Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Invention of Lying Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 16.3 GB
Film Size: 13.7 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABC

The Video
The Invention of Lying comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The movie looks good in high-definition, but never impresses. Yes, it’s sharper and clearer than the DVD, but detail is not particularly strong.

Many scenes feel a bit oversharpened, making me believe that at least light edge enhancement is present. I also thought the movie lacked any depth and it really feels flat and two-dimensional at times.

Luckily, DNR does not appear to be an issue with this release, yes detail is weak, but not due to Digital Noise Reduction. Grain is always present, although the intensity varies from scene to scene.

The film’s encode size bothers me a bit, yes the movie looks good, but I wonder how much better it could look if at all if provided with a bigger encode. Regardless I was pleased by the Blu-ray and it does feature many positives.

I thought colors for the most part were good; it’s definitely a fairly colorful film that is presented nicely. The colors are usually quite rich but never look oversaturated or pushed. While I didn’t think detail was always the best, there are some moments were detail really does shine.

Despite the issues I had with the transfer, not once did I feel like I was watching the DVD release of the film. The Blu-ray easily defeats the DVD in every aspect, and anyone looking to own the film must pick up the Blu-ray as there is a clear improvement from DVD. 7/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included and is fairly fitting. The movie is a romantic comedy so I was not expecting to be dazzled with this one. It’s just one of those tracks where the quality is nice, but there’s no way you can score a perfect 10 when it just does not compare to the best audio tracks out there.

Dialogue is the highlight of the film and to no surprise is presented as clear and crisp as can be from beginning to end. The film’s effects are generally front heavy, but at the same time were well placed. The film’s score is light but effective, presented clearly from the front left and right speakers.

The track is great at presenting everything thrown at it, but it’s not a demo material track. It’s never going to be demo material unless you completely change the film. This track is satisfying and definitely sounds as good as it will ever sound, just set your expectations appropriately. 7/10.

The Extras

Prequel: The Dawn of Lying (6:31) (SD)
A dull ‘prequel’ to the Invention of Lying, featuring cavemen.

Meet Karl Pilkington (17:48) (SD)
Ricky’s best friend and co-host of The Ricky Gervais Show travels to Boston to be an extra.

A Truly “Honest” Making-of Featurette with Ricky Gervais (7:17) (HD)
A making of featurette featuring a great amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, it is also quite humorous.

Additional Scenes (7:12) (SD)
Five additional scenes are included and are presented in standard-definition.

Ricky and Matt’s Video Podcasts (10:00) (SD)
Ricky at Home in Boston
Office Scouting
What’s in the Local News
Jake Attack

More Laughter: Corpsing and Outtakes (5:34) (SD)
A very enjoyable gag reel.

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

It was a bit underwhelming that all the extras except for one are in standard-definition. There was definitely room on the disc to provide many more of these features in high-definition. I can understand the podcasts being in standard-definition, but the additional scenes definitely needed could have in high-definition. 6/10.

The Movie
I was very excited to see The Invention of Lying, I mean it comes from the fantastic comedian that is Ricky Gervais. If you have not seen Gervais in the UK version of The Office or Ghost Town, I definitely recommend you do so. Gervais is very funny and he’s not the typical person you may imagine being put in as the male lead in romantic comedies such as Ghost Town and even this film.

This Blu-ray release was my first opportunity to see the film, so my expectations were fairly high based on previous work. Does the film deliver? For the most part, I believe it does. The movie is about a world where nobody can tell a lie, it just doesn’t exist. People are honest with how they feel, how they see one another.

Now let’s bring Mark (Gervais) into the picture, a fat man with a stubby nose as many would describe him. He’s really having his share of bad luck and things go from bad to worse when it’s time to pay his rent after losing his job. He goes to the bank to take out all the money from his account in order to hire a moving truck to help him take all his things out of his apartment.

Once at the bank he is told that the computers are down but that they would still get him his money. Mark only has $300 in his account, but in a perfect world he would have $800 to pay his monthly rent. With the computers down, something begins to stir in Mark’s head, the idea of saying he had $800 as no one would be able to know if that is correct or not.

After he claims that he has $800 in his account, the computer s all begin to work just fine again. The woman beings to check his account and sees he only has $300 in his account, she instantly claims that there must be some mistake and hands him his $800.

That’s where The Invention of Lying truly takes off. Mark begins to use his newly discovered ability to his advantage; turning his bad luck completely around. Little does he realize that those little lies will soon have big affect on his world.

The movie isn’t just about the invention of lying; it’s also about really seeing people and not just judging someone by their appearance. It’s about looking past the hurtful things and looking at the positive things in everyone and everything.

The film also stars the likable Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Louis C.K., and Tina Fey in a comedy that is very easy to enjoy. At the beginning I was not quite sure what to expect as it starts off a bit odd, but you will quickly be thrown into this alternate reality and may find yourself surprised. The humor is great and I find the ending very satisfying. 8/10.

Blu-news Summary
The Blu-ray release is a bit average, featuring a decent video and audio presentation. Extras are a bit bland but the making-of featurette is enjoyable. Overall The Invention of Lying on Blu-ray is ‘Recommended.

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