[box cover]

Man on the Moon

Milos Forman, the director of the Academy Award-winning Amadeus, continues his streak of crowd-pleasing cinematic biographies with 1999's Man on the Moon. Jim Carrey stars as Andy Kaufman, the controversial actor/comedian who became a star more by being famous than by being funny. Kaufman's practical jokes and frequently tasteless pranks are the stuff of legend, and Forman, along with screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (the scribes who brought you Tim Burton's wonderful Ed Wood), have succeeded in bringing a degree of humanity — and a great deal of romanticism — to a public figure who was mysterious at best and impenetrable at worst. Every aspect of Kaufman's career is covered here, from his many appearances on TV's Saturday Night Live and Taxi through his brief (and ill-fated) career as a semi-professional wrestler, culminating with Kaufman's battle against the lung cancer that eventually killed him. Carrey is astonishing in the lead role, seeming not so much to impersonate Kaufman as channel his spirit, and the fact that he did not take home the 1999 Best Actor Oscar for his performance is a high crime. Man on the Moon is presented in a great anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1). In addition to the almost mandatory theatrical trailer, the disc includes a gallery of deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette, two Kaufman-themed music videos by rockers REM (who also scored the film), and both Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks. Rounding out the package is the textual supplement "Andy Kaufman: This is His Story," an essay which includes a number of vintage Kaufman comedy routines embedded as Easter eggs. Keep case.
—Joe Barlow

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