Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 22.3 GB
Film Size: 18.8 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A

Video
I Can Do Bad All By Myself comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film looks quite nice in high-definition, although dazzling is not how I would always describe it. For the most part the film looks like a typical new release on Blu-ray, sharp, clear and detailed.

At times certain moments were not very detailed and slightly out of focus, but due to the way the movie was filmed and not due to any tampering with the source. Colors on this release are very beautiful, rich and vibrant but never oversaturated or pushed. Black levels are also very solid from beginning to end without a moment that disappoints.

I definitely believe everything about the Blu-ray encode is faithful to the source and while I am not raving about it, I definitely don’t imagine it looking any better than it does now. I’m very pleased and often times impressed, it just does not compare to the very best. 8/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and I was not very impressed at all. The track is extremely front heavy, with the film really only using the surround speakers during a few noted moments. Those moments include a few seconds of rain and then whenever a choir is involved. Aside from those moments surround use is almost non-existent.

Another slight issue that bugged me was dialogue at times felt a bit lower than usual and not always as clear, keep in mind it only happens a few times. It just feels like the mics did not capture the dialogue clearly enough and nothing was done to resolve the issue, there is one part where Taraji P. Henson is yelling and it sounds so flat and almost muted in comparison to most of the dialogue.

The film’s sound effects are reserved for the front left and right surround speakers and it does not expand past that, there were definitely moments that could have used the surround sound speakers in very clever and enhancing ways.

Nothing about the audio track is bad, it just is a bit underwhelming after listening to many more active mixes lately. It’s a fine track and I’m sure it presents the movie with much better clarity than a Dolby Digital track does. 6/10.

Extras

A Soulful Ensemble (10:06) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about the film and stars of the movie. There is a great amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews included in this featurette.

The Power of Music (5:51) (HD)
The crew and cast talk about the inspiration to add musical numbers to the film.

Tyler's Block Party (4:41) (HD)
The crew talks about Tyler Perry's idea for a giant block party ending rather than the originally planned ending. See how they made it happen in such a short amount of time, including some great behind-the-scenes of filming.

Theatrical Trailer (2:25) (HD)

Bookmarks
Save your favorite scenes or where you left off and return to them later.

The extras on this release are not high in quantity, but the quality of each one is very strong. The extras definitely show that Tyler Perry was not very involved as bonus features go as he is never featured in interviews on the disc and does not provide a commentary track for the film.

Regardless, the extras are very informative and fun. They feature a great amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, and for a film with such basic settings they definitely covered a lot. 6.5/10.

Blu-news Summary
Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself is definitely my favorite Tyler Perry film so far and definitely his best as far as storytelling is concerned. Something that has always come with Tyler Perry movies is a semi-niche market; his films are not for everyone to say the least. All of his films feature God as a key highlight and while the acting is good, the use of characters such as Madea makes it hard for many critics to take his films seriously.

The movie starts off with the ever-popular Madea played by Tyler Perry as she hears someone breaking into her home, in which she finds three children doing the crime. The three children mean no harm as they have been without adult supervision since their mother is dead and their grandmother never returned home from work.

Madea asks if they have any more family, in which she finds they have an Aunt April (Oscar Nominee Taraji P. Henson). Aunt April is a nightclub singer with alcohol and smoking addictions, sleeping with a married man who helps pay her bills. Madea ends up leaving the children with her and she clearly is not ready to take care of them nor wants to, she much prefers to leave them with her mother who she cannot reach.

Another person comes into the picture fairly soon, a homeless handyman played by Adam Rodriguez, who agrees to help fix problems around April’s house in exchange for room and board. It’s a very dramatic film, but one that can also be very funny as well. The movie definitely hits a lot of serious issues such as pedophilia, sexual assault, alcoholism, death, growing up too soon, learning to love and finding God.

The movie had an impact on me and while not everyone will agree with the ‘message’ of the film, it’s definitely a very touching movie and features an amazing cast and performances. If you are not a fan of previous Tyler Perry movies, chances are you will still not like this one, but I have to say it’s definitely much better than previous work. If you are a fan of previous work you will definitely love I Can Do Bad All By Myself.

The movie may end happy, but it’s not a very happy film at all. The film will tug at your emotions; you will experience anger, sorrow, fear, pain and joy. Something that I think helped this film is the significantly less use of the character Madea, I know many people love the character, but she definitely makes these movies much more annoying than they have to be when the humor is not all that funny. In this case the character had some very great moments and lines and definitely adds to the movie without pushing it.

Maybe not everyone will enjoy Tyler Perry’s latest film, but I honestly did and I think many viewers will find themselves surprised by it as well. It’s not perfect at all, but there’s some great storytelling and acting this time around to keep you coming back for more. 8.5/10.

The Blu-ray release is good, featuring a pleasing video presentation and decent audio track. Extras may not be extensive but what is included is very strong. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to fans, and ‘Worth A Look’ to all others.

Additional Screenshots:

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