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My take: Four Christmases (2008)

HD Goofnut
12-05-2009, 07:39 PM
Title: Four Christmases (2008)
BD-25 Single Layer Disc/Two Disc Set
Video: 1080p/VC-1
Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Run time: 88 minutes
Studio: New Line Cinema
Rating: PG-13
Region Coding: Region Free
Player used for review: LG BH200

Cast/Crew Info:
Vince Vaughn as Brad
Reese Witherspoon as Kate
Robert Duvall as Howard
Sissy Spacek as Paula
Jon Voight as Creighton
Jon Favreau as Denver
Mary Steenburgen as Marilyn
Dwight Yoakam as Pastor Phil
Tim McGraw as Dallas
Directed by Seth Gordon

My take: (the breakdown)

There always seems to be holiday comedies that try to focus on the horrors of spending Christmas with your family members. Four Christmases attempts to jump onto this band wagon and it really is a rocky ride. The story follows that of Brad and Kate as they have to visit all four of their parents families on Christmas Day. Of course every stop is an absolute disaster, as if you wouldn't know that ahead of time. There are some funny moments, but it really seemed to run longer than 88 minutes. I normally enjoy Vaughn or Witherspoon, but this just didn't sit well with me because the movie is beyond predictable. I suppose if you're bored this would make a decent rental, but please refrain from making this a blind purchase.

The first adjective I would use to describe this Blu-ray transfer is soft. There's nothing really crisp or clear about this transfer at all. Colors are well saturated and seem to stay that way for the entire run time. Flesh tones also appear to be fairly accurate. Grain is minimal to nonexistent and I feel that this might be due to some DNR scrubbing. Fine detail is an absolute travesty with this title. Other than a few closeups the entire film just seems to be out of focus or simply soft. For a new release Blu-ray I was expecting so much more, especially compared to many other titles.

This 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is about the same as the video quality. Dialogue is prioritized most of the time, but there are times when it gets lost in the shuffle. Surrounds are neglected for most of the movie and even the musical score seems to be primarily front driven. Your sub won't see much work either since this is primarily a dialogue driven movie. Again, for a new release I just didn't find the sound field engaging in the slightest.

We get a rather weak supplemental package included with this Blu-ray release. We get a 10 minute look at the making of the film from the cast, 13 minute HBO: First Look on the film, a 10 minute feature on how to cook a holiday meal (why is this included?), a two minute gag reel, and eight minutes of deleted scenes. At least all of the above features are presented in 480 even though they are extremely shallow. There's also a digital copy included on a second disc.

Movie: 5.5/10
VQ: 7/10
AQ: 7/10
Supplements: 4/10
Final word: Worth a Rental At Best

As always thanks for reading folks.

12-06-2009, 06:06 AM
I agree with the review above.

I have been looking forward to seeing this film for sometime and this weekend I watched it on Blu Ray and was disapointment to say the least. The only redeming feature was Reese Witherspoon who looked great throughout the film. Vince Vaughn is certainly not a favoured actor with me and this film doesn't change my opinion of him. There seems to be a trend in recent comedy films and TV series to include either a, in his case two (the two brothers), dysfunctional family member or an over bearing family member which, unless its the main theme of the movies, doesn't do anything to enchance the movie.

As mentioned above proberbly worth a rental but certainly not a purchase.