- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Now on Blu-ray, directors and writers Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s really weird dark comedy taps into an excessive solution to one man’s delirious cure for loneliness in Swiss Army Man (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Rated R, 95 minutes, 2.40:1, $24.99).

Paul Dano stars as Hank, marooned on a deserted island with little hope of being rescued. After a failed suicide attempt, he discovers a gassy corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) who becomes his best friend and savior.

Hank now relives his life with help from a slowly reanimating Manny and attempts to get back to civilization by using him as, get ready for this, a Jet ski, water fountain, a compass, sledge hammer, blowtorch and projectile launcher.

Mr. Radcliffe’s career has certainly taken a radical turn going from the most-beloved wizard in Hogwarts to a flatulent dead man.

Thankfully, he really shines due to not only his commitment to the odd childlike character he creates but through fantastic chemistry with his co-star. The duo make a potent onscreen presence throughout.

The digital transfer highlights cinematographer Larkin Seiple’s choices for shooting a tropical paradise that also features a harrowing crawl across a rusted pipe way above a river, an underwater rescue and a ferocious encounter with a bear.

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Although “Swiss Army Man” may sounds like a bit out of a Monty Python playbook, it’s actually an occasionally disturbing but poignant look at one man’s sanity.

Best extras: A welcomed set of bonus content helps explain the method to the film’s madness. It begins with an optional commentary track starring the directors and occasional observations from production designer Jason Kisvarday and sound mixer Brent Kaiser (nicknamed the Fartist).

A gregarious Mr. Scheinert and Mr. Kwan dominate the track (recorded before the film’s release) delivering a candid and exhaustive breakdown of the production down to the finances, the tricks behind every scene and laughingly reminding viewers that the movie is full of scientific inaccuracies.

The overall group never stops with the detail including removing blinks from Mr. Radcliffe’s eyes, making excrement using brownie mix and the directors even admitting to getting high after a frustrating day of shooting.

Next, a one-hour, fascinating panel discussion features Dolby Institute director Glenn Kiser interviewing the directors and Mr. Kaiser as they spotlight a grant the filmmakers received from Dolby for the creative use of image and sound in “Swiss Arm Man.”

The group covers many facets of the sound mix, its impact with Dolby Atmos technology and examples from the film’s overall sound effects. They also focus on the finer points of incorporating varieties of flatulence into the overall aural portion of the production.

Additionally, a pair of featurettes offer three minutes on the detailed building of a fake Manny doll and a near 17-minute look at the production with details on many practical effects and stunts used on the shoot including the bizarre jet ski sequence at the beginning of the movie.

Unfortunately, the extras do not offer any words from the Mr. Dano or Mr. Radcliffe. It would have been the icing on the cake to hear the actors talk about their roles in this unusual film.

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