Did You Hear About the Morgans? (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 3-May-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Director & Stars
Featurette-Making Of-x 5
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 103:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Marc Lawrence
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Hugh Grant
Sarah Jessica Parker
Natalia Klimas
Vincenzo Amato
Jesse Liebman
Elisabeth Moss
Michael Kelly
Case ?
RPI ? Music Theodore Shapiro


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
French DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
German DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German
Dutch
Hindi
Arabic
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

     Writer/director Marc Lawrence has more or less kept Hugh Grant’s career ticking along for the past decade, writing and directing just about every second film the toffee Brit has done in that time. Admittedly, this is only their third film together but Grant’s output over that decade has hardly been prolific (can we say "paycheque") and the other two films in this partnership were the hits Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics (two films that proudly sit in our family's pile of chick flicks that are allowed to be rewatched when the man of the house is in the room). Unfortunately, it seems that Marc Lawrence has overdrawn from the well of English charm, or at least grown so tired of it he cannot be bothered even constructing any character for his muse.

     Grant stars as Paul Morgan, a lawyer whose wife Meryl (Sarah Jessica Parker) has left him after he confessed to having had a one night stand. As these things go in Hollywood of the 21st century, Paul is desperate to win Meryl back but she has moved on and, in the three months since they separated, become a successful and powerful boutique real estate agent.

     After much convincing Meryl agrees to have dinner with Paul. Whilst on this dinner the pair witness a mob hit and are whisked away to witness protection outside a small town in Wyoming under the guard of husband and wife federal marshal team Clay and Emma Wheeler (Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen). Roll on the same city people go to the wilderness gags the Hollywood machine has been hammering for decades.

     There are a myriad of flaws in Did You Hear About The Morgans. The characters are so far removed from real life that it is impossible to relate to them, even in a farcical manner. Sarah Jessica Parker deservedly gained a Golden Raspberry nomination for her performance (though one not helped by her downright unpleasant character). Hugh Grant really doesn't have a character (even his profession seems to have been tacked on as an afterthought); he just turns up and mumbles some tired Hugh Grant charm in the hope of a sympathy laugh for simply being English. Given the lack of chemistry between the leads and Sarah Jessica Parker‘s hideously vapid self-involved character, Hugh wanting Sarah Jessica Parker back makes no sense at all. The biggest problem with the film is that it just plain isn't funny. Even a few points that seem like they should be a laugh just aren't.

     Hugh, it's time to move on. Sarah Jessica Parker please stick to Sex and the City movies, at least I have learnt not to even try watching those.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

     The video quality is slightly greater than that of an upscaled DVD, far from what most viewers would hope from the format. The primary fault in the transfer is excessive edge enhancement. In every shot of the film the foreground characters are razor sharp and punctuated by a distinct thick edge whilst backgrounds are all a touch softer than they should be. The effect is so strong that viewers could be forgiven for assuming the whole film was shot on green-screen, as even scenes that the “making of” clearly illustrates were locations shots look garishly unnatural. The colour palette looks to be skewed unnaturally towards pink oversaturated tones, but is within generally acceptable limits of appearance. The dark scenes of the film look blue-lit, the blacks closer to a dark grey, though the scenes themselves are quite clear and feature a reasonable level of depth.

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

     The film features plain English subtitles as well as a track for the hearing impaired. Based on the portion sampled they appear to be fairly accurate and well timed.

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

Audio

     The film features English, English Descriptive Audio, German and French 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio tracks.

     The audio is decent without being anything to write home about. It is certainly more than this sort of film needs and the mix is quite clear. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, placed at a good level in the mix.

     The film features a routine, though effective, orchestral score by Theodore Shapiro.

     The film makes decent use of the surrounds, particularly during the more physically active parts of the film (bear chasing and rodeo scenes in particular). The subwoofer only really gets a handful of decent rumbles, but they are well placed and effective.

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

Extras

     The film features a swag of extras that are guaranteed to appeal to fans of the film or, more likely, its stars. Alas, all involved seem blissfully ignorant of the awfulness of the feature itself. All are presented in 1080p.

Audio Commentary - Marc Lawrence (Director), Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker

     A steady barrage of on set anecdotes and description of what is happening on screen, along with the deeper meaning to it all (which is only in some part tongue in cheek). The only real saving grace here is the ever charming and amusing Hugh Grant.

Location, Location, Location! Featurette (18:13)

     A generic "making of" featurette, largely cut together from on set interviews and behind the scenes footage, with barely enough vague mention of the New Mexico location filming to justify the title.

Cowboys and Cosmopolitans Featurette (8:06)

     A featurette dedicated to convincing viewers that there actually was chemistry between the film's leads. The opening line here, "There is incredible chemistry between the two of them", earns more laughs than the film itself.

Park Avenue Meets the Prairie Featurette (5:02)

     A costuming featurette that spends as long fawning over Sarah Jessica Parker as it does discussing actual costumes.

A Bear of a Scene Featurette (5:21)

     A featurette about the animals used in filming, primarily a grizzly bear.

Deleted Scenes (5:03)

     3 deleted scenes. 5 more minutes of your life saved by editors.

Outtakes (6:41)

"International" Featurette (13:46)

     A very EPK-style sales pitch featurette, which judging from the otherwise irrelevant title was intended to promote the film internationally. Very generic.

BD Live!

     Access to the Sony BD Live portal with no particular content about this film.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Australian Region B edition appears to be virtually identical to the US Region A edition.

Summary

     After virtually sustaining Hugh Grant’s career for the last decade, director Marc Lawrence throws the ultimate sucker punch in delivering the worst film of the Brit thespian's uneven career (and that counts Lair of the White Worm). Did You Hear About The Morgans is not unwatchable but it struggles for laughs to the point that the few moments that in isolation would have been hilarious fall flat in context.

     The video quality is disappointing, largely due to excessive edge enhancement. The audio is fair. The extras are undeservingly excellent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, June 04, 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

Other Reviews NONE
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sounds like you had an awful time - REPLY POSTED
Aspect Ratio - REPLY POSTED
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