The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2009
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Feature running time: 100/108 miinutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor
Directed by: Todd Philips
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 15, 2009
"Some guys just can't handle Vegas"
They planned a Vegas bachelor party that they would never forget. Now they really need to remember what exactly went down! A baby? A tiger? Why is one of them missing a tooth? And most of all, where is the groom?! What the guys did while partying can't compare to what they must do sober in an outrageous caper that has them piecing together all their bad decisions from the night before-- one hazy clue at a time.
Writing reviews allows me the opportunity to view a wide array of movies. Being a film enthusiast I appreciate that opportunity and am always pleased whenever I come across a film that I haven't seen that I find enjoyable. The hangover is just such a film and after hearing from many that found it very funny I am happy to report that I am now one of them. Conceptually it doesn't really break new ground as it is a bro flick about a group of friends celebrating the impending marriage of one of them by heading to Vegas for a bachelor party type overnight getaway. Doug (Bartha) is getting married and his long time buddies Phil (Cooper) a teacher, and Stu (Helms) a dentist decide that a boys bachelor trip to celebrate his last moments of freedom are in order. Doug opts to invite his future brother in law Alan, ( Galifianakis) an odd nerd nick, along for the trip. Future father in law Sid (Tambor) insists that Doug take his prized vintage Mercedes Benz for transportation as long as he doesn't let Alan or Phil (I don't like that Phil guy) drive it. After arriving and checking into Caesar's Palace the four men sneak up onto the roof for a quick celebratory drink before heading out. The scene switches to the next morning, Phil, Alan, and Stu awaken in their Caesar's Palace villa completely hung over. The place is in shambles, Stu is missing a tooth, there is a live, full grown tiger in the bathroom and a small bundle of joy hidden away in a closet. On top of that, Doug the groom to be, is no where to be found. None of them has any recollection of the events that transpired and after collecting themselves seek to unravel what happened during the night in order to find Doug and get him back in time for his wedding. The story begins at the end and is told in a series of segmented flashbacks that comes full circle arriving back at the opening point.
Ed Helms is probably best known recently for his role as Andy on NBC's The Office is my favorite in the role of Stu. He is the hen pecked boyfriend of a domineering, bitch on wheels who he is so afraid of that he has to lie to her about where they are going for the weekend (he tells her they are going to Napa Valley). He has convinced himself that life with her is normal. Did I mention that she slept with a bartender while they were away on a cruise and beat Stu up last year? Phil is married with a child both of whom he rarely speaks of. He did manage to talk his students into paying 90 bucks each for an upcoming class trip which he takes the money for to help finance this Vegas expedition. Then there is Alan, a beard wearing, overweight, pager/man purse carrying nerd nick who has an IQ of under 20. As an add on there is Doug who is really the only normal one among them, but of course the problem being he is MISSING! As they retrace their steps more and more of the incredible events that took place the night before are revealed. The last of two of which are how Stu lost his tooth and Doug's whereabouts. What happens in between is silly but engagingly funny as the three of them encounter a host of ridiculous situations which include meeting former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson (he plays himself), a couple of angry patrol car missing Vegas cops, a stripper (did I mention that she is now married to Stu?) and a group of pissed off Asian thugs. All of this and they still haven't found Doug!
Warner has included both the theatrical and unrated versions on this Blu-ray Disc release which is a plus for fans. I watched the unrated version which adds 8 minutes to the original's runtime. This movie is a hoot and features some laugh out loud moments of hilarity. It really doesn't much rely on graphic shock style comedy (although there are a few) but derives its humor from its well drawn characters in Phil, Alan, and Stu as well as a script teaming with clever, witty dialogue and awkward situations that are primed for laughs. Their interaction plus their perception of the events going on around them are priceless. Each adds an important element to the group and the balance simply works. Phil, the sarcastic voice of reason who basically says what everyone else is thinking. Stu, the lovable, loyal, but blind dumb ass that allows himself to be bullied not only by his girlfriend but Phil as well. Alan is the odd man out that provides the catalyst for the film's awkward moments which ultimately result in everyone's troubles. I thought that this was the funniest movie I have seen all year and can't wait to take it for another spin. It is one of those films that will have you laughing at all the same parts each time you watch it. I had a blast
The film contains pervasive language, sexual content including nudity (graphic nudity in the unrated version) and some drug material.
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 hangover comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 15 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.3 mbps.
High definition detail is notable as images are firmly resolved, with defining sharpness and two dimensional depth. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation tonal warmth and vibrant textures. This is especially apparent during the sequences shot in the various Las Vegas venues featured in the film. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is well balanced which enriches both light and dark onscreen elements.
The lossless audio soundtrack rendered clear, well articulated dialogue that maintained a notable position of prominence within the front soundstage. Sound effects had good dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and definitive. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it appropriately conveys the films elements via a convincing front soundstage which is supported by occasional splashes of atmosphere from the rear channels. Detail was rendered with aplomb which attenuated slight environmental cues and augmented the subtle texture of voices and sound effects. There was no real deep bass associated with the sound track but it contained low frequency impact where appropriate.
- Theatrical and Unrated versions of the film
- Behind the story: PiP commentary (theatrical version only)
- (HD) Map of destruction - Interactive feature linked to clips & behind the scenes info/interviews based upon locations in Las Vegas visited by characters in story
- (HD) The madness of Ken Jeong - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Action mash-up - 35 second summary of the action based moments in the film
- (HD) Three best friends song - featuring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis
- (HD) The Dan Band - performing Fame based on a scene from the film
- (HD) Gag reel - 8 minutes
- More pictures from the missing camera - Filling in more of the gaps in the events of the mysterious night out
- WB BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
I thoroughly enjoyed The hangover. It may not offer anything new from a conceptual standpoint but has a fresh appeal that I found entertaining. I think that much of its success can be found in its well drawn characters and facetious narrative that had me in stitches on more than one occasion. It comes to Blu-ray Disc day and date with DVD from Warner and shines with a great looking high definition video transfer and good lossless sound quality. The Bonus features do little to enhance the experience although the 8 minute gag reel is worth a watch if you liked the film. I appreciate the inclusion of a Digital Copy which allows those with portable media players to take the film on the go. If you enjoy a good comedy The Hangover on Blu-ray Disc will make a worthwhile addition to your collection. Enjoy!
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