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Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family: The Play 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, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • List Price: $24.99

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BestBuy.com:
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family - Widescreen Subtitle

Purchase Madea’s Big Happy Family: The Play on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family - The Play

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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]

It doesn’t take long after the opening moments of Madea’s Big Happy Family to realize that Tyler Perry was and is still much more comfortable working for the stage than he is in film.  Madea’s Big Happy Family puts forth an easier sense of cohesion, despite its multifaceted subject matter. Big Happy Family is a comedy wrapped up in a morality play in the guise of a gospel musical. It has all the earmarks of a Tyler Perry work — preachiness, slapstick comedy, and melodrama. But with this stage play, Perry’s comedy seems less forced and the dramatic turns do not stifle the comedy as much as move it forward.

In Big Happy Family, Madea (Perry) as a character takes a backseat for the character Shirley (Chandra Currelley-Young) who has gathered her family together to let them know she is dying, but family secrets amongst her five grown children, drug use, and relationship issues all make it nearly impossible for Shirley to be heard. The gospel musical interludes sometimes feel a bit tacked on, being the only part of the play that diminishes its cohesion, but the performances are strong, nonetheless.

This production is a relatively straightforward capture of the play, without many edits to get in the way of the “live” feel. It puts you in the front row for what is a flawed, but still enjoyable look at a dysfunctional family.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Despite the 24p frame rate, this production, originally captured in HD, has an appropriately life-like appearance for a stage play. The image is relatively clean and sharp, particularly in the brightly lit scenes. Video noise sometimes creeps in during low lighting, but its an otherwise overall solid effort that looks much stronger than some of Perry’s films that have made it onto Blu-ray.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is tastefully done from an audience perspective with lots of ambience in the surround channels for a lively sound. Audience noise is minimal, but the crowd does come alive during funnier moments.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

Supplements are extremely thin on this release, being limited to two brief standard definition featurettes featuring interview segments with Perry and cast members.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • A Big Happy Family (1.78:1; 0:17.31)
  • Working with a Walking, Talking, Breathing, Legend (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:04.22)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Despite knowing what you’re in for by now with any Madea story, Perry puts forth a strong effort with Madea’s Big Happy Family that serves as evidence that he is a stronger playwright than filmmaker. The play looks and sounds great on Blu-ray and will be an excellent way for those who can’t get to see Perry at work on the stage to see him in his strongest element.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0041H55SA[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family - Widescreen Subtitle

Purchase Madea’s Big Happy Family: The Play on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family - The Play

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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