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NEM

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Brian Herzlinger
Cast:
Heather Graham, Jerry O'Connell, John Corbett, Lara Flynn Boyle, Katie Finneran, Brian Sills, Anthony Starke
Writing Credits:
Michael Hamilton-Wright, Russell Scalise

Tagline:
Big surprises sometimes come in small packages ...

Synopsis:
Angela (Heather Graham) and Curtis (Jerry O'Connell) have it all – a loving relationship, a beautiful house and successful careers – until an unexpected pregnancy sends them on a nine-month roller coaster ride. Now, they must deal with jealousy and suspicion, Angela’s over-demanding boss (Lara Flynn Boyle), plus all the drama caused by their “happily” married best friends Danny (John Corbett) and Sylvie (Katie Finneran). It all adds up to one uproarious battle of the sexes in this romantic comedy that truly delivers!

Box Office:
Budget
$8 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 6/2/2009

Supplements:
• Audio Commentary with Director Brian Herzlinger and Producer Emilio Ferrari
• Photo Gallery
• Trailer


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Baby On Board [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 3, 2009)

Many films have explored the “battle of the sexes” theme over the years, but Baby on Board adds a little twist to the concept: it makes its lead female pregnant. Curtis Marks (Jerry O’Connell) serves as a high-powered divorce attorney who gets his clients out of pre-nups, while his wife Angela (Heather Graham) works to market new perfumes.

All seems well with this “power couple” until Angela gets pregnant. Why is this a snag? Because Curtis thinks another man is the baby’s father, and Angela believes Curtis is cheating on her. This leads to a variety of conflicts as the pair battle over their misconceptions and neither one will cede any ground.

Five minutes, 38 seconds. That’s the point in the film’s running time when I knew Board would be a miserable experience. At the 5:38 mark, we see a fat, hairy old man whose balls hang down below his knees.

Let’s not neglect 9:58. That’s when Angela farts in the middle of a meeting. Or 17:01, when Angela pukes all over a valet. I’ll stop there, but suffice it to say that Board comes heavy on tacky, gross-out “humor” and light on anything remotely clever or funny.

Actually, the movie never seems to figure out what it wants to be. Is this a wild American Pie style sex comedy? Is it a touchy-feely relationship drama? Is it a cynical, biting War of the Roses-esque take on marriage?

The answer is “none of the above”. Board mixes and matches genres with abandon and lacks anything to make it remotely coherent. It can’t carry a logical storyline to save its life, and it makes absolutely no sense most of the time. Both Angela and Curtis think the other is cheating, but they never actually discuss the issue; they just leap into their assumptions and that’s that.

Not only does this seem illogical, but also it’s simply stupid. The choices on display here force us to view the characters as irrational idiots. It doesn’t help that the movie’s perspective appears to be no more developed than “men are sex-obsessed pigs, and women are needy shrews”.

The cast of Board reads like a list of promising careers gone awry. Graham, O’Connell, John Corbett, Lara Flynn Boyle – each one once looked like they could become true stars, but none of them achieved that. I guess Graham came the closest, but it’s been about a decade since she threatened to become an “A”-list actress, and it’s all been downhill since then.

I’d like to say that Board gives me reason to bemoan their “C”-list fates, but no one here gives me a reason to believe that a great deal of talent lies beneath the surface. That’s not really fair, as I know at least a couple of them do have good skills. You just won’t find anything in their performances to remind us of their capabilities.

I suppose I can’t blame them. If I got stuck in a movie as witless, insulting and downright misanthropic as Baby on Board, I’d find it hard to muster adequate work. This awful movie has no redeeming qualities.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio C-/ Bonus C+

Baby on Board appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Despite some attractive shots, the overall presentation remained average.

Sharpness was generally decent, but rarely seemed very good. The movie tended to display acceptable definition but not better than that. Though the occasional shot looked really tight, most were simply fair. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and edge enhancement was absent. Source flaws weren’t much of a concern; I noticed a couple of specks and that was it.

Like the sharpness, colors appeared mediocre. The film’s natural palette never looked off, but it lacked much vivacity. Blacks were bland and somewhat flat, and shadows tended to be dense. This was especially true for a nighttime exterior at Curtis and Angela’s house, but other low-light shots also seemed a bit thick. While the flick boasted enough appealing images to get a “C+”, it was usually a pretty lackluster presentation.

I found even less to impress in the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Baby on Board. The biggest problem here stemmed from the poor quality of the film’s foley work. Speech was natural and concise, and music also sounded fairly full and rich. Unfortunately, effects were often bad. These elements suffered from an awkward echo that gave them an unnatural tone. This became a consistent distraction throughout the film.

The flick’s soundfield did nothing to stand out either. Music showed decent stereo imaging, but effects had little to do. Even when the film tried to become showier, it just appeared contrived. Take the “Korean hand job” parlor scene toward the end; the sound designers put the moans of patrons in the rear speakers. Rather than add life to the track, that choice simply made the mix sound less convincing.

Other effects were no more satisfying. The movie stayed with general ambience and rarely portrayed any real movement or anything involving. Between the bland soundfield and the awkward foley, this was a “C-“ soundtrack.

A few extras pop up here. The main attraction comes from an audio commentary with director Brian Herzlinger and producer Emilio Ferrari. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, sets and locations, the opening animation, story, script and rewrites, some visual choices, and a smattering of other production topics.

I’ll say this for Herzlinger and Ferrari: they’re enthusiastic about their film. They seem downright ebullient as they discuss Board. While this attitude isn’t infectious – it’d take some sort of brain-eating infection to make me enjoy Board - at least it ensures a pleasant commentary experience. Happy talk pops up a lot, but the participants balance this with a fair amount of filmmaking info. This doesn’t become a memorable track, but it moves along well enough.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Photo Gallery. This running collection includes 50 pictures and lasts four minutes, 13 seconds. We find nothing more than images from the flick in this dull package.

That fits the movie, as Baby on Board provides a uniformly atrocious experience. Except when it bores, the movie offends, and it includes nothing clever or interesting to ever redeem it. The Blu-ray provides mediocre picture and audio along with a decent commentary. Avoid this thoroughly awful film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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