- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Rating: PG-13
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 23, 2010
- List Price: $19.99
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)
Here’s the film that kick-started the Tyler Perry craze, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, based on Perry’s play of the same name. Oddly enough, the marketing for Tyler Perry’s “Madea” films has always been way off. Unsuspecting viewers will go in thinking they are getting an Eddie Murphy-esque comedy in which Tyler dons drag and takes on the persona of a stereotypical elderly black woman, whilst playing other characters in makeup as well. That’s true to a certain extent only. Diary of a Mad Black Woman is more a dysfunctional character piece with Madea acting as comic relief than anything else.
At the heart of this first in the line of the Madea stories is the story of Charles (Steve Harris) and Helen’s (Kimberly Elise) marriage. Reaching its eighteenth anniversary, Charles abandons the marriage and Helen, but it’s obvious that it has been a longtime coming; Helen just refused to see it. Throwing Helen out of the house and replacing her with a new woman, Charles is instantly exposed as an emotionally abusive lout, and now Helen must recover and discover life on her own. She may even find a new love in the form of working class gentleman Orlando (Shemar Moore) who has taken an interest in her, if only she can let go of her anger.
This may be one of the most straightforward of Perry’s films, focusing on one plot and keeping it simple. He still has a tendency toward melodrama, but with the absence of too many subplots getting in the way, Diary of a Mad Black Woman is easy to follow and ultimately pleasurable to watch.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman is only five-years-old, but this transfer from Lionsgate looks oddly grungy. The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding shows quite a bit of source damage and the overall image is rather soft, making this a less-than-average catalogue release on Blu-ray.
Mad Black Woman’s soundtrack is a straightforward DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is a bit front-heavy and dialogue-driven. It is given occasion to open up a bit during a rainstorm scene, but otherwise the surround channels have a little low-level ambience and little else. Low frequencies are tight and come into play when the heavily r&b-influenced soundtrack kicks in.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman is loaded with “making of” type featurettes, but they are all in standard definition and ported over from the previous DVD release, so there’s nothing new to be had for the HD fan.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Audio Commentary with Tyler Perry
- Audio Commentary with Director Darren Grant and Actress Kimberly Elise
- The “ATL” (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:09.49) — Filming on location in Atlanta.
- The Real Mad Black Women (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:16.44)
- Music Montages (1.78:1; 480i/60):
- Ain’t it Funny
- Ask the Savior
- Father Can You Hear Me
- I Wanna Swing
- Take it to Jesus
- Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60):
- Madea Pushes Helen to get a Job
- Debrah Brings Home Tiffany
- Helen Sees Orlando at Church
- Tiffany Gives Debrah Her Necklace
- Tiffany Didn’t Come Home with B.J.
- Charles Wants to Stay on the Case
- Helen Can’t Pay for Dinner
- Brian Tucks B.J. In
- Debrah Sober for Four Weeks
- Brian and Kids Got to Visit Debrah in Rehab
- Outtakes (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Making of Diary… (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:20.36)
- Who is Tyler Perry? (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:12.31)
- Reflections on Diary (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.53)
- Tyler Perry Spotlight (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:11.41)
- Photo Gallery (1080p)
- You Can Do it…it’s Electric! (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.52)
The Definitive Word
Forget the comic relief, the real interest in Diary of a Mad Black Woman is the human drama that manages to click in this first Madea big screen outing from Tyler Perry.
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