I've watched Tropic Thunder about seven times in the past week. I've watched it with friends, with my siblings, and I'm scheduled to watch it with my spouse this weekend. It's an incredibly watchable comedy, the best of the year, and if you get nothing else from this review you should imprint that to your memory. Thankfully, the DVD has a lot going for it too. Let's discuss.
Here's a collection of things Tropic Thunder does better than most mortal movies:
1. Best opening credits (fake trailers, including Satan's Alley)
2. Best soundtrack (sorry Twilight!)
4. Best closing credits (Tom Cruise's dancin' is hypnotic)
In fact, my only real criticism of these discs is the inclusion of the deleted scenes. By and large, it was good that they were deleted, EXCEPT for the jarring omissions of the "Hip-Hop Hop" and "Seizure" dances from Alpha Chino (Brandon Jackson). These are in the extended Two-Disc Director's Cut I'm watching, though, so no hard feelings there. Additionally, the alternate ending presented on the DVD isn't nearly as good as the actual ending, so again, kudos to Stiller and company.
I've already mentioned the commentary you should listen to, where Robert Downey Jr. doesn't break character until the end credits (an in-joke reference to Kurt Lazarus's level of dedication). Jack Black eats a 4x4 from In-N-Out Burger, right near the middle of the commentary, and his insides gurgle in protest. Evidently, Black was late to the taping of the commentary, a joke that comically weaves itself throughout the bit. But really, this is another two hours of material from Lincoln Osiris. We all need that. The world needs that.
Tropic Thunder, along with Iron Man and Dark Knight, are pretty much the must-own discs of 2008. I didn't really dig the "Rain of Madness" mockumentary feature, but I don't begrudge them that either. Tropic Thunder stands on its own as a "Must. Buy. Now." and the Director's Cut is preferred because Stiller weaves in another ten minutes of comedy. Make this someone special's stocking stuffer. You won't regret it.
Warning: Salty lyrics