Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (Special Edition Unrated Widescreen)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook
Drew Barrymore as Dylan Sanders
Lucy Liu as Alex Munday
Bernie Mac as Jimmy Bosley
Crispin Glover as Thin Man
Justin Theroux as Seamus O'Grady
Robert Patrick as Ray Carter
Demi Moore as Madison Lee
Rodrigo Santoro as Emmers
Shia LaBeouf as Max
Matt LeBlanc as Jason
Luke Wilson as Pete
John Cleese as Mr. Munday
Ja'net DuBois as Momma Bosley
Andrew Wilson as Cop
Pink as Coal Bowl Starter
Guy Oseary as Restaurant Patron
Mark Cotone as Prison Guard
Carrie Fisher as Mother Superior
John Forsythe as Charles Townsend
Ashley Olsen as Future Angel
Mary-Kate Olsen as Future Angel
Jaclyn Smith as Mexican Bar Angel
Bruce Willis as William Rose Bailey

Special Features:

Unedited material not seen in theaters

Turning Angels into Pussycat Dolls

Rolling with the Punches

XXX-Treme Angels

Full Throttle Jukebox
Telestrator commentary with Director McG!

Angel-Vision Trivia Track

Writer's Commentary

Full Throttle: The Cars of Charlie's Angels

Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel

Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam

Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

Learn why: There's no such thing as a "short shot," only an overworked producer

Music video: Pink featuring William Orbit "Feel Good Time"

Cameo-graphy

DVD-ROM: Sony's exclusive Charlie's Angels X Online Game

Other Info:
Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Dolby Surround
Running Time: 107 Minutes

Synopsis:
Charlie’s Angels return, this time with Bosley’s black brother as their contact at the Townsend Agency. After a database containing a listing of people in the Witness Protection Program is stolen, it’s up to the three beautiful girls to recover it. They’re too late to save the first witness on the list, but the murder gives them clues to who may be behind it. In order to solve the case, the girls will first have to face a former Angel, an old nemesis, and a man from Dylan’s dark past.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (Unrated Widescreen Special Edition) is unrated (duh). The additional footage contains graphic violence and sexuality.

The Movie:
This special unrated edition of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle contains additional footage not seen in theaters. I missed this film during its theatrical run, so I can’t comment on what parts are new. However, in the extras director McG says that they shot an R rated film, then trimmed it down for a PG-13 rating. That R rated material is what is added back in. There are a few moments where the girls spit blood during fights, pull glass out of wounds, and show a bit of skin. I imagine these are the kinds of things that pushed the envelope of the PG-13 rating. Anyway, the original version is here for your viewing pleasure.

When you get down to it, though, this sequel is more of the same from the first film. The plots are very similar, the action is a lot of the same, and they generally stick to the original formula. While I liked the first movie, I wasn’t terribly impressed with this sequel. I found Full Throttle too similar to the first film with all the novelty well worn off. Again, an old friend of Charlie’s is the bad guy. Again, they fight the Thin Man. Again, the plot doesn’t make much sense. It’s nothing more than a series of situations strung together that makes the Angels look cool or sexy. Finally, the Angels defy gravity in a way that would make a comic superhero blush. While it was fun the first time around, it’s old hat now. In the end the whole movie comes together in an over-the-top mess that wasn’t to my tastes.

However, when Charlie’s Angels does work, it works well. There are numerous cameos in the film that keep things lively. Watch for Carrie Fisher, John Cleese, a rather wooden Pink, and a surprising appearance by Bruce Willis. (I guess he’s still on good terms with Demi Moore after all!) Also look for references to Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Blues Brothers, Cape Fear, and more. Bernie Mac also provides great comic relief for the film despite his inexplicable appearance in place of Bill Murray. He provides most of the laughs when things slow down. However, I think when things slow down is when Charlie’s Angels is in top form. When they aren’t doing a poor imitation of The Matrix, the humor is genuinely funny and kept me interested. A sub-plot about Lucy Liu’s father discovering her dual identity provides lots of laughs. Cameron Diaz getting trapped in a men’s restroom was also amusing. (Gotta love those Spider-Man underoos!) It just goes to show that the action isn’t necessary to have a good film.

In the end Charlie’s Angels is more of the same from the first film. Your enjoyment of it will heavily depend on what you thought of the first movie and how much you’re willing to suspend your belief in gravity.

The Extras:
This unrated DVD has quite a selection of DVD extras:

Turning Angels into Pussycat Dolls – I’ve never heard of them, but apparently the Pussycat Dolls are a famous group of burlesque dancers in Los Angeles. (It also helps that director McG’s girlfriend is the founder.) They put on a rather memorable dance routine to the tune of The Pink Panther in the movie. This documentary goes into their backgrounds as well as how they trained the girls for the dance in the movie.

Rolling with the Punches – This is the obligatory documentary on how the fight scenes were choreographed for the film. The action is a lot more brutal and hard hitting this time around and it shows in the featurette. There is a lot of behind the scenes footage here that shows the girls in action.

XXX-Treme Angels – The extreme motocross scene is a major feature of the film and this gets into the details of how it was made. From location selection to gathering cyclists to shooting the scene, this details it all. And since there aren’t many women who specialize in this extreme sport, we are treated to the sight of three guys sheepishly wearing the angel’s effeminate attire, breast plates, and long hair. It’s a rather amusing and disturbing sight.

Full Throttle Jukebox – In this extra, McG and the music director discuss every song featured in the film. You can pick the song on a jukebox-type menu, the guys come on and talk about it, then it jumps to the scene in the movie where the song appears. It’s quite an elaborate way to highlight the soundtrack.

Telestrator commentary with Director McG! – This is your standard director’s commentary with a twist. As McG talks about the movie, he can use a “telestrator” like on a sports broadcast and circle certain things on the screen. While it’s a neat gimmick and I applaud them for trying something different, it doesn’t add much to the commentary (other than a circle around whatever McG is referring to). Otherwise it’s an interesting commentary.

Angel-Vision Trivia Track – In this mode, you can watch the movie and have little windows pop up filled with Angels trivia. Any and every topic is fair game in the trivia. From historical trivia to cast filmographies to cameos, it’s all here. The trivia is almost non-stop, so be prepared.

Writer's Commentary – Two of the writers from the film provide a rather dry commentary. While it’s not as flashy as McG’s commentary, they do provide a ton of information. They discuss alternate versions of the scenes, cut bits of the story, and more. If you’re interested in deleted scenes and that sort of thing, this will be of interest to you.

Full Throttle: The Cars of Charlie's Angels – This is a long feature that goes into great detail about all the cool cars shown in the film. Hosted by McG himself, you get an in-depth look at everything from the Ferrari to Bigfoot. Anybody that loves cars will get a kick out of this.

Dream Duds: Costuming an Angel – This is a detailed feature about the costumes from the film. Concept art for each of the outfits is shown. This is essentially a glorified gallery of their costumes. It’s a unique and cool way to present the artwork.

Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam – The big opening scene of the film featuring the dam and helicopter is discussed here. They talk about filming on a real dam, enhancing it, and adding in the helicopter effects. Interestingly, this wasn’t originally in the film. They got the budget for it because it was going to be used in a trailer.

Designing Angels: The Look of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle – In this video McG talks about shooting in the various locations around Los Angeles. He also discusses the various tips of the hat to other films.

Learn why: There's no such thing as a "short shot," only an overworked producer – In this video the producer goes into detail about how the movie was made. He talks about the crew, how they cut corners here and there, and how they blew the money they did have. It’s an interesting look at how a big budget movie gets made.

Music video: Pink featuring William Orbit "Feel Good Time" – I generally like Pink’s music, but this was a really bad video. We’re treated to shots of Pink spitting in the air and catching the loogee in her mouth, getting kicked in the face by a dumb looking goon, and then looking rather stupid while trying to play action heroine. Overall, the video doesn’t work very well.

Cameo-graphy – This is a listing of all the cameos in the film. It details every guest star, gives their background, and then shows their scenes from the movie.

The Bottom Line:
If you’re going to check out Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, then the unrated version is the one you’ll want to see. It has more footage and a good number of extras. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t break any new ground from the first film.

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