Fatherhood Blu-ray Review

3.5 Stars Impressive dramatic performance

Kevin Hart plays a widowed single father in the Netflix dramedy Fatherhood, now available on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Fatherhood (2021)
Released: 18 Jun 2021
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 109 min
Director: Paul Weitz
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery
Writer(s): Dana Stevens, Paul Weitz, Matt Logelin
Plot: A father brings up his baby girl as a single dad after the unexpected death of his wife who died a day after their daughter's birth.
IMDB rating: 6.6
MetaScore: 53

Disc Information
Studio: Sony
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DTS, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 1 Hr. 49 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: Blu-ray keepcase
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: ABC
Release Date: 06/14/2022
MSRP: $34.99

The Production: 3.5/5

Matt Logelin (Kevin Hart) and his wife Liz (Deborah Ayorinde) are expecting their first child. During a routine follow-up at the doctor’s office, Liz’s doctor decides to perform an emergency Cesarean section that evening due to low amniotic fluid levels and the mature-size baby is in a breech position. The surgery is a success, but while recovering at the hospital, Liz suffers a pulmonary embolism and passes away. Devastated, Matt struggles through her funeral while both his mother Anna (Thedra Porter) and mother in-law Marion (Alfre Woodard) try to convince Matt to move back to Minnesota so they can help raise young Maddy. Matt refuses to relocate, and his boss Howard (Paul Reiser) is very understanding, allowing Matt to work from home as needed so he can be with Maddy, and his friends Jordan (Lil Rel Howery) and Oscar (Anthony Carrigan) pitch in. Even with all the help, Matt finds that being a single parent is exhausting and overwhelming, at least until Marion shows up for Maddy’s pediatrician exam, where Matt receives encouragement from both the doctor and Marion for his care of Maddy.

Fast forward five years and Matt has enrolled Maddy (Melody Hurd) in kindergarten at a private Catholic school, where Maddy doesn’t quite fit in after being raised more or less as a tomboy (Maddy finds skirts and even girl’s underpants uncomfortable, preferring slacks and boys’ briefs). Matt begins dating Swan (DeWanda Wise) after meeting her at a kid’s birthday party, and Maddy warms up to having Swan around. When Matt begins having trouble juggling his dating life and opportunities at work, he begins to question his role as a father.

I am not a big fan of Kevin Hart, and often find him annoying in many of his comedic films like Central Intelligence, but I did find him a bit more appealing in his previous dramatic attempt, The Upside. As Matt in Fatherhood, Hart shows an impressive dramatic range while still allowing his character to have a sense of humor. Alfre Woodard, who nearly always turns in a fantastic performance, brings Marion to the screen as a more dimensional character that could have easily been a stereo-typical mother in-law role. What carries the movie is the chemistry between Hart and Melody Hurd as the 5-year old Maddy, and their chemistry with DeWanda Wise as Matt’s love interest.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Fatherhood was captured digitally on Red Monstro cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The film has been available in 2160p and HDR on Netflix since June 18, 2021 (in a slightly different edit), and Sony has now released the film on Blu-ray with a nice 1080p AVC-encoded transfer. Detail is excellent, with nicely rendered panoramic shots of the Boston waterfront and cityscape in addition to well-textured fabrics and facial features. Colors appear natural and vivid without being over saturated. Contrast is very good, with decent black levels and strong shadow detail, although the Netflix presentation does do a better job in that department. My only complaint is that on this disc (as well as Vudu and Prime Video), the Netflix logo appears in full frame 16:9 while on both Netflix and on Apple TV, the Netflix logo appears in a 2.39:1 frame matching the movie presentation.

Audio: 4/5

The default audio option is a decent DTS-HD MA 5.1 track that is very front heavy, as expected for a dialogue-driven dramedy like Fatherhood. Surrounds are rarely used for anything other than music score and atmospheric extensions. LFE is adequate, giving the music score some additional low-end support. Dialogue is clear and understandable.

Special Features: 0.5/5

All that is provided is a Movies Anywhere digital copy code to redeem in HD.

Overall: 3.5/5

Fatherhood is an impressive dramatic turn for actor Kevin Hart, and I found the film to be touching and heartwarming. Presentation is very good, but extras are non-existent.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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