Date Night (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=180459&d=1279215270
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 87/101 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Taraji P. Henson, Common, Jimmi Simpson, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Kristin Wiig, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Josh Klausner
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 10, 2010







"One ordinary couple. One crazy night."



Film Synopsis:

Phil and Claire Foster are a sensible, suburban husband and wife slogging through their daily lives and marriage. But a case of mistaken identity sets off an outrageous chain of events involving small-time thieves, big-city mobsters, corrupt cops and a crazed cabbie, as the Fosters' "date night" turns into a wild ride they'll never forget!



My Take:

Date Night follows The Fosters (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) as a sensible, loving couple with two kids and a house in suburban New Jersey. Their typical date nights include a run-of-the-mill evening (salmon and potato skins anybody?) with little to no romance, but one night they decide to reignite the spark by going to Manhattan’s hottest new restaurant… without a reservation. What happens next is a wild ride that goes hilariously awry, as they embark on a dangerous series of crazy adventures to save their lives, and their marriage.

Date night is a film that looks extremely promising, especially considering the pedigree of its two stars and the supporting ensemble of cameo appearances, unfortunately it doesn’t quite live up to its full potential. This genre is filled with films that have been met with mixed reviews. For every gem there are probably half a dozen insipid, silly, and over the top bombs that pale by comparison. Then there are those that work at varying levels and fall somewhere in between which is where I see Date night. I like the premise about a couple, Claire and Phil Foster, who have fallen into what they see as an abysmal daily ritual that leaves them romantically disconnected and strives to rekindle a spark by spontaneously heading into NYC to its busiest restaurant without a reservation. While waiting for the possibility of an open table they throw caution to the wind and step into an unclaimed reservation and pretend to be the Tripplehorns. Unbeknownst to them the Tripplehorns are actively being sought by a couple of gun wielding thugs because they are in possession of a flash drive that belongs to local mob boss Joe Miletto. They accost Phil and Claire outside of the restaurant at gunpoint and demand the flash drive. Of course the Fosters have absolutely no idea what their talking about but manage to give them the slip. What follows are a series of incredulous situations that leave the Fosters trying to stay one step of the bad guys while attempting to extricate themselves from what is most assuredly dire circumstances.

There is certainly more to the tale and of course being a comedy it isn’t hard to figure out how things turn out. The script is laden with a bunch of gags and overly ambitious comedic routines. Some work while others don’t. I think that the result is a comedy that is more amusing than funny. What makes Date night entertaining is the charisma of leads Steve Carell and Tina Fey. I have always found him to be a hoot but have really never completely warmed up to her, until now. Producer/director Shawn Levy put together an ensemble cast of celebrity cameos which definitely adds more fun/levity to the movie. Had there been more substance than stupid funny within the screenplay I imagine this would have had gem potential. Despite that there is enough light hearted humor, witty dialogue and low level action to make Date night good mindless fun. Both the theatrical and extended cuts are included which is always welcomed. I used the theatrical cut during my evaluation and will more than likely check out the extended version when time permits.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference.






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)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 82


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Date night comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.1 Mbps.

In looking at this video presentation as a whole I found it to be satisfactory but not among the top tier release titles I have seen in high definition. This isn’t a very bright film in that the majority of it takes place at night or within low lit environs. Blacks are dynamic and deep but slightly crushed. Shadow detail isn’t definitive however depth of field during low level segments is appreciable. Color balance is good as both primary and secondary are cleanly rendered with a pleasing level of saturation and depth. Skin tones have warm, delineated highlights and lifelike variety. Resolution and clarity is estimable although definition can be a bit inconsistent which leaves some shots appearing flat with the finest gradations obscured. This appears innate and affects both wide angle and close ups. Luckily it isn’t prevalent as more often than not images appear well resolved with discernible definition and fair rendering of fine detail. Grain is unevenly rendered which makes its presence more prominent at times by imparting a noticeably gritty texture. I noticed a few noisy backgrounds and minor edge enhanced lines but neither rose to an egregious level. I didn’t see any overt signs of unwanted digital noise reduction or imaging degrading artifacts.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio presentation sounds great. This is a sort of action/comedy that doesn’t call for an aggressive surround mix but it should be capable of delivering the goods when necessary, and it does. Early on the audio has a front oriented perspective with appreciable dimension, good channel separation and crisp, descriptive dialogue that is always intelligible. Later as Phil and Claire become entangled in a web of corrupt cops, ruthless mobsters, and seemingly limitless peril the surround mix offers good front to rear balance, open atmospherics and tightly correlated panning sequences that create a fairly enveloping sound field. The result is a stable listening environment where the blend of music, sound effects, and subtle nuance contained in the soundtrack are aurally equitable. Dynamics range is quite good which helps empower active moments such as the car chase sequence while lending solidity and palpable presence to low frequencies Overall I was very pleased with the quality of this sound mix.



Bonus Features:


  • Extended (adds 14 minutes to the original runtime) and theatrical versions of the film

  • Audio commentary by producer/director Shawn Levy

  • 4 deleted scenes

  • Alt City sequence

  • 4 extended scenes

  • Directing 301 – 21 minute production featurette with Shawn Levy

  • Disaster dates – Featuring members of the cast sharing their dating experiences – 4 minutes

  • Directing off camera – 3 minute featurette with Shawn Levy

  • Steve & Tina’s camera tests

  • Gag reel – 5 minutes

  • PSAS (spoofs) – 3 segments

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • BD-Live enabled - Live Extras:

    1. What’s new from Fox
    2. (HD) Exclusive - “Fey vs. Carell: The ultimate interview” (available via download or streaming
    3. Live lookup powered by IMDB

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc



Final Thoughts:

Date night is a lighted hearted and amusing action/comedy that doesn’t quite live up to its potential but is made better by a well placed cast headed by leads Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox in a strong offering that features excellent lossless sound quality, satisfying high definition video and a good compliment of bonus supplements that include theatrical/extended versions of the film, deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, BD-Live enabled exclusive content and a digital copy for those wanting to take the movie on the go. I would recommend Date night as a rental prior to purchase unless you’re already a fan.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 11:41 AM
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[click]...and removed from my Ziplist...thanks for the heads-up Ralph!

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post #3 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 12:11 PM
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I had completely ignored this movie, passing it off as another mundane romantic comedy, until I saw the trailer the other night, and it reminded me of Get Smart, which I thought was hilarious. Now I'm looking forward decent discounting of the BD, which hasn't happened yet.

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post #4 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 12:27 PM
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Review is once again spot on. I too thought the video fell just in the good/average range. I was never really wowed by the video presentations and there were a lot of scenes that I thought were a little too flat. Of course, this issue isn't a fault of the transfer.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 02:35 PM
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May not be all that great but you just can't go wrong with Steve and Tina! Funny movie although it does have it's somewhat dull moment. Something i'd rent.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 06:30 PM
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I felt as for some reason the people themselves seemed out of focus at times whereas when they were in new york streets the buildings and streets looked great it was really weird almost as though there was a smear tool used on the actors at times...but I agree with this review not the best video wise, but it didnt have to be as it was a romantic comedy!
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-12-2010, 08:03 PM
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I found the blacks a bit more than slightly crushed. In fact I haven't seen crushed blacks on many blu Ray discs. Nice review. I would've 'crushed' the video rating by another 5 pts!

audio rating was right on.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-13-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

I had completely ignored this movie, passing it off as another mundane romantic comedy, until I saw the trailer the other night, and it reminded me of Get Smart, which I thought was hilarious. Now I'm looking forward decent discounting of the BD, which hasn't happened yet.



That's funny, I had the same initial reaction but I stayed away because of it. Maybe it deserves a chance after all.

Thanks for the review.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-16-2010, 05:23 AM
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I watched this with my wife this weekend and we loved it. What made it so good for us is that we could totally relate to the main characters. I recommend it to anyone who is married......
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-19-2010, 09:46 AM
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Watched this last weekend. Really fun/funny I thought. Good one for a couple.

I to noticed crushing blacks and was dying to know if it was the disc. Thanks for confirming it. Particularly in the night scene when they're sitting in the Audi R8 parked on the side of the road. They're talking and each shot of Fey, the interior of the car is completely crushed with little shadow detail. Especially the door.

Thanks for the review

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post #11 of 21 Old 08-19-2010, 03:29 PM
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Much funnier than I thought it would be. The first 20 minutes are hilarious and then is borders on stupid, but the laughs are genuine enough to keep it interesting and is at least worth a rental.

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post #12 of 21 Old 09-03-2010, 10:06 AM
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Is anyone else having trouble getting the BD-Live portion of the Extras ("Live Extras") to show up in the menus of "Date Night?" We haven't been able to get this to work on the Panasonic BD70V, BDT350 and Toshiba BDX2700, plus at least one Samsung player. On the LG BD390, it does load the first time, but subsequent attempts to watch the movie result in an inescapable black hole.

Works OK on PS3, on some Samsung players, OPPO and some Panasonics. Details are here:

"Date Night" BD-Live problems


Would be curious to hear if anyone else has trouble getting this to work. In most cases, when it fails, you wouldn't know it, but for the fact that "Live Extras" is missing from the menu.

-CB

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post #13 of 21 Old 09-03-2010, 01:59 PM
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Watched this last night.

Ralph's review is spot on, as usual.

Seemed the film was inconsistent as to the pq. Early on in the film, Steve Carell seemed to have an orange tint to his complexion. Disappeared later on in the film.

A good cinematographer was needed due to the abundant night shots. Apparently after paying Steve and Tina there wasn't much left in the budget for the technical crew.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-09-2010, 10:29 AM
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This one is great for a mindless laugh out loud adventure. Lots of fun, but you have to check your brain at the door. It doesn't quite break into the great category, but still the film was good enough to be fun for most and a unregrettable experience.

Fey and Carell worked very well together I thought. They provide tons of laughs, and take you on a fun, although implausible, adventure with them.

Picture quality was o.k., as was the audio. Nothing to really complain about, but nothing particularly good either.

PQ 3.5 out of 5, SQ 3.5 out of 5, Film 3.5 out of 5

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post #15 of 21 Old 09-10-2010, 06:43 AM
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The cast is what makes this movie so much fun.

With a so-so bluray rating, I did something I very rarely do, I cheapened out due to a great sale and bought this on a regular dvd rather than BD. I am a bad boy.

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post #16 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 11:26 AM
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Spot on review. The movie has its LOL moments, some slow sappy parts, and mildly funny spots.

However, the part where they went back to the restaurant in their avant-garde costumes they put together on the fly almost made me pee my pants. That one scene is worth the price of the rental.

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post #17 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boylan13 View Post

Is anyone else having trouble getting the BD-Live portion of the Extras ("Live Extras") to show up in the menus of "Date Night?" We haven't been able to get this to work on the Panasonic BD70V, BDT350 and Toshiba BDX2700, plus at least one Samsung player. On the LG BD390, it does load the first time, but subsequent attempts to watch the movie result in an inescapable black hole.

Works OK on PS3, on some Samsung players, OPPO and some Panasonics. Details are here:

"Date Night" BD-Live problems


Would be curious to hear if anyone else has trouble getting this to work. In most cases, when it fails, you wouldn't know it, but for the fact that "Live Extras" is missing from the menu.

-CB

I had this problem with my LG BD590. I tried 2 different bds of this movie and I could not get to the menu - just a black screen with a spinning loading logo that would go on for eternity. I Googled and found the post you linked to and the suggestion to turn off BD live got it working for me and saved a return of my brand new BD player. Hopefully this is something that LG will fix with a firmware update.

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-15-2010, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeeman View Post

The cast is what makes this movie so much fun.

With a so-so bluray rating, I did something I very rarely do, I cheapened out due to a great sale and bought this on a regular dvd rather than BD. I am a bad boy.

It's not like this movie is a visual masterpiece that must be seen in pristine Blu Ray. Date Night's is heavy on the dialogue and comedy so picture and sound are not a crucial elements in this kind of a movie. An upscaled DVD certainly would not diminish your enjoyment of this film at all.

If money is tight or you just like to spend wisely, it makes sense to save the ~$15 on the sale price DVD version and spend your money on blu ray purchases of movies that benefit from the higher quality.

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post #19 of 21 Old 09-16-2010, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasboy View Post

It's not like this movie is a visual masterpiece that must be seen in pristine Blu Ray. Date Night's is heavy on the dialogue and comedy so picture and sound are not a crucial elements in this kind of a movie. An upscaled DVD certainly would not diminish your enjoyment of this film at all.

If money is tight or you just like to spend wisely, it makes sense to save the ~$15 on the sale price DVD version and spend your money on blu ray purchases of movies that benefit from the higher quality.

Thats exactly what i did, buy it on sale for under $15. I do this for a lot of comedies since usually it doesnt make too much difference as my setup upscales very well. I do this just to spend wisely, and i have bought some more visual comedies on BD such as Tropic Thunder and The Hangover.

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post #20 of 21 Old 09-17-2010, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasboy View Post

I had this problem with my LG BD590. I tried 2 different bds of this movie and I could not get to the menu - just a black screen with a spinning loading logo that would go on for eternity. I Googled and found the post you linked to and the suggestion to turn off BD live got it working for me and saved a return of my brand new BD player. Hopefully this is something that LG will fix with a firmware update.

"Date Night" fails on LG-BD390...sent back (2) Netflix rentals...wish I had read this first to experiment with BD-Live turned off. Anybody know the actual technical basis for the failure??
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post #21 of 21 Old 09-17-2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasboy View Post

It's not like this movie is a visual masterpiece that must be seen in pristine Blu Ray. Date Night's is heavy on the dialogue and comedy so picture and sound are not a crucial elements in this kind of a movie. An upscaled DVD certainly would not diminish your enjoyment of this film at all.

If money is tight or you just like to spend wisely, it makes sense to save the ~$15 on the sale price DVD version and spend your money on blu ray purchases of movies that benefit from the higher quality.

Surprisingly I've heard this argument a lot, even though it's completely illogical. I'm a little suprised to see it repeated on this board though. In this economy I'm always justifing trying to save a buck myself, but that's the only justification for sticking with an outdated format, not a difference in quality (I paid less than $15 for Date Night on BD brand new BTW). To say you don't like a movie enough to pay the BD premium for a better quality edition is one thing, but to state that a comedy, any comedy, or any genre of film that wasn't shot in standard definition in the first place, somehow doesn't benefit from the much higher fidelity of BD as the very biggest budget action blockbuster is just ludicrous.

I promise you, if you don't feel any movie is not substantially benefited by the higher fidelity of high definition in PQ, you're not seeing the whole picture; you're probably not even realizing half of BDs capability, in fact. We're talking about a format that has the potential to be transparent to the master on cinema projection screen sizes. I've seen it projected at that size and even seen side by side comparisons with the studio master; believe me even a 100" screen just begins to do the format justice. The advantage of lossless audio over lossy DD also isn't so much that explosions are bigger or dynamics are broader. In fact dynamics often sound exaggerated by lossy encodings. The benefit of lossless sound is more in the subtleties of detail, articulation, and transparency, which too is of benefit with quieter comedies, dramas, etc., just as it is with loud, action films, maybe even more so, considering that with loud noises your ears may shut some detail out.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel there's anything wrong with wanting to save a buck on films you're not as excited about. I'd wonder why you'd want to own a copy in the first place if you don't like the movie any more than that, but there's no way something with 6x the resolution isn't going to look better than the DVD. With new films and catalog titles with masters that aren't outdated, the difference should always look quite dramatic, regardless of genre or how the film was shot.

There's little to no difference in the way the discs are authored, the films are mastered, or even shot. Just about everything goes through post production digital correction and even simple comedies and dramas use CG and green screens almost routinely. Animation has a much more finite amount of detail than live-action, so if there's any genre that would benefit less from high def it would be animation; and even those show dramatic improvement over dvd mostly because they aren't undergoing the deleterious process of down-conversion to 480i, not to mention the artifacts that scaling and dvds much higher compression ratio introduces. Any difference you see with Transformers or something else more "worthy" of high def can only be in your head if you don't see the same difference with films like Date Night or vice versa.

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