The Back-up Plan Blu-ray Review
PictureThe Back-up Plan comes with to Blu-ray complete with a perfectly acceptable but far from interesting video presentation; a 1080p rendition in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.35:1. The detail level is generally good throughout, with no compression issues, digital artefects or other defects – the image remaining pretty-much crystal clear for the duration. That said, as I find is often the case with HD-filmed DTV flicks – not that this is one of them – the movie is a little bit too perfect-looking, a little bit too polished, and it ends up looking much more like a glossy TV episode than something filmic in nature. A light sheen of grain is very welcome for a true movie, and this clearly isn’t such a project, as no grain (or HD noise) is apparent at all. Still, it’s very hard to complain about an image looking too perfect. The colour scheme is bright and gaudy for the most part, nothing eye-popping, but the varying tones replicated quite authentically for the most part. Black levels are strong and contrast is maintained throughout, and really my only issue with the film is that it looked little more than a polished TV show, far from cinematic in presentation, and certainly not boasting the kind of 3D pop and dimensional depth that fans would require for it to stand out amidst their collection.
SoundOn the aural front, we get a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that does what it needs to do. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout, largely emanating from across the frontal array. Effects are pretty limited – traffic noises and baby/pregnancy-related shenanigans coming across as the only vaguely interesting aspect of the otherwise largely atmospheric proceedings. What this track is all about, however, is endless, cheap, generic songs which bring the movie down considerably in terms of substance. I know it’s par for the course for this kind of movie, but it makes the whole production feel like a ninety-minute montage! Still, in terms of soundtrack performance, the music helps no end in livening things up, sparking up the surrounds and even occasionally waking the comatose LFE channel up for a piece of the action. The track does what it is supposed to and is limited by the material, but certainly presents it in a faithful way.
ExtrasNot that I’m particularly complaining, but for fans of the movie it is a little bit disappointing that the extras are so thin on the ground. All we get is a selection of Deleted Scenes (which don’t add anything to the proceedings) and an 11-minute Making-of Featurette that offers up the usual interview snippets from the cast and crew, spliced into plenty of footage from the main movie. Generic, and fairly worthless, it’s only marginally better than a bare-bones effort.
VerdictJ-Lo’s The Back-up Plan isn’t just a case of predictable, cheesy Hollywood romantic drivel, it actually takes things a step further, offering up an unpleasant mix of both anti- and pro-feminist vibes; and a strange alternate fantasy land where thirty-something men don’t run a mile when confronted by a girlfriend who’s pregnant with another man’s child. On their second date. I’m not too sure I like the signals this story sends, which only makes a dire movie into a movie I’d actually recommend you avoid. Seriously, there is nothing here worth your attention.
On Blu-ray the video and audio are fairly generic – an overly pretty picture and a cheesy song-track dominated soundtrack, and we get a couple of limited extras to round off a disc that isn’t exactly spectacular, but will still likely satisfy fans. Newcomers should understand that this comes with a strong warning. I’ve seen quite a few bad rom-with-a-hint-of-coms recently, like Jennifer Aniston’s The Bounty Hunter, and this is just Jennifer Lopez’s contribution to the ever-burgeoning sub-genre. Disappointing is an understatement – dire is a more suitable word.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.99
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