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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BD REVIEW: Marley & Me



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#1 of 1 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted April 06 2009 - 04:12 PM



Blu-ray Disc Review





Posted Image

MARLEY & ME

3-DISC BAD DOG EDITION


Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 2008
Film Length: 115 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour/B&W: Colour

BD Specifications:
Resolution: 1080/24p
Video Codec: AVC @ 28MBPS
Disc Size: BD-50

Audio:
  • English DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
  • Spanish Dolby 5.1 Surround
  • French Dolby 5.1 Surround

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Portuguese
    Film Rating: PG







  • Release Date: March 31, 2009


    Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Starring: Owen Wilson (John Grogan), Jennifer Aniston (Jennifer Grogan), Eric Dane (Sebastian), Alan Arkin (Arni Klein)

    Screenplay by: Scott Frank & Don Roos
    Directed by: John Frankel



    Heel the love


    I’ll admit it: I didn’t have high hopes for this film. I’m not a dog person, especially big dogs. I don’t like it when other people’s dogs jump on me. I don’t like it when they slobber on me or try to lick my face especially after they’ve chewed on some other dog’s turd. I don’t like their fur all over the house and I especially don’t like the lingering smell they leave. Watching Marley & Me confirms that my opinions on this matter haven’t changed. A dog is an animal, and sometimes animals are best left outside (I can imagine the hate mail I’ll get now). But whatever your opinion of dogs is, they are beautiful creatures and man’s best friend. We give them names and personalities, and owners treat them as members of the family. An attachment to one’s dog can be just like living with the love of your life, and the death of one’s furry friend can be just as devastating for a family.

    Marley & Me chronicles the story of the Grogans, a couple who brings a dog into their life shortly after their wedding. While this cute “clearance puppy” Marley is adorable in the beginning, the Grogans soon learn the challenges that come with pet ownership. Marley is soon labelled as the “world’s worst dog.” Yet, even during all of these challenges (especially when the Grogans begin raising a family), no matter how in the way Marley is or how much of a burden he is, the family still finds a way to love him for the years to come. This comedy is both entertaining and touching even for a no-dog-allowed guy like me.

    This Blu-ray set includes an HD Blu-ray disc of the film, a standard DVD of the film, and a digital copy of the film. Fox seems to have everyone covered with this release! Annoying are the FIVE forced trailers and a promo when the disc is inserted: a digital copy promo in SD, and HD trailers of Night at the Museum II, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Australia, Bride Wars, and Pink Panther II. Stop this madness!


    Posted ImageVIDEO QUALITY: 4.5/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Marley & Me looks good in HD. Image depth is very good, detail looks on par with other good HD releases. The shooting location of Hollywood Beach, FL looks sunny and vibrant, and just as beautiful as I remember it (I only know this because I there visiting just two weeks ago - I’m jealous of you residents enjoying the sun while I’m in the cold and gray skies) There is nothing in the image that seems out of the ordinary to me. It’s not a dark film by any means, so interiors come across adequately lit, black levels are very good giving the image nice contrast and depth. As a personal preference opinion, I don’t see the colours falling in the “natural” category as the whole film has that that slight pastel post-production look to it. Thankfully it doesn’t look completely airbrushed devoid of all detail. But then it is video, and filmmakers need to work within the video realm which has substantially less colours than both film and reality. The aspect ratio is 2.39:1.


    Posted ImageAUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Zzzzzzzzzz. Marley & Me has a standard 5.1 audio soundtrack encoded in DTS-HDMA. The lossless encoding is perfectly fine and I would choose nothing less than lossless no matter how unexciting the sound design…but, it’s the sound design that makes the movie that much enjoyable. There isn’t much to write about here. The center channel does most of the work so hopefully you’ve got a good center (everyone should – it’s the most important movie speaker!). Dialogue doesn’t sound out of place or aggressive. It’s spatial and polite in each scene. The stereo front channels get some music and small sound effects for ambience and the surround pair get the same but on a much lower scale. Don’t expect much hifi when listening to this soundtrack.

    TACTILE FUN!!: 1/5 ZERO

    TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: ON

    The LFE channel gives isn’t very active and adds a modest amount of bass for this film. I don’t believe the bass shaker enhanced my enjoyment of this film.


    Posted ImageSPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5 Posted Image Posted Image


    Disc one includes both the original theatrical cut and the director’s cut. The commentaries available on the original two DVD can only be selected based on the version of the film you choose. On the theatrical cut we get:

  • nineteen deleted scenes with optional director’s commentary (HD, 25:58)
  • Finding Marley featurette (HD, 7:48) – about casting dogs
  • Breaking the Golden Rule featurette (HD, 8:02) – actors working with the dogs
  • On Set with Marley: A Dog of All Trades featurette (HD, 2:36) – fun interview with Marley
  • Animal Adoption featurette (HD, 5:19) – about adopting
  • Gag Reel (HD, 5:40) – compilation of pieces of scenes to silly music
  • When not to Pee featurette (HD, 2:17) – the difficulties of trying to re-enact a spontaneous pee moment
  • Dog Training Trivia Track - (HD, 17:12) 12 BonusView trivia pieces that can be played during the film or separately for players without BonusView.


    IN THE END...

    Marley & Me is a title pleasing to watch on Blu-ray both for its video quality and content. The audio may not be the most exciting to listen to, but the good spread of special features should more than make up for it. Recommended for all, not just dog lovers.

    Michael Osadciw
    April 06, 2009.

    Review System

  • Warner Bros. Blu-ray Reviewer
    Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment Blu-ray Reviewer

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator
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