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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Michael Lembeck
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, Seth MacFarlane, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal
Writing Credits:
Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilia, Randi Mayem Singer, Jim Piddock (story)

Tagline:
You Can't Handle The Tooth!

Synopsis:
Dwayne Johnson stars as Derek Thompson, one of the toughest hockey players around - until he's sentenced to one week's hard labor as the world's most unlikely tooth fairy! Even though he must sport frilly wings and learn the magical tricks of the trade from his silver-winged superiors (Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal), Derek's determined to do the job HIS way and prove he's got what it takes!

Box Office:
Budget
$48 million.
Opening Weekend
$14.010 million on 3344 screens.
Domestic Gross
$59.713 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Portuguese
Mandarin
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/4/2010

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Michael Lembeck
• “Tooth Fairy Training Center” Featurette
• “Fairyoke” Singalong
• Six Deleted Scenes with Optional Introductions
• Gag Reel
• “Behind the Scenes of Tooth Fairy” Featurettes
• Previews and Trailer
• DVD Version of the Film
• Digital Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; 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


Tooth Fairy [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 18, 2010)

What’s with Dwayne Johnson’s cinematic identity crisis? Known as “The Rock” during his wrestling career, as an actor, he’s been billed as “The Rock”, “Dwayne Johnson”, and “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson”. There’s no apparent rhyme or reason at work. Sure, his early billings were just “The Rock”, but since then, he’s used and dropped his wrestling moniker seemingly at random.

I thought he’d permanently gone the Mellencamp route but the actor’s stage name returns for 2010’s Tooth Fairy. He portrays hockey player Derek Thompson, a rough enforcer known as “the Tooth Fairy” due to his jaw-rattling hits. When his girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd) asks Derek to leave “Tooth Fairy” money under her daughter Tess’s (Destiny Grace Whitlock) pillow, Derek botches the job and nearly tells Tess that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist.

This lands Derek in the doghouse with Carly – and with a summons to come to Fairyland for punishment. It turns out Tooth Fairies are for real, and Derek have to pay for his transgression of disbelief. Derek learns the tricks of the trade from his trainer Tracy (Stephen Merchant) and goes through awkward rites of Fairydom.

While I wouldn’t call it a carbon copy, it’s not a stretch to view Fairy as a kissing cousin to 1994’s The Santa Clause. Both treat childhood fantasy figures as reality and force disbelievers to embrace those positions. Heck, director Michael Lembeck even sat behind the camera for both the second and third Clause flicks, so definite similarities are to be expected.

I can’t say that the Clause movies ever did much for me, so I didn’t anticipate a whole lot from the high-concept Fairy. Did it surpass those expectations? Yeah, but a little, but not to a tremendous degree.

When it entertains, Fairy does so due to a quality cast. In addition to Ricky Gervais’s partner Stephen Merchant, we get Julie Andrews as the Fairy Godmother and a cameo from Billy Crystal as a hippie-like fairy outfitter named Jerry. All provide pretty fun turns and add verve to simple roles. Crystal offers a particularly pleasant surprise; I’m not a big fan, but he delivers some of the movie’s most amusing bits.

As for Johnson himself, I think he can be a very good comedic actor, but he goes a bit too far over the top as Derek. Johnson tends to play the part large! Some of that makes sense for a goofy comic fantasy, but I think Johnson overacts too much of the time. He has a lot of natural talent; he doesn’t need to mug and goof so heavily. (Merchant also delivers a pretty manic turn as well, but as a supporting performer, he can better get away with such broad comedy.)

Beyond the cast, I can’t claim there’s a lot to make Fairy fly. It does deliver a wide range of comedic scenarios, but I think it plays too lowest common denominator. While I expect some of that from a flick intended for kids, I still feel the movie could’ve been less simplistic and relied less on cheap jokes. When the occasional laugh emerges, it tends to be due to the performers, not the source material.

That said, Fairy manages to deliver competent family entertainment for its 101 minutes. Is it anything more than silly fantasy slapstick for the kids? Not really, but it’s a bit more amusing than I expected.


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

Tooth Fairy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Overall, the transfer satisfied.

My only complaint connected to sharpness. Most shots appeared solid, but wide images could come across as somewhat soft and ill-defined. Though these weren’t terribly fuzzy, they created a few distractions. No signs of jaggies or moiré effects popped up, and edge enhancement stayed minimal. Source flaws also failed to materialize.

With its fantastic tale, Fairy boasted a fairly bright palette much of the time. The hues looked nice, as the film took good advantage of them and delivered positive colors. Blacks were dark and firm, and shadows looked smooth and concise. Really, only the occasional softness made me lower my grade to a “B”; the rest of the transfer worked well.

I also found satisfactory audio from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though it seemed a bit less ambitious than I expected. Fairy came with a lot of fantasy sequences, and those didn’t open up the spectrum as well as I anticipated. Oh, they did okay in that regard, but many just weren’t all that engaging. I thought the track created a good sense of place and action; I just didn’t feel it was as involving as it should’ve been.

No issues with audio quality emerged. Speech was always concise and crisp, and music showed nice range. The score provided good punch and filled out the track well. Effects sounded tight and vivid, especially during the louder action-oriented scenes. This was a perfectly competent soundtrack.

Tooth Fairy comes with a decent array of extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Michael Lembeck. He chats about cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, various effects, costumes, editing and stunts, and a few other production elements.

Lembeck’s commentary for Santa Clause 2 pretended that all the film’s fantasy was real and became one of the most annoying tracks I’ve heard. However, Lembeck provided a much more competent, informative chat for Santa Clause 3, which gave me hope he’d make this piece reasonably engaging.

And he does, as the commentary proves to be fairly enjoyable. As expected, Lembeck keeps the tone light, so there’s a moderate amount of happy talk; no dirt will be dished here. Which is fine, and Lembeck throws out a good number of interesting details. There’s a bit more dead air than I’d like, and a long gap when the Billy Crystal character first appears leads me to think some of Lembeck’s remarks were edited out of the piece; it’s strange that he tells us so little about the star’s cameo. Odd gaps aside, this is a pretty good chat.

Lembeck also gives us an Introduction to the film. In this 21-second clip, he welcomes us to the “DVD extras”. And that’s it!

A featurette called Tooth Fairy Training Center runs 20 minutes, 31 seconds. It’s essentially a little exercise program for kids. It shows “training exercises” to get kids moving. I support that; a fat kid literally ran into me at work the other day, and if he’d been thinner, it wouldn’t have hurt as much.

If you want to croon along with the disc, head to Fairyoke. It goes for four minutes, 32 seconds as it shows a performance of “Wing Beneath My Wings” done by Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Merchant. This is essentially a deleted scene; in his intro, Lembeck explains he intended to run it under the end credits. I’d like to say it’s funnier than it sounds, but it’s just as lame as I expected. (By the way, Merchant may be the most tone-deaf man on the planet.)

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of 11 minutes, 16 seconds. These include “Derek Arrested” (0:59), “Derek Takes Gabe’s Tooth from Under Pillow” (1:25), “Derek Scolds Tracy for Tricking Him Into Gabe’s Room” (1:38), “Extended Version – The Music Store” (3:00), “Extended Version – Derek Agrees to Help Tracy Train to Be a Tooth Fairy” (1:36), and “Extended Version – Randy’s Talent Show” (2:38). The “Gabe” clips involve the young hockey player whose dreams Derek dashes; those follow up that plot thread and are the most substantial bits here, though the movie doesn’t need them.

Or any of the other snippets as well. Those throw out a little more exposition and some character bits, but they don’t contribute much. They were good omissions.

The 11:16 total includes introductions from Lembeck. He sets up the scenes but doesn’t tell us why he gave them the boot. That’s too bad, as it would’ve been good to know the rationale behind the cuts.

A Gag Reel goes for two minutes, 34 seconds. Occasionally I find a blooper collection with more to offer than the standard mistakes and tittering, but this isn’t that place. At least it’s short; there’s nothing more painful that super-long gag reels.

Under Behind the Scenes of Tooth Fairy, we get a collection of seven featurettes. All together, these run a total of 38 minutes, 55 seconds. Across the first few, we get remarks from Lembeck, and visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison. We see footage from the set as Lembeck and Morrison provide information about the visual techniques on display as well as the use of storyboards. We see lots of good material, as we follow the evolution of different effects. Lembeck and Morrison explain the shots well and make their segments surprisingly informative and useful.

The last three featurettes follow a more traditional path and present notes from Morrison, Lembeck, stunt rigger Dave Lane, wing department’s Maureen Terezakis, Audrey Wong and Jim Gawley, production designer Marcia Hinds, and actors Dwayne Johnson, Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant, and Ashley Judd. The final clips examine flying effects, costumes, and the design of Fairyland. These are fluffier than the first four, but they still boast some nice glimpses behind the scenes.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Marmaduke, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Marley and Me: The Terrible 2s and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The disc also includes the trailer for Fairy, a “Sneak Peek” at Flicka 2 and promos for The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Sound of Music.

A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Tooth Fairy. This appears to offer the same single-DVD version available on store shelves, which means it comes with a few of the Blu-ray’s extras. If you want to own Fairy but aren’t yet Blu-ray capable, it’s a good compromise.

Finally, a third platter gives us a Digital Copy of Fairy. As always, this lets you slap the flick onto a computer or digital viewing thingy. Zip-zorp!

At its heart a silly, kid-oriented comedy fantasy, Tooth Fairy manages some entertainment, most of which stems from a good supporting cast. Nothing special emerges, but the film delivers occasional amusement. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture and audio along with a generally informative set of supplements. I can’t say I’m wild about the movie, but it’s watchable, and this release serves it well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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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