PictureThe US version of this release had a truly excellent transfer, rising above the mediocrity of the film itself to produce an excellent picture. The UK version shares the same transfer. This is my original picture review reproduced:
A rotten film gets a way above average transfer and a 1080P treatment. The transfer is sharp, and vibrant with no grain visible and a nice depth to the image. The countryside around the house looks natural and colourful, with excellent levels of detail.
Colour levels are vibrant - with nice contrasts showing between the greenery of the vegetation surrounding the house, and the more subdued colours of the house itself. There are also some underwater scenes filmed in a local lake, these are crystal clear and easy to watch.
One problem I did have with the transfer were the colours, in particular on the faces, which seemed waxy and unnatural. This did not mar the level of detail, but made the characters look rather more like waxworks than real people. This is the only weakness of the disc, however, which generally is an excellent transfer.
SoundThe sound mix was appalling on the US disc, and again we get the same transfer here on the UK disc. Again, my US review is reproduced here:
It says on the back of the box that this is a surround mix, but you could have fooled me. After about 20 minutes I got up and checked my connections, before ascertaining that my rears were indeed connected. I then tried turning up the back levels - with no success whatsoever. The sound designers obviously decided that rear speakers have had their day and are now quite simply an irrelevance.
So, we are left with the fronts and the Sub. The dialogue is certainly clear and well placed, but there is certainly very little stereo separation apart from a running gag when someone throws something off screen to the left or right, and you hear a cat squeal. That cat seems to be present every time something gets thrown, and you eventually wish the thing had been squashed, but no. It always comes back for more.
This is, quite simply, the worst soundtrack I have heard on Blu ray so far.
ExtrasThe extras package, again, is the same as the USA disc, and again my comments are reproduced here:
Thank God there is no commentary. I am not sure I could have sat through the film again. We do, however, get a rather thin selection of extras. Kidding around on set: The making of “Are We Done Yet?” is a simple advert for the film hosted by the children. It only lasts 6 minutes, and has no technical detail whatsoever. Then we have Blooper Reel which only has a very few actual bloopers, all mixed in time to an annoying soundtrack, and repeated over and over again.
The final two extras are even worse. There is a Film Quiz hosted by the young boy from the film - where you are played a section of the film and asked to provide the next line of dialogue. I wanted to gauge my eyes out, and only the prospect of all those unwatched HD discs on my shelf stopped me. The final extra showed some promise, however. Chuck Mitchell: Jack of all trades had the potential to be vaguely interesting. Potential is wasted, though, as all we get is a selection of clips from the movie with the smallest contributions from the actor. This segment lasts only three minutes.
VerdictSony have released this into the UK in an identical version to the US disc. Arriving fairly soon after the theatrical release of this film, is there any reason to choose one region over another?
The answer is no. The film is (obviously) the same, and the transfer, sound, and extras package are also the same. The disc played perfectly well on my US model PS3. So, here is what I had to say when I summarised the US release:
A terrible movie, awful sound mix, and dire extras - married to a very good transfer. This is billed as “Perfect Family Entertainment” on the box. In reality if your children had been very naughty then this easily could be used as a punishment, I suppose. But beware - if you ever do show this to the children it could be classed as cruel and unnecessary punishment and social services called. Yes, this is that bad.
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