The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Selena Gomez, Joey King, John Corbett, Sandra Oh, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Duhamel
Directed by: Elizabeth Allen
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Written by: Laurie Craig & Nick Pustay Based on the series of books by Beverly Cleary
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date:November 9, 2010
"A little sister goes a long way"
Teen sensation Selena Gomez (Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place) teams up with newcomer Joey King in this delightful coming-of-age comedy based on the best-selling books by Beverly Cleary. Ramona (King) is a little girl with a very big imagination and a nose for mischief. Her playful antics keep everyone in her loving family on their toes, including her older sister Beezus (Gomez), who's just trying to survive her first year of high school. Through all the ups and downs of childhood, Ramona and Beezus learn that anything's possible when you believe in yourself and rely on each other.
Author Beverly Cleary and her series of books on the adventures of Ramona Quimby and older sister Beezus (Beatrice) are familiar to generations of readers going back fifty plus years. This film adaptation seems to borrow a bit from each book in the series and features a primary story supported by several subplots. The focus is on Ramona and her mischievous imp like behavior which is a constant source of irritation to old sister Beezus. Ramona is headstrong and bright which puts her at odds with her third grade teacher Mrs. Meachem. At home she is a handful but always manages to put a twinkle in the eyes of her loving parents and doting Aunt Beatrice. When the impact of the struggling economy threatens to force the family to sell their home Ramona hatches a plan, as only she can, to save the day.
This is a cute and cuddly family film that has a throwback style feel that reminds me a little of Gidget. The effervescent characters and corny dialogue/situations work well within the construct of the story and never seem thematically disingenuous. I found its wholesome familial message to be charming and occasionally heartwarming. The cast, with the exception of Bridget Moynahan, seemed well suited to their respective roles. I found her to be just a little too rigid and thought that she lacked good chemistry with Corbett, King and Gomez. I thoroughly enjoyed John Corbett and think that he and newcomer Joey King provide some of the film's best moments, especially when together. Ramona and Beezus is a quirky and entertaining coming of age film that positively conveys the importance of family and the strengths of good character. It's an up beat and light hearted tween comedy that is perfectly suited for its target audience while having enough substance to make it enjoyable for their parents as well.
This program is appropriate for all ages.
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:
Ramona and Beezus comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
This high definition video presentation looked great and boasted a pleasing palette of colors with eye popping primaries that jumped off of the screen. Fleshtones had a vibrant and natural quality that enhanced the varying tonal differences among the members of the cast. Boldly applied contrast added pop to colors and dynamic highlights to bright exterior sequences without white washing them. Resolution was excellent as images had crisp definition, revealing subtle delineation, and definitive long range visual acuity. Blacks were strong and depth of field in shadows and low lighting was appreciable. Sharpness fluctuated during a handful of shots but otherwise remained stable. I didn't notice any compression errors associated with the encoding and thought that this was a solid high definition video presentation from Fox. The multi-channel lossless audio won't test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivered the elements present in this soundtrack. Dialogue was tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics were punchy and bass response was appropriate and provided extension of the main channels that predominantly came in support of the music score. The front channels handled the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambience detail that added depth. I thought the mix mated well with the source material and sounded just fine.
- (HD) 7 deleted scenes with play all option
- (HD) Gag reel - 3 minutes
- (HD) Show and tell film school with director Elizabeth Allen - 7 minute featurette
- (HD) My Ramona: With author Beverly Cleary - 4 minutes
- (HD) A day in the life of Joey King - 5 minute feature
- (HD) Selena and Joey: Audition footage - 2 minutes
- Fox Movie Channel presents: Life after film school with director Elizabeth Allen - 22 minutes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Bonus DVD of Ramona and Beezus
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc of Ramona and Beezus
Based on the beloved series of books by author Beverly Cleary Ramona and Beezus is a wholesome, lighthearted and cute tween comedy that is perfectly suited for its target audience and makes for an enjoyable watch on family movie night. I am happy to report that it comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring excellent high definition video quality and crystal clear lossless sound. The bonus features package offers more fluff than substance but is worth a look if you like the film. Ramona and Beezus on Blu-ray is an easy recommendation for the Ramona Quimby fan in your life. If this is your first experience give it a rent before buying.
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