Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Death at a Funeral (2010) Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 41.7 GB
Film Size: 27.2 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABC
The Video
Death at a Funeral (2010)’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Like any new release film, the high-def presentation is impressive and filled with detail. There are also moments which were just slightly disappointing, but still an improvement from DVD.

Detail levels were probably my favorite aspect of the video presentation, there were some stunning moments in which every hair and every facial imperfection is clear as can be, reminding you why Blu-ray is so amazing.

Colors are also very nice and definitely on the warmer side. Black levels were strong and did not feature any noticeable crushing, but I do wish blacks were just a tad inkier at times. The black levels were truly the only slight disappointment to an overall impressive Blu-ray release.

Comparing the film to DVD version of the film made the experience even better. Movies on DVD can look decent when upconverted, but this one does not. Maybe that was because I did a comparison directly after watching the Blu-ray release and the results stood out even more, whatever the reason, the Blu-ray release is a clear improvement in every aspect.

The Blu-ray release appears to be true to the source and everything is presented without a hitch. I found no technical flaws with the video presentation and just about any viewer will be more than pleased by the high-def visuals. Have we seen better looking films on Blu-ray? Yes, but I don’t think ‘Death at a Funeral’ can look much better than it does now. 9/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track are the lossless options included. Also included are Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Descriptive Service tracks. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

When I finished watching this movie, I realized I didn’t have much to say about the audio mix at all. Not because I wasn’t paying attention, but there really wasn’t much worth mentioning at all. The film is a comedy so I expected the movie to be a bit more front heavy, but there were very few surround moments which stood out to me.

There are positive aspects of the mix though, one being dialogue. Dialogue levels are presented front and center, but they are crisp and easy to understand throughout. The film’s audio effects are more present in the front speakers, but they did sound clear as well.

The film’s music was light but well-balanced to the overall feel of the film. Overall the audio will satisfy viewers, but those hoping for a new demo mix will be quite disappointed. 7/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

Connect to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie. You must have a BD-Live connected Blu-ray player to use MovieIQ.

Audio Commentary
With Director Neil LaBute and Chris Rock.

Deleted Scenes (7:13) (SD)
Seven deleted scenes are included in standard-definition.

Gag Reel (2:37) (SD)
This is your typical gag reel, filled with some funny moments and some rather dull moments (mostly dull).

Death at a Funeral: Last Rites, Dark Secrets (20:11) (HD)
Chris Rock talks about first seeing the original ‘Death at a Funeral’ film and the idea to remake it. This feature includes plenty of behind-the-scenes footage throughout.

Family Album (11:00) (HD)
This feature goes through the cast as they talk about their characters and their position in the family tree.

Death For Real (5:54) (HD)
The actors in the film talk about death and the funerals that accompany.

Previews (HD)
High-def trailers are included for ‘The Karate Kid (2010),’ ‘Grown Ups,’ ‘Stomp the Yard: Homecoming,’ ‘The Back-Up Plan,’ ‘Bad Boys,’ and ‘The Other Guys.’

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures theatrical and Blu-ray releases.

Disc 2:

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

The extras included on this release are definitely satisfying, there just aren’t as many features as I would have liked to see included. The audio commentary was entertaining and provided plenty of laughs and behind-the-scenes information about production.

I am glad Sony included the gag reel and deleted scenes, but it is a shame they were included in standard-definition. The Digital Copy is a nice addition for fans of the film, take it on your iPod, iPhone or even iPad and enjoy it on the go. 6/10.

The Movie
‘Death at a Funeral (2010)’ is a remake of a 2007 British comedy of the same name. I have admittedly never seen the original, but I definitely want to after seeing this version. I went in with semi-high expectations, despite some less than positive theatrical reviews. I did find it odd though that the original is just a few years old, I guess that's Hollywood for you.

Regardless, I love the cast involved and the trailer was certainly funny enough. I went in expecting a stupid ‘leave your brain at the door’ comedy and that is exactly what we get. The story is completely wacky as things go from bad to worse throughout the day of the funeral.

The film stars Chris Rock among an impressive number of cast members, including Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Danny Glover, Peter Dinklage, Zoë Saldaña, James Marsden and Luke Wilson.

I give remakes a fair shot, although most tend to disappoint if not upset. Having never seen the original I went in with nothing to compare it to and maybe that is why I found myself to actually enjoy it. I love a fair share of stupid films, just as long as they don’t reach ‘Norbit’ level.

‘Death at a Funeral’ is a stupid film (intentionally so) and I found myself laughing through the entire film. There were very few dull moments in the movie and while not everyone will enjoy the potty humor (literally), I think many will find themselves pleased by the film overall.

The entire cast really impressed me, Tracy Morgan and James Marsden especially brought the laughs. This really is a film in which you should leave your brain at the door, smart this film is not, but entertaining it definitely is. Some may hate it, but I personally really liked it. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘Death at a Funeral (2010)’ is a fun wacky comedy featuring a great video presentation and pleasing audio mix. The extras satisfy, but more should have and likely could have been included. Overall this release is ‘Highly Recommended’ to fans of the film and ‘Worth a Look’ to all others.

Additional Screenshots:

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