Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Back-up Plan Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 29.4 GB
Film Size: 24.0 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 24th, 2010
Region: A
The Video
The Back-up Plan comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Like any new release the film certainly benefits from a high-def transfer and it is clear from the very beginning with a notable upgrade in clarity and detail.

The presentation is quite detailed throughout, I was particularly impressed by the quality and detail found in clothing textures. The level of detail isn’t always amazing, but I was almost always impressed by textures which were given a welcome dimension.

There are some scenes which do lack in detail, but not due to DNR. Some scenes just feel slightly out of focus or soft, but never waxy. There are moments which look much flatter in comparison to the rest of the film, but also not really a technical issue.

Colors are usually quite vibrant, other times a bit duller, but generally very natural looking. Black levels can be quite inky, but they can also be a bit underwhelming during flatter moments. Despite some low points, they still manage to look notably better than the standalone DVD release (not included).

Overall the presentation appears to be true to the source and I have no serious complaints. The film looks like it should, which is generally impressive, but it has some weaker looking moments from time to time. The presentation is easily appealing and fans will not be disappointed. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included. Optional subtitles include English and English SDH, talk about diversity.

The audio track included on this release is just as I had expected. The film is your general romantic comedy mix, quite front heavy with some effects thrown in here and there to make use of the surround speakers.

Dialogue is well-prioritized and always easy to understand. The film’s music also has a nice level of clarity that just isn’t the same on the lossy mix included on the DVD. The movie doesn’t provide a very impressive surround experience, but I like the small details added to busy city environments. The mix works with the content well, I don’t have any complaints. 7.5/10.

The Extras

Deleted Scenes (5:13) (HD)
Four deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition.

Belly Laughs: Making The Back-Up Plan (11:36) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of the film with footage from the set as well as interviews. This is definitely my favorite feature included, but there aren’t many to see.

Previews (HD)
High-def trailers are included for currently available and upcoming Blu-ray releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Bookmarks
Bookmark your favorite scenes and return to them later.

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

There aren't very many features are there, with only two actual features for the film itself. The features are enjoyable, but there definitely could have been more content included. 3/10.

The Movie
‘The Back-up Plan’ is what I considered to be the Jennifer Lopez comeback film. She has been in plenty of films in the past but it has been a while since we have last seen her in a mainstream comedy, the type of role she does well in, with films such as ‘Maid in Manhattan.’

To be totally honest, the trailer for ‘The Back-up Plan’ did look quite stupid and made the movie look quite predictable (although they completely changed some scenes from the trailer in the actual film). I still wanted to like the film however.

I went into the film with a clear mind and I actually was hoping to find plenty of positive aspects of the movie. The film starts off okay with a semi-interesting storyline, but quickly goes from mediocre to awful with a cringe-worthy moment in the last 20 seconds of the film.

The movie really just goes from mediocre to awful and I really hate to say this. Jennifer Lopez really looked awkward and I didn’t buy the chemistry between the two lead actors whatsoever. The story itself is quite bizarre to begin with, but I literally cringed during the last 20 seconds of what could have been a bad but not completely awful experience.

The last 20-30 minutes were in my opinion the worst moments of the film. The last 20 seconds however, made the entire film into a bigger joke than it already was, it literally ruined any positive aspects of the film. Is this a well done romantic comedy or a terribly written sitcom? I don’t know what they were going for, but it was definitely one of the stupidest and least funny moments I have seen in a film this year.

I was surprised by how much I disliked the film, especially considering I like more than my fair share of romantic comedies. I have no shame in admitting that I love a chick flick, there are some great ones released every year, but this one is clearly not one of them.

The movie wasn’t totally awful (I did like the baby aspect, although this hasn’t been the first in the past couple of years), it lacked originality with recycled gags and featured some humor that could have been better if the acting was better. If you like romantic comedies, maybe this one will work for you. The entire experience can be described as bland, putting it nicely. 4/10.

The Blu-news Summary
The Back-up Plan is a predictable and unoriginal mess. While the film did have some redeeming qualities, the last 10-20 seconds really made pushed me over. The Blu-ray release is good, featuring a respectable video presentation and fitting audio mix. There are not many bonus features on the release however. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to fans, but those new to the film should really just ‘Skip It.

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