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-   -   You Don't Mess With The Zohan (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/187-official-avs-foruma-blu-ray-disc-reviews/1071053-you-dont-mess-zohan-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review.html)

Ralph Potts 09-29-2008 11:43 AM

The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Theatrical) Unrated (Extended)
Feature running time: 113 Minutes/117 Minutes (Extended)
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect:1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: Indonesian, Bahasa, Korean, Thai, Chinese, French, English, English SDH
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Laine Kazan, Rob Schneider
Directed by:Dennis Dugan
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Written by: Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Robert Smigel
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 7, 2008

"He'll make you silky smooth"

Film Synopsis:

Comedy superstar Adam Sandler is back - and funnier than ever - as The Zohan, the finest counterterrorist agent the Israeli army has. That is, until he fakes his death and travels to Manhattan to live his dream...as a hairdresser. Now this skilled fighting machine who used to clip bad guys is out to prove he can make the cut as a top stylist. All goes silky smooth until his cover is blown when he's recognized by a Palestinian cab driver (Rob Schneider). Now, The Zohan must fight to live a peaceful new life in New York in this razor-sharp action-packed comedy from Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Judd Apatow and Dennis Dugan.

My Take:

You don't mess with the Zohan is a film that is aimed at a particular audience and certainly is not for everyone. There are quite a few Adam Sandler films that I like but there are some that I find intolerable. This film is definitely closer to the latter but if taken with a grain of salt might not achieve intolerable status. Both the theatrical and extended versions are included on this dual layer BD-50 Blu-ray disc. I watched the extended version which adds 4 minutes to the film. Obviously this film is meant to be over the top but there are times where it seemed to take it to new levels. The crude sexual content and ethnic innuendo run rampant throughout the film. The sexual involvement of senior citizens was particularly disturbing. Sandler's garbled attempt at a Middle Eastern accent was poorly executed but was certainly better than Chris Rock's terrible Jamaican accent during his cameo as a NYC cabbie. There is a half baked hint of a love story between the Zohan and Dalia (Chriqui) which seems out of place. The characters were shallow and not particularly appealing. There were some scenes that provided a couple of laughs. Several of these involved Hamdi, Salim, and Nasi (Schneider, Badreya, and Heidami) who were plotting to kill the Zohan after discovering that he was still alive and living in NY. I just felt that much of the film relied on shock value style humor rather than clever writing which in most cases turns out to be distasteful. I am sure that there are many who appreciate it. I have seen Adam Sandler in roles where he has demonstrated a much higher level of entertainment. I much prefer him in that light.

Parental Guide:

This film contains crude and sexual content throughout, language, and nudity. This is not for younger viewers.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

You don't mess with the Zohan comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.

This film was shot digitally and has a bit of a smooth texture to the video that keeps it from being razor sharp. Detail and resolution are well rendered with respectable subtle nuance and three dimensional image quality that is discernible in both close-up and long distant camera shots. There appears to be some filtering applied during a large majority of the film that splashes a golden cast over the video that makes it look hazy at times. I am not sure whether it was done pre or post production but I found it distracting. This had an effect on the colors and flesh tones during those sequences. Colors appeared less saturated and complexions had a sun burnt tonality that made them look less delineated and natural. Other than that colors exhibited rich depth with vibrant textures and clean rendering. Contrast was excellent and Black levels were deep enough so that dark scenes had good dynamic range and visibility in shadowy areas. The video had a pristine quality and appeared free of any video related artifacts or blemishes.

The lossless audio presentation provided a well blended mix that featured clearly articulated dialogue and a wide front channel soundstage that reached far into the room. Surround activity was abundant and came in the form of the film's music score and a varied blend of ambient and discrete sound effects. The music sounded excellent and had an appreciable low end rhythm that pumped bass through the subwoofer. This isn't an aggressive sound mix but at times it filled the room with clean, detailed and atmospheric surround sound that heightened the experience.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Rob Schneider, Nick Swardson

  • Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan

  • Translating the Zohan: graphics in picture track - A feature that when enabled translates the words spoken during the film


  1. (HD) Look who stopped by
  2. (HD) Dugan: the hands on Director
  3. (HD) The stunts of the Zohan
  4. (HD) Dugan espanol?
  5. (HD) Zohan vs. The Phantom
  6. (HD) Zohan's doubles
  7. (HD) Shooting Baja for Tel Aviv
  8. (HD) All-American redneck
  9. (HD) From guns to scissors
  10. (HD) News on 3: missing goat
  11. (HD) News on 3: who is the Zohan?
  12. (HD) News on 3: It's very good
  13. (HD) The Robot
  14. (HD) Getting sticky
  15. (HD) Laughing is contagious
  • (HD) 15 deleted scenes
  • (HD) BD previews - Pineapple express, The house bunny, Casino Royale, and Hancock

  • BD-Live enabled

Final Thoughts:

I like comedies in general and try to go into films like this with an open mind. You don't mess with the Zohan is a bit of a stretch and bombards the audience with situations that require more than an open minded approach. Its humor does have an audience however it is not a film that will appeal to everyone. Fans are sure to enjoy the large supply of bonus features that seem to coincide with the film's comedic theme as well as its solid high definition audio/video presentation.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

shadowrage 09-29-2008 08:57 PM

The sexual involvement of senior citizens was particularly disturbing.

= hilarity. He's Isreali special forces and he does hair., it's brilliant.
There is a half baked hint of a love story between the Zohan and Dalia (Chriqui) which seems out of place.

That was very central to the movies "message". It's a Romeo/Juliet type of thing.

Anyway, this one is a lot better than I thought it would be. Can't wait to see the Unrated version. And it has Dave Matthews. in a surprise role that's so unexpected you can't help but laugh, same thing for Mariah Carey. Kevin Nealon's very short role was also good.

There's a lot of little tiny jokes about Jewish culture and a some Hebrew 'slang' that might be lost on the audience if they're not familiar with it. Same goes for the pop culture/hair styling industry stuff. Because they're really specific references.

The extras look pretty good. Total must buy for me, it drags a little in the second act but it brings its self together at the end.

Ralph Potts 09-30-2008 05:17 AM


Thanks for sharing sr...


fitbrit 09-30-2008 11:10 AM

I've heard that this movie is much funnier if you're familiar with middle-eastern/Arabic/Israeli culture. I'm looking forward to seeing it, having lots of Arabic friends and having just returned from my first visit to Israel.
Thanks for the review, as always.

Goatse 09-30-2008 01:00 PM

I had consumed plenty of beer and funny was still not found. Mike Myers and Adam Sadler are past their prime and both of their summer flicks failed.

fitbrit 09-30-2008 01:25 PM

Originally Posted by Goatse View Post

I had consumed plenty of beer and funny was still not found. Mike Myers and Adam Sadler are past their prime and both of their summer flicks failed.

Aww, come on. Next you'll be saying Eddie Murphy isn't funny any more.

reallynotnick 09-30-2008 03:49 PM

4 Attachment(s)
The movie was ok, really need to watch it with some friends in a light hearted mood. Not something I would recommend watching, but can't say I hated it. I have to agree with Ralph that is was very much a shock value comedy.

I did like how they put humus on everything though!

edfowler 09-30-2008 10:44 PM

spot on with your analysis Ralph

itai 10-01-2008 12:31 PM

This film is terrible.
And I happen to be an Israeli...

Boogie7910 10-06-2008 12:54 AM

I tried the best I could to sit through 25 minutes of this movie but it was unbearable.

SteveK2 10-30-2008 08:56 AM

Rented this from Blockbuster. I think Ralph's review of the video/audio technicals on this video are spot-on. I should've read this thread first, cuz I was annoyed by the 'golden cast' on most of the scenes and thought my plasma was the problem (not the case fortunately).

A few laughable scenes, but overall this was a disappointment. I had a good snooze for about 20 minutes during the 2nd half of the movie. Even my teen-age son (who really likes Sandler and the shock-sex type of humor) said "it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be".

Phrehdd 11-08-2008 11:10 PM

This is a peculiar film. The first 1/3 of the film is done with such precision for humour. It does poke fun at an insider level of Israeli culture and then return to the de jour Hollywood predictable formula story and closure.

Adam Sandler does a bit more acting in this flick and then falls back (sadly) on bad story line and predictable jokes.

I admit I did laugh and enjoy some of the movie. I felt that the super anti terrorist scenes played well against his desire to "cut hair." The references to getting stuck in an electronics shop also was amusing and plays off real NY scenes.

However, the "politics" of the streets between arabs and Israelis might have faired well but the ultra terrorist being the brother did not. It went beyond farce to just plain stupid. Thus, the West Side (bank) story was a poor vehicle for the movie and it went no where fast during the 2nd half of the movie.

This is not a movie to own but perhaps to rent. Maybe the movie would do better if they had even more hummus and less hack writing and subtexts.

NoUDont 11-13-2008 06:16 PM

fell asleep, nuff said. Sorry you had to sit through the entire movie Ralph. My sympathies.

Ralph Potts 11-14-2008 02:55 AM

Originally Posted by NoUDont View Post

fell asleep, nuff said. Sorry you had to sit through the entire movie Ralph. My sympathies.




gnj1958 11-20-2008 02:21 PM

Terrible movie. Only rented it because my girlfriend said she wanted to see it. Haven't seen an Adam Sandler movie I liked yet.

Picture was bad too. I didn't have a gold haze though I had a blue one. Not enjoyable at all. Rented Tropic Thunder too and that was a lot better.

Phrehdd 02-04-2009 01:43 AM

On this one, I have to go along with Ralph and then some - the love story was half baked and in fact, typical cheap hollywood formula to tie parts together for a cliche ending.

Having been to that part of the world, knowing Israelis and Arabs, the first half was far more entertaining than the second half which spiraled out of shaggy and burlesque-like humour into nonsense.

Others who commented about the cultural inside jokes were spot on. If Sandler got one thing right it was the combo of accent "I want to cut hair" and the seeming know it all mindset of some Israeli (I say this with love). The comments about he can do everything (referencing hair) in the fancy salon was true to the nature of many Israelis here. It is not arrogance but desire to try things and many will laugh or get irritated with that kind of speak.

Overall, the story goes from fair development of characters in the beginning with large breaths of silly humour to just stupid. Of the stupid is the "half baked love story" and poor parody/satire of West Side story.

If I can say anything about Adam Sandler, he is unafraid to be blatant and silly. Sometimes it works and often it doesn't. Overall, the film has laughable moments and the story needs to be entirely ignored to enjoy any of the film.

- Phrehdd

gwsat 02-13-2009 08:14 AM

I picked Zohan up at my neighborhood BB on a whim the other day, primarily because of how funny the trailers for the movie had been. Despite quite a bit of negative feedback, including here, I kind of liked it. As is the case with too many comedies these days, it is too long and sags in the middle. Nevertheless, it has a lot going for it. Sandler, as usual does his gross-out schtick well and is there anybody alive funnier than John Turturro? There were also some sly moments, which were will observed, the scene in which the Palestinian cab driver negotiates with The Phantom (Turturro) to kill Zohan comes to mind. All in all, I thought it was pretty good, 7 out of 10 Stars.

Although I could not get the lossless TrueHD because my old receiver lacks HDMI, the legacy sound was surprisingly good, well above average. The movie also looked good.

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