The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 86 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Romany Malco, Justine Timberlake, Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Marco Schnabel
Music by: George S. Clinton
Written by: Mike Myers & Graham Gordy
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 16, 2008
"His karma is huge"
A hilarious comedy starring Mike Myers as guru Pitka in his first original character since the blockbuster hit Austin Powers. Myers plays an American raised in India by gurus (Tugginmypudha & Satchabigknoba) and returns to the U.S. in order to break into the self-help business. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player (Romany Malco), whose wife left him for a rival athlete Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake).
I saw the trailer for The love guru earlier this year and it didn’t look all that funny so I was not going to bother seeing it theatrically. Trailers don’t always provide a good perspective and the cast looked decent enough. I like Mike Myers and I am a fan of his Austin Powers films so I expected something along those lines. Well I was disappointed. For me this film just tried too hard to generate one line after the other that would tickle our funny bones but failed to do so. This may be a new character for Mike but the delivery and comedic style are pretty much what we have seen before. That isn’t necessarily a problem as long as the situations and dialogue offer something fresh. It wasn’t the case. The Austin Powers films featured multiple (in some cases Myers played several in one film) complex characters played by various actors/actresses as well as smart dialogue, comedic references and well placed celebrity cameos that all came together to give those films a funny and refreshing appeal. This film centered around Myers playing guru Pitka who is not particularly appealing. He is a relationship specialist who was born in North America but raised in the far east. His expertise is required by the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Team after their star player Darren Roanoke’s (Romany Malco) wife Prudence (Meagan Good) leaves him and begins dating another hockey player Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake). This adversely effects his play and is hurting the teams chances for making the playoffs. He is called in and is immediately smitten with the team owner (and who can blame him?) played by Jessica Alba. The team’s coach is played by Verne Troyer (Mini Me from Austin Powers) and he is totally against the idea. Guru Pitka and Jane (Alba) seem to be attracted to one another but there is a problem. He is unable to follow through on his feelings because he is wearing a chastity belt.
That is the basic premise of the film. There are some flashback sequences which take place in India during guru Pitka’s younger years. These feature his cross eyed mentor guru Tugginmypuda played by Ben Kinglesy as well as some creepy effect where they put Mike Myers’ face on the body of a 12 year old to simulate him at an earlier age. Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan play Hockey game sport commentators. Colbert is a recovering drug addict who uses his on air time to run through his recovery steps by apologizing to those he has wronged while high on drugs. There are boring cameos by Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer, Kanya West and Mariska Hargitay. 85 percent of the humor is somehow related to words used to describe the male genitalia. I won’t ever be able to forget the scene later in the film where two elephant’s hump on the ice during the last minutes of a hockey game in order to provide a distraction for Darren. This is followed by a camera shot of two over weight spectators looking at one another affectionately then kissing intimately (fat joke anyone?). There are a few jokes thrown in about little people for good measure. I did think that Justine Timberlake was good as Jacques Grande and any time spent watching Jessica Alba is prime time indeed. However, this film just didn’t have the fresh and funny humor or imaginative characters from other Mike Myers movies. I will admit that there were a few chuckles but they were too few and far between. I spent the entire 86 minutes of this film waiting for it to get better.
The rating is for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some comic violence and drug references.
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:
The love guru comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps.
This is a high bitrate video encoding that looks great. High level high definition detail is present throughout so that images are rendered with pristine quality. Colors are bright and overly saturated which made them sometimes appear exaggerated when there were scenes where hues were present onscreen in multiple layers. I wouldn’t define that as a shortcoming necessarily. To my eyes colors were visually pleasing with vivid detail and lush variety. Flesh tones had natural color with sufficient diversity and tonal delineation among the various cast members. Contrast and black levels were good enough that blacks had good depth and whites were not over cooked/blooming. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts or compression noise. The audio presentation was quite good and easily rendered the source elements with excellent clarity and punchy dynamics. The surrounds are active at times and were used to good effect for panning sound effects and reproducing music related ambience. The mix isn’t very aggressive but does create an enjoyable surround sound experience that perfect matched the tone of the film. Dialogue and front channel audio is delivered with excellent tonal variation and crystal clear sonics. I thought that this soundtrack sounded great.
The bonus content takes a fun look at the film and production through behind the scenes footage and cast/crew interviews. It is all offered in high definition and is the same feature package that is offered on the standard definition DVD.
- (HD) Mike Myers and The love guru: An inside look
- (HD) One hellava elephant
- (HD) Hockey training for actors
- (HD) Bloopers
- (HD) Back in the booth with Trent and Jay
- (HD) Outtakes and more
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Digital Copy bonus disc- A standard definition copy of the film that can be downloaded to a portable playback device from a PC or MAC
As I watched The love guru I kept hoping that it would get better but unfortunately it never did. I think that its humor left nothing to the viewer’s imagination and kept bombarding us with too many jokes and situational comedy that involved crude sexual innuendo and drug references that has simply gotten old. I like Mike Myers but this film left me disappointed. I look forward to something fresh and new from him in the future. On the plus side this is a high quality Blu-ray Disc video presentation with a solid bonus supplement package from Paramount that fans of the film will surely appreciate.
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