What to Expect When You're Expecting (Blu-ray) (2012)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Oct-2012

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Making Of-What to Expect and the Pregnancy Bible (15:23) 1080p.
Featurette-Making Of-The Dudes Unscrewed (12:09) 1080p.
Trailer-LOL (2:26) 2.40:1 / 1080p.
Trailer-Hope Springs (2:27) 2.40:1, 1080p.
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 109:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kirk Jones
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Matthew Morrison
Cameron Diaz
Dennis Quaid
Jennifer Lopez
Anna Kendrick
Elizabeth Banks
Rodrigo Santoro
Chace Crawford
Chris Rock
Brooklyn Decker
Joe Manganiello
Ben Falcone
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music Mark Mothersbaugh


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Dance contest action pre credits.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Recently released by Roadshow is the comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting. Based on a best-selling book - by 2008 fifteen million copies! - which chronicled impending motherhood this film undoubtedly had a pre-programmed audience, which may account for its decent success at the box office. Another factor which undoubtedly contributed to its drawing power was an ""all star"cast, though the term "star" would need some modification to embrace all the actors here involved in principal roles. So audiences were enticed into seats with the expectation of a movie big on plot, loaded with interesting characters and populated by attractive, entertaining stars. If only that was true. Instead, what we get is a travesty of a movie that is totally tasteless and, more importantly, very unfunny.

The screenplay from Shauna Cross (Whip It), based on the book by Heidi Murkoff, concentrates on four couples. Jules (Cameron Diaz / Knight and Day) is a fitness instructor who in the movie's opening is competing in a TV reality dance contest partnered by her boyfriend Evan (Matthew Morrison / Glee). The couple win the contest and the huge gold cup is presented into which Jules promptly vomits. The show's host make some crack about hoping she isn't pregnant, and the tone for the following two hours has been set. A second couple is Wendy (Elizabeth Banks / Man on a Ledge) and Gary (Ben Falcone / Bridesmaids). Wendy runs a trendy baby boutique, The Breast Choice, while hubby Gary lives under the heavy cloud cast by the macho figure of his father Ramsey (Dennis Quaid / Pandorum), a famous NASCAR driver. When Wendy and Gary go to the paternal residence to announce their impending parenthood, Ramsey steals their thunder by announcing that he and his much younger trophy wife (Brooklyn Decker / Battleship) are expecting twins. A third couple comprises successful photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez / Out of Sight) and husband Alex (Rodrigo Santoro / I Love You Phillip Morris). Having unsuccessfully tried to conceive naturally, the pair opt for adoption. The fourth couple are the youngest, and strictly not a couple at least at the beginning of their relationship. These are two competing fast food truck operators, Marco (Chace Crawford / TV's Gossip Girl) and Rosie (Anna Kendrick / The Twilight Saga). Add to the mix a group of stroller pushing dads, headed by Chris Rock, who convene in the local park, and their jogging bachelor muscled friend (Joe Manganiello / TV's True Blood). Performances vary from the animated but bland - Lopez, Morrison, Crawford and Kendrick -to the grotesque, the worst being Dennis Quaid who looks and performs appallingly, mugging his face into a horrendous mask. Sadly almost as bad is poor Elizabeth Banks who, until two recent films, has been a lovely and effective actress, but in this and The Hunger Games she seems to have gone off the deep end, or been pushed off by inept directors. Minor supporting roles are also attention grabbingly bad, such as whoever it is playing the shop assistant in The Breast Choice. It is curious that TV comedy series are able to cast with such accuracy  while big screen movies so frequently blunder in this department. There is, in this film, such uniform awfulness to the performances that we are forced to look to some unifying cause. Director Kirk Jones made his name in vodka commercials and has subsequently directed Waking Ned (1998),Nanny McPhee (2005) and Everybody's Fine, which went direct to DVD in 2009. I would like to see him return to vodka, but undoubtedly he will be responsible for more big screen "comedies".

    I find it very difficult to review a film that is so despicably bad. There are abundant situations, but nothing truly comedic ever evolves. There are many - too many - characters, but no characterisation. Only the adoption sequence with Lopez and Santoro has any depth of emotion. After two hours of forced buffoonery we suddenly are threated with a potentially tragic change of direction which focusses on Elizabeth Banks'character. This is perhaps the most tasteless section of the film. To treat what is  potentially extreme human drama with such flippant disregard is surely offensive. Is there anyone out there who remembers the little Columbia black-and-white comedy called The Marrying Kind (1952), the story of the trials of a young married couple played by the legendary Judy Holliday and gravel-voiced Aldo Ray? This charming and real comedy switched from a happy, ukele playing picnic by a lake to an unbearably stark family tragedy in the blink of an eye. The script was by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin (Adam's Rib) and the director was George Cukor (Garland's A Star is Born), and there lies the difference. Sixty years ago The Marrying Kind was, and still is, a touchingly funny movie about real people. What to Expect When You're Expecting is an ugly gargantuan that is not worth serious, or comedic, consideration.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Unlike the film's content, the disc sparkles.
    The feature is presented at the original ratio of 2.40:1 in an exemplary 1080p presentation.
    The image is extremely sharp and clear throughout, with excellent detail in every scene, from the sunlit park scenes with the stroller-pushing dudes, to the night scenes in the streets and cafes.
    Close-ups are extremely detailed, and particularly unkind to Cameron Diaz. The actress is in fine physical shape, but is looking a bit scrawny when revealed in such high-def scrutiny.

    Colours are on the warm side, with vibrant hues across the full spectrum. As has become the lamentable norm, skin tones tend towards the orange.

    I could see no sign of video artefacts.

    This is mostly an eye-popping experience, and the quality does help make the viewing experience less painful.

    There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired. These are very good, and are presented in basic white, centred at the foot of the image.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This disc contains two audio streams, DTS HD 5.1 and Dolby Stereo 2.0, which contains the descriptive narration.

    Again, this is a perfect technical aspect of the presentation.

    Dialogue is basically front and centred with every syllable crystal clear. There are no sync problems.

    As you would expect with this genre, there is little going on in the surrounds. The exceptions are the opening dancing contest scene and a golf-cart chase sequence, but other than those isolated instances the surrounds are used basically for ambience, in particular the park scenes, and the rather bland music. The sub-woofer adds body to the music, but that's about all.

    The Descriptive Narration for the Vision Impaired is fairly standard, delivered in a flat English accented male voice. It was interesting to note that there was no description of the actual moment when Miss Diaz was called upon to vomit in the opening sequence, only a reference to the contents of the trophy when Matthew Morrison triumphantly bore it, and the contents, aloft.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are limited to two making-ofs and two Lionsgate trailers.
    At start-up there is a new and refreshing anti-piracy message that takes the positive approach, thanking the viewer for buying the genuine, legal product. I always thought that those dire warnings previously delivered were misdirected. Warn the pirates not me. This new approach is to be applauded.

Menu

    The menu utilises a composite still of the four leading ladies, with a live-action insert montage of scenes from the film. Elevator-type music from the film plays under. Options presented are :

                Play Movie

                Scene Selection : Selection brings up an insert block of three thumbnails, which can be arrowed to a total of fifteen scenes. Music continues.

                Bonus Features : Options are : Play All

                                                                 What to Expect and the Pregnancy Bible

                                                                 The Dudes Unscrewed         

              Setup :  DTS 5.1

                           Captions :English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired

                           Audio Description : Descriptive Narration for the Vision Impaired

Featurette : What to Expect and the Pregnancy Bible (15:23) :

    Just about everyone connected to the film talks about the book, the movie and how awesome it has been to be involved. We see the author, the director, some of the stars and other lesser mortals. This is presented with footage from the film at 2.40:1, and interview material at 1.78:1, all in high definition.


Featurette : The Dudes Unscrewed (12:09) :

    Here the "dads"get their opportunity. Presented in a mix of 1.78:1 for the interviews and 2.40:1 for excerpts, all in high definition.


Start-up Trailers :

LOL (2:17) : Presented in 1080p.

Hope Springs (2:26) Presented in 1080p.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 release misses out on : DTS HD - MA  7.1

                                                            Deleted Scenes (5 minutes)

                                                            Trailer (2 minutes).

Summary

   When did comedies stop being funny? This movie is an unattractive mess. The cast is large, and mostly eye pleasing - when not distorting their faces into "comic"grimaces - and there are lots of sitautions, a bit like a sitcom that grew. This one grew out of control, with a director who appears not to have the foggiest idea what he is trying to do. The making-of documentary says it all. The director describes himself as seeing the book with the blurb about selling multi-million copies and says to himself, "This would make a great movie". Not a good start. The image is super bright and sharp, and there is vomit, farting and lots of other "funny" things. Awful movie.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE