The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 112 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connolly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum
Directed by: Ron Howard
Music by: Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
Written by: Allan Loeb
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 3, 2011
"The truth hurts…"
Vince Vaughn and Kevin James headline an all-star comedy from director Ron Howard. Ronny's (Vaughn) world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees something he should not have, and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that his best friend Nick (James) has a few secrets of his own. Now, Ronny must decide what will happen if he reveals the truth.
This quick plot summary comes from the press kit and provides a well rounded view of the storyline : Since college, confirmed bachelor Ronny (Vaughn) and happily married Nick (James) have been through thick and thin. Now partners in an auto design firm, the two pals are vying to land a dream project that would launch their company. With Ronny’s girlfriend, Beth (Connelly), and Nick’s wife, Geneva (Ryder), by their sides, they’re unbeatable. Ronny’s world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees Geneva out with another man (Tatum) and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves his world into comic mayhem, he learns that Nick has a few secrets of his own. Now, with the clock ticking and pressure mounting on the biggest presentation of their careers, Ronny must decide how and when he will reveal the truth to his best friend.
The Dilemma is most decidedly a bromance flick. I found it to have minimal comedic value and in fact thought that it was a little too serious especially considering its two headliners and how it was marketed. The premise is a good one and deals with the age old question of what to do if you should find out that your best friend’s significant other is stepping out on them? The story is told predominantly from Vince Vaughn’s characters perspective which is fine but the script meanders at times. The plot goes from nonsensical slapstick to gut churning relationship melodrama and there is no appropriate place for the two to ever meet. It is a little frustrating because the conflict dilutes the credence that each would otherwise have. Vaughn and James have excellent chemistry. There is no denying their lack of dimension as actors however these characters pretty much play to their strengths. I found Jennifer Connolly’s pairing with Vince Vaughn to be completely incredulous however I will take any chance I can get to see her onscreen. Winona Ryder is becoming pretty adept at playing unlikable characters although I couldn’t help but feel she was miscast here. I won’t even discuss Channing Tatum or Queen Latifah’s superfluous and laughable cameo. In the end my reaction to The Dilemma was one of indifference. Its thematically inconsistent narrative never drew me in and although I liked the pairing of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James that simply wasn’t enough to keep it from feeling like an overly played downer of a bromance.
The rating is for mature thematic elements involving sexual content.
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 Dilemma comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appeared better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast was dynamic without being overpowering and blacks were respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The bluesy music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. Dynamic range is extended and robust which enriches the authority of low frequency effects contained in the mix. There isn’t perpetual use of the rear channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are involving. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation and felt that it complimented the film.
- (HD) Alternate ending - 5 minutes
- (HD) 14 deleted scenes with intro by Ron Howard
- (HD) Gag reel - 4 minutes
- (HD) This is the Dilemma - 13 minute making of featurette
- (HD) Tour of Chicago - 12 minute interactive look at four locations features in the film
- (HD) On ice - 4 minute production featurette
- My Scenes bookmark feature
- Pocket Blu - App for iPOD/iPHONE
- BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy
The Dilemma is a below average bromance style comedy that is short on laughs and too long on melodrama. The script’s inconsistently thematic narrative proved frustrating and failed to capitalize on a fairly strong cast headed by funnymen Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. I am most definitely a fan of director Ron Howard however this a completely forgettable film. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in a technically strong offering that looks and sounds great in high definition. The bonus supplements consist of several bland features, deleted scenes and an appropriately unused alternate ending. If you like Vince Vaughn/Kevin James it might be worth a rental otherwise I would pass.
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