The Break-Up (HD-DVD/DVD Combo Format)
B/B- Sound: B/B- Extras: C Film: C
many couples who seem to go their separate ways after making a film, Jennifer
Aniston and Vince Vaughn continue to be an item in the celebrity-obsessed press
since making the Vaughn-produced Peyton Reed comedy/drama The Break-Up (2006); a film we already have a theatrical review up
for at this link:
there were a few laughs, I was not as impressed by the film as my fellow
critic, especially with Vaughn repeating his Made (and Swingers?)
character for the 15th or so time.
Vaughn is a better actor than this.
As for Aniston, since she is in reruns of Friends and the show is also on DVD all over the place, all she can
do it play the same character over and over again. Rumor
Has It… (reviewed in all formats on this site) is actually a worse film
overall, yet this is really not that much better. Dressing slightly different is not an acting
time, the film is supposed to examine the lives (comically) of the couple and
how the relationship disintegrates and can it recover. The problem is that it never takes either
character seriously enough to begin doing this and despite some odd chemistry
between them, the world they inhabit is more about caricatures than real
people. As compared to a somewhat
commercially similar comedy like The
Devil Wears Prada, which has more energy and does any formula better, its
repetitions are obvious.
the mixed Bring It On, then followed with the underrated Down With Love (http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/411/Down+With+Love)
before dropping out of the Fantastic
Four to do this. He is a talented
filmmaker, especially with the right material, but he is more of a hired hand
here. Sure, he makes this work better
than the hands of most hacks working today would, but the Jeremy Garelick/Jay
Lavender screenplay just does not have the guts to go all the way and settles
for second best until the end.
there was a lack of talent in front of the camera, including the great
Ann-Margaret, a hilarious Judy Davis, Joey Lauren Adams, Cole Hauser, Jon
Favreau and the ever-amazing Vincent D’Onofrio.
However, they are marginalized too much and though the film did some
business for Reed’s sake at least, the film never reaches the heights it could
Combo format disc has an HD-DVD side and DVD side. The DVD side offers the film in
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 picture quality that has sometimes odd-looking
color and some detail limits, something the 1080p digital High Definition
HD-DVD side improves on somewhat, but only marginally. Cinematographer Eric Edwards’s shooting is
actually not bad and he is able to help Reed get some good and funny shots. Unfortunately, it is not amazing, though the HD
side is the better of the two.
side has Dolby Digital 5.1 and HD-DVD side Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, where the
Plus side is the plus side, as the mix is just that much better. However, the first noticeable difference
between the theatrical sound and options on both sides are in the credits when
the Queen classic You’re My Best Friend
plays somewhat ironically to a series of stills of the couple as they first
fall in love. In the theater, I knew it
was not from a multi-channel master just from the Queen DVD-Audio discs we have
covered on the site before. What was
shocking is how much flatter and duller the song was on the two sides than in
the theater. What happened? I’d love to know if the source was a CD, MP3
or what, but I bet it was two-channels.
Jon Brion’s score is not bad, especially considering the film.
include the U-Control picture-in-picture function you can see as you watch the
film, with a stills option exclusive to the HD-DVD format. You also get outtakes, two audio commentary
tracks, trailers for this and other Universal releases, a Vaughn/Favreau improv
piece, alternate ending, extended scenes, 15 minutes of deleted scenes, tour of
Chicago ala The Three Brothers company, making of featurette and Tone Rangers in action riding
again. It is a set of extras more
interesting than expected, proving al the more how the film missed the mark.
- Nicholas Sheffo