The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry, Treat Williams
Directed by: Tom Vaughn
Music by: Christopher Beck
Written by: Dana Fox
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 26, 2008
"It's a battle of the sexes and their playing dirty"
After the wildest party night of their lives, two mismatched strangers, Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and Joy (Cameron Diaz), wake up in Vegas to discover they not only got lucky -- they got married! The road to annulment takes a hilarious turn after Jack wins a three million dollar jackpot while playing Joy's quarter and a no-nonsense judge (Dennis Miller) sentences them to six months "hard marriage." What follows is an all-out war of the sexes as Jack and Joy go to outrageous lengths to try and cheat each other out of the money. But in the end, they may just learn that when you gamble on love, you win against all odds.
I don't mind romantic comedies as long as they have likeable characters and are indeed funny. There are literally dozens of films that use a theme similar to that of What happens in Vegas. The unlikely couple, the battle for money, the one upping back and forth, the one event that causes a rift just after the two begin to realize what they mean to one another, and then the ending (we all know what happens next). It was pretty easy to see what is coming right from the beginning but I don't necessarily have a problem with that provided that there are some laughs along the way. For me it is important that the main characters be likeable and that there be some onscreen chemistry between the two actors who are carrying the ball. In this case I didn't sense that Diaz and Kutcher gelled and their performances together felt forced. I liked the two supporting players in Bell and Corddry and thought that they helped to make the film a more entertaining experience. There are some outrageous moments and clever dialogue that help to propel the story along. Unfortunately this is not a memorable movie among the many others in its genre that do a better job.
The rating is for some sexual and crude content, language, and a drug reference.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
What happens in Vegas comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.
The quality of the video was disappointing. High contrast levels resulted in distorted and blown out whites that lacked detail. The color palette contained lots of bright hues and various shades that had an exaggerated look which made them unnatural. Greens were too yellow and neon looking and primaries were too hot. Flesh tones looked orangey and burnt (especially Diaz and Farina) and gave the appearance of an over abundance of sun exposure. Blacks were plenty deep but crushed and shadow detail was just average. Resolution was adequate however fine detail within the image was inconsistent which resulted in some scenes appearing flat and lacking in visible surface structure. Close ups didn't have the definitive texture and nuance that is usually present in quality high definition video. Dimensional perspective in distant and panning shots was very good at times and just average at others.
The audio presentation was good as it delivered the elements present in the soundtrack very well. Dialogue was rendered wit h aplomb and sound excellent throughout. Dynamics were potent enough to give the music and busier scenes plenty of depth and punch. Surround sound use was not constant but was certainly apropos and at times engaging. One such example occurs at 9:20 in the end of chapter four when both Joy and Jack separately realize that they are going to Vegas to forget their troubles. There is a really cool surround effect that passes through the room going from left to right, then around the back and bounces back and forth between the surrounds. Low bass comes in the form of the pulse pounding beat of the film's music and it sounds great.
The bonus supplements don't really dive into the production side of the film at all. The audio commentary touches on it a bit as does the DVD Extra Time piece. The remainder consists of more fluff than anything else. Ashton and Cameron fans will appreciate the Sitting down with them segment but it is strange and disjointed in my opinion. The deleted and extended scenes ended where they belonged and the Rob Corddry Law Firm of Stephen J. Hader was sort of bizarre. Fox has included a standard definition Digital Copy Disc which will the film to be downloaded to a portable playback device from a PC or MAC. I was happy to see that the bonus features were all in high definition (Woo Hoo!)
- Audio commentary track with Director Tom Vaughn and Editor Matt Friedman
- Bottoms up!: Interactive drinking game that is played during the film.
- (HD) Gag reel
- (HD) 6 Deleted/Extended scenes
- (HD) From the Law Firm of Stephan J. Hader Esq. - Spoof featuring Rob Corddry
- (HD) DVD Extra Time with Zack Galifiankis: Featuring Director Tom Vaughn
- (HD) Sitting down with Ashton & Cameron
- (HD) Fox's Inside Look at upcoming projects: Marley & Me
- SD Digital Copy bonus disc
What happens in Vegas is a run of the mill romantic comedy that is not a stand out in its genre but is somewhat entertaining none the less. The stars didn't have great onscreen chemistry which made their characters less likeable. The co-stars were the ones that provided the film's entertainment. I enjoyed the DTS-HD Master Audio lossless sound quality and thought that the video presentation could have been better. The bonus features were more fluff than substance but I suspect that fans of the film will be happy with them. I would recommend this one as a rental only.
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