(2011/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD) + Bridget
Jones’ Diary (aka Bridget Jones’s
Diary/2001/Lionsgate) + Cedar Rapids
(2011/Fox Blu-ray) + Ceremony
Picture: B- & C/B-/C+/B- Sound: B- & C+/B-/C+/B- Extras: C (Arthur: D) Films: C (Arthur: D)
In our latest wave of comedies, we look at a bunch of
disappointments and one really bad, really unnecessary remake.
Not that I was a fan of the original Arthur with Dudley Moore, but at least it had some moments, was
original and had a cast that worked.
Yes, the Christopher Cross music really dates it, but did it really need
a remake? Certainly the choice of
Russell Brand for the 2011 recycling at least makes casting sense as he is
British and can be funny, but this is a disaster, unfunny beyond belief and
also manages to trash Helen Mirren, Luis Guzman, Nick Nolte and yet again,
Jennifer Garner shows up playing a smiling woman who will eventually punch a
guy out by getting tough. Yawn!
But the sleep-inducing idiocy does not stop there. After an extremely funny opening that spoofs
the equally idiotic Batman & Robin
with George Clooney, it is apparent that Peter Baynman’s script sees true humor
as impossible and Director Jason Winer should be banned from using motion
picture cameras (film or HD) of any kind.
When all was said and done (it could not end fast enough), I honestly
asked “how unfunny can you get” because this is one of the worst comedies in
years. Even the oft bashed Arthur 2: On The Rocks seems like an
ambitious art film by comparison.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer has motion blur, limited color
and somehow manages to make New York City look bad, which is only made worse on
the anamorphically enhanced DVD that is very weak and watered down in addition
to the other flaws. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray is dialogue based, limited in
soundfield and only seems to be alive (using that term loosely) when the
usually bad music kicks in, which is weaker on the Dolby Digital 5.1 lossy DVD
mix. Extras include Digital Copy for PC
and PC portable devices, Gag Reel, Additional Scenes and very lame featurette Arthur Unsupervised, which should be
about the film committee at the studio that allowed this money-loser to get the
green light. Instead, it is a dud trying
to promote and sell the unsellable.
Arthur available on Blu-ray Combo Pack,
DVD, On Demand and for Download 7/15! http://bit.ly/piggJN
Sharon Maguire’s Bridget
Jones’ Diary (aka Bridget Jones’s
Diary/2001) was a big hit in its time, but even with three likable actors
like Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and a then less-known Colin Firth, I always
felt it was weak and seeing it again, it is still boring, from its endless
voiceover to somewhat lively performances as its oversimplified romantic comedy
formula goes on and on. Originally
issued by Miramax, they knew how to sell it and it was a hit, but like the
original Arthur, its sequel too was
not because they got luckier than they realized.
At least the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image looks
better than expected, even with some definition limits and even some motion
blur. It has never looked better on home
video and though it is not great, the look of the film was always limited. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix
is also dialogue based and limited in soundfield and range, but only shows its
age so much, though it still does just the same. Extras include a feature length audio
commentary by Maguire, Deleted Scenes, four featurettes on the film, A Guide To Bridget Britishisms and
Domestic & International TV Spots.
Ed Helms plays a small town businessman having an affair
with his one-time school teacher (Sigourney Weaver) now having to leave for a
business conference that will wreck his wrecked life in Miguel Arteta’s Cedar Rapids (2011), a new comedy that
has a few chuckles and even includes good additional performances by John C.
Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Kurtwood Smith. With that cast, there are going to be
chuckles, but the Phil Johnston screenplay never exceeds its few
ideas and Helms is barely able to carry this.
However, we have seen this idea
of the small town guy being crushed in big business and suddenly competitive
business situations, so this will only be funny to you if you have never seen
this kind of thing before or really get impressed with any of the
performances. I was disappointed
considering what this could have been.
1.85 X 1 AVC @ 30 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer has motion blur
and somewhat limited color, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix
is dialogue based and limited in soundfield and range. Extras in this “Super Awesome Edition”
include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes,
four featurettes on the film and Fox Movie Channel Direct Effect installment promoting the release.
we have Max Winkler’s Ceremony (2010),
the most watchable of the four films with Michael Angarano as a young man who
takes a road trip, only to run into an older love (Uma Thurman) who is about to
get married, but he gives her second thoughts about whether she should tie the
knot or not. An independent production that
falls into the mumblecore category somewhat, it has some giggles, a couple of
laughs, but is also predictable and never holds together as much as it
should. However, Winkler tries and I
would like to see what he does next.
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image has some
motion blur and color can be good, but once again, it is not an exemplary HD
image, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is yet again also
dialogue based and therefore limited in soundfield and range, with some
location recording better than others. Extras include an HDNet special promotion its
release, Outtakes, Extended Scenes, Deleted Scenes, three featurettes and A Year In A Text – A Film by Whit
- Nicholas Sheffo