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Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys 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: PG-13
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 23, 2010
  • List Price: $19.99

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Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase The Family That Preys on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

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:2/5]

I understand Tyler Perry wanting to get away from being tagged with his Madea character for the rest of his life, but his forays into drama have had less than completely satisfactory results. The reason being that Perry cannot create a drama without lapsing into melodrama.  The Family That Preys may be his most overwrought, melodramatic, “soap opera” drama to date, even surpassing his Why Did I Get Married? films. Filled with every cliché in the book you can think of — sibling rivalries, marital infidelities, corporate greed, undercurrents of racism — The Family That Preys seeks to be a serious drama and character study, but inevitably devolves into what feels like mere pandering to its intended audience, thereby never getting any deeper than the shallow waters of an E! Hollywood True Story drama.

At the heart of The Family That Preys are Oscar-winner Kathy Bates and the under-appreciated Alfre Woodard as the two Atlanta matriarchs Charlotte (Bates) and Alice (Woodard). The unlikely, longtime friends — Charlotte is from Atlanta’s old, white money and a real estate mogul, and Alice is a long struggling middle-class owner of a diner — are facing their old age together and families that are seemingly falling apart at the seams. Charlotte’s son William (Cole Hauser) is plotting to steal their company out from under her and Alice’s daughters Pam (Taraji P. Henson) and Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) are constantly at each other’s throats over Andrea’s embarrassment over her family. Adding fuel to the fire is the appearance that Andrea may be having an affair with her boss, Charlotte’s son William.

Into all of this comes a road trip between Charlotte and Alice, a new CFO for Charlotte’s company (Robin Givens) who stirs the pot a bit too much between, well everybody it seems, and rising tensions between Andrea and her husband, a “lowly” construction worker (Rockmond Dunbar).

The problem with the entire story is, Perry’s script glazes over all of the finer details in favor of one giant, arching mélange of drama. We are never granted a true examination of the varying dynamics and backgrounds of these characters, just meant to accept that there’s something profound going on. When a fatal illness is thrown into the mix as well, we know we’ve really nuked the refrigerator.

Where is the dissection of obvious racial tensions in the south or questions of poverty and spousal abuse? How about someone answer a simple question of how any of these people even ended up together in the first place, and I don’t mean the throwaway story we are given about how Alice and Charlotte became friends over some silly property dispute. See, if you want to do meaningful drama, you have to deal with the real issues, which Perry just seems content to avoid. So, we get soap opera.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Family That Preys’ 1080p transfer is a solid one, showing up on Blu-ra in a 1.78:1 framing encoded in AVC/MPEG-4. Color reproduction is vivid and consistent, flesh tones are accurate, and the image has a nice film-like quality to it. Shadow extension is very wide and white levels are bright without being too hot.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

This sort of film is dialogue-driven by necessity and as such the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a quite and subtle affair. It does, however, offer up clean, intelligible dialogue and decent amounts of atmospheric sound effects in the surround channels to make the listener aware, every so often, that there s some activity going on back there.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Supplements are limited to a few “making of” type featurettes that, apart from offering up a bit more screen time with Perry and the cast, just have a promotional feel to them and offer little replay value. They are also all in standard definition, which should be something obscure at this stage in Blu-ray development.

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • Two Families, Two Legends (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:09.52)
  • Preying in the Big Easy (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:03.35)
  • Casting the Family (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:10.33)
  • Delving into the Diner (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:06.53)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60) — Four deleted scenes.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

Perry strikes out with his soapiest drama yet, and not even the amazing talents of Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard can save this overwrought mess from being anything more than a mere throwaway with shallow characters and little plot development.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0041H55LM[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase The Family That Preys on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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