Instant Family appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a consistently strong image.
Sharpness always remained positive, as the movie exhibited fine delineation and accuracy. Any softness remained negligible in this tight presentation.
The film lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and it also didn’t suffer from any edge haloes. Print haloes remained absent.
Colors favored a mix of teal and amber, with an emphasis on the last one given the sense of familial warmth the movie embraced. The hues came across as well-developed.
Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and concise. Everything about the image satisfied.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix, it showed scope generally typical of the comedy soundfield. That said, a few “action” elements occasionally allowed it to open up in a satisfying manner.
These added some immersiveness, as did a few other exteriors, but those instances remained fairly infrequent. The mix used the score in a broad, engaging manner, though, and the whole package fit together smoothly.
Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.
Music seemed warm and lush, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Bass response delivered great punch. The mix suited the story and kicked into higher gear when necessary.
We get a slew of extras here, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Sean Anders and writer John Morris. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and how Anders’ real-life circumstances inspired the movie, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and related subjects.
Anders dominates the track, and he devotes more time to a discussion of his family and foster/adoption-related topics than movie-making domains. That seems fine with me, as Anders offers a good view of the facts behind the flick’s fiction. We get enough production information to balance the areas and turn this into a lively, satisfying piece.
Including introductions from Anders and Morris, five Deleted/Extended Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 51 seconds. These tend toward minor expositional/character moments, none of which add much in terms of necessary information. A few seem fairly amusing, though.
The intros give us basics about the scenes and why they failed to make the cut. Anders and Morris add some decent information.
A Gag Reel spans three minutes, nine seconds and shows the standard mix of goofs, giggles and jokes. It’s a pretty mediocre compilation.
A slew of featurettes follow, and Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It goes for four minutes, 11 seconds and offers notes from Andersand actors Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, and Octavia Spencer.
“Fix-It” discusses Anders’ real-life situation as well as story/characters. It tends to feel pretty fluffy.
With Kid Power, we find a nine-minute, eight-second reel that features Anders, Morris, Byrne, Wahlberg, casting director Sheila Jaffe, producer Marc Evans and actors Julianna Gamiz, Isabela Moner and Gustavo Quiroz.
“Power” covers the film’s young actors. The material covered tends to just praise the kids, but the test/audition footage adds interest.
I Need Some Support spans five minutes, 17 seconds and features Anders, Byrne, Spencer, Wahlberg and actor Tig Notaro. We learn about the foster parent groups and their representation in the film. A smattering of moderately effective details pop up here, mainly when we learn about the facts involved.
Next comes Order In the Court, a three-minute, 53-second reel with Anders, Jaffe, foster care consultant/PA Maraide Green and actors Julie Hagerty, Joselin Reyers, Michael O’Keefe and Margo Martindale. We get thoughts about the movie’s ending but mainly find an ad for foster care/adoption.
During the nine-minute, 14-second The Families Behind the Fair, we hear from Anders and various real-life foster families. We learn how the latter participated on one of the movie’s scenes. It’s essentially another Public Service Announcement for foster care, though we get a few more thoughts from Anders about his real-life circumstances.
Crew Inspiration fills four minutes, 59 seconds with remarks from Anders, Green, Morris, Byrne, Reyes, Jaffe, Moner, Wahlberg, and actors Starshia Conley, Lori Hernandez and Candice Daniels.
“Inspiration” looks at some crew experiences with the foster system. It brings another call for people to foster/adopt and doesn’t tell us much otherwise.
Lastly, The Anders Family occupies seven minutes, five seconds and features Anders and his wife Beth as well as Wahlberg, O’Keefe, Hernandez, Byrne, Spencer and Notaro.
As expected, this show offers more material about Anders’ real-life family. We get some of this elsewhere but “Family” summarizes matters fairly well despite the usual fluff.
A music video for Isabela Moner’s “I’ll Stay”. The song that runs over the film’s end credits, the video mixes movie clips and recording studio shots. It’s pretty forgettable.
On Set Proposal last two minutes, 35 seconds and shows what the title implies, as we see a wedding proposal during the production. It’s cute but probably more fun for those involved than the rest of us.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Family. It includes none of the Blu-ray’s extras.
A mix of comedy and drama, Instant Family comes with good intentions. Unfortunately, it buries these beneath cheap stabs at humor and a general sense of mawkish sentimentality. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture along with appropriate audio and a long but erratic set of supplements. Family fails to become an engaging tale.