Blu-ray Review Parental Guidance Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer

    Apr 24, 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Matt Hough
    XenForo Template Parental Guidance Blu-ray Review

    A generation gap farce with a sterling cast of comic leads, Andy Fickman’s Parental Guidance covers all of the familiar and expected territory in a story involving differing views about parenting between parents and grandparents. That’s not to say that there aren’t funny lines or some effective comic business to be found here (and there’s a hefty dose of sentiment to end with as well), but it’s all by-the-numbers with not a fresh idea in sight.

    Posted Image

    Studio: Fox

    Distributed By: N/A

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

    Rating: PG

    Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, UltraViolet

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 03/26/2013

    MSRP: $39.99

    The Production Rating: 3/5

    Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) have weeklong vacation plans at Hilton Head that don’t include their three children. With his parents unavailable to baby sit for a week, Alice reluctantly asks her old-school mother Diane (Bette Midler) and father Artie (Billy Crystal) to do the honors. They’re very much aware that they’re the last resort for their daughter with her 21st century methods of childrearing, but they make the trip from Fresno to Atlanta to help out and do their best. And they find they’re constantly challenged by the hyper-serious twelve-year old Harper (Bailee Madison), the stuttering eight-year old Turner (Joshua Rush), and the pre-school banshee Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf). All of their parenting methods seem to turn out disastrously with the three grandkids who are simply used to being dealt with with a different skill set, but small, positive events make the grandparents start to believe that it’s not a hopeless case with their grandchildren.Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse don’t miss an opportunity to work in possibilities for groin, puke, poop, and pee jokes (was there any doubt about it given the ages of the three kids), and none of them are especially effective. Better are the more charming and funnier moments when Diane takes Harper dress shopping making her feel like a million bucks or Artie tries to grasp the new rules for children’s baseball. In order for the film’s most ridiculous slapstick sequences to work, the seniors (especially Artie who makes one bone-headed decision after another) have to let common sense completely evaporate from their brains which sometimes tries the viewer’s patience. Director Andy Fickman stages two morning breakfast rituals – one with the parents where everything is organized and moves like clockwork and the other with the grandparents where Artie slaps together lunch sandwiches with his palm while Diane tries to serve breakfast in an unfamiliar kitchen – that are the best directed moments in the movie, beautifully choreographed and smoothly timed for ease in the case of the former and for bedlam in the case of the latter. Later in the film, comedy gives way to sentiment as the bonding slowly begins over a game of “kick the can,” and the song “Book of Love” is even worked into the movie as a showcase for the harmonies of Midler and Crystal.Billy Crystal gets most of the wisecracking lines (many of them improvised) which he handles with his usual off-the-cuff flair, and Bette Midler makes a good match for him without reverting to the outrageousness we know she’s capable of. Marisa Tomei gets some good scenes to show character growth and has a climactic moment with Crystal’s Artie that provides both actors with their best dramatic moments in the movie. The three children carry a lion’s share of the comedy and drama in the piece, and each performs well even if Kyle Harrison Breitkopf’s precocious Barker wears out his welcome in the tradition of many kiddie movie cutups. Of the leads, Tom Everett Scott has the least to do and is off screen more than the others, but he offers a solid turn as the easygoing dad. Gedde Watanabe has a couple of very funny moments as the proprietor of a Pan-Asian restaurant, and Rhoda Griffis plays Harper's strict Russian-accented violin teacher caricature with the expected broadness.

    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The film has been transferred in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Sharpness is generally excellent apart from a few weirdly soft shots at unexpected moments. Color saturation levels are very much under control resulting in rich color (the green lawns are quite striking) and believable flesh tones. Black levels are strong. The film has been divided into 31 chapters.

    Audio Rating: 4/5

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix doesn’t do much with its wide soundstage. Most of the movie’s sound design is frontcentric with only Marc Shaiman’s music occasionally dipping into the rears. Sound effects aren’t given any special attention for helpful pans or split effects, but Billy Crystal’s (and everyone else’s) wisecracks and verbal humor have been well recorded and have been placed in the center channel.

    Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

    Audio Commentary: director Andy Fickman and star-producer Billy Crystal share the microphone for the commentary. They carry on an entertaining conversation and manage to cover most of the high points in the film’s production between cracks and jokes.Deleted Scenes (13:00, HD): fifteen scenes are offered individually or in “play all,” and there is optional commentary from director Andy Fickman that can be turned on.Gag Reel (12:45, HD): lengthier than most.FXM Presents In Character (4:56, SD): Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, and Marisa Tomei together talk a bit about their characters and the dynamics of working together.Theatrical Trailer (2:10, HD)Promo Trailers (HD): Epic, Life of Pi, Chasing Mavericks, Won’t Back Down.DVD/Digital Copy: second disc in the set.

    Overall Rating: 3.5/5

    Parental Guidance mixes laughter and tears in a steady but unremarkable fashion. Fans of the stars will likely enjoy it, and the PG rating assures it’s safe for the whole family. The quality visual and audio encodes assure a fine viewing experience for those interested.

    Reviewed By: Matt Hough

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  2. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Jan 22, 1999
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    This is one of those movies that is very entertaining as long as you don't try to analyze it too much. :)
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Dec 31, 2003
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    Thanks for the review, Matt.

    I agree with Aaron's assessment. This was a very entertaining movie in the theater but certainly lightweight fare. It certainly doesn't warrant a $40 MSRP; I'd say this will be in the $5.00 or $10.00 Target BD section before too long as a single disc BD. I do give it kudos for one thing though; it is a family film that really is appropriate for the entire family and doesn't resort to an endless barrage of teen humor.

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