Meet the Parents: Little Fockers Blu-ray Review
Little Fockers comes to Region Free UK Blu-ray we a decent enough 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1. I’ve noticed a trend with comedies to sport a strange, over-saturated look which, I’m guessing, is supposed to give them more ‘life’. It’s a style that’s been prevalent over the last few years, and you can definitely see how this Fockers entry (as well as the last one) have this sun-drenched look, especially when compared to the more sombre – and natural – first film. With all that said, it’s far from a bad image. If you can get over the fact that some of the skin tones are a bit too ripe and orangey, you will find that the rest of the facets of this track are pretty spot-on. Detail is good – you can see every line on Deniro’s ageing visage – and there are no signs of any digital artefacting, like artefacting, aliasing or banding. Perhaps there’s a smidge of ringing, but you have to be looking out for it to find it, and comedies really aren’t known for their visuals – so I can’t imagine how fans would be disappointed. As noted the colour scheme is overheated, and contrast never seems to be quite right, but there are plenty of vibrant tones – most notably anything involving Hoffman’s eccentric Bernie Focker – and black levels are reasonably strong if occasionally overpowering. Much of the visual enjoyment factor for this release will be determined by whether or not you like its look and, if you do, then this is a largely decent video presentation. Either way, it will likely not determine whether or not you enjoy the movie.
On the aural front we get a DTS-HD Master Audio track which is also limited/skewed by the material. For a dialogue-driven affair (what else did you expect from a comedy?) there’s quite a lot of confrontation between the front-dominated dialogue and the score, which thankfully tends to take second place, as well as bringing in some support from the surrounds. Effects are fairly limited – there’s just not much call for them – but more atmospherics would have been nice. That said, the material has its inherent limitations and, as noted, you don’t watch a comedy for the ambience and atmospherics. The score’s pretty generic, but it thankfully strays into feel-good territory more often than not, and you won’t be complaining about any aspect of this track which offers some surround action. LFE? Well, honestly, there is a little, but it rounds out the edges, rather than stands on its own. Overall fans will likely have nothing overt to complain about when it comes to the aural presentation of this movie, but it’s pretty damn far from demo quality nonetheless.
This third entry in the saga comes with a nice selection of welcome extras, but I’m a little bit surprised that there’s no audio commentary – especially since the previous entries sported them.
The Making of a Godfocker is 15 minutes long and is your usual making-of featurette, with interview snippets from the ensemble cast and the background crew, loosely discussing the themes in the production and occasionally make things entertainingly humorous. It’s fairly fluffy and throwaway – your standard EPK affair, but the comedy makes it easier to enjoy.
Bout Time has 4 minutes of humorous backdrop to the climactic confrontation between Greg and Jack.
Bob and Ben offers us 5 minutes of Robert Deniro and Ben Stiller chatting to the camera.
Ben and Owen does the same for Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Alternate Opening offers up a brief alternate dream intro, where Greg has a nightmarish wedding fantasy. It’s quite funny, but not as good as the theatrical beginning.
Alternate Ending gives the expected resolution to Jessica Alba’s character, and offers up more from both her and Owen Wilson. It isn’t funny and I’m glad they cut it. If they’d cut all the scenes from these two I would have been even more pleased.
Deleted Scenes run at 14 minutes and include some nice moments, with plenty of scenes that you would have expected in the theatrical cut since they round off some of the minor subplots.
Gag Reel is a fairly standard offering, which runs at an overlong 7 minutes but does include some moments that are pretty damn funny.
The Focker Foot Lockeris basically a collection of all the lines involving the word ‘Focker’ from all three movies, resulting in a couple of minutes of reasonably funny compilation material.
I really hope that the success of the Meet the Parents series, which started a decade back, won’t determine what Robert De Niro is now known for. He’s the man behind Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, but he hasn’t done a great movie since the Casino / Heat double-header some fifteen years ago, and now all he appears to be semi-good at is comedy. I don’t mind that one bit – if it were interspersed with better, more dramatic roles. But it isn’t. That said, I quite like his Meet the Parents personality, and, since I enjoyed the last two entries, I wasn’t exactly avoiding this third film. And, all in all, I think it’s not that bad. I’ve heard critics slating it across the board, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable threequel, with a smattering of decent laughs, an unnecessary plethora of distinctly secondary characters, but also a great, driven contribution from the two leads – Stiller and De Niro – who still have some magic together. It may not be as good as the first film, may not even be as good as the sequel, but fans of the series should still find plenty to amuse themselves with here.
On Region Free UK Blu-ray we get reasonably video and audio, considering the limited comedic material, as well as a nice selection of amusing extras. Fans will be perfectly content with adding this release to their collection, more casual viewers who’ve vaguely enjoyed the past two movies should still give it a shot – at least a rental – but if you’re just a De Niro fan, and not a Fockers fan, then you’re not going to be converted by this. It’s pretty good fun, despite reports otherwise, but I appreciate that it's certainly nothing special. Still, we shouldn't complain, after all, he could have done another movie with fi-di Cent instead...
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £27.99