Why Him? Blu-ray Review
Wasting a solid, committed, cast on this puerile and inferior twist on a Meet the Parents setup, Why Him? misses the mark completely.There is something innately intriguing - for parents and children alike - about observing the awkwardness of 'meeting the parents'. It's a premise rich for mining in terms of comedy, but with the Meet the Parents franchise already having covered most of this ground pretty thoroughly, Why Him? has an uphill struggle trying to bring something new to the table. In an attempt to do so, it throws taste out the window, and goes for wild, wide-eyed frenzy, positing a pretty normal middle-class family being introduced to their daughter's outlandish new boyfriend, who comes complete with a tattoo of all the family members across his back and a childish inability to swear.His paper-less household, atypical cuisine and unique ability to invade people's body space make him a curious choice for boyfriend - let alone potential husband - material, and James Franco's commitment to going full tilt in the role doesn't necessarily make things better, with it taking almost to the final scene to actually get any kind of the slightest clue as to what makes his annoying man-child tick. Bryan Cranston's grizzled dad is a role done to death, not least by him already, and although there are a couple of fleeting, funny moments (the Pink Panther tribute; Big Bang's Kaley Cuoco as a more hands-on version of Siri/Alexa), for the most part the jokes are awkward and come with little payoff.
Picture QualityTwentieth Century Fox's Region Free UK Blu-ray release of Why Him? delivers up the digitally-shot feature with aplomb, offering up a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen.
For the most part, the clarity is impressive, with no obvious defects marring your viewing pleasure. Detail laps up the skin textures (although there are a couple of slightly softer shots which appear to be courtesy of curious stylistic choices), hair, clothing, and background nuances, particularly in the oftentimes deceptively vibrant environment.
A good video presentation that just falls short of demo quality
The colour scheme laps up the more lavish billionaire visuals, both in the mansion, and out in the scenic surroundings, and there are some rich and vivid colours on offer, whilst skin tones remain healthy and natural for the most part. Black levels are strong and deep, allowing for decent shadow detail, and rounding out a very good video presentation that only just falls shy of demo-worthy.
Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is a strong but similarly not quite demo-worthy affair, peppered with boisterous song tracks and a couple of more electric moments (although, again, these often involve music, such as the clubbing sequence).
A similarly strong but not quite demo-worthy soundtrack
Dialogue remains the core component almost throughout the proceedings, delivered with aplomb across the centre channel, whilst effects pick up the nuances of the tech-enabled locale, and allow for some semblance of atmosphere, even if it's never particularly engulfing. Again, it's only really the soundtrack that gets the chance to take over. Still it's a solid track, which does its best with the limited-design material.
ExtrasThe extras are headlined by an Audio Commentary from the writers and the director, who look at the characters, the jokes and the concept, as well as the game cast. There are also a selection of mini-Featurettes, taking a look at key characters / scenes, including the hi-tech toilet, the butler, the chef, the mum and Cedric the Entertainer's glorified cameo.
A decent salvo of extras grace this Blu-ray release
There's also a selection of Deleted Scenes, and a Gag Reel which contains a smattering of genuinely funny moments, as well as a Gallery and Trailer. It's a decent salvo of extras, with nothing exceptional, but also nothing really skimped on.
Blu-ray VerdictWhy Him? misses the mark as a film and raises the question why bother?
As a Blu-ray this release is solid enough, with a great picture and sound and a reasonable collection of extras. The disc will make a decent purchase for fans of the film, but it's worth testing the waters first because, if you don't get on board with it, it could prove a painful ride.
You can buy Why Him? on Blu-ray here
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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