Artie Lange's Beer League Blu-ray Review
PictureArtie Lange is a budget release, and as such I was not expecting much from this transfer. The disc is presented in a theatrical correct 1080P transfer, but it is lucky I wasn't expecting too much as that is exactly what I got. The transfer isn't necessarily bad - it is just completely uninspiring.
The colours are bright and vivid, if perhaps a little oversaturated, and contrast displays some depth of field but certainly not as much as you would expect from a perfectly balanced transfer. Detail is rather washed out and singularly unimpressive and the source is also very disappointing with some instances of dirt appearing.
Black levels are excellent though, and it is always clear what is going on, even in some of the darker scenes.
SoundWe are offered three mixes here - a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, a PCM stereo mix, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. I chose to listen to the film in the former mix.
But I could well have been listening to the stereo mix. From the beginning, everything sounds over compressed and thin. There seems to be very little dynamic range, and the rears are almost non existant within the mix. Likewise, the sub is under utilised - only kicking into life just once or twice.
On the plus side, the dialogue is always clear and easy to hear (unfortunately) and there is reasonable separation on the front speakers. It is just not a well utilised surround mix and might as well just be a stereo mix.
ExtrasIn a welcome departure from the norm, the Blu ray includes all the extras from the SD release. Anyone expecting a serious look behind the scenes will be disappointed - but the extras do fit in well with the tone of the main feature.
We start with a surprisingly good audio commentary with Lange and the director. They come across as almost likeable in this commentary - giving honest and insights into the making of the film. We then get a poor, 20 minute documentary Beer League : Behind the scenes. This is almost like a TV puff piece in that it relies too much on clips from a film that you will have already seen. Very short on insight.
We then get a collection of Interviews with the cast that last 20 minutes - and gives a little more insight into the making of the film than the documentary, In the Studio with Artie : Jokes and Ringtones where we see him at work in the studio recording snippet for the film's website, a Featurette from the premiere (this film actually had one?), and finally a Stills Gallery
VerdictIf you are a fan of this kind of film, then you are going to appreciate the release of Artie Lange's Beer League. The film is your typical low brow comedy, and is presented with all the extras from the SD version, albeit with a sub standard video and audio presentation.
However, in my opinion our beloved Blu ray format is so full of potential it is almost a shame that dross like this is being released. However, although I would not want a film like this in my collection, I can appreciate that to reach mass-market penetration films like this are necessary. So, if you are a fan of films like this fill your boots.
If you are not sure, I would imagine there are other discs that will be far more worthy of your cash.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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