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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Universal - 2000/2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 108minutes/116 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Dustin Hoffmann, Barbara Streisand, James Rebhorn, Owen Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by: Jay Roach
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: Jim Herzfeld & John Hamburg
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 30, 2010

"There's nothing quite like family"

Film Synopsis:

Meet the parents: Male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is poised to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo) during a weekend stay at her parents' home. But here's the catch...he needs to ask her father first. Alas, the fur flies as Jack Byrnes, Pam's cat-crazy, ex-CIA father, played hysterically by Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro, takes an immediate dislike to her less-than truthful beau. Greg's quest for approval gets seriously sidetracked as Murphy's Law takes over and a hilarious string of mishaps turns him into a master of disaster and total pariah in the eyes of the entire family...all except for his shell-shocked girlfriend, who can't believe she still loves her one-man wrecking crew.

Meet the Fockers: Domestic disaster looms for male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller) when his straight-laced, ex-CIA father-in-law (De Niro) asks to meet his wildly unconventional mom and dad (Streisand and Hoffman). It's family bonding gone hysterically haywire.

My Take:

I saw Meet the parents during its theatrical run 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Robert DeNiro is a gifted actor that I never really viewed as the comedic type until I saw him in Analyze this. The following year brought this film which thoroughly convinced me of his excellent comedic timing and willingness to give of himself even against type. Meet the parents is wonderfully genuine in its portrayal of the awkwardness that life can sometimes be especially when trying to gain acceptance by the family of a significant other. Gaylord Focker's well intentioned but misguided eagerness to fit in and or please girlfriend Pam's parents, especially her father Jack is the platform upon which this comedy is built. Often with comedies there are memorable moments that stand out during discussions of the film but with Meet the parents I find that it is comprised of many that they seem to run together. Everything from the seemingly normal situations that quickly descend to the abnormal to the overtly over the top inanity is pitch perfect. Much of this is owed to a solid script/screenplay and capable direction but the excellent chemistry between De Niro and Stiller along with the wonderful supporting cast caps things off.

When it was released in 2004 I looked forward to Meet the Fockers but my reaction to it was luckwarm. I felt it was missing the genuine situational humor from the original and that its attempts at garnering laughs were superfluous, repetitious and elicited from artificial gags that took what could be construed as life's embarrassing/awkwark moments to an excessive level. That isn't to suggest that the film is completely without merit as I do think that Fockers has its share of worthwhile moments. Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand were good choices and are part of the reason why the film works. Roz and Bernie are drawn as polar opposites to the Byrne's and their contrasted interaction proves pretty entertaining. Despite not being crazy about Meet the Fockers I find that its likeable characters keep me coming back. I must admit that I can't help but have a glimmer of hope for a positive experience from the upcoming release of Little Fockers.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual content, drug references 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.**

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

Audio: 80

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 79

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Meet the parents comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.

Meet the Fockers comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Home entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

These high definition presentations are similar in terms of framing, use of color and white/black level reproduction. My comments in that regard will apply to both. I will comment separately regarding resolution, detail rendering, and fidelity. Both films come framed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio that seems perfectly matched with the source material. Primary colors are pleasing to the eye while secondary colors are just a step below in saturation. The blend works well as the variety of colors appear vivid and natural. Fleshtones are predominantly lifelike with warm complexions that on occasion take on a balmier quality. Contrast is tamped down and black levels/shadow detail is respectable which provides dark/low level sequences with ample depth. Resolution in each presentation is fair however the rendering of detail in Meet the parents can be inconsistent which results in some scenes appearing soft by comparison. Delineation during close ups is scene dependent, looking sharp with appreciable refinement one moment and smoother and lacking resolute texture the next. Some of this is attributable to the nature of the photography while portions of the video appear to have been digitally manipulated in an effort to clean it up perhaps.

Grain is present however rendering is uneven and ranges from moderate to barely perceptible. The result is a presentation that bests standard definition but by a margin that falls short of what we have come to expect from good quality high definition. Meet the Fockers has a noticeably grainy texture that I would describe as moderate to occasionally heavy. Fidelity appears better preserved as the image is rendered with consistent definition and lucid refinement. I did detect an unnaturally edgy quality that I would attribute to artificial sharpening. The video's grainy aesthetic tends to exacerbate low level digital noise which creates a bit of shimmering in backgrounds here and there but the effects aren't egregious. Both prints are in good shape with only the occasional speckle/fleck visible. While the aforementioned issues are worth noting I rarely found myself taken out of the experience of watching either film. I suspect that less discerning viewers or those with smaller displays may find them less objectionable. Video rating: Meet the parents = 76. Video rating: Meet the Fockers = 82.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks deliver clear dialogue and punchy dynamics that are contained in predominantly front oriented presentations. Surround activity is limited to light ambience and occasional discrete sounds that rarely feel immersive but add depth to the soundstage. These films don't necessitate an overly active surround mix. In each case the soundtrack's recorded elements are rendered quite well and sound fine.

Grain is present in uneven waves that go from shimmering and moderately heavy to barely perceptible.

Bonus Features:

  • Meet the parents:

  • Feature commentary with director Jay Roach & editor Jon Poll

  • Feature cast commentary with Rober DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Jay Roach and producer Jane Rosenthal

  • Spotlight on location - 24 minute featurette

  • 2 deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Jay Roach & editor Jon Poll

  • Outtakes - 18 minutes

  • DeNiro unplugged - 1 minute

  • The truth about lying - 6 minute feature on the polygraph

  • Silly cat tricks - 5 minute casting featurette

  • Jay Roach: A director's profile - 1 minute

  • Theatrical trailer

  • BD-Live exclusive - Sneak Peek at Little Fockers

  • My Scenes bookmark feature

  • BD-Live enabled

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • Pocket Blu - App for iPOD/iPHONE

  • uHear feature - Skips back a few seconds on your blu-ray player and turns on the subtitles for the section you couldn't hear

  • Meet the Fockers:

  • Feature commentary with director Jay Roach and editor/producer Jon Poll

  • 15 Deleted scenes

  • Bloopers - 11 minutes

  • Inside the litterbox - Behind the scenes with Jinx the cat - 4 minute feature

  • The manary glad - prop design featurette - 3 minute design featurette

  • Focker's family portrait - featuring Dustin Hoffmann, Barbara Streisand and Ben Stiller

  • The adventures of a baby wrangler - 5 minute behind the scenes production featurette

  • Matt Lauer meets the Fockers - Interviews with the cast hosted by Matt Lauer - 8 minutes

  • BD-Live exclusive - Sneak Peek at Little Fockers

  • My Scenes bookmark feature

  • BD-Live enabled

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • Pocket Blu - App for iPOD/iPHONE

  • uHear feature - Skips back a few seconds on your blu-ray player and turns on the subtitles for the section you couldn't hear

Final Thoughts:

I am admittedly a fan of Meet the parents which I find to be a pitch perfect comedy that puts an entertaining spin on quirky familial relationships and the difficult obstacle that acceptance can sometimes be. Meet the Fockers doesn't quite live up to its predecessor however it offers fans the opportunity to meet the parents of Gaylord Focker which turns out to be a good thing. Both films prove entertaining and introduce us to endearing characters that are fun to watch. Meet the parents and Meet the Fockers come to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Home Entertainment featuring adequate high definition video that bests DVD quality but falls short when compared to the better catalog release titles the format has to offer. Each gets a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix that compliments them nicely. The bonus features which are ported over from previous DVD releases consist of several entertaining audio commentaries along with a mix of bland featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and behind the scenes production/promo material. If you enjoy these films and don't already own them in high definition each of these Blu-ray offerings make for a worthwhile upgrade and come recommended.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Samsung BD-C7900 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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