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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini
Directed by: Don Scardino
Music by: Lyle Workman
Written by: Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 25, 2013

Film Synopsis:

Superstar illusionists and Las Vegas headliners Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have fallen on hard times. The longtime friends now loathe each other and they face cutthroat competition from guerrilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt. But there's still a chance to save the act - both onstage and off - if Burt can retrieve his magic mojo!

My Take:

I am most definitely a Steve Carell fan and have been since first seeing him in Bruce Almighty and later in The Legend of Ron Burgundy and of course The Office. His film career switched into high gear after The Office became popular however his films have been pretty hit or miss especially lately where miss has been more the norm. Seeing the trailer for The incredible Burt Wonderstone didn’t inspire confidence but as I fan I held out hope (perhaps even more so since Olivia Wilde was a member of the cast!).

The incredible Burt Wonderstone is a harmless half baked comedy about a guy who has lost his way, hits rock bottom and finds the inspiration to rejuvenate his career and ultimately his life. Steve Carell’s affable charm and comedic roundness doesn’t shine through the character of Burt Wonderstone in the film’s first two acts. This is how the character is drawn but it works against type for Carell which I found unappealing. The film starts off as a sort of zany, site gag ridden and abrasive comedy that might lead viewers to pooh pooh it as a typical nonsensical genre entry not worth watching however it settles into a somewhat decent and heartwarmingly silly comedy that almost feels like two separate movies. The third act proves much better than the first two and allows Steve Carell to do what he does best. Jim Carrey is a hoot as the flaming protagonist Steve Gray, Alan Arkin is of course the requisite scene stealer and Olivia Wilde can do no wrong.

The incredible Burt Wonderstone is a serviceable comedy that doesn’t really make the most of its talented cast but by the time the credits roll leaves you feeling that perhaps it was a better movie than you originally thought.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident 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: 78

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

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 88

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

The incredible Burt Wonderstone comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation from Warner is consistent with most newer release films coming to Blu-ray and looks great. Colors are bright, with vivid primaries, and deep saturation which makes them visually pleasing. Contrast and brightness are nicely balanced which adds punch to colors and brightly lit scenes while keeping darker elements dynamic and gradational. Complexions appear rich in tonal delineation with natural highlights that look excellent in high definition. Images are crisp with stable sharpness and appreciable definition that renders plenty of subtle texture within the objects and people onscreen.

The lossless audio presentation is quite good and delivers the source elements with high level detail and punchy dynamics. Dialogue is appropriately prioritized and is reproduced with excellent tonal variation and clarity through the center channel. The surrounds are active at times and used for venue replicating atmosphere and musical ambience. The mix isn’t especially engaging but based upon the source material I had no issues with it and thought it sounded fine.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Steve Gray uncut – 8 minute faux promotion feature

  • (HD) Making movie magic with David Copperfield – 8 minutes

  • (HD) Gag reel – 4 minutes

  • (HD) Deleted scenes & Alternate takes – 26 minutes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

The incredible Burt Wonderstone is a half baked but serviceable comedy about a guy who has lost his way, hits rock bottom and finds the inspiration to rejuvenate his career and ultimately his life. My initial reaction to it was less than positive but by the time the credits rolled it had drawn me in. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring gratifying high definition audio/video and a middling supplemental package that is worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. It’s worth a rent for genre fans.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable 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 Pro 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

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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