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on November 21, 2008
There's no doubt that Tropic Thunder is one of the funniest movies of the year- if not THE funniest movie of the year. I remember seeing in the theater and laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. I was excited when I found out that there was an unrated DC coming out... 2 discs, and 15 more minutes more footage.

However, as much as I gotta say the movie rocks, I have to say: BUY THE THEATRICAL CUT INSTEAD. The unrated version slows the movie down a bit, and most of the added stuff doesn't seem to fit in. They changed some funny lines, and even took some out as well. In fact some of the added stuff makes the movie feel a lot longer than it really is, and after awhile the movie seems repetitive, which is one of the few things that killed the movie for me.

So if you're planning on buying the DVD, get the single disc rated version instead... this movie is definitely one of the funniest I've seen, and I definitely look forward to owning it, but really, just get the theatrical. It's MUCH better.
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on November 19, 2008
I never understood why Downey, Jr. received job after job after being released from prison. I knew he was a good actor, but his portrayal of Iron Man and his performance in this movie was just phenomenal (I never saw the Charlie Chaplin movie). I know this movie offended some, but my husband and I are Black and we missed some of the dialogue in this movie from laughing so hard. We were picking out family members who really talk like that! This movie is hilarious. It's unfortunate that Oscars aren't considered for these types of movies/performances. All of the characters in this movie contributed to it's pleasing experience, however, RDJ stole EVERY SCENE he was apart of. Great Job, RDJ!!! I'm now one of your biggest fans!!!
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on February 4, 2009
Yes, the movie is a little too long - and the hardest laughs come in the first 10 minutes - but apart from Robert Downey Jr. doing an awesome job - I thought Tom Cruise stole this movie.

Now - I am no Tom Cruise fan whatsoever, perhaps the opposite - but his two 5-minute appearances together with his antics during the closing credits made me watch it over and over with my sides splitting from laughing so hard :)

The character is rumored to be based on Ben Stiller's agent. If so, I hope I never meet the guy :))
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on December 15, 2008
I'm so embarrassed to say this but I love this movie so much, just bloody love it. I cannot even remember when something made me laugh so hard that I kept going back and watching certain scenes over and over. Robert Downey Jr.'s comeback is complete. As a 'black dude', he just nails it and never lets go. Believe me, you get over feeling weird about it immediatly, it's just too good, too freakin' authentic and hilarious- but NOT disrespectful. He's so good, so perfect. And JB...When Jack Black is `in character' in character, his New York accent literally made me cry. The skinny guy with the guts hanging out, hilarious, Hamlet 2, hilarious, just everything comes together perfectly. Nick Nolte? Nick Nolte?!

And it's all due to Ben Stiller who literally took every bit of his successes (Zoolander) and failures (Heartbreak Kid) and created this just absolutely pitch perfect comedy. It's been so long since I could say that a movie made me pee my pants with delight. Thank you, Ben Stiller, for the gleeful humiliation. I'm glad I was it at home in front of my Sony BRAVIA KDL-46XBR6 46" LCD TV when it happened. Yep, Mother Nature's not the only one who pissed her pantsuite.

Just one bad thing, Tom Cruise was creepy. Normally, I don't mind him too bad but in this movie, he was creepy and not fun creepy, just creepy. I think Stiller thought it would be fun to have him being so outrageous and yeah, it's fun but it pushed the creepy envelope for me. Tom Cruise is just creepy for me and I just think he's, well, creepy.
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VINE VOICEon November 19, 2008
You'll laugh but this movie isn't for the easily offended. Heck, even a few hard-to-offend viewers will cringe, too. A comedy hasn't had this much in-your-face political incorrectness since Blazing Saddles.

You'll be worn out by the end of this two-hour movie but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The hardest laughs come all too quickly before the film settles down to a slower pace.

The story follows a group of high-maintenance actors on the set of a Vietnam war movie that is spinning out of control and likely to become the all-time box office flop, pushing aside Cutthroat Island,The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Basic Instinct 2.

Ben Stiller has the most screen time but Robert Downey Jr. steals the scenes as an Australian method actor who manages to eclipse Robert De Niro's famed transformation in Raging Bull.

Jack Black (in a nod to Eddie Murphy's The Nutty Professor), Brandon T. Jackson, Jay Baruchel round out the rest of the main acting troupe. In smaller roles, Nick Nolte portrays the author of the book, Tropic Thunder, which "got" the movie deal (there's an in-joke). Matthew McConaughey appears as Stiller's TiVo-crazed agent and Tom Cruise appears nearly unrecognizable in creepy make-up as the film's producer. Not a single actor displays anything approaching subtlety or sanity.

One final warning: skip the DVD extras at your own risk. The viral video for MTV is hilarious.
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VINE VOICEon April 5, 2009
There aren't many movies that live up to the hype seen on previews and ads. Fewer still in the comedy genre that might have a shot at an Oscar. But TROPIC THUNDER does both thanks to a sturdy screenplay, perfect acting, and some of the funniest dialogue you'll hear this year.

Standing out amongst other ridiculous comedies that often go for the cheap-shot, Tropic Thunder hits higher comedic notes thanks to a plethora of items. First is the screenplay. From the VERY BEGINNING of the film, you immerse yourself in these characters' lives. My advice to movie-watchers is to show up early and watch the previews, as you're in for a not-so-subtle surprise. The "faux-previews" were an excellent way to introduce the characters and get an immediate feel for who they were. And who are they? Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum) stars as Tugg Speedman, an actor on the downward slide of success. Having been a big action star (think Sly Stallone), Tugg is having difficulties procuring decent roles. Although Stiller does a fine job as the actor-turned ...well, he doesn't hit the mark in terms of losing himself in the part like others did (see below)...

Jack Black (Nacho Libre) is Jeff Portnoy, a two-bit actor who's comedies are all about gaseous releases ("Everybody laughs at me just because I fart!"). He's also an addict and when he tries to clean up in the jungles of Vietnam, Black turns in some of the funniest bit lines of the film (many of which I can't state here and earned this film its firm R rating). In terms of acting history, Portnoy's follows similar terrain as that of Eddie Murphy in his fat suit films.

Brandon T. Jackson stars as Alpha Chino (need I say more? Yes? Okay). A rough, tough, black man with a gentler -- shall we say -- feministic side, Jackson battles his sexuality as well as his ethnicity.

Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up) comes on as Kevin Sandusky, the only "normal" guy in this cadre of demented and damaged actors. He envies their acting histories and has a bit of hero worship going on with one of them. He also turns out to be the glue that helps hold the gang together. Think Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and you'll be close.

And saving the absolute best for last, we have bad-boy Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) as Kirk Lazurus, a confused white man gone black, and lost amidst his multiple character personalities. Watching him peel back his personas toward the end of the film was sheer genius. Lazurus so immerses himself in-character that he doesn't come out "until the special features on the DVD." He's also tough to deal with. And he's an Aussie. And he's a great actor. Sound like anyone you know? Russell Crowe should rapidly come to mind.

The screenplay must get notice here, too. And mentioning that Justin Theroux had his hand in it. This is the same Theroux who starred in the sensational series Six Feet Under. He seems to have understood how to come up with comedy that isn't Dumb and Dumber, and hits the mark head-on.

The dialogue is simply astounding, especially when coupled with these well-knowns in the comedic field. But Downey Jr. is the real star here, delivering his lines with flawless precision and in a voice that irritates the heck out of Alpha Chino, a real black guy who finds Lazurus' constant in-characterness to be grating and insulting.

This is truly a phenomenal piece of cinema, with action and comedy meshed so well together that there's not a single moment for the mind to rest.

Oscar worthy? Abso-frigin-lutely!
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on September 29, 2009
A friend of mine came over a few months back with a DVD of Tropic Thunder (original cut). I thought it was hilarious, especially the beginning parodies of movie previews. I liked it so much I order this here blu-ray thinking maybe i'll get something extra out of the director's cut. Turns out the extra scenes in the director's cut were cut out of the original for a reason, they aren't funny. Not only that but they hurt the continuity of the movie and the characters. I would have really preferred if watching the theatrical version was an option on this blu-ray but it's not. I'll be trading this for the original on craigslist if there are any takers.
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VINE VOICEon November 15, 2008
"Tropic Thunder" is a very funny spoof of Hollywood movie making starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Nick Nolte, Steve Coogan, and Matthew McConaughey. A film crew is on location in Southeast Asia to make a film about the Vietnam War. The filming is way over budget, director Damien Cockburn (Coogan) incorporates dangerous methods to elicit believable performances from his pampered cast, and the actor/soldiers come into conflict with decidedly humorless drug runners. Downey is a standout as Australian actor Kirk Lazarus, who's undergone a series of skin pigmentation treatments in order to play a black American soldier. Aside from a slew of tepid jokes that never land, the basic premise is funny and the first five minutes of the film are particularly inspired, hysterical satire. The two-disc Director's Cut contains several featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, and video rehearsals.
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on July 28, 2009
Film was viewed on a 42" Panasonic Plasma and BD35K player. PQ 4/5 and AQ 5/5.

This film is a "love it" or "hate it" type film. For me, as a huge movie enthusiast, it provided the kind of comic relief that pokes fun at hollywood, its "system", the politics and of course, its stereotypes. Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the cast do a fantastic job of creating characters that never take themselves too seriously, which provides the comic relief in the film. The acting and storyline is necessarily over the top, and all of the blatant, non-PC comments are welcomed given the context of the film. A certain mindset is required to enjoy this film, and while some may find it offense, there are many other films that are more offensive, and less funny than this one. The sound track of this film is fantastic and is worth a separate purchase if you like the style and many of the songs add to the film's desire to appear as though it's a real war film (which of course its not). These are some of the funniest performances we may ever see by this cast. So if if you can lend yourself to its type of humor, you will have a blast.
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on September 26, 2009
If you dislike a film that has foul language, violence, a pseudo amputee war vet, use of the word "retarded", Asian orphans depicted as demonic, trivializing drug addicts & drug lords, requiring some knowledge of Hollywood stereotypes and a higher attention span to appreciate some of the more subtle jokes, and/or a loose story line without a spectacular action packed, tear jerking ending, than this movie is probably not for you.

I had friends back from Iraq who understood the premise of the movie, but still found it distasteful and at the same time a Vietnam vet who loved it as it made fun of movies that he felt were "Too Hollywood" (including Platoon, sorry if some people find that hard to believe).

At a friend's house I witnessed the movie being stopped halfway through as a heated argument ensued between a mother (not offended by the film) of an adopted child from China essentially told my friend (a "special needs" teacher) to lighten up on the use of the word "retard" in the film. That night did not end well.

Okay, the point is there is nothing wrong if a person does not like the movie because it has something that offends him/her or that a person prefers movies with a tight script, consisting only of light hearted easy to follow humor, and/or a great Hollywood ending. But there is also nothing wrong if one likes this movie for what it is.

People who liked Ben Stiller's earlier films may find this one too extreme, but I found it a well thought out mockumentary of Hollywood's all out assault to exploit a story using pretentious actors/artists made famous from over the top commercialized characters.

This is highlighted when the "novel author" (Nick Nolte) of the film being made within this movie, boasts of how his "real life" story was chosen by Hollywood over all other decorated Vietnam vets stories.

The only problem with this is that his story is total fiction and underscores Hollywood's aversion to anything that sounds too realistic. Hence, whenever a movie says "Based on a true story", it really means 1% true story and 99% Hollywood Bling!

I can understand why some may not like/get this movie, but the one group of friends that I found that did like it, also liked Monty Python, Terry Gilliam flicks, Star Trek, and Family Guy. Go figure. So if you have similar likes, you will probably enjoy this movie.

In other words, if nothing from the afore mentioned offenses are of concern and one is willing to watch a film that follows more of an SNL script (albeit 2 hours long), then see the movie.

Also, make sure to see the Director's cut version (not the one that is only 106 minutes long).
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