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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin
Cast:
Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins
Writing Credits:
Andrea Nasfell and Jon Erwin

Synopsis:
All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation... a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for three hours—what could go wrong?

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$4,311,083 on 1,044 Screens
Domestic Gross
$10,429,707

MPAA:
Rated PG

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 9/2/2014

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Directors Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin and Producer Kevin Downes
• Five Deleted Scenes
• “The Heart of Moms’ Night Out” Featurette
• “Casting Moms’ Night Out” Featurette
• “The Art of Improv” Featurette
• “The Art of Action” Featurette
• Bloopers
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Moms' Night Out [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 10, 2014)

With 2014’s Moms’ Night Out, we get a “family friendly” take on the “one crazy night” concept. Stay at home mother Allyson Field (Sarah Drew) lives with her husband Sean (Sean Astin) and three young kids. Intellectually, she knows she has a good life, but she feels unfulfilled.

Stressed by the rigors of motherhood – and without a lot of support at home since Sean often travels for work – Allyson needs a break. She gets a Groupon for a fancy restaurant and organizes a “moms’ night out” with her lifelong best friend Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and the pastor’s wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton). Various shenanigans ensue as Allyson becomes obsessed with a fun evening no matter what the cost.

Out starts off on a rough note and never rebounds, mainly because the misstep involves a crucial component: the lead character. As soon as we meet Allyson, she seems hysterical and obnoxious. The film highlights her OCD tendencies such as an obsession with cleanliness and an unnatural fear of germs. These revelations make us wonder how she can tolerate her children – the charfacter moments don’t exactly endear her to us.

Add a heaping scoop of self-pity to the equation, too. By most accounts, Allyson seems to have a good life. Loving husband who supports her well, three cute kids, nice house – but yet she’s not fulfilled. Oh me, oh my – pardon me while I break out my hankie to shed never-ending tears over the poor, pathetic unfulfilled stay at home mother. Sheesh.

All of this means Out starts poorly, and it never recovers. That said, Allyson’s annoying traits become less problematic as the film progresses because she becomes buried in the hijinks. Any form of logic goes out the window as the film pursues one idiotic comedic contrivance after another, none of which amuse or satisfy.

I get that films of this sort require a fair amount of suspended disbelief, and I can do so if entertainment results. When the movie in question delivers nothing more than painful attempts at humor, I can’t stick with it, especially when so many of the gags seem so stupid.

Case in point: a scene in which Allyson can’t get a motion-activated paper towel dispenser to work. The physical comedy doesn’t seem creative, but the biggest problem comes from the sight of another dispenser maybe 10 feet from the non-operational one. I’m not sure which appears worse: Allyson’s inability to detect a second dispenser, or the filmmakers’ belief that the viewer is too stupid to notice it.

Out suffers from one-dimensional, unsatisfying characters as well. I guess I should applaud its willingness to make all of the adults look unqualified to raise children, though. Usually only fathers are portrayed as helpless dimwits, but here the mothers come across like unskilled morons as well – I suppose that’s progress.

In terms of performances, Heaton almost sort of kind of manages to do something with the potentially stifling role as the preacher’s wife. Most of the movie’s smattering of laughs come from her work, as she manages to infuse lame gags with a bit of quirky humor. A few supporting actors throw in minor mirth as well.

Once again, however, the lead lets down the film. Drew comes across as shrill and unbearable throughout the movie. It becomes impossible to relate to or like her; she vacillates from mopey self-pity to shrieking hysterics without anything else brought to the table. While I’m not sure how much any actor could do with such a poorly written part, Drew makes Allyson unlikable and unsympathetic, two major problems for a film like this.

Not that a better lead performance would’ve saved Moms’ Night Out. I appreciate its attempt to bring wacky female-related comedy to the family audience, as most fare of this sort goes the bawdy Bridesmaids route. Good intentions aside, the result lacks much to make it enjoyable.

Footnote: extra scenes show up throughout the final credits as well as at the very end.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Moms’ Night Out appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a good transfer.

Sharpness appeared acceptably accurate and detailed. A wee bit of softness crept into a few wide shots, but the majority of the flick provided good definition and clarity. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and edge enhancement remained absent. No print flaws materialized; the film remained clean and fresh.

In terms of colors, the flick went with a moderately subdued set of tones. Hues stayed on the natural side, with a mild golden feel to things. Within those parameters, the tones looked fine. Blacks were dark and firm, while shadows appeared clear and well-developed. The image didn’t totally excel, but it was solid.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it offered a decent effort and not much more. Of course, I didn’t expect a dazzling soundfield from this sort of comedy, and I got mostly what I anticipated. In terms of effects, general ambience ruled the day, though a few sequences added a little pizzazz. A restaurant and a bowling alley opened up the environment in a moderate way, but they didn’t exactly use the system in a dynamic manner.

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, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. 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 good reproduction of the material.

When we head to the set’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from directors Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin and actor/producer Kevin Downes. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific chat about the film's roots and development, story/character areas, cast and performances, music, themes and goals, and connected domains.

On the negative side, the commentary tends toward a surfeit of happy talk, with tons of praise for everything and all involved. That trend aside, the track manages to offer a nice overview of the production. The participants seem affable and engaging as they cover a broad array of filmmaking subjects and make this a useful chat.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of two minutes, 58 seconds. In these, we get minor extensions to existing sequences. A few comedic bits show up but nothing substantial.

Four featurettes follow. The Heart of Moms’ Night Out runs three minutes, 56 seconds and provides notes from Downes, Jon and Andrew Erwin, actor/executive producer Patricia Heaton, wives Mandii Erwin, Catherine Downes and Beth Irwin, and actor Sarah Drew. We learn why those involved made the movie as well as how awesome mothers are and how important it is to make sure they know this. Yawn.

During the six-minute, 22-second Casting Moms’ Night Out, we hear from Jon and Andrew Erwin, Downes, Andrew Erwin, Drew, Heaton, and actors Sean Astin, Trace Adkins, Alex Kendrick, David Hunt, Abbie Cobb, Robert Amaya, Harry Shum, Jr., Andrea Logan White, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, and Manwell Reyes. As expected, the show looks at cast and performances. As expected, the piece comes with a fluffy tone that does little more than tell us how great everyone is.

The Art of Improv goes for four minutes, 47 seconds and features Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin, Downes, Astin, Drew, and Heaton. Like the title implies, we hear about improvised moments during the shoot. The same puffy feel continues here, but at least we get some good shots of the added lines.

Finally, The Art of Action lasts five minutes, 11 seconds and includes info from Jon Erwin, Downes, and Andrew Erwin. They discuss the movie’s big car chase sequence. More happy talk shows up here, but we also find some useful thoughts about the processes involved.

A collection of Bloopers fills five minutes, 36 seconds. It shows the usual goofs and giggles but also comes with some added improvised lines. Those make it more useful than usual.

The disc opens with ads for When the Game Stood Tall, Heaven Is for Real, Courageous, Annie (2014) and Soul Surfer. No trailer for Out shows up here.

While not totally devoid of humor, Moms' Night Out comes with such annoying characters that it flops. The movie takes a tired premise and makes it even more tiresome due to its thin script and obnoxious personalities. The disc comes with solid picture, acceptable audio and a mixed bag of supplements. I have no complaints about this release but the movie itself fizzles.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.8 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main