Friday, November 6, 2009

Mamma Mia! The Movie - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! More Gift Set Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 34.7 GB
Film Size: 25.9 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: Free

Video
Mamma Mia! comes to Blu-ray with the same 1080p VC-1 video presentation as the original release. I've always enjoyed the look of the film since the first time I saw it on Blu-ray. The settings and sets they used for the film are very beautiful, and it truly shines in high-def particularly when compared to the very bland DVD release.

The film have a very light glow around the characters throughout, creating a very unique look for the movie. Colors are truly fantastic and the overall clarity present on this release will definitely please viewers. There is also a nice thin layer of film grain present at all times.

The film also features a great amount of depth and 3D pop throughout the presentation, and like most new releases the black levels are definitely solid. Some may be turned off by the actual look of the film, but the high-def transfer itself is certainly fantastic. 9/10.

Audio
Universal has included a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, and it sounds great. Having been a year since I last talked about this Blu-ray release, my opinion has slightly changed regarding the audio. We have come to experience many new and demo level audio mixes, with the bar being set higher and higher as time progresses.

The track is still a very impressive audio experience, but certainly not among the best tracks on the format. The film uses the surround speakers quite actively, but reserved mostly for sound effects here and there in an attempt to create an environment. The film's music is aggressive and lively, despite being quite front-heavy. Dialogue is crisp and clear, and the music is always easy to appreciate and enjoy in high-def glory. 8/10.

Extras

Sing-Along
Select a specific song or sing-along with the entire film.

Deleted Scenes (8:06) (SD)

Outtakes (1:33) (SD)

Deleted Musical Number: "The Name Of The Game" (3:02) (HD)
'The Name Of The Game' was not included in the final version of the film but was clearly intended to be, Amanda Seyfried did film the musical number and it's presented in high-definition.

The Making of Mamma Mia! (HD)
Birthing Mamma Mia! (4:42)
The Film making (9:09)
Meet The Cast (10:14)

Anatomy of a Musical Number: "Lay All Your Love on Me" (5:42) (HD)

Becoming A Singer (10:55) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of the music and the process it took in training and recording the actors' vocals.

A Look Inside Mamma Mia! (2:40) (HD)
All about Abba and the impact of their music, and the idea for a musical and film interpretation of their music. There is footage from the stage version included.

"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" Music Video (3:49) (SD)
Amanda Seyfriend stars in the music video as she 'records' and watches clips from the film, also features scenes on top of a building.

Björn Ulvaeus Cameo (1:35) (SD)
See Björn's cameo appearance in a musical number.

Feature Commentary with Director Phyllida Lloyd

U-Control:
Behind The Hits (Pop-Up Single/Album Trivia)
Picture-in-Picture

BD-Live:
My Mamma Mia Commentary
My Chat
My Scenes Sharing

CD:
The film's soundtrack is included instead of a Digital Copy

I was quite surprised by the features included, they were actually very interesting. The behind-the-scenes being the most interesting. Universal has included a pop-up trivia track, allowing you to view facts and other interesting details about each song as they are featured in the film.

Also included is a Picture-in-Picture track, which recycles extras from the featurettes, making for a very appropriate presentation. My Mamma Mia Commentary will allow you to record your own video commentary track to share with friends and family, as well as My Chat for those who like to discuss films with others while viewing the film.

The difference between the original release and this release is the lack of Digital Copy, in it's place the soundtrack to the film is included on compact disc. 8/10.

The Packaging:
Mamma Mia! The Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! More Gift Set comes packaged in a set the height of a DVD case, and the width of about 3 DVD cases in a pile. The packaging is fairly neat, and plays 'Mamma Mia' from the film when you press the button on the front of the packaging. Included inside is a book all about the film, as well as the Blu-ray disc and CD soundtrack inside a standard 2-disc Blu-ray case with revised cover art reflecting the CD.

The packaging is pretty good, considering it includes the film in a standalone case as well. So if you don't like the packaging, you can still appreciate the included extras without sacrificing the look on your shelf.

If anyone is a fan of the film and just adopting Blu-ray this Christmas, this set would definitely make a perfect gift for family, friends, or even yourself.

Blu-news Summary
Mamma Mia! is a film that will either be hated or loved, I personally loved it. To be honest I have never been a fan of ABBA, I actually didn't hear much of the group at all. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the music, and felt it was incorporated very nicely into the film.

Amanda Seyfried starring as Sophie was something I was very anxious to see, previously seeing her star as the dumb girl Karen in the 2004 film 'Mean Girls'. She was definitely surprising, and who knew she could sing so well? Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan are among the featured cast.

The film is fun and a great time for anyone who enjoys the music or even just the actors in the film. Meryl Streep brings a very enjoyable performance that any fan will absolutely love. The film adaptation of these Abba songs just works extremely well, and if a movie can keep you entertained without having to check the time once it has to be good. 9/10.

It's a year later and we still have very few musicals available on Blu-ray, but of the ones available Mamma Mia is definitely one of my favorites. The Blu-ray release still impresses me today, and is a 'Must Own' for fans and 'Highly Recommended' to any musical fan.

Additional Screenshots:

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