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Jon M. Chu
Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh
Writing Credits:
Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim

New York economics professor Rachel Chu travels to Asia to meet her wealthy boyfriend's family.

Box Office:
$30 million.
Opening Weekend
$26,510,140 on 3384 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 120 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 11/20/2018

• Audio Commentary with Director Jon M. Chu and Novelist Kevin Kwan
• “Crazy Rich Fun” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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Crazy Rich Asians [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 18, 2018)

Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling 2013 novel, 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians introduces us to New York university professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu). She plans to accompany her longtime boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore for the wedding of Nick’s best pal Colin (Chris Pang).

When Rachel and Nick arrive, she learns a secret: he belongs to an insanely wealthy family and is regarded as arguably Asia’s most eligible bachelor. This sets up a scenario in which Rachel needs to fend off female competition for Nick’s affection, and she also must navigate her introduction to his family.

As I write this in mid-November, Rich resides at number 12 on the year’s US box office chart. Though that spot seems unspectacular – and will inevitably fall before 2018 comes to a close – I feel Rich delivers the summer’s biggest surprise hit.

All the entries around Rich on the list show the usual big blockbusters – your superhero flicks, your animated smashes, etc. The character-based Rich stands as an exception to that rule, one that radically overperformed expectations.

This became an even bigger deal due to the movie’s racial component. In the discussion of Rich, we often hear that it’s the first Hollywood film since 1994’s Joy Luck Club to focus on an Asian cast.

And I guess that’s true. Disney’s 1998 animated flick Mulan included a lot of Asian actors, but it mixed in plenty of non-Asians as well, some of whom played Chinese characters. Harvey Fierstein as a Chinese warrior???

As a social statement, Rich’s success pleases me. To get to its $173 million, it clearly needed to attract a diverse audience, and the fact moviegoers grabbed onto it in such a colorblind manner offers a ray of hope in the bigoted hell that is the US circa 2018.

As a movie, unfortunately, Rich falls short of hopes. Essentially little more than a soap opera with romantic comedy overtones, it makes for a disjointed two hours.

A tough to swallow two hours at that, as Rich comes with a mix of implausible plot points. Would they really date a year and a) Rachel wouldn’t Google Nick or b) Nick wouldn’t tell her the truth?

The latter seems more believable, as one can accept that Nick might want Rachel to love him for himself and not for his money. However, in this day and age, there’s a zero percent chance she’d never learn about his wealth via other means.

Even if I ignore that headscratcher and other illogical choices, Rich falters, mainly because it barely attempts a narrative. At its core, it should deliver a fairly simple tale, one that focuses on the challenges Rachel faces when she gets to know Nick’s family.

That’s a well-worn but still sturdy premise, but Rich doesn’t feel content with a simple, straightforward story. Instead, the movie feels the need to stack up superfluous characters and situations.

Because of these choices, Rich fails to adequately focus on its leads, and it often comes across like a compilation of vaguely connected scenes. The movie wants to spend its time with wacky supporting leads, and those moments don’t fit the tale in a natural manner.

A lot of this probably works in the context of the novel, as a book can adequately cover a mix of characters in a more satisfying manner. In this case, too many of the roles feel tacked on and don’t receive enough exposition to become anything more than a distraction.

Rich also likes to indulge in sappy melodrama, especially during its second half. The first hour leans more comedic, but the movie goes all Hallmark Channel on us during the second hour.

This doesn’t work either, mainly because we don’t really know or care about the characters. Rich fails to develop Rachel or Nick in a compelling manner, so they exist as stock roles without real personality.

The actors show reasonable charm, and a few comedic beats amuse – largely thanks to the talents of Awkwafina and Ken Jeong - but most of Rich falls flat. I admire its cultural impact, but as a movie, it’s not very good.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Crazy Rich Asians appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.

Sharpness looked good. Virtually no obvious signs of softness materialized, so the film demonstrated appropriate clarity.

No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Rich tended to stay with a light teal and amber palette. Within those constraints, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise, and some shots in Singapore managed a more dynamic range of colors.

Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing transfer.

I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Rich seemed fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most romantic 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, such as those at a party or at an airport. 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.

A few extras fill out the set, and we open with an audio commentary from director Jon M. Chu and novelist Kevin Kwan. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing and related domains.

This becomes a perfectly average commentary. It covers a reasonable amount of territory and does so in a reasonable manner, but it never digs all that deep.

In particular, I’d like to know more about the novel and the changes that needed to occur to shift it to the screen. We get a decent amount of information here but the track never turns into anything especially memorable.

A featurette called Crazy Rich Fun fills seven minutes, 18 seconds and includes Chu, Kwan, producer John Penotti, and actors Chris Pang, Ken Jeong, Jimmy O. Yang, Awkwafna, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu.

“Fun” looks at the novel and its adaptation, cast and performances, sets and production design, and the movie’s depiction of Asians. A few useful nuggets emerge but “Fun” remains promotional in nature.

Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, 10 seconds. These mix new sequences and extended segments.

Don’t expect a lot from these, as they offer some minor character expansions and little else. None of them seem bad, but they lack much to make them memorable.

A Gag Reel runs one minute, 47 seconds and presents a standard mix of goofs and giggles. Nothing sets it apart from the crowd, but at least it’s short.

The disc opens with ads for A Star Is Born (2018) and Ocean’s 8. No trailer for Rich appears here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Rich. It includes the “Fun” featurette but lacks all the other extras.

As much as I admire the cultural impact of Crazy Rich Asians, I can’t find much to like about the movie itself. One-dimensional and episodic, the film fails to develop into a coherent, memorable package. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture with decent audio and a smattering of supplements. Rich ends up as a forgettable romantic film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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