Grown Ups appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No issues emerged in this satisfying presentation.
Sharpness worked well. A smidgen of softness popped up in a few wide shots, but those instances remained minor. The majority of the flick offered crisp, accurate visuals. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes failed to appear. Source flaws also remained absent.
Colors looked good. The image took on a golden tone much of the time, but the image stayed with a pretty natural impression. The hues seemed vivid and full. Blacks appeared dark and tight, while shadows showed nice delineation. Across the board, this was a strong presentation.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Grown Ups was unexceptional, 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 exactly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day. Surround usage stayed limited; the back speakers gently fleshed out various settings but did little more than that.
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.
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 standard “comedy mix” and became a decent reproduction of the material.
We find a smattering of extras here, and these open with an audio commentary from director Dennis Dugan. In his running, screen-specific chat, he discusses the film’s origins and script, sets and locations, cast and performances, stunts, effects, music and a few other topics.
I’ve heard a few Dugan commentaries, and they’ve ranged from mediocre to mediocre. Guess what? This one’s pretty darned mediocre. On the positive side, Dugan provides a light, reasonably engaging presence, and he tries hard to keep us entertained. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t have a lot of substantial material to give us. Dugan delivers a decent but unmemorable chat.
10 Outtakes and Deleted Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 15 seconds. Most of these expand the roles of the women. The most significant shows Roxanne at a fashion show where she and Lenny discuss the trip to Milan and the detour for the funeral. It was a good cut; it gives Hayek more screen time but makes her look mean and unsympathetic.
Speaking of which, we see more of Kurt’s nasty mother-in-law, and we observe that she keeps tabs on him through the sight of a rifle. This is a genuinely tasteless gag, as it strongly implies the mother-in-law plans to shoot Kurt.
Other clips are less problematic, but not especially funny. I do like the inclusion of Sandler’s many, many attempts to make a difficult basketball shot. I appreciate that he lacked the ego to hide these bits, but I did want to scream “just CG the shot and be done with it!!!”
Next comes a featurette called Laughing Is Contagious. It lasts four minutes, eight seconds and shows goofing around on the set. A few participants tell us how much fun they had during the shoot as we watch their silliness. Snooze.
A Gag Reel goes for three minutes, 49 seconds. While it includes some of the usual goofs and giggles, it also provides some alternate lines. That makes it more interesting than most reels of this sort.
More unused footage shows up under Riff-O-Rama. The four-minute, 37-second compilation shows the five lead actors as they work through one particular scene. None of the cut lines are funnier than the included ones, but it’s cool to see the actors as they improv in this fashion.
A few more featurettes fill out the set. Dennis Dugan: Hands On Director lasts four minutes, 38 seconds and includes comments from Dugan and actors Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Dan Patrick, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, and Maria Bello. We see Dugan work on the set, and the actors tell us what it’s like to have him as director. Some of the behind the scenes shots are decent, but the piece remains pretty insubstantial.
During the six-minute, 46-second Lost Tapes of Norm MacDonald, we get comments from actor MacDonald. He talks about his character – who barely appears in the final flick – and see his deleted footage. Some amusement results, though I’d be interested to know why MacDonald’s work got the boot.
The Cast of Grown Ups runs seven minutes, eight seconds and offers remarks from Dugan, Hayek, Spade, Bello, Rock, MacDonald, Rudolph, and actors Rob Schneider and Kevin James. They talk about how wonderful they all are. Other than some footage from the set, it’s a waste of time.
Finally, Busey and the Monkey fills three minutes, 24 seconds. It’s actually another deleted scene, as it shows Lenny’s work as Gary Busey’s agent. The scene shows decent comedic value; it’s certainly funnier than almost everything in the final flick, so I wonder why it got cut.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for The Other Guys, Salt, The Karate Kid (2010), Easy A and Stomp the Yard: Homecoming. These also appear under Previews along with promos for Eat Pray Love, Beastly, Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, Click, and 50 First Dates. No trailer for Grown Ups appears here.
I didn’t think a film that starred talents like Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade could be mediocre, and I was right. Grown Ups isn’t average – it’s thoroughly awful. The Blu-ray provides very good picture, acceptable audio and a few moderately interesting supplements. The Blu-ray brings home the movie in positive manner, but the flick remains a real dud.