The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Feature running time: 134/137 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 DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Megan Fox
Written & Directed by: Judd Apatow
Music by: Jon Brion
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 22, 2013
From the director of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes an unfiltered, comedic look inside the life of an American family. After years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are approaching a milestone meltdown. As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in their own hilarious ways, they must also figure out how to enjoy the rest of their lives. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segel, Megan Fox, John Lithgow and Albert Brooks, This is 40 is a candid and heartwarming comedy about the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age.
This Is 40, expands upon the story of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from writer/director Judd Apatow’s hit comedy “Knocked Up” as we see first-hand how they are dealing with their current state of life. I only caught brief glimpses of the trailer for this film and wasn’t compelled to venture out to the theater to see it. I wouldn’t call myself a Judd Apatow fan per se but I have enjoyed the various film projects he has been associated with.
This is 40 isn’t exactly what I was expecting. While it certainly has a comedic flavor similar to Apatow’s other works I found it to be more of a relationship drama that focuses on a couple who have arrived at a crossroads in their marriage. They are approaching (or in his case arrived) 40, sex is a chore, their eldest daughter, now a teen, is at a critical age, and a variety of obstacles, including secrets and money troubles take their toll. Amidst that are a series of site gags, quirky characters, and crass humor that provide chuckles but quite frankly being pulled in opposite directions left the story and characters feeling less cohesive from a thematic standpoint.
The script is a mile wide and inches deep with several smaller plot points and innocuous characters that impede flow. The central plot that includes Pete/Debbie, the kids and Pete’s father, played by Albert Brooks is well drawn and played. The additional sub plots involving Debbie’s business, Pete’s association with Graham Parker, Debbie’s personal trainer (Jason Siegel), Debbie’s odd relationship with her father (John Lithgow), and pretty much all of Megan Fox’s scenes felt like pure window dressing that pushed a film that should have been 90 minutes to well over 134 minutes (137 for the unrated cut).
Luckily the moments in the film that adhere to the elements that work are quite good and where appropriate pretty funny. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann have it down pat and Albert Brooks was the spot on choice to play Pete’s dad. For those interested in eye candy Megan Fox delivers in that regard I suppose. Melissa McCarthy has a cameo that she makes the most of and it’s always good to see John Lithgow. In the end I found The is 40 to be a fair genre entry that would have benefited from a trimmer, less self indulgent script. Both the theatrical version and an unrated cut (which adds approximately 3 minutes) are included.
This film contains sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and 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:
This is 40 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that offers quality that is consistent with newer released films coming to Blu-ray Disc. Detail is abundant as images are cleanly resolved with excellent visual acuity and dimensional depth. It lacks the seemingly infinite sharpness and resolute definition of the best that I have seen from the format but it still offers rewarding imagery. Colors are vividly reproduced with deeply saturated hues and vibrant primaries. Fleshtones have lifelike tonality and warm, descriptive complexional variety. A slight boost to contrast gives the video a dynamic quality that made colors pop without washing away white/gray detail. Black levels and shadow detail are strong which enhances depth during sequences containing mixed content and dim/uneven light. I observe an deleterious artifacts or unwanted manipulation.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack renders clear, articulated dialogue that maintains a position of prominence across the front three channels. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix is well balanced and reproduces sounds at the right levels and places them appropriately within the acoustic environment. Detail is notable which attenuates lesser environmental cues, and subtle vocal inflections. There is no deep bass associated with the sound track but bass response appropriately reinforces low level detail in support of the music.
- Feature commentary with writer/director Judd Apatow
- Two part gag reel – 7 minutes
- (HD) Two part Line-O-Rama – 6 minutes
- (HD) 15 deleted scenes
- Music from Graham Parker, Graham Parker and the Rumour, and Ryan Adams
Blu-ray Exclusive Features:
- The making of This is 40 – Two part documentary – 49 minutes
- The is Albert Brooks (at work) – 11 minute featurette
- Graham Parker and the Rumour: Long emotional ride – 17 minute featurette
- (HD) Brooks-O-Rama – 2 minutes
- (HD) Biking with Barry – 2 minutes
- (HD) Triumph the insult dog with members of the cast/crew – 8 minutes
- Kids on the loose – 11 minutes on the set with the young members of the cast
- (HD) Bodies by Jason – Faux commercial with Jason Siegel
- Fresh Air with Terry Gross
- 9 Deleted/Extended/Alternate scenes
- Additional music from Graham Parker and the Rumour, and Ryan Adams
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- pocket BLU
- BD-Live enabled
This is 40 comes from writer/director Judd Apatow and revives characters from his popular 2007 comedy “Knocked up”. It’s a fair genre entry that could have benefited from a scaled down, more cohesive script and shorter runtime. It has its moments though and features solid turns from Apatow staples Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. This is 40 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and an assortment of supplemental material that fans of the film are sure to enjoy. If you have already seen and liked This is 40 this Blu-ray offering is worth picking up otherwise a rental before purchase is the way to go.
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