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    The Hangover Part III Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray Warner

    Oct 17 2013 09:20 AM | Ken_McAlinden in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    2009’s The Hangover was a surprise hit with a novel concept blending elements of mystery with outrageous comic surprises as its main characters tried to piece together the events of a wild night in Las Vegas that none of them can remember. 2011’s The Hangover Part II was an equally big hit, but was roundly criticized for merely rehashing its predecessor in a novel location. The Hangover Part III, billing itself as “The epic conclusion to the trilogy of mayhem and bad decisions", brings back nearly everyone except for Mike Tyson from the original film and adds a couple of comedy ringers in John Goodman and Melissa McCarthy for one more romp in a plot that does not hinge on the amnesia structure of the earlier films.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Warner Brothers
    • Distributed By: N/A
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
    • Rating: R
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 40 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet
    • Case Type: Standard Sized "VIVA Elite" case with two hubs and a cadrboard slipcase.
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region: A
    • Release Date: 10/08/2013
    • MSRP: $35.99

    The Production Rating: 2.5/5

    Directed by: Todd Phillips

    Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, John Goodman, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Melissa McCarthy, Mike Epps

    Taking place about a year and a half after the events of the previous film in the series, The Hangover Part III finds Alan (Galifianakis) off his meds and floundering after the death of a close family member. An intervention staged by his family reunites the “Wolf Pack” from the previous films, resulting in Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms), and Doug (Bartha) agreeing to transport Alan to an addiction treatment center in Arizona. While on the road, they are intercepted by a gangster named Marshall (Goodman), who has a vendetta against Mr. Chow (Jeong), who stole a fortune in gold from him between the events of the first two films. Marshall takes Doug as a hostage and threatens to kill him unless the others bring him Chow, who unbeknownst to Phil and Stu has recently escaped from a Thai prison and has been in regular contact with Alan. The search for the fugitive Chow sets Phil, Stu, and Alan off on a series of misadventures through Mexico and, eventually, the place where it all began: Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Having gone on record feeling cheated by The Hangover Part II's unapologetic re-hashing of the original film in the series, I will give the filmmakers full credit for avoiding that pitfall with this second sequel. Fans of the previous films will still find a lot of familiar elements as the plot throws the "Wolf Pack" into an escalating series of outrageous scenarios in which they are hopelessly overmatched.

    Fans of Ken Jeong's "Mr. Chow" will get a lot more of him in this sequel, which was not exactly a good thing from my perspective. I thought the character's potential was thoroughly exhausted in the second film where his standing as an international criminal was expanded and exaggerated. While it is still fun to see Jeong and Galafianakis play with the strangely affectionate relationship between their mis-matched characters, and Jeong's comic timing remains impeccable, his character is too often used as an obnoxious catalyst behaving as necessary to enable the film's outrageous set-pieces.

    Stripped of the amnesia plot device of the prior entries in the series, The Hangover Part III boils down to an action film with a trio of overmatched idiots at its center punctuated, of course, with outrageous gross-out humor. The blend of comedy, drama, and action works for about half of the film's running time, but the weight of the plot and a number of sidetracks that seem to have been created to give minor characters from the previous films a curtain call eventually bog things down. Once the Wolf Pack arrives in Las Vegas, the scales tip towards action and away from comedy with the notable exception of an amusing sequence involving a pawn shop owner played by Melissa McCarthy. Gags early in the film involving the deaths of people and animals come across as darkly comic, but returning to that well multiple times through the film's running time makes them seem less funny and more uncomfortably sadistic.
    Hangover Part III Playlist


    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film is presented in an AVC-encoded 1080p presentation at the original theatrical aspect ratio of approximately 2.4:1. Despite being a comedy, this film is shot and edited like a modern action blockbuster and this Blu-ray presentation certainly does it justice. The stylized cinematography is rendered with nary a digital artifact to be found. There are a couple of very minor instances where contast gets pushed into an unnatural range of black or gray, but they require very attentive viewing to notice and are hardly worth mentioning.

    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    The DTS-HD MA 24 bit 48kHz 5.1 audio track of the flm's soundtrack is quite impressive. The film is mixed with aggressive use of the whole 5.1 sound field during its many action set-pieces with a nice layering of dialog, effects, and score, all of which are rendered with terrific fidelity by the lossless encoding. Not all sequences are as creatively or immersively mixed as others, but as a whole, this is a very well rendered audio track. Alternate 640kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 language tracks are available in Spanish and French.

    Special Features: 2/5

    All features are presented in 1080p AVC encoded HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio unless otherwise indicated below.

    When the disc is first played, the viewer is greeted with the following skippable promos:
    • Ultraviolet Digital Copy Promo (5.1 Audio - 1:22)
    • We’re the Millers Home Video Trailer (5.1 Audio - 2:29)
    Proper extras accessible from the disc's "Special Features" menu consist of a series of featurettes and outtakes that are light on behind the scenes information. Details below:

    Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions (6:09) Is a tongue in cheek featurette where director Todd Phillips reveals the “secret auditions” he conducted to replace Galafianakis. On-screem comments and/or audition footage come from Zach Galifianakiss (“Alan”), Director /Writer/ProducerTodd Phillips, Bobby Moynihan, Matt Walsh, Justin Bartha, Rachel Harris, Rob Riggle, Tim Robinson, Bryan Callen, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Brody Stevens, Nick Cassavetes, Steve Aoki, and Jeffrey Tambor.

    The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts (5:10) focuses on stunts and action with a particular emphasis on the parachuting scene. On-camera comments are provided by Bradley Cooper (“Phil”), Ed Helms (“Stu”), Phillips, Ken Jeong (“Mr. Chow”), Producer Dan Goldberg, Galifianakis, and Stunt Coordinator/2nd Unit Director Jack Gill.

    Zach Galifianakis: In His Own Words (2:32) is two and a half minutes of Galafianakis offering random observations in an interview setting.

    Pushing the Limits (3:36) Looks at the hazards of working with animals and children during three specific sequences in the film. Viewers will hear from Phillips, Goldberg, Cooper, Visual Effects Producer Robert Stadd, Jeong, and Galafianakis,

    Inside Focus: The Real Chow (5:24) is another tongue in cheek featurette based on the premise that actor Ken Jeong is merely an alter ego front for his real identity of “Mr. Chow” who played himself in The Hangover movies. Interview comments are given by Jeong, Galafianakis, Cooper, Phillips, Goldberg, Helms (via a written statement), and John Goodman (“Marshall“),

    Action Mash-up (1:10) Is a brief montage of various action beats from the film. Not something anyone is likely to watch more than once.

    Extended Scenes (2:04) consists of three trimmed scenes separated by on-screen titles without chapter stops or the ability to select them individually via the on-screen menu:
    • I’ve Been Kicked Out of Burning Man Twice - Alan tries to buy some Ecstasy
    • Not Tonight Miguel - Chow turns down a street hustler he apparently knows well
    • Was That Sarcasm - An extended argument between Alan and Stu
    Outtakes (7:51) Is an above average and amusing mix of alternate takes/lines and occasional bloopers.

    SD DVD This Blu-ray Combo Pack edition also includes an SD DVD of the film. The film is presented in 16:9 enhanced SD video with Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Spanish, and French tracks with subtitles available in English SDH, French, or Spanish. There are no special features accessible form the DVD menu, although it includes the following series of skippable promos (presented in 4:3 SD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound unless othwerwise indicated) when the disc is first played:
    • Ultraviolet Digital Copy Promo (1:20)
    • Anti-Smoking PSA that satirizes energy drink commercials (1:03)
    • Man of Steel Home Video Trailer (3:04)
    • Batman: Arkham Origins Video Game Trailer(16:9 video - 1:54)
    • We’re the Millers Home Video Trailer (2:29)
    • Pacific Rim Home Video Trailer (2:26)
    Ultraviolet Digital Copy An insert in the packaging includes a code to unlock an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of the film. Using the code to redeem the digital copy allows viewers to access high definition streaming versions of the movie on portable devices, smart TVs, and set-top boxes connected to streaming services such as Flixster, Vudu, and CinemaNow.

    Overall Rating: 2.5/5

    Hangover Part III starts of promisingly and manages to improve on the unimaginative Hangover Part II, but upsets the balance between comedy and drama and loses its way by the film's final act. It is presented on Blu-ray disc with audio and video on par with modern big-budget Hollywood spectacles and way above par for modern Hollywood comedies. Extras are high in number, but low in value.

    Reviewed by: Ken_McAlinden
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    1 Comments

    Photo
    Carlo Medina
    Oct 17 2013 02:38 PM

    I'll go on record and say I was surprised to like this film as much as I did. It's no masterpiece, and it doesn't have the first-time shock and awe effect of the first one. But seeing as to how they essentially made the same film twice, I was pleasantly surprised to see them deviate from the formula. I thought it brought a nice closure to the trilogy. Of course the "coda" paid homage

    Spoiler
    Suffice it to say it had me laughing pretty hard, though.

     

    I'd give this movie a solid 3.0/5.0 stars.