It's a Disaster (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 19-Feb-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Audio Commentary
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Comic Con 2012 Panel Discussion
MoreÖ-Viral Videos
Trailer-Itís a Disaster
Trailer-Hotel Noir, Static,Two Jacks, Little Red
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 86:10 (Case: 88)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Todd Berger
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Blaise Miller
Erinn Hayes
Julia Stiles
David Cross
Kevin Brennan
Rachel Boston
Jeff Grace
America Ferrara
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† A group of yuppie couples meet regularly for Sunday brunch at the house of Emma and Pete (Erinn Hayes / Blaise Miller), although in truth the females are more the instigators than the males. This Sunday Tracy (Julia Stiles), a doctor with relationship problems, turns up with Glenn (David Cross) on their third date. Already there are Buck and Lexi (Kevin Brennan / Rachel Boston), who are alternatives with an open marriage, and Hedy and Shane (America Ferrara / Jeff Grace), who have been engaged for six years and still not set a date for the wedding. Glenn is the odd one out at the brunch; all the rest have unspoken baggage from eight years of friendship and brunches, and at brunch Emma and Pete announce that they are getting a divorce.

†††† Just after the brunch commences, the electricity fails, taking out the lights and computers, and there is no mobile phone connection. A neighbour arrives and tells the group that dirty bombs have been detonated in cities all over the USA, including their city, releasing toxic chemicals. At first the group does not believe him; but after they find a battery radio and the news is confirmed and when Jenny and Gordon, arriving late for the brunch, die on the door step they realise that they probably have only 3 hours to live. So what do you do when you have only three hours to live except review past disasters and past relationships!

†††† Itís a Disaster is a wry and funny look at the end of the world genre. It is the second feature film by writer / director Todd Berger, who with stars Blaise Miller, Kevin Brennan and Jeff Grace make up a comedy group named The Vacationeers. Their main claim to fame, apparently, was producing some Web videos that went viral, including one called Google Maps which is included as an extra on this Blu-ray. Itís a Disaster is a comedy that initially focuses on Glenn; anyone on a date who has been dropped into a group who all know each other and have unspoken baggage would be able to relate to his confusion and innocent mistakes. After this the film changes to a comedy about the end of the world with uneven results. While some of the characters are certainly clichťd and not that interesting, such as Shane with his alien attack theories or the ďhippyĒ Buck, and the acting uneven, some of the dialogue is very dry and funny.

†††† To its credit Itís a Disaster does not try to explain who is responsible for the attack or what is really happening; there is no footage of what is going on elsewhere in the world and only the occasional police siren on the road or helicopters overhead to remind us of the outside world. Instead the film keeps the focus on the couples in a few rooms in the one location as they work through the disasters that their yuppie lives have become. If one asks ďwhat would you do if you thought you were going to be dead in three hours?Ē the answer may well be very little. However, the ending is a gas and Itís a Disaster remains refreshing and funny during its short running time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Itís a Disaster is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† This is a film that, except for a few scenes in front of the house, consists of interiors so that it does not make any demands of your system. That said, detail is fine, colours natural, brightness and contrast consistent. In the couple of darker scenes in the basement, blacks are solid and shadow detail fine.

†††† The commentary confirms that a filter was applied to the film to add grain so that the print did not look too glossy. It is not overdone. I did not see any other artefacts or marks.

†††† There are no subtitles.

†††† The print was fine.

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

Audio

†††† The audio is English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps plus an English audio commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps. Thus there is no lossless audio track on this Blu-ray.

†††† Not that that matters as this is a film without action scenes or a music score. Dialogue is mostly clear, except for a few lines by Kevin Brennan, and easy to understand. Effects are minimal, so the surrounds are not used except for the occasional police siren in the street or helicopter overhead. There was no original music; the score includes extracts of Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Schubert as well as pop songs. It also adds an interesting version of House of the Rising Sun for guitar and glockenspiel performed by Kevin Brennan and Rachel Boston that is a highlight! I do not remember any subwoofer use, but the film did not require any.

†††† Lip synchronisation was fine.

†††† The audio was appropriate for the film.

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

Extras

Trailers

†††† On start-up trailers for Hotel Noir, Static, Two Jacks and Little Red play, collectively running 8:34. These four, plus Itís a Disaster (2:23) can be also selected from the menu.

Audio Commentary

†††† Todd Berger, David Cross, Kevin Brennan and Jeff Grace joke, provide some information about casting, location and some production anecdotes, pointing out inspirations and technical points and script changes. This is a light hearted and amusing commentary that is quite self-laudatory but reasonably entertaining.

Behind the Scenes (9:43)

†††† Writer / director Todd Berger gives a tour of the house location used in the film plus some behind the scenes footage, short film exerts and interviews with the 8 main cast members. Reasonably interesting.

Viral Videos (8:30)

†††† Three quite funny Web U-Tube videos that shot by Berger prior to making Itís a Disaster. They are:

Comic Con 2012 Panel Discussion (22:35)

†††† Todd Berger, Blaise Miller, Kevin Brennan, Jeff Grace, Rachel Boston and Erinn Hayes appear before an audience and talk about how The Vacationeers got together, U-Tube videos, Itís a Disaster and they show another viral video. Some amusing stuff, some silly stuff, not much on actually making the film but worth watching.

R4 vs R1

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

††††The US Region All Blu-ray of Itís A Disaster has the same extras and adds a 2.0 stereo audio, some extra film trailers plus subtitles for the hearing impaired. Call it a draw. There is not currently a Region B UK release.

Summary

†††† If you were going to be dead in three hours would you fulfil a few fantasies or settle a few old scores? Itís a Disaster is uneven but overall it is a wry and funny look at the end of the world genre that is well worth seeking out.

†††† The video and audio are adequate and appropriate for the film. The extras are worthwhile and interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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