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Parental Guidance Blu-ray Review

parental-guidance-blu-ray-dvd-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English  DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG
  • Discs: 2 (1  x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: iTunes & UltraViolet Digital Copy
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Parental-Guidance-BD_01

Director Andy Fickman hardly springs to mind when one thinks of memorable comedies on the big screen. After all, this is the man who has helmed such banal fare as You Again (2010), the fish out of water Duane Johnson vehicle The Game Plan (2007), and the Amanda Bynes gender-bender She’s the Man (2006). So, when he returns from the land of television to direct another “feel good” comedy, it’s not likely anyone is going to be lining up in hordes at the box office – unless you cast veterans like Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei. Those three combined are guaranteed to at least draw some people out, good or bad. Thankfully, there’s more good than bad in Parental Guidance and a lot of it has to do with the comedic talents of Crystal and the chemistry between him and Midler.

Another fish out of water, family friendly romp that the more aged moviegoers out there can relate to, Parental Guidance follows recently fired longtime minor league baseball radio announcer Artie (Crystal) and his retired TV weather girl wife Diane (Midler). Two old schoolers who are boisterous and set in their ways, the couple are called in to sit for their grandchildren way across the country in Atlanta (they live in the San Francisco Bay area) when their daughter Alice (Tomei) and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) need a trip away out of town. It’s an instant mess and conflict – Alice and her husband are “new style” parents who don’t believe in using the word “no” with their kids, live in a modern, automated “smart” house, and eat “soy-sages.” Artie and Diane, meanwhile, couldn’t be farther removed from this. More hands on and direct, their abrupt and “out of touch” ways cause Alice to break out in rash, and delay her leaving for a couple of days. Their kids, meanwhile, are all troubled in their own way. Harper (Bailee Madison), is a high-strung 12-year-old who does nothing but practice violin all day. Turner (Joshua Rush), is an 8-year-old boy who is shy, bullied at school, and has a stutter. Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf), the youngest, is going through a defiant phase and has an imaginary friend who’s a kangaroo.

It’s easy to see which way this film is heading pretty early on – the “other grandparents” as Bette Midler’s character puts it early on, must arrive, shake things up, and correct these kids and the family, thus everyone grows closer, more tight knit. Even with this well worn plot device so obviously levied at us, there’s something about Parental Guidance that keeps it enjoyable, and that is, indeed, Billy Crystal, whose ad libbing and wise old sage, New York attitude keeps things so grounded and real. When the inevitable denouement hits, it’s almost impossible to keep from getting a little teary-eyed, even when you know that Flickman has been tugging at those heartstrings all along.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Parental-Guidance-BD_02

Parental Guidance was shot mainly on Super 35 with some scenes shot in HD. As far as the image quality goes, you can’t ask for spectacular high definition visuals here given the genre restraints, but this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Fox is a solid transfer nevertheless. It perhaps at times looks a little gritty and as if contrast could have been a little stronger. On the plus side, it is has wonderfully saturated colors in its mostly bright, natural-looking scenes, and nicely detailed close-ups.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Parental-Guidance-BD_03

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack on offer works well for the material at hand, once again, given the comedy genre it is mixed for. There aren’t really any discrete sound effects panned around, but there is a natural and pleasant sense of spaciousness and ambience while dialogue is full and clean.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Parental-Guidance-BD_04

With Billy Crystal in tow, you know you’re in for one of the more lighthearted and amusing audio commentaries, and this one does deliver, as do the deleted scenes and Gag Reel. A brief Fox Movie Channel presentation with interviews in standard definition and the theatrical trailer are also included.

The supplements:

  • DVD
    iTunes and UltraViolet Digital Copy
    Audio commentary with director Andy Fickman and Billy Crystal
    Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by director Andy Fickman (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:00)
    Gag Reel (1080p/24; 00:12:48)
  • FXM Presents: In Character with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei (1.78:1; SD; 00:04:56)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Parental-Guidance-BD_05

A reasonably enjoyable family film that is light and has a good heart, Parental Guidance is far from perfect, yet it is still somehow satisfying. Anyone with kids, parents, or grandparents should find something to like here, and that is almost all of us.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Parental Guidance - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Parental Guidance on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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