XenForo Template MEET THE FOCKERS Studio: Universal & Dreamworks Year: 2004 Length: 1 hr 56 mins Genre: Comedy/Ben Stiller Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 BD Resolution: 1080p BD Video Codec: VC-1 (@ an average 29 mbps) Color/B&W: Color Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 4.0 mbps – some music sections take it up to 5.1) French DTS 5.1 Spanish DTS 5.1 Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 (Crude and Sexual Humor, Language and a Brief Drug Reference) Release Date: November 30, 2010 Starring: Robert DeNiro Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner and Teri Polo Screenplay by: Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg Story by: Jim Herzfeld and Marc Hyman Directed by: Jay Roach Film Rating: 2 ½/5 Meet the Fockers is actually a little more tolerable than the first film of this series, primarily due to a shift in the story’s emphasis, and to the addition of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand to the ensemble, both of whom effortlessly bring an unforced comic sensibility into the proceedings. The change in emphasis is equally important. Where in the first film, the idea was to find as many ways to humiliate Ben Stiller’s Gaylord Focker as possible, the idea here is more tempered. Where Focker was the odd man out before, this time the one on the outside is Robert DeNiro’s Jack Byrnes. While Byrnes’ wife and daughter adapt well to their new impending in-laws, DeNiro’s character just can’t swallow the idea, and therein lies the obvious hook for a series of escalating set pieces where Byrnes tries to expose embarrassing truths about Focker, only to embarrass both men in the process. This still allows for a couple of fairly uncomfortable scenes of Ben Stiller getting humiliated, but there’s a lot less meanness this time around. And at the same time, there’s some fun business with DeNiro operating a futuristic spy center out of his RV and Barbra Streisand offering sex advice to the Byrnes. This still isn’t a film I would go out of my way to normally see, but this one at least earns its happy ending, and it’s mostly a fun affair along the way. Meet the Fockers was released Blu-ray on November 30 along with Meet the Parents, following past releases on standard definition DVD and HD-DVD. The new releases are clearly intended to coincide with the upcoming release of the new sequel, Little Fockers. The Blu-ray edition holds a high definition picture and sound transfer, along with the special features available on the HD-DVD and most of the features from the earlier DVD editions. Further Blu-ray functionality is also part of the package, including the My Scenes bookmarking function. VIDEO QUALITY 2/5 Meet the Fockers is presented in a 1080p VC-1 2.35:1 transfer that is apparently a re-encoded port from the HD-DVD. But something was not quite right about that transfer, as a study of the reviews of the HD-DVD has shown me. This transfer is not up to par with even the transfer given to the earlier film in the series. The level of detail, of sharpness, even of color, is noticeably lower than almost any other Blu-ray I have watched. If I didn’t know better, I’d say there is also a fair amount of edge enhancement. In short, this picture transfer almost looks like an upconverted SD transfer rather than a 1080p HD transfer. Given that the earlier reviews of the HD-DVD also pointed this out, it’s fairly obvious that we’re looking at a simple port-over from the earlier release, albeit re-encoded into a new file. I wish they would have addressed and fixed this before releasing the same transfer again. I should note that I am watching the film on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone is watching the film on a larger monitor and is having issues, please post them on this thread. AUDIO QUALITY 3 ½/5 Meet the Fockers is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, along with standard DTS 5.1 mixes in French and Spanish. As with the first film, the mix is mostly in the front channels, but the music levels here are a bit more aggressive. SPECIAL FEATURES 3/5 The Blu-Ray presentation of Meet the Fockers comes with the usual BD-Live connectivity and My Scenes functionality. Some standard definition extra features are carried over from the HD-DVD, including a scene-specific commentary, some deleted scenes and bloopers, a few featurettes, and Matt Lauer’s interview with the cast at the time of the film’s release. Commentary with Director Jay Roach and Editor Jon Poll – Jay Roach and Jon Poll’s scene-specific commentary is carried over from the earlier DVD and HD-DVD editions. Deleted Scenes – (15:45, 480p, Non-Anamorphic) The sequel film has more deleted material than the original film, one memorable scene of which has Ben Stiller playing both Focker and his lookalike Chicano baseball player at the closing party. Bloopers – (11:03, 480p, Non-Anamorphic) Here’s another 11 minutes of outtakes, although this time there’s a lot of wealth to be shared between Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro. At one point, Hoffman looks back to the camera while standing next to DeNiro and intones “You talking to me? You talking to me?”. Inside the Litter Box: Behind the Scenes with Jinx the Cat – (4:02, 480p, Full Frame) We get to revisit the world of the Himalayans playing the onscreen cat, although there’s also some tongue-in-cheek material from Ben Stiller about his feelings about working with the cat to boot… The Manary Gland – (3:05, 480p, Full Frame) This short featurette deals with the story point of Jack Byrnes going way beyond the call of duty to nurture his grandson. Fockers Family Portrait – (5:54 Total, 480p, Full Frame) This is a trio of featurettes/interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Ben Stiller about their characters. The Adventures of a Baby Wrangler – (5:32, 480p, Full Frame) This featurette deals with the young kids used to play Byrnes’ grandson in the film.. Matt Lauer Meets the Fockers – (7:57, 480p, Full Frame) Matt Lauer’s interview with the cast from the time of the film’s release is presented here. BD-Live - The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events. My Scenes - The usual bookmarking feature is included here. The film and the special features are subtitled in English, French and Spanish. The usual pop-up menu is present, along with a complete chapter menu. IN THE END... Meet the Fockers is a film that is certainly more accessible than its predecessor in the series. There’s more fun to be had here, and the addition of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand is a great idea that makes the whole thing go down much easier. My only problem with this Blu-ray is the picture transfer, the low quality of which simply doesn’t make sense. If fans of the movie want to buy this Blu-ray, I strongly recommend renting first, just to check the picture quality – it may not be that much better than the original DVD. Kevin Koster December 19, 2010.