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Dinner for Schmucks Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Description, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Region:
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: DreamWorks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 4, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004AXJ9I2[/amazon-product]

Purchase Dinner for Schmucks on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Based on a 1998 French film, Le diner de cons, Dinner for Schmucks takes the original and puts a Hollywood sheen on it to turn it into the sort summer comedy we’re all used to seeing by now. But Dinner never stoops into the realm of idiocy and bathroom jokes that seem to be all the rage these days, staying above board all the way and crafting a cautionary tale of, well, not judging books by their covers.

Tim (Paul Rudd) is an executive looking to move up the corporate ladder. He literally wants to make it upstairs — to the seventh floor. Opportunity knocks when he has the chance to bag a big client, but he has to make a showing at his boss’ infamous and secretive “dinner for idiots,” where the execs all gather bringing the most outlandish guest they can find, so they can all make fun of them.

Tim’s art curator girlfriend Julie (Stephanie Szostak) doesn’t think much of this idea and Tim has second thoughts as well, until he literally runs over his golden meal ticket with his car, a taxidermist named Barry (Steve Carell) who likes to dress up dead mice in historic poses and photograph them. Tim thinks he’s just going to use Barry as his “idiot,” but it soon becomes clear that Barry has infiltrated his way into Tim’s life, disrupting the executive’s comfortable existence. He’s caused a rift in Tim’s relationship with Julie, brought back one of Tim’s deranged, stalking exes, and planted a seed of suspicion in Tim’s mind that Julie may be sleeping with the nihilistic artist Kieran (Jemaine Clement) she’s representing at the gallery. Just when Tim thought he really couldn’t care any less for Barry, he finds himself taking a liking to all of Barry’s little quirks and social inadequacies.

Dinner with Schmucks never quite reaches the comedic heights that its cast promises and could use a trim in places, often lapsing just a bit into dullness. Carell’s quirk-filled portrayal of Barry is also borderline annoying, but it is good to see a comedy come along that is amusing and sometimes charming without feeling the need to be disgusting or rude. It’s also worth noting that Zach Galifianakis in his two brief appearances as Barry’s boss at the IRS practically steals the whole film with his performance that hinges on insanity.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The transfer is a 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding that is clean and nicely detailed, offering up some rather rich midtones in some of its indoor scenes, but other scenes, particularly of Tim’s office, where the palette is cooler, also bring hot white levels that clip in places.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The simple DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless mix is clean and dynamic, but like most comedies’ aural offerings, it is front-heavy and doesn’t do much with the surround channels outside of some barely audible ambience.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The supplements are all in high definition and keep the comedic tone from the film flowing nicely while offering up some easy-breezy interview segments and behind-the-scenes looks at the production.

The supplements offered with this release are:

  • The Biggest Schmucks in the World (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:15.05) — A look at the comedic talent in the film.
  • The Men Behind the Mouseterpieces (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:11.36) — The designers of “Barry’s” “mouseterpieces” from the film.
  • Meet the Winners (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:03.45)
  • Schmuck Ups (1080p/24; 0:08.16) — Gag reel
  • Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24) — Six deleted scenes.
  • Paul and Steve: The Decision (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:03.50) — Steve Carell and Paul Rudd on the ESPYs make a “decision.”

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Dinner for Schmucks is better than average, quality comedic entertainment that makes for a great rainy day disc on Blu-ray.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004AXJ9I2[/amazon-product]

Purchase Dinner for Schmucks on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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