Bridesmaids Blu-ray Review
On the technical front it is much harder to criticise Bridesmaids, the movie coming to Region Free US Blu-ray complete with a superb 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. Detail is excellent throughout, fine object detail is noteworthy, and the picture looks fantastic in both the close-up images and the longer establishing location shots, yet coming across devoid of any overt tinkering, digital defects, edge enhancement, DNR or the like. The colour scheme is well represented, and looks authentic and vibrant throughout, not least when it comes to the girls’ bridesmaids’ outfits. Blacks are solid and make for decent shadowing, although there is a hint of crush which can be noticed by the discerning eye. Still, overall, this is a hard-to-fault video presentation that is just shy of perfect and easily ranks as demo quality.
On the aural front things are just as splendid, with a strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which does extremely well with what is, on the face of things, just a simple comedy affair. The dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout, dominating the fronts and centre channels wherever appropriate but, whilst this is a predominantly – and expectedly – dialogue-driven affair, there is a surprising amount of effect surround activity, the coverage of the effects – both large and small – allowing for great atmosphere even during the quieter moments. Streets are lively, parties are bustling, car-related noises allow for some nice directionality and there is even a smidge of bass thrown into the mix. The score, whilst not particularly memorable, is perfectly suited to the material, and further gives the surrounds something more to do. Overall a great offering, also edging into demo quality territory, although, this time, marginally further away from sheer perfection.
Aside from both the Theatrical and Unrated Extended versions of the film (remember, the Extended Cut does not really have anything to warrant an ‘Unrated’ tag – the movie is already distinctly R-Rated, and the ‘Unrated’ tag is purely because they literally did not bother to get it rated) we also get a hefty selection of fairly decent extras to accompany the movie, the majority of which is actually extra footage, which runs at a total of a whopping 2 hours’ worth of material!!
First up we get a full-length Commentary provided by Director Paul Feig and Co-Writer Annie Mumolo, who are partnered up with all the lead bridesmaids: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper. As you might expect, not just from the number of participants, but also from the relationship between the latter contributors, this is less about providing background information into the production and technical details, and more about just having a laugh together. Still, on that level, it’s great fun.
Made of Honor: Behind the Scenes of Bridesmaids takes half an hour to offer up a look at this production, its length denoting more depth than you would expect from your standard promotional EPK making-of, but still not giving enough time, or making enough effort to be both comprehensive and interesting. Still, it covers all the bases: behind the scenes footage, background trivia and information, and cast and crew interview snippets all spliced together with clips from the final film.
Gag Reel runs at a surprisingly long 10 minutes, but does have some moments of glory, and sets the mood for the rest of the extras, clearly showing just how much fun this cast had making this movie.
Line-O-Rama is far more consistently funny, running at over 12 minutes, taking us through each major character/actor and allowing them to show off their (sometimes considerable) improvisational skills. Some quality moments here, a few are better than those selected for the final film.
Deleted Scenes total 9 minutes of completely new scenes, mostly involving the bride-to-be and her two competing ‘best friends’ going on shopping expeditions where tensions ride high.
Extended & Alternate Scenes comes in at a whopping 50 minutes of extra footage – the director clearly just did not know where to say ‘cut’ when it came to this movie. Still, there are some nice moments in here, although much of it is extended unnecessarily beyond an already-far-too-long length.
Roommates gives us an unnecessary further 18 minutes of scenes with the least pleasant characters, who should have been cut out entirely, let alone given more screen time. They are split into: Welcome Home, Deleted Scenes, Extended & Alternate Scenes, and Commercial.
Cholodecki’s is 23 minutes’ worth of extra material relating specifically to the Jewellery store where Annie works, again, split into Deleted Scenes, Extended & Alternate Scenes, and Commercials.
Drunk-O-Rama is 4 minutes’ long and much like the Line-O-Rama, except specifically relating to Annie’s drug-and-alcohol-induced episode aboard the plane.
Annie’s Blind Date with Dave offers up 7 minutes of new footage, broken into two new scenes, both featuring the great Paul Rudd as a character who we just don’t see in either edit of the final film.
Tennis Pep Talk is a more manageable 2 minutes’ worth of outtakes from the tennis incident between Annie and Helen.
Annie vs. Helen is a further 7 minutes of these two enemies snapping and sniping at one another.
Hold On presents the full footage of the Wilson Phillips song, which is seen in part during the final film, as well as during the closing credits, and which plays over the wedding sequence.
Despite being from the producer of Superbad and Knocked Up, and in spite of all the high praise and well-favoured critical comparisons that it has received, Bridesmaids is simply not the best comedy since The Hangover. It is, however, a fresh new comedy, with a similar theme to The Hangover, but a different take on things; it is also one of the best female-driven comedies that has ever been made, and it stands leagues above, both in terms of comedy and romance, any standard rom-com that’s been released in the past decade. In comparison to Superbad and Knocked Up, it falls short, however, the debut director displaying an inability to cut and edit the final film to any kind of reasonable length, with far too many extraneous characters and comedy sequences which go on way past the point of optimum humour, and far outstay their welcome. For its heart and soul, and unusual female-driven antics, Bridesmaids is still worth checking out, but just don’t go into it with the super-high expectations that rave reviews have cursed the movie with, otherwise you may just be a little bit disappointed.
On Region Free US Blu-ray we get excellent video and audio, as well as a hefty selection of extras that is dominated by a whopping amount of extra footage which competes with the already-long runtime of the main feature itself! Yes, you didn’t read wrong, that’s 2 hours of deleted scenes! If you love the movie then this is a must-have purchase for the extra footage alone (which is often quite good, and certainly worth watching), but if you still haven’t had the opportunity to see this then I would recommend a rental, and recommend watching the Theatrical Cut first, as the Extended Cut is certainly no better, and is burdened by being even longer, when the original film was long enough already! Refreshing, new, fun, but a long, long, way away from being perfect, this may not reach the great comedic heights of The Hangover, but at least it wasn’t the lacklustre duplicate Hangover Part II.
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