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Life as We Know It Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Quebecois), Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1,  Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 2 (1x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 8, 2011
  • List Price: $35.99

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BestBuy.com:
Life as We Know It - Widescreen AC3

Purchase Life as We Know It on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy Combo Pack 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:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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]

Sure, director Greg Berlanti’s Life as We Know It easily fits into the predictable rom-com category, but behind its seemingly banal exterior is a solid, heartfelt film that nicely deals with the issues of growing up, life’s unexpected challenges, and finding love where one least expects it.

The story revolves around two single adults, Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) who first meet on a blind date set up by their mutual friends. The date is a bust when the two get off on the wrong foot right from the start and they literally can’t stand each other, ending the date before they even leave from Holly’s home. Some years pass, and the two are constantly in touch through their friends Allison (Christina Hendricks) and Peter (Hayes MacArthur) who eventually marry, settle down, and have a baby girl. But tragedy strikes, and the Allison and Peter die in a car accident, leaving little baby Sophie (played by the Clagget triplets, Alexis, Brynn, and Brooke) in the care of her godparents, Holly and Messer.

The two are then immediately swept up into a relationship resembling a marriage, with a child to boot. The two acquaintances, who have spent the last few years merely tolerating each other, end up moving into their friends’ house for the benefit of the baby, and their attempt at raising a child and playing house eventually leads to a sexual tension and blooming relationship between the two unlikely lovers. It’s a relationship in reverse, with the baby and the house in the suburbs coming before the friendship and the love. It’s an interesting premise that could have been done a bit more originally than the cliché life in suburbia and male vs. female fights. Still, the chemistry between Heigl and Duhamel is spot on and who can resist a cute little baby girl?

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

This is another of Warner’s AVC/MPEG-4 encodings. There’s a pattern emerging here; perhaps the studio is switching over from their usual VC-1 codec due to the 3D format being a variation of AVC? Anyway, Life as We Know It has the typical look of a rom-com: bright colors, bright lighting, and nothing too intricately detailed or shaded. These sorts of films are never the greatest to show off an HD display, but they can often look quite nice, like the recent release of You Again. Life as We Know It, however, is a bit drab. The grain structure fluctuates too much, sometimes providing a vivid and sharp image and sometimes looking a but too soft. Detail doesn’t extend too far into the background and distance shots are a bit diffuse. Overall, it looks acceptable, but not one of the best I’ve seen.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack provided on Life As We Know It, but it might just as well have been a 2.0 Stereo mix. The surround channels are barely engaged, the overall mix sounds dry, and even the dialogue at times sounds a bit boxy, with some very slightly audible clipping. Still, the mix gets the job done for the material at hand and sounds best when the AAA soundtrack is most prominent.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The supplements are all in 1080p and mostly revolve around the triplets featured in the film. They are on the cute and cheerful side, but I don’t think they offer much replay value.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:07.12) – Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Jessica St. Clair, Rob Huebel, Melissa McCarthy, Andrew Daly, Bill Brochtrup, and Will Sasso give funny child-rearing advice.
  • Katherine Heigl: Becoming the Best Mom Ever (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.56) – See all the touching, funny, and challenging moments that Katherine Heigl faced in becoming an overnight mom.
  • Josh Duhamel: The Triplet Tamer (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.16) – Josh Duhamel gets sentimental and is full of charm as he wins the admiration of his three leading ladies.
  • Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 0:14.42)
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

It offers nothing new or original in the rom-com genre, but Life as We Know It is sweet beyond its generic title and characters. Great romantic chemistry and a warm, heartfelt story make it a decent date night flick. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B002ZG989Q[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Life as We Know It - Widescreen AC3

Purchase Life as We Know It on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy Combo Pack 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:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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