Anger Management Blu-ray Review
PictureAnger Management is your archetypal curate's egg of a transfer - but in the grand scheme of things the good far outweighs the bad. It is, of course, presented in a 1080P transfer, and has certainly received a notable upgrade from the Standard Definition version.
The first thing to notice about this transfer is the sheer vibrancy of the palette on view, the colours being bright, clear, and vivid. This is a marked contrast to the SD version. Yet despite this vibrancy, the image never looks over-processed - everything looks natural and clean. Tree leaves are a realistic and bright green, grass is beautifully realised. Flesh tones are never washed-out.
Likewise the level of detail is similarly impressive. The pseudo-3D pop is present and correct, and depth of field is superb. The most obvious area where this level of detail is present is within the faces. Every strand of Nicholson's beard is visible (not a present sight) and it almost feels like you can reach into the screen and pull individual hairs out. This level of detail is also present in the surroundings, particularly noticeable in the baseball stadium where individual members of the crowd can be clearly picked out.
Yet I mentioned that the transfer was somewhat of a curate's egg and this is indeed the case. I have mentioned the vibrancy and depth of field present in the transfer, and indeed this is mostly the case. However, there are some scenes that quite simply show none of these positives - and these look flat and dull in comparison. Admittedly this is only five or six scenes in the film, and they are probably more down to the original source rather than this transfer. They would also probably not stand out so obviously if it wasn't for the fact that the rest of the film looked so good. But it would be remiss of me not to mention it here.
Apart from this, everything is extremely good indeed. There is a little grain, but only enough to give the film a nice, natural look. It is never overdone or intrusive. There is also almost a complete lack of edge enhancement which is pleasing.
Overall then, the disc has one of the best transfers I have seen on a comedy disc, and although it never looks as good as a multi-million dollar blockbuster, it is certainly excellent. One of the nicest things is that it looks so good without any evidence of extensive tampering. Impressive stuff.7
SoundIt is always very difficult to review the sound on a disc like this. A film like Anger Management is never going to impress with startling surround sound and floor-rattling explosions. However, this disc comes with an uncompressed TrueHD soundtrack, and like the picture it serves the film extremely well.
The first thing to note is the clarity of the speech. The film is very dialogue driven, and every nuance of the dialogue is clear and easy to hear whether shouted or spoken. In addition the front separation is clear and precise, and the music is mixed well into the overall sound.
In addition to this, there is a surprising amount of LFE presented here, and the rear speakers also get a decent workout, providing a decent and well designed ambience, and placing onscreen events well for the viewer.
Like the picture, whereas this will not stand up against the big summer blockbuster releases - this is one of the best comedy soundtracks I have heard. Again, very impressive.
ExtrasIn a refreshing change from the norm, we actually receive all the SD extras here on the Blu ray version. We start with a Audio Commentary from the director and Adam Sandler. Whilst they do come across as natural and likeable they provide very little indeed in the way of insight, instead talking constantly about how wonderful this film is. A pretty poor commentary indeed.
This is followed by a similarly poor gag reel that is not very funny at all. Better, but only just, is the Skull Session featurette that does feature some behind the scenes insights - but also relies far too heavily on clips, making me think this was likely made for TV promotion purposes.
Finally, we get some excellent deleted scenes which are likely to be watched more than once, and an extremely poor sycophantic tribute to Nicholson My Buddy Jack
VerdictAnger Management may be a high concept idea in search of a decent ending, but a combination of winning performances, a sharp script, and decent direction manages to raise it above the mediocrity of most comedy offerings of recent years. It may not be an all-time classic, but to my mind it is worthy of a place in a film collection.
The disc is provided with top notch video and sound, which is excellent for a back catalogue comedy release, and the same extras as the SD version. These may not be uniformly worthy, but at least they are all included.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £28.95
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