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Carrey shines in Almighty DVD

Molly Griffin | Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Jim Carrey playing God may sound like his latest bid for an Oscar nomination, but it’s actually the premise of his latest comedy, Bruce Almighty. Though the theme may seem to border on heresy, it’s actually a funny movie that deals with God and faith without heavy-handed preaching or an approach to the topic from a particular religious view. In Bruce Almighty, Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a frustrated news anchor covering human interest stories instead of sitting behind the desk. He is fired from his job following a huge on-air meltdown following the revelation that he has failed to get the anchor job he had been longing for. Nolan blames everyone and everything around him for his problems instead of himself, a pattern of behavior that eventually leads to him to hold God directly responsible for ruining his life. God (played by Morgan Freeman) then endows Bruce with his heavenly powers and challenges him to take over the role of the Almighty. Bruce initially does what anyone would be tempted to do, using his powers to further his own interests, but he soon discovers that being God requires a much broader perspective on the ways in which the world works. Jim Carrey is funny, as usual, in Bruce Almighty, but his cast of supporting actors is truly what makes the movie. Steve Carrel (of The Daily Show fame) is pitch-perfectly smarmy as Carrey’s rival news anchor, and Jennifer Aniston proves that she can be funny outside of television and hold her own against Carrey in the role of his long-suffering girlfriend, Grace. Morgan Freeman plays God and possesses the voice and the bearing that allow him to play a pretty convincing Almighty, but he also has a great deal of fun with such a (literally) awesome role. The Bruce Almighty DVD is fairly standard; it has director commentary, short feature about what working with Jim Carrey is like, outtakes, the film’s trailer and deleted scenes. A comedy with no aspirations for an Oscar or similar award has no real need for a director’s commentary, but learning what it’s like to work with someone as frenetic as Carrey is interesting. The outtakes and deleted scenes, like most, are funny, but you can usually tell why they didn’t make the final cut. One annoying feature of the DVD is the fact that there is no way to skip the opening trailers short of hitting the fast forward button, a fact which is unfortunately becoming more and more common on DVDs. The sound and video quality are good and there were no major problems, but the fine points of audio and visual quality aren’t necessarily pushed to their limits on a Jim Carrey comedy.Overall, Bruce Almighty proves to be a funny movie; it’s a little on the sappy side, but in the best possible way. The DVD provides good extras that enhance viewing the film without overloading it with too many things that you’ll never actually watch.