Imagine That (2009)

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Released 2-Feb-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 103:54
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:39) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Karey Kirkpatrick
Studio
Distributor
Nickelodeon
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Eddie Murphy
Thomas Haden Church
Yara Shahidi
Ronny Cox
Stephen Rannazzisi
Nicole Ari Parker
DeRay Davis
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Mark Mancina


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English for the Hearing Impaired Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Red Bull madness.
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is another overworked corporate trader-type who is out of touch with his seven year old daughter (Yara Shahidi) and is completely unprepared to care for her when his ex-wife drops her off for the week. To make matters worse, it is a particularly hectic week at work because Evan's boss (Ronnie Cox) is rumoured to be gearing up to sell the company to D. Di Enzo (Martin Sheen) and Evan is locked in head to head competition for the top job with his arch rival Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Hayden Church).

    Whitefeather uses an unconventional (and downright hilarious) Native American approach to spotting market trends. This absurd act has reached the point of annoyance to Evan, particularly since the fad has started to draw some of his top clients to Whitefeather's accounts. Things change when Evan inadvertently discovers that his daughter's imaginary friends can provide startlingly insightful financial advice if he reads between the lines when they tell him that a company is "poop" or that two particular companies are "getting married". Evan joins his daughter in her imaginary trips to visit her imaginary friends and creates his own marketing gimmick, one that finally lets him bond with his daughter.

    Imagine That is Eddie Murphy's best live action family film since the original Dr Doolittle. Whilst the film offers nothing new to the genre, what it does it does well. The film exudes a warm charm along with some delightfully silly humour. The supporting cast are first rate and offer some great counterpoints for Murphy’s character to bounce off. Thomas Hayden Church steals almost every scene he is in with his flat-out ridiculous character. Kudos to him for keeping a straight face through this act.

    Imagine That is a pleasant surprise in an all-too-often stale genre, almost enough to forgive Eddie Murphy for his career killing Norbit.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The video looks good, though is far from perfect. The image is clear and reasonably sharp, with only mild grain noticeable. There is a good level of shadow detail. The colours are reasonably accurate, but a little dull.

     There is no sign of compression artefacts or film artefacts in the transfer.

     The film includes plain English subtitles and English subtitles for the hearing impaired. Based on the short portions I sampled, these tracks appear to be accurate to the spoken word and well timed.

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

Audio

    The film features an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) audio track and an English for the visually impaired Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps).

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The audio is well synchronised to the video.

    The film features a generic, but effective, orchestral score from Mark Mancina.

    The film makes reasonable use of the surrounds for environmental audio. The subwoofer gets little use, although it is rarely called for, but primarily supports the music.

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

Extras

Audio Commentary

    Director Karey Kirkpatrick and young star Yara Shahidi provide an unnecessary commentary track that will appeal to kids more than adults. Pass.

Making Of Featurettes

     About half an hour's worth of "making of" featurettes are included. On-set stuff with young star Yara Shahidi, interviews with the director and cast, and other fluffy stuff that the kids will like but adults will probably want to skip.

Johnny Whitefeather Outtakes

     Five minutes of genuinely hilarious outtakes and deleted bits featuring Thomas Hayden Church’s scene stealing character.

Eddie Murphy and Yara Shahidi Outtakes

     More outtakes, this lot more cutesy than funny.

Deleted Scenes

     Five deleted scenes are presented, each running one to two minutes. Four, including an alternate ending, offer nothing interesting. One would have been a solid addition to the film, and make the ending scenes make a lot more sense, but appears to have been excised for no other reason than it implies one minor character is homosexual. God bless Hollywood's over-sensitive homogenisation of its product.

What Are They Really Saying? Featurette

     Running in the background of many scenes of the movie are numerous financial-looking programmes. This featurette plays back these background programmes along with the audio to match (which is never heard in the actual film). Essentially it is an amusing bunch of rants from lowly paid bit-part actors. Well worth a look!

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 edition is identical to the Region 1 edition, save for language differences. The Region 1 edition includes Spanish audio which is absent from the local release.

Summary

    Though it isn't a movie that deserves to set the world on fire, Imagine That may be the surprise of the year. It is thoroughly entertaining, albeit unoriginal, and features Eddie Murphy back in form and actually seeming like he cares.

    Video and audio are both of a high standard. The extras package will certainly please the target audience and is generous in volume.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, March 19, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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