Ralph Potts reviews Crazy Rich Asians , a contemporary romantic comedy based on a global bestseller, that follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore in order to meet her boyfriend's family.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89
Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 120 minutes
Genre: Romance/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim based on the novel by Kevin Kwan
Region Code: A

Release Date: November 20, 2018
"The Only Thing Crazier Than Love is Family"
My Take:

The story follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. Not only is he the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim.

Lets face it there just isn’t a lot of diversity in the romantic comedy genre. Anyone hoping for deeply profound meaning and enriching film experiences is most assuredly going to be disappointed. However, those who enjoy simple, lighthearted comedy along with a little romantic melodrama are probably more apt to get the most from them. Generally speaking, I am a fan of the genre but, unless there is a compelling reason to venture out to the theater, I don’t go out of my way to see rom/coms. Crazy Rich Asians is a film that I wanted to take in at the theater but, simply never got around to it. The trailer looked good and the reviews were mostly excellent so I eagerly awaited its arrival for review.

Based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan Crazy Rich Asians is a formulaic romantic comedy spun to a cultural theme. All of the requisite genre ingredients are present and the storyline rarely deviates from that formula. So, what we have left is the implementation/integration of the characters, the execution of the script/screenplay and the cast. I watched it with my wife and we enjoyed it but, after the hype it received, felt a tad let down. That isn’t to suggest that it failed to strike a chord with us but, it ran a little longer than a film like this should and adhered too closely to a paint by the numbers experience where there were no unexpected thematic elements.

Having said that we found much to like in the context of the storyline, the charm and chemistry of the two leads and the well-placed supporting cast, most notably Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina, who steals every scene in portrayal of Rachel’s college buddy. As a romantic I had zero problems with the warm, fuzzy, and feel good ending. Crazy Rich Asians isn’t original but, ticks all the right boxes which makes it a delight for genre fans that crave a good old-fashioned romantic comedy.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide: 

The rating is for some suggestive content and language.

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.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
 

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
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  • Fleshtones:
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Crazy Rich Asians comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the mid bass associated with the soundtrack.

Bonus Features:
  • • Commentary by Director Jon M. Chu and Novelist Kevin Kwan
    • Crazy Rich Fun
    • Gag Reel
    • Deleted Scenes
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians is typically formulaic but, I found it to be a decidedly entertaining romantic comedy that includes all the right ingredients. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring sparkling high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling but worthwhile supplemental set. Crazy Rich Asians is worth picking up if you’re a fan, otherwise give it a rent on date night.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems