Knocked Up appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not great, this was a generally good transfer.
Sharpness usually looked strong. Some minor softness interfered at times, though not to a substantial degree. Most of the movie seemed accurate and concise. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed only minor edge enhancement. In terms of source flaws, I detected a couple small specks but nothing major.
Colors were usually positive. The movie featured a mix of yellow and teal tones, and the yellows seemed a little heavy, but the tones remained fairly good. Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows were clear and smooth. Even with some drawbacks, this remained a satisfactory presentation.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Knocked Up, it fit the standard “comedy mix” parameters for the most part. Wthin that lackluster scope, however, I thought the audio seemed good. Music offered the strongest aspects of the mix, as the score and songs boasted great stereo imaging.
The effects tended toward general environmental material and rarely broadened out too much. This meant the surrounds tended toward general reinforcement, so don’t expect them to add a ton to the experience. Outside of an earthquake scene, I’d be hard-pressed to remember anything exciting.
Audio quality was very good. Speech always sounded concise and natural, without edginess or other concerns. Effects appeared accurate and full, though they didn’t do much to tax my system. Again, music fared best. From the opening strains of the Wu-Tang Clan, the tunes and score were lively and dynamic. This wasn’t a killer track, but it was fine for this kind of flick.
How does the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio showed a little more range, though the restricted nature of the mix meant it didn’t add a whole lot of additional pizzazz.
Visuals showed more obvious improvements. The Blu-ray brought the expected boost in sharpness, and even with the yellow vibe, colors seemed warmer. This was a superior image.
The Blu-ray duplicates the DVD’s extras, and we start with an audio commentary from writer/director Judd Apatow, actor/executive producer Seth Rogen, and actor Bill Hader. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific chat.
Don’t expect much insight into the technical side of filmmaking, as characters and story are the main emphasis here. We learn a lot about cast and performances as well as various scene details such as inspirations and influences. We get a ton of notes about how Apatow’s real life prompted many sequences, and the track often digresses into related subjects. Occasionally we learn a little about editing, cut segments, and changes for the extended version.
This kind of commentary could easily become a mess, but with these guys, it remains lively and funny. Rogen and Apatow carry most of the weight, as Hader’s there mostly for fun. They prod the SNL performer to do some celebrity impersonations early in the track; these can be mildly amusing – especially when “Al Pacino” claims he acted in a movie actually done by De Niro – but the gag gets old quickly, so it’s good they abandon it.
The commentary is much more interesting when the guys riff on various concepts and tell their stories. We hear about Tobey Maguire at an early screening and stalking Harold Ramis. Plenty of entertaining tales come along with this chat, and we learn a fair amount about various elements of the story, scenes and characters. It’s not the most informative track you’ll hear, but it’s a lot of fun.
One disappointment: there’s no explanation of why the movie mentions Spider-Man 3 so much. That annoyed me as I watched the flick, and I wanted to know why we heard so many references to it. Apatow starts to tell us but he gets interrupted and never returns to the subject. Damn!
The Blu-ray offers both the film’s theatrical cut (2:08:56) as well as an extended version (2:12:57). How do the two differ? The extended edition tends to elongate existing scenes. These broaden some story domains but don’t add anything significant. Still, they can be entertaining.
21 Deleted Scenes last a total of 49 minutes, 19 seconds. God knows that the movie doesn’t need any of these scenes since it’s already ridiculously long. That doesn’t mean we don’t find lots of great stuff here, though. Only a few seem forgettable, as most are quite amusing. The collection of clips definitely deserves a look.
If all that’s not enough, we get 11Extended/Alternate Scenes, and these take up a total of 37 minutes, 35 seconds. Expect more funny material here, even if none of it should’ve made the final cut. I especially like on that provides a fine cameo from Owen Wilson.
For still more unused footage, we move to Line-O-Rama. The 10-minute and 12-second compilation collects lots of alternate lines for scenes that made the flick. We get lots of funny stuff in this fast-paced piece.
Three Gag Reels last a total of 11 minutes and 52 seconds. A little more cut footage and some alternate lines pop up, but mostly we get the standard goofs and giggles.
Next comes a five-minute and 19-second Roller Coaster Doc. We watch the shoot at an amusement park, with an emphasis on Jay Baruchel’s fear of coasters. While Baruchel does seem kind of like a wuss, I must admit I feel sorry for him here since they lied to him to get him on the ride. This is a quirky but cool look behind the scenes.
A featurette called Directing the Director runs seven minutes, 41 seconds. This one claims that Apatow had “contentious” interactions with Universal so they sent Capote’s Bennett Miller to watch over his shoulder. Of course, the whole thing’s a gag. It’s a little dopey but has some entertainment value.
For some music, we head to Loudon Wainwright III – Live at McCabe’s. Wainwright performs five songs in this 18-minute and 11-second package. It doesn’t do much for me, but it’s there if you dig Wainwright’s work.
Two Topless Scenes last a total of three minutes, 59 seconds. Don’t get too excited – we’re stuck with almost four minutes of shirtless Rogen. I have a female friend who thinks he’s hot. She’s wrong.
After this we locate 22 Video Diaries. All together, they last 28 minutes, 34 seconds. These start on May 15, 2006, with the first day of production and continue through the final day of the shoot. Through these, Apatow talks about his experiences during filming and also shows us some behind the scenes bits. He complains and worries a lot, but in a funny way, and these are entertaining insights. It’s disconcerting to see his beard disappear midway through the shoot, though; I don’t know which way he looks better, but I’m so used to hirsute Apatow that shorn Apatow gives me the creeps. Well, at least he grows it back as the shoot progresses.
Kids on the Loose lasts five minutes, 36 seconds. This is really just another collection of outtakes, as we see many shots of Apatow’s kids as Pete and Debbie’s daughters. It’s a little too Art Linkletter for my liking.
For the four-minute and two-second Beard-O-Rama, we focus on Martin’s “Dirty Man Competition”. It alternates between outtakes of the insults he receives and the actor’s griping about how much he hates the fake beard. It’s a funny set of shots.
Next we get Kuni Files, a five-minute and 28-second clip. I thought this’d include more outtakes – which it does - but it mostly follows actor Ken Jeong as he goes through aspects of his role. We also hear from medical technical advisor Suzie Schelling as she discusses attempts to bring reality to the scenes. I like the behind the scenes elements, as they give us a good look at the shoot.
The intriguing possibility of an alternate plot thread greets us with Gummy: The 6th Roommate. The six-minute and 42-second piece offers notes from actor David Krumholtz as he discusses why he bailed on the flick. I’m not sure how much of this is true, but it’s interesting.
We find the prospect of some nudity via Stripper Confidential. The two-minute and two-second snippet indeed features a little skin, but mostly it looks at how Apatow directed the strip club scenes. It’s short and not particularly informative.
After this we find the 27-minute and 54-second Finding Ben Stone. This program purports to show all the problems Apatow had finding a lead actor. He goes through Michael Cera, Orlando Bloom, James Franco, Krumholtz, Justin Long, Allen Covert, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Gerry Bednob, and Apatow himself. We see all of them crash and burn in this comically confrontational piece. Of course, it’s all a gag, but it’s a pretty funny one.
In Kuni Gone Wild, we get a five-minute and 52-second extended take of the birth scene. We already saw some of this during “Kuni Files”, but it’s good to watch the whole thing without interruption.
More music arrives via Loudon Wainwright III Scoring Session. This four-minute and 47-second featurette includes notes from Wainwright as he discusses the movie’s score. It’s a short but informative little piece.
First Sex on Camera goes for one minute and 31 seconds. Rogen and Jonah Hill briefly tell us what it was like to shoot their first movie sex scenes. A few decent notes emerge, but don’t expect much.
Two pieces of Raw Footage appear next. We get “Geisha House” (10:51) and “Swingers” (7:20). These allow us to watch continues takes of those scenes. I like being able to check out the sequences without cuts or interruptions.
After this we see a Katherine Heigl Audition. This clip fills two minutes, 43 seconds as it shows her with Rogen. They run through the scene where Alison boots Ben from her car. It’s cool to get a look at her test sequence.
New to the Blu-ray, we locate U-Control. This provides a picture-in-picture feature that mixes footage from the shoot with interview comments. We hear from Apatow, Rogen, Heigl, Hill, Baruchel, and actors Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Leslie Mann, and Paul Rudd. We mostly learn about cast/characters/performances, but we also get some notes about Heigl’s prosthetic stomach. The PiP moments pop up with good frequency and offer some interesting tidbits.
Like its leading man, Knocked Up is a scruffy mess. Despite its mix of flaws, though, it’s got way too much going for it to see it in a negative way. It comes with lots of problems but is very funny and charming. The Blu-ray presents mostly good picture and audio along with a stellar collection of supplements. I enjoy the movie and find this to be a quality Blu-ray.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of KNOCKED UP