Death at a Funeral appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt totally pleased with this terrific transfer.
At all times, sharpness looked excellent. The movie demonstrated exceptional definition, as it showed consistent accuracy and tightness. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.
Colors were fine. The movie went with a fairly natural palette that favored a mild amber tint. The hues looked full and rich. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity. I thought the image looked absolutely smashing.
One shouldn’t expect sonic fireworks from a comedy such as Funeral, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack remained subdued. The mix featured good stereo music and decent environmental information but little more substantial than that. The surrounds played a minor role at best, so don’t expect much from them; even the most farcical scenes didn’t boast much activity.
At least audio quality was good. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no problems on display. Music sounded vivid and full, and effects were perfectly acceptable. As noted, they rarely offered anything to make them stand out from the crowd, but they worked fine. I thought this was a pretty average track without any qualities that allowed it to impress.
As we head to the extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Neil LaBute and actor/producer Chris Rock. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the opening credits and the film's use of music, sets and locations, cast and performances, adapting the original film, cinematography, editing, costumes, and a few other production areas.
Overall, the commentary gives us a good look at the production, but man, does it come with a lot of happy talk! LaBute is the main culprit, but Rock throws in a lot of praise for all involved with the flick as well. They lay it on pretty thick at times.
Nonetheless, the content helps make the track mostly enjoyable. Though I'd like more info about the adaptation of the original movie - they allude to a lot of rewrites but offer few details - we do learn a reasonable amount of information here. Rock throws out occasional witty remarks as well, and the two mesh well in this generally likable piece.
One odd observation: both LaBute and Rock appear to believe that Funeral got an "R" rating solely due to the use of drugs. Nope - that may well be an MPAA no-no as well, but I suspect the 8000 or so "F-words" was the main cause of the rating. LaBute and Rock mention the profanity as well, but they seem convinced that without the drugs, they could've gotten away with all those swear words.
Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, five seconds. These include “’Who The Hell Is This Guy?’” (1:35), “Cynthia Walks In On Aaron and Michelle” (0:40), “’Are You Family?’” (0:39), “Oscar in the Bathroom” (1:13), “Duncan Gives Derek a Pep Talk” (0:44), “Marco Polo” (0:30) and “Michelle and Elaine Talk in Front of the Bathroom” (1:44). Some of these offer short extensions of existing scenes; that’s especially true for “Guy”, which only presents about 20 seconds of new content. Others add a little character/story exposition. None seem especially memorable, though “Polo” offers some childish amusement.
A Gag Reel runs two minutes, 37 seconds. It provides a short reel with the standard mistakes and cackling. It’s pretty typical fare, though it’s funny to see Tracy Jordan wrestle with a Bluetooth.
Three featurettes follow. Death at a Funeral: Last Rites, Dark Secrets goes for 20 minutes, 11 seconds and provides remarks from LaBute, Rock, producer Ayesha Carr, DP Rogier Stoffers, executive producer Glenn S. Gainor, production designer Jon Gary Steele, and actors James Marsden, Columbus Short, Regina Hall, Danny Glover, Zoe Saldana, Luke Wilson, Ron Glass, Tracy Jordan, Martin Lawrence, Loretta Devine, and Peter Dinklage. “Rites” discusses the adaptation of the original flick and various story elements, cast, characters and performances, LaBute’s approach to the material, shooting on video instead of film, sets and locations.
“Rites” throws in some decent behind the scenes shots, but it includes very little content that can’t already be found in the commentary. In addition, it suffers from a fluffy tone that makes it awfully insubstantial. Chalk this up as little more than a standard promotional piece.
Family Album lasts 10 minutes, 59 seconds and features Devine, Glover, Lawrence, Rock, Hall, Jordan, Wilson, Glass, Short, Saldana, Marsden, and Dinklage. The actors simply discuss their characters. There’s no insight here; they just give us basic notes about their roles. That makes it a waste of time for anyone who’s seen the movie.
Finally, the five-minute, 55-second Death For Real offers info from Rock, Morgan, Short, Hall, Carr, Dinklage, Devine, Wilson, LaBute, and Glover. The participants muse about death and funerals. A few amusing moments emerge, but the show remains forgettable.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for The Karate Kid (2010), Grown Ups, The Back-Up Plan and Stomp the Yard: Homecoming. Those also appear under Previews along with promos for Bad Boys and The Other Guys. No trailer for Funeral appears here.
A second disc provides a Digital Copy of Funeral. This lets you slap the flick on a computer or portable device. Go for it?
A remake of a recent British film, Death at a Funeral makes me curious to see the original. While I think the 2010 edition has value, it’s inconsistent enough that I’d like to find out if the prior version suffers from the same flaws or if it works better as a whole.
Whatever the case, the remake boasts fair entertainment and keeps us with it. The Blu-ray demonstrates excellent picture quality, restrained but appropriate audio, and average supplements. Funeral never excels, but provides a moderate number of laughs.