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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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Welcome to the Jungle (2013) Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray Universal
- Studio: Universal
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS, Other
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Dutch, Other
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 35 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
- Case Type:
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: ABC
- Release Date: 03/25/2014
- MSRP: $26.98
The Production Rating: 1/5There are times when the role of a reviewer is to protect the reader from an unpleasant experience. Welcome to the Jungle offers one of those times. Simply put, it’s an unfunny exercise, throwing the audience onto a remote tropical island along with an uninteresting bunch of corporate ad company folk and a survival training “expert” (Jean-Claude Van Damme). The movie starts out with some painfully unfunny moments in the corporate office with boss Dennis Haysbert (who seems to have only been around for a couple of days of this shoot) and progresses to a low-rent version of Survivor meets Lost meets Lord of the Flies. Along the way, the viewer is subjected to a series of repellant moments of bathroom humor and character humiliation. One must assume the filmmakers thought they were making an homage to the uncomfortable style of Ricky Gervais and The Office. Unfortunately, they forgot to bring the funny. Even the one potentially funny gag of the movie – Van Damme being attacked out of nowhere by a tiger (a joke lifted from Samuel L. Jackson’s hysterical cameo in Deep Blue Sea), is immediately repeated three times until it’s just as painful to watch as the rest of the movie. While I doubt readers have been eagerly awaiting this film, I feel it is my responsibility to warn people not to spend their home entertainment coin in this direction. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Welcome to the Jungle will be released on Blu-ray on March 25th.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
Welcome to the Jungle is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.40:1 transfer (@ an average 36 mbps) that does a good job of presenting the tropical island locale, particularly during the daylight scenes. The night scenes are intentionally murky. One supposes you could turn the sound off and just enjoy the scenery when it’s there.
Audio Rating: 4/5Welcome to the Jungle is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English (@ an average 3.5 mbps). The good part is that the dialogue is clear and intelligible when most of the cast is speaking. The drawback is that the dialogue is clear and intelligible, confirming that the writing really is as bad as the viewer may suspect after about 60 seconds has gone by. The dialogue from Van Damme is a bit hard to understand at times, but that’s not a fault with the mix. Even fans of Van Damme concede that dialogue has never been his strong suit. The Blu-ray also contains DTS 5.1 mixes in Spanish, French, Italian, and Thai
Special Features: 1/5The Blu-ray presentation of Welcome to the Jungle comes with a single deleted scene, and, impossibly, an hour long assembly of BTS footage from the shoot.
Behind the Scenes (59:13, 1080p) – I cannot believe that this movie merited nearly an hour’s worth of on-set footage and interviews. This assembly is nearly as tedious as the movie itself, and that’s saying something. It’s frankly disheartening that a movie like this gets an hour’s worth of on-set footage included on the disc while more worthwhile pictures struggle to get perhaps three to five minutes worth of interviews for the fans.
Deleted Scene (1:25, 1080p) – Here’s another scene of the cast trudging through the jungle.
Digital Copy – Instructions are included in the packaging for downloading a digital copy of the movie to your laptop or portable device.
Subtitles are available for the film and the special features, in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Thai, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, and of course, Icelandic. A full chapter menu is available for the film.
I note that the main menu for this movie is designed to look a little bit like a computer interface and can be a little confusing at first. Beware of hitting the “Home” option, as this will just run you through all the opening screens and previews again. Below that option, you’ll see icons for “Play”, “Chapters”, “ Extras”, etc. This assumes, of course, that you’ve disregarded my warnings here and decided to see the carnage for yourself.