DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main
WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Frank Coraci
Cast:
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Terry Crews
Writing Credits:
Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera

Synopsis:
After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.

Box Office:
Budget
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$18,185,000 on 3,555 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$45,889,191.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
Portuguese
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
Portuguese
French

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 8/26/2014

Bonus:
• 10 Featurettes
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• DVD Copy
• Previews

PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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


Blended [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 24, 2014)

Every few years, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore team up for another movie. They started with 1998’s The Wedding Singer and they came back with 2004’s 50 First Dates. Those did well both in terms of box office receipts and critical reception, so the pair returned for 2014’s Blended - and brought Wedding Singer director Frank Coraci along with them.

Widower Jim (Sandler) and divorcee Lauren (Barrymore) find themselves set up on a blind date that turns into a flop for both of them. They hope to never see each other again but fate conspires to force them together. These experiences – such as an awkward encounter at a drug store – continue to reinforce their disdain for each other.

When a relationship between Lauren’s business partner Jen (Wendy McLendon-Covey) and Jim’s boss Dick goes awry, this cancels the couple’s trip to Africa – their family-oriented, non-refundable trip, as it happens. After some finagling, Jim and Lauren manage to score this vacation, but neither knows the other family will be there until they arrive. We follow the interactions and adventures of Jim, Lauren and their combined five kids as they attempt to deal with each other.

When I reviewed 2010’s Grown Ups, I thought the movie felt like a bunch of friends got together for a long weekend and decided to make a movie along the way. Lazy and random, that film offered next to nil in terms of inspiration, thought or plot.

Blended never feels quite as careless as Grown Ups, but it comes with a similar impression, as I get the sense Sandler wanted a paid vacation to Africa and built a movie around it. Any story elements remain predictable and trite, and characters stay one-dimensional from start to finish.

Not that the movie doesn’t kinda sorta attempt character development, as it devotes an awful lot of time to those components. Most comedies tend to run about 90 minutes; for reference, 50 First Dates and Wedding Singer both clocked in right around 100 minutes. Blended, on the other hand, comes perilously close to the two-hour mark.

While it wouldn’t fix all the movie’s problems, Blended almost certainly would fare better if it shaved a good 20 minutes off of its running time. The film starts slowly and never improves the pace. We spend a ridiculous amount of time with Jim, Lauren and their kids before the movie finally – mercifully – takes the characters to Africa.

I guess the filmmakers hope that this extended opening will allow us to embrace the characters and flesh them out, but it backfires. The story feels stuck in neutral and plods through bland, lackluster attempts at exposition. The movie easily could’ve expedited these matters and worked better; Blended moves at such a pokey pace that it threatens to lose us before we get anywhere.

Matters don’t improve in an appreciable manner once the characters get to Africa. At that point, the movie abandons most of its plot points and indulges in wacky comedic scenarios. If these provided amusement, that’d be fine, but they tend to be obvious and dopey.

A lot of the problem stems from all the contrivances involved in the story. The movie goes to absurd extremes to force Jim, Lauren and their kids together, and it never backs off of those notions to become vaguely believable. We get beaten down by relentless gimmicks to advance the plot and these just don’t work.

On the positive side, Barrymore and Sandler still show some chemistry together, and the occasional laugh results. Unfortunately, we don’t get enough of these to sustain our attention across the movie’s long running time.


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

Blended appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a good but not exceptional presentation.

For the most part, sharpness seemed positive. However, a little more softness crept in than I would’ve expected, especially during interior wide shots; those could be a bit on the tentative side. Still, overall definition worked fine. I witnessed no issues with shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes were absent. No print flaws marred the presentation either.

Colors went the moderately stylized route, with an emphasis on amber and teal. They did warm up as the film got to Africa, though, and looked good within design parameters. Blacks were dark and deep, and shadows showed nice clarity. The mild softness left this as a “B” but it was still a pretty positive presentation.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Blended lacked a lot of zing, though it worked fine for this sort of film. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got what I anticipated.

In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings and boasted good music involvement but did little more than that. Some of the African spots had a bit more pep, but nothing impressive occurred.

In those forward channels, the music provided nice stereo separation and opened up the mix reasonably well. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity or movement, but the effects conveyed a passable sense of space and place. The track functioned appropriately for the story most of the time.

Audio quality appeared fine. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, though I noticed a little edginess at times. Effects were a minor component of the mix, and they seemed appropriately subdued and accurate; there wasn’t much to hear, but the various elements were clean and distinct. The music came across as acceptably distinctive. This was a largely standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.

Most of the disc’s extras revolve around its 10 featurettes. We find “Safari” (3:13), “Animals” (3:34), “Parasailing” (2:19), “Ostriches” (1:51), “Dick’s Customer Service” (2:27), “Herlihoops: Basketball Actor” (1:06), “Adam and Drew: Back Together Again” (2:21), “Bella Thorne’s Makeover” (1:58), “Nickens” (1:39) and “Georgia” (2:40). Along the way, we hear from director Frank Coraci, executive producer/actor Allen Covert, stunt coordinator Grant Hulley, assistant stunt coordinator Johann Spilhaus, visual effects supervisor Rob Bredow, producer Mike Karz, production designer Perry Andelin Blake, and actors Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Terry Crews, Emma Fuhrmann, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Bella Thorne, Abdoulaye NGom, Kyle Red Silverstein, Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Herlihy.

Across these, we learn about sets and locations, the movie’s animals, stunts and effects, cast and performances. Don’t expect much substance here, as the featurettes remain consistently perky and fluffy. We get occasional useful tidbits but not many, as the clips stay light, frothy and largely devoid of information.

A Gag Reel goes for five minutes, 53 seconds. It shows a fairly standard combination of mistakes and chuckles. A few references back to some older movies amuse but don’t expect much out of the ordinary.

Six Deleted Scenes occupy a total of six minutes, 12 seconds. These mix alternate takes/lines with short extensions of existing sequences and some short gags. None of these add anything to the narrative or characters, but fans of the film might find some laughs.

The disc opens with an ad for Dolphin’s Tale 2. No trailer for Blended appears here.

A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Blended. It includes three of the featurettes as well as the gag reel and the deleted scenes.

Although the first two Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler pairings delighted, Blended fizzles. It drags far too long and lacks more than a couple of minor chuckles along the way. The Blu-ray presents generally good picture and audio along with a minor roster of supplements. Despite the charms of its leads, Blended disappoints.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
05:
04:
0 3:
12:
01:
View Averages for all rated titles.

.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main