance, including characters with spina bifida and a vestigial tail. Shallow Hal may not move at the laugh-a-minute pace Farrelly fans expect, nor will it win any humanitarian awards. But the directors deserve credit for repudiating their usual hijinks in favor of ambitious, if somewhat naïve, social commentary, which just might open minds among viewers.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
There are enough moments of demented comedy to make you aspirate your popcorn, but by the end you may find yourself, with some amazement, sniffing back tears.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
Often very funny, but it is also surprisingly moving at times.
San Francisco Chronicle - Bob Graham
It gets away with fat jokes at the same time it seems to be on the side of the angels and inner beauty.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/02/2002
UPC:
0024543040057
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
27,596

Special Features

Full-length audio commentary by directors Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly; 11 deleted scenes with optional Farrelly Brothers commentary; HBO "Making of" special; Comedy Central's reel comedy: Shallow Hal; Music video: "Wall in Your Heart" by Shelby Lynne; "Seeing Through the Layers" makeup featurette; "In at the Deep End With Shallow Hal" stunts featurette; Original theatrical trailer; Anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 1.85:1); Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround ; Subtitles: English

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gwyneth Paltrow Rosemary Shanahan
Jack Black Hal Larsen
Jason Alexander Mauricio
Joe Viterelli Steve Shanahan
Rene Kirby Walt
Bruce McGill Reverend Larson
Tony Robbins Himself
Susan Ward Jill
Zen Gesner Ralph
Brooke Burns Katrina
Rob Moran Other Hostess
Joshua Li'i'Boy Shitani Li'iBoy
Kyle Gass Artie
Laura Kightlinger Jen
Nan Martin Nurse Tanya Peeler
Sasha Joseph Neulinger Young Hal
John-Eliot Jordan Waiter
Jill Christine Fitzgerald Mrs. Shanahan
Fawn Irish Spastic Bella
Erinn Bartlett Bella
Daniel Greene Doctor
Danny Murphy Cabbie

Technical Credits
Bobby Farrelly Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Peter Farrelly Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Artists Asylum Makeup Special Effects
Sidney Bartholomew Production Designer
Russell Carpenter Cinematographer
Mark Charpentier Co-producer
Pamela Withers Chilton Costumes/Costume Designer
Sharon Davis Set Decoration/Design
Marc S. Fischer Co-producer
Al Gardner Makeup Special Effects
Christopher Greenbury Editor
Ivy Score Composer
Scott Jacobson Set Decoration/Design
Sarah S. Lopez Associate Producer
Kristofer W. Meyer Associate Producer
Rick Montgomery Casting
Sean Moynihan Screenwriter
Hal Olofsson Asst. Director
Manish Raval Musical Direction/Supervision
Jonathan "Earl" Stein Sound/Sound Designer
John Joseph Thomas Special Effects Supervisor
Bradley Thomas Producer
Arlan Jay Vetter Art Director
Charles B. Wessler Producer
Tom Wolfe Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Shallow Hal
1. Dad's Final Words
2. Main Titles
3. Two Shallow Guys
4. No Attraction
5. A Huge Flaw
6. Touched by Tony Robbins
7. Inner Beauty
8. A Whole New Hal
9. Rosemary
10. Her Defender
11. Mauricio's Issues
12. Rosie's Kids
13. A Really Pretty Girl
14. Making Up
15. Mom & Dad
16. A Lucky Guy
17. Hal's Promotion
18. Walt's Mystery Girl
19. The Old Boyfriend
20. Mauricio's Plea
21. The Magic Words
22. Screwed
23. The Heart Thing
24. A Date With Jill
25. Looking for Rosemary
26. A Sad Tail
27. The Only Girl I've Ever Loved
28. End Titles

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