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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Paul Feig
Cast:
Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jessica St. Clair, Michael Hitchcock, Kali Hawk, Joe Nunez, Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Greg Tuculescu
Writing Credits:
Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo

Synopsis:
From the producer of Superbad, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes the breakout comedy critics are calling "brazenly hysterical!" (Alynda Wheat, People) ... Thirty-something Annie (Kristen Wiig) has hit a rough patch but finds her life turned completely upside down when she takes on the Maid of Honor role in her best friend Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding. In way over her head but determined to succeed, Annie leads a hilarious hodgepodge of bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to the big event.

Box Office:
Budget
$32.500 million.
Opening Weekend
$26.247 million on 2918 screens.
Domestic Gross
$168.048 million.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 125 min. (Theatrical Version) / 131 min. (Unrated Cut)
Price: $29.95
Release Date: 9/20/2011

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Paul Feig, Writer/Actor Kristen Wiig, Writer Annie Mumolo and Actors Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy
• Gag Reel
• “Line-o-Rama”
• Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes
• “Cholodecki’s Commercial”
• Previews


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


Bridesmaids (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 8, 2011)

Although “R”-rated comedies made a big comeback in recent years, they remained a boys’ club. With hits like Wedding Crashers, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Hangover, we followed the juvenile shenanigans of various guys; women acted as supporting characters who tended toward the “plot device” category most of the time.

2011’s Bridesmaids may change that. With a modest $32 million budget and no star power, it went on to earn a surprising $168 million and become one of the summer’s surprise hits. Whether or not we’ll now get a rush of chick-related raunchy comedies remains to be seen, but Hollywood loves nothing more than success, so I expect to see more like this.

Set in Milwaukee, Bridesmaids introduces us to Annie (Kristen Wiig), a 30-something gal who’s seen better days. She opened her own bakery but it went under; after that she got dumped by her boyfriend and lost her savings. Now she barely ekes out a living at a jewelry store while she rents a room in an apartment. Her only relationship comes with narcissistic Ted (Jon Hamm), a dude who treats her as a booty call and nothing more.

In the midst of all this gloom, Annie’s lifelong best pal Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged to successful Chicago banker Dougie (Tim Heidecker). Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, and of course her closest friend accepts.

However, Annie feels threatened when she meets Lillian’s new friend Helen (Rose Byrne), the wife of Dougie’s boss. Annie already feels mopey that Lillian will move 90 miles down I-94 to the Windy City, so she gets even more upset when it looks like she’s been traded in for a sleeker, shinier model. We follow Annie’s angst and how this affects the wedding and her friendship with Lillian.

That synopsis doesn’t make Bridesmaids sound all that much like a raunchy comedy, does it? Believe me when I say it does fall into that category, but it also nods closer to dramatic territory than most of its male-oriented siblings. Indeed, dare I say Bridesmaids bumps up against “chick flick” at times? Clearly it’s rougher around the edges than that genre’s standard fare, but it doesn’t go “all in” with its crudeness; it attempts a bit more heart than you might expect from the guy-oriented comedies.

Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to the individual viewer. I didn’t really mind the softer ‘n’ gentler side, though I think the movie would be a bit more daring if it just went for the jugular. I know it sounds odd to say that Bridesmaids would seem more original if it more obviously emulated other “R”-rated comedies, but I think that’s the case because of its cast. When I see Hangover and its ilk, I compare them to each other; when I see Bridesmaids, I compare it to other estrogen-oriented comedies.

This means that a more consistent embrace of its crudeness would’ve allowed Bridesmaids to feel more honest. At times the “chick flick” elements feel like they’re there because the filmmakers are afraid to go all the way and show women in the same situations we see in the male-based comedies. Sure, it indulges in a few moments that rival the raunchiest bits we’ve viewed elsewhere, but those come and go quickly, and the movie simply doesn’t seem to have the stomach to push the envelope more frequently.

It also doesn’t appear to have an editor. You’ll be forgiven if you think Bridesmaids is a Judd Apatow movie; Paul Feig directed it, but Apatow produced it and it sure feels like one of his, partially due to its length. Apatow flicks always run too long, and that problem befalls Bridesmaids.

The movie’s extended running time becomes most apparent during its third act. Though it feels loose and padded at other times, we don’t bear the brunt of the length until the last 40 minutes or so. That’s when the material starts to wear thin; we just want the inevitable happy ending to occur and move on with our lives. Like virtually all Apatow’s efforts, Feig’s Bridesmaids could easily lose 15-20 minutes and be better for it.

All these criticisms aside, I do think Bridesmaids mostly works. Is it too sappy and too long? Definitely, but it’s funny enough to generally overcome those flaws.

Actually, I found it more amusing the second time I saw it. Perhaps because I was aware of its problems – especially the excessive length – those issues didn’t bother me as much during my follow-up screening. Instead, I was better able to focus on the uniformly excellent cast and the generally high quality of the gags.

It’s a good sign that a movie still works well the second time around, and I think that’s true for Bridesmaids. Will I ever regard it as a comedy classic? No, and I do think it would’ve benefited from better editing. Nonetheless, it’s a rare “chick flick” with real laughs and it has just enough charm and humor to make it enjoyable.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Bridesmaids appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Given the film’s length and all the extra content, I feared the worst, but this was a surprisingly strong SD-DVD.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Bridesmaids tended to stay with a natural palette. Hues took on a light golden tone at times, but that stylistic choice didn’t overwhelm. Instead, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.

I thought that the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Bridesmaids seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that strongly favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides.

Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. A few scenes opened up better, though, such as those on a plane. However, most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was natural and distinct, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score and songs showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

The DVD comes with many extras, and it includes two editions of the film. We get the theatrical cut (2:04:52) as well as an unrated version (2:10:14). How do the two differ? Some of the changes come from minor additions to existing scenes, but we do get some bigger alterations. We see a creepy sequence with Annie’s roommates in a bathtub, and there’s a long segment that lets us view Annie’s attempt to go on a blind date.

That one accounts for more than half of the extra footage on its own. It’s cute but not great. The same goes for the other sequences. While they can be enjoyable, the movie was already too long theatrically; making it run another five-plus minutes doesn’t help.

Next we find an audio commentary with director Paul Feig, writer/actor Kristen Wiig, writer Annie Mumolo and actors Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy. All of them sit together for a discussion of cast and performances, characters and story, deleted/altered scenes, sets and locations, and anecdotes related to real-experiences with concepts featured in the film.

If nothing else, this commentary boasts a lot of energy, as it keeps rolling from start to finish. It includes some fun stories and clever twists like Feig’s decision to field some questions from fans on Twitter. I also like the fact they recorded the commentary before the film opened; it’s fun to hear them discuss it without the knowledge of how well it’d do.

But do we learn much from this track? Not really. The most extensive notes relate to improvised moments and alternate bits. Otherwise, we get a lot of laughing and chatter without much real content. It’s a likable commentary but not one with a ton of good information.

A Gag Reel goes for three minutes, 47 seconds. While it includes some of the usual goofs and giggles, it also throws in quite a few alternate lines. That makes it more fun than most collections of this sort.

A staple of movies from under the Judd Apatow umbrella, Line-O-Rama provides a 12-minute, 10-second compilation. It shows alternate lines delivered for various movie scenes. The majority are pretty darned funny, so this is a delightful collection of bits.

More cut footage appears next. We get three Deleted Scenes (7:51) as well as five Extended and Alternate Scenes (8:39). Among the deleted scenes, “Blind Date with Dave” (5:19) is especially fun to see; it shows Annie out with a character played by a pretty big star. It’s not a great sequence, but the presence of that actor makes it a surprise the scene got the boot. “Bon Jour” (0:34) just delivers another reminder of how close Helen and Lillian became, while “Last Chance” (1:57) reprises Annie’s failed jewelry store career. Both are entertaining and would’ve been fine in the final film – or would’ve been fine in a final film that wasn’t already way too long.

As for the extended/alternate scenes, we find “Meet Gil & Brynn” (2:41), “Judy on Barb” (2:43), “Ham Slacks” (0:44), “Becca Pukes Again” (0:20) and “Split the Rent: Breasts” (2:01). The first and last ones give us more of Annie’s oddball roommates and are fun. I’m surprised “Pukes” doesn’t pop up in the extended cut, while “Slacks” is in the alternate edition, which makes its appearance here confusing. “Barb” is okay but not material that would’ve been great in the final flick.

For something unusual, we see a Cholodecki’s Commercial. It goes for one minute, seven seconds as it shows a fake ad created for the movie’s jewelry store. It’s creepy and amusing.

The disc opens with ads for Fast Five, Bring It On: The Musical, and Honey 2. No trailer for Bridesmaids appears.

Bridesmaids proves that “chick flicks” can be raunchy, too. While it lacks the general crudeness of male-oriented siblings like The Hangover, Bridesmaids does give us something different. It’s too long and too sentimental, but thanks to a great cast and some clever writing, it’s funny enough to succeed. The DVD provides surprisingly good picture quality along with decent audio and some enjoyable supplements. Bridesmaids delivers a pretty likable comedy.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.4285 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main