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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF Blu-ray Review: I Love You, Man.

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   PatWahlquist


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Posted August 12 2009 - 01:19 PM

I Love You, Man (Blu-ray)
Studio: DreamWorks Home Video
Rated: R (for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
HD Encoding: 1080p
HD Video Codec: MPEG-4 AVC                
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1; French 5.1 Dolby Digital; Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese; English SDH+
Time: 104 minutes
Disc Format: 1 SS/DL BD
Case Style: Keep case
Theatrical Release Date: 2009
Blu-ray Release Date: August 11, 2009
Realtor Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a girlfriend guy, that is, he excels at being a great boyfriend by making spring salads, sharing a bottle of wine and watching Chocolate with his girl. This has served him well for years until he decides to marry Zooey (Rashida Jones) and the two discover Pete’s got no bro’s, no brah’s, no homies, no males he considers friends or really even hangs with. Since a wedding requires a best man, Pete begins the process of finding himself a guy, a BFF who can be the foundation of his stable of male friends. He tries various methods of courting including blind dates and online dating, but each candidate has his drawbacks. While Pete is showing Lou Ferrigno’s (as himself) house, he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a slacker dude who’s hunting rich cougars. The two start hanging out and a bromance ensues, allowing Pete to explore his inner guy while slappin’ the base and jamming with Sydney to Rush. However, with all good boy meets boy stories, boy loses boy, and Pete will need to decide if having bro’s is more important than having the quiet married life.
I Love You, Man jumps on the cultural bandwagon to exploit the concept of the “bromance” before its fifteen minutes are up. The idea of male bonding has always been a pretty natural and accepted concept and practice, but our society seems to need to label it to allow Joe Average to believe he’s in on something more primal. Are the days gone where two guys meet and determine they have at least some shared interest and it’s enough to bond them for life? “Bromance” suggests the wussification of male bonding and I am almost convinced a chick made up the phrase to further emasculate her male. By telling her beau that he and his best friend, by spending time together and enjoying each other’s company, share some sort of emotional connection (gasp!) bordering on romance, she has found yet another way to henpeck her man. Rudd, perhaps the least threatening actor working today, plays a character that conforms to all of the ideas of a momma’s boy who never evolved enough to enjoy the company of men, and with perhaps a different chink in his genetic armor he would have been gay. Pete’s brother, Randy (played very confidently by Andy Samburg) is gay and he teases that fine line between his sexuality and Pete’s allowing us to feel okay with our thoughts on Pete’s masculinity.
The movie, even with its very timid exploration of the “bromance” concept, has enough charm and wit to keep us interested and mildly amused. There’s only a couple laugh out loud moments (due in large part to the bickering duo of Jon Faverau and Jamie Pressly) and some absurdity (Lou Ferrigno), but the movie seems just too shy to take the next step although it hints at it regularly in some cringe inducing scenes. Rudd is good conveying his emasculinity, and Segel withdraws enough to make us think of a middle aged, somewhat smarter Jeff Spicoli. Jones plays the perky Zooey as was probably written, but it does nothing to really showcase how funny she can be, and that is a shame. While I wouldn’t go so far as to not recommend the flick, I think it may be best enjoyed with a significant other, a bottle of wine and a lovely salad.
Movie: ***/*****
Note: I am watching this title using a Marantz VP 11-S1 DLP projector, which has a native resolution of 1080p.   I am using a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player while a Denon 3808CI does the switching and pass through of the video signal.   I am utilizing the HDMI capabilities of each piece of equipment.
The Blu-ray disc is encoded in the MPEG-4 AVC codec at 1080p with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The image is very colorful throughout, almost to the point of oversaturation, showing a good palate of colors and shading. Flesh tones were rich and accurate showing fine lighting nuances in the actor’s faces. Detail and sharpness is excellent, showing many fine background items.  This being a release of recent vintage I noticed no dirt or distortion in the image and there was little to no edge enhancement. Black levels were good showing off some nice shadow detail. 
Video: ***/*****
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was attained by the HDMI connection of the PS3 to the Denon 3808CI.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track was unimpressive and thin, remaining primarily in the front channels and just barely engaging the surrounds. Once they are used, they are only to convey a little presence to the soundtrack. A comedy picture is rarely a contestant for a winning audio experience, but even the concert scenes with Rush conform to the rest of the presentation. At the Rush show, we never hear any bass, nor do we pick up anything in the rest of the soundtrack. While I wasn’t expecting a Transformers-like experience, I would have liked some acknowledgement of dynamic range. What is there is clear and clean and free of any debris or other distortions. Voices remained lifelike.
Audio: */*****
Bonus Material: all of this is in HD unless otherwise noted.
Commentary by Director John Hamburg, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel: The trio turns in a routine commentary as they joke around, talk about the other actors and the shoot.
The Making of I Love You, Man (17.29): cast and crew discuss how the project started and reflect on the making of the movie. There is some behind the scenes stuff of some of the more extreme scenes (such as the vomit scene) and the impact of Rush but otherwise nothing here is too spectacular.
Extras (22:25) is a compilation of nine scenes where the actors improv lines looking for the funniest line. While the finished film kept most of the best lines, there are still a lot of laughs.
The Gag Reel (11:25) gives us the obligatory flubs and hijinks that go on during the shoot of a comedy picture. The three Deleted Scenes (3:18) andthe six Extended Scenes (12:35) remind us of the power of editing. Finally, the Red Band Theatrical Trailer highlights the raunchier humor of the flick.
Bonus Material: **/*****
I Love You, Man tries really hard to excel as a comedy, but it only hits mediocre heights. It does have the requisite quirkiness to its characters, and the now common cringe worthy acts, but it falls shy of going just a little further to give you a hardy laugh instead of a chuckle.  The disc itself gives us a satisfactory picture and set of extras, but a really weak audio track.

ISO "Lost" ARG prints from Kevin Tong, Olly Moss, Eric Tan and Methane Studios.  PM me if you want to sell!

All reviews done on a Marantz VP11S1 1080p DLP projector.

Displays professionally calibrated by Gregg Loewen of Lion AV.

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted August 12 2009 - 03:12 PM

I rented the DVD and it sounds like I did not miss anything when comparing it to the Blu-ray.  I was amused to see that the projectile vomiting scene was a green-screen process shot.  Otherwise, as you say, it was mildly amusing and cringe-worthy. 

Worth a rental.

- Steve

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