Paul Blart: Mall Cop Blu-ray Review
PicturePresented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio what Mall Cop lacks in terms of actual storyline is made up for in this MPEG-4/1080p transfer. Colours are bright, vivid and somewhat over saturated but never really to distraction. Blacks are stable, dark enough but not as inky as some we have come to appreciate, with no excessive grain or noise. Whites are pristine and show no hint of blooming.
There is a subtle veneer of grain present throughout but this is never a problem. The print itself is in excellent shape as is to be expected for a film only released earlier this year.
The transfer is top notch, with no banding, smearing, noise or blocking anywhere to be seen. Detail is excellent with people and stores individually crisp yet never enhanced. The tattoos on the villain's neck, their whispy hair and beards, small chips on their boards or bikes are easily identifiable. The bank the hostages are held in comes across well, as does the bar they go to celebrate before Black Friday. All in all a credible transfer.
SoundSony yet again grace us with a full whack Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and, like the video before it, this covers all of the bases without actually being outstanding.
Most of the action is crisp and detailed and there'll be no need to rewind or strain to catch anything that's been said. The frontal stage though is a little narrow and only really opens up when some of the backing tracks come into play. I must admit I have never heard ELO sound this good. During these moments the fronts expand somewhat and definitely add a certain depth to the proceedings.
There's somewhat less surround use than I was expecting, with little crowd noise or indeed when the bikers and skaters meander the way through the mall. It is there from time to time but nothing to write home about.
Tonal range is, again, acceptable with the mid range to high tones being favoured; there's little in the way of LFE to get any bums twitching here. So like the video it's good enough, just not standing out from the crowd.
- Commentary with Kevin James and Tod Garner.
For a comedy chat track between two people this is a little too dry for my liking. I was hoping for more laughs listening to this than the actual film but here again I was sorely disappointed. The bases are covered and there's come specific scene by scene discussion but if you didn't enjoy the film the first time round then miss this one out.
- Deleted Scenes. - 0:12:30 - 1080i/MPEG-2
10 scenes in total which, thankfully, can be played together. There's a rather long, tortuous, scene with Paul having his Christmas photos taken; the rest are pretty much like anything else you have already seen in the film. You'll be glad they're not in there.
- Kevin James: Not Your Average Mall Cop. - 0:02:58 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Kevin saying why he made this, how he went about trying to find then write the right feature for him to star in.
- Action Sports Junkies. - 0:06:20 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Mike Vallely, Rick Thorne, Jason Ellis and Mike Escamilla make up part of the bad guys hijacking the mall. Here we see some of the moves they can make on their boards or bikes, their antics on set and their reasons for making this feature.
- Stunts. - 0:10:32 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Hats off to a lot of the guys, they did most of their own stunts in this film. Chris O'Hara, stunt co-ordinator, introduces us to a couple of those stunts here. We get to see the actors warming up for the scene, playing it out, retakes and the stunts being set up.
- On Set with Mike “rooftop” Escamilla. - 0:05:44 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Once the mall was empty at night the skaters and bikers treated it as their personal playgound; this small feature shows them doing their moves in the empty mall.
- Fun on Set. - 0:06:04 - 1080i/MPEG-2
General goofs, mishaps and setups which occurred during filming.
- Mike V. vs. Mall Cop. - 0:02:35 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Mike Vallely skating through a mall, spraying it with paint then being confronted by Kevin James as his Paul Blart persona.
- Mall Cop Response. - 0:01:47 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Kevin James, this time as Kevin James, having a rebuttal to the previous short feature. Asking the question which I am sure is in the back of all sane people... why is a 40 yr old guy still on a skateboard?
- Free Running Vs Parkour. - 0:03:11 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Of all the featurettes listed here I had hoped this was going to be much longer and more detailed than it actually is. Free-running seems to be in vogue these days and is often used in movies, the opening of Casino Royale being a good example. Here we get to see Victor Lopex and Natascha Hopkins strutting their stuff.
- Thoughts with Kevin James. - 0:02:14 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Kevin James looking back on some of his career moves, when he used to work in warehouses or even further back when he was hanging out at malls when he was a teenager.
- Sugar. - 0:01:53 - 1080i/MPEG-2
Victor Lopez again showing us his moves as he runs to fetch a sachet of sugar for Kevin James' coffee
- Trailer for Open season 2. - 0:01:51 - 1080i/MPEG-2
As the name suggests.
There's also BD-Live content which has previews of more films; the main area of BD-Live in this instance is 'Cine Chat' where you can apparently email your online friends with your views as you watch the movie. Needless to say I never tried this option. Yes there are quite a few little snippets here but in the main they're not that great. There's nothing really to learn from the production, the writing, storyboarding techniques or anything which might have been remotely useful. Even the free-running feature is way too short to gain anything from it. The UK version also comes with a Digital Copy, however it was not included in the review copy we were sent.
VerdictI'm sorry to say that Paul Blart: Mall Cop really has few, if any, redeeming qualities. Yes it has a market that much is true, but as a piece of work it's lacking something. That something is humour and for a comedy I would have to say that's a pretty big shortfall.
The kids will like it, and here I really mean the young kids. They will enjoy the slapstick, the sweet love interest between Paul and Amy, the daughter; they won't get too upset at the action sequences and they'll love the happy ending... come on you knew there was going to be a happy ending, it's not as though I'm giving anything away here!
For the rest of us there's still Die Hard, funnier, better good guys, nastier villians and much better explosions to keep us entertained. Rent this if you must for the wee ones, watch it yourself and don't say I never warned you beforehand.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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- Commentary with Kevin James and Tod Garner.