Heartbreak Kid, The (2007) 
Blu-ray Romantic Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Friday, 19 December 2008

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Finally, a movie that doesn't have Vince Vaughn in it.  Wheww!  Ben Stiller and the creators of "There's Something About Mary," do it again.  "The Heartbreak Kid" is a remake of the 1972 film of the same title starring Cybill Shepherd and Charles Grodin.  While the two films have the same story, it is difficult to compare them.  The original is a comedy of the 70s, and so much has changed since then that Stiller's remake is on a whole different level.

The film was only moderately successful for a comedy film at the box office, grossing almost $37 million.  Still, the film has its moments and flows rather nicely.  Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan deliver superb performances, as do many of the supporting cast members.

Eddie (Ben Stiller) is the owner of a sporting goods store in San Francisco and has never found the true love of his life.  And then, he meets Lila (Malin Akerman), a beautiful woman that seems normal on the surface.  After a short courtship, the couple are married and off to their honeymoon in Mexico.  People always say that everything changes when you get married.  Well, for Eddie that is so true.  Lila turns into an odd freak.  Her habits are extremely annoying, and her behavior is insensible.

While Eddie's wife is burned to a crisp in their hotel room, he meets a lovely woman, Miranda (Michelle Monaghan) at the hotel bar and has a terrific night with her and her family.  For the next couple of days, Eddie does everything to spend more time with Miranda.  Naturally, Eddie has not told Miranda that he is on his honeymoon.  Just as he tries to tell her, she and her family are under the impression that his wife was murdered and he was in Mexico mourning.  That is all thanks to a couple of kids that love to spread rumors.  Now, Eddie is under the impression that Miranda and her family now about his marriage and don't care, and vice versa.  So, you can imagine where this film ends up.

The film is filled with laughs and a well-paced story.  Jerry Stiller, Carlos Mencia and Danny R. McBride all help deliver humor to the film.  But the true stars of the film are directors Peter and Booby Farrelly.

The brothers create quite the team.  They have had numerous comedic successes such as, "Dumb & Dumber," "There's Something About Mary," "Me, Myself & Irene," "Shallow Hal" and many others.  The directing/producing team is able to keep their ideas fresh and entertaining.  "The Heartbreak" kid is not exactly on par with their other successes, but it does come close.

Paramount previously released the film on HD DVD.  The 1080p/AVC encode on the Blu-ray release is identical to the HD DVD release.  That is a good thing, as "The Heartbreak Kid" is one of the better-looking transfers.  Most impressive, are the colors.  They are the most vibrant and accurate colors I have seen in a good long while.  Mexico offers some of the greatest scenery available on the Blu-ray disc format.  The image is also perfectly sharp.  There is not one shot out of focus or soft.  Truly magnificent.  The black levels are deep and accurate.  There is no evidence of edge enhancement or digital noise reduction.  Textures and details remain intact, and pop from the screen.  The only criticism I have of this image transfer is that the contrast runs a bit hot at times.  It is expected in the sequences that take place along the ocean. But some of the interior sequences also have a boosted contrast.  Also, there appear to be some jagged edges during slow movements.  This is hardly noticeable, but it is still present occasionally.  Overall, a terrific transfer.  Well done Paramount.

The audio is also surprisingly good for a comedy film.  Lately I have been suffering through front-heavy audio tracks on comedic films.  Paramount keeps the same Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track on the Blu-ray that was present on the HD DVD.  The audio track has great dynamics for a comedy film, with the dialogue always clearly audible.  The surround channels contain much more information than is typical for this type of film.  It is not overly active, but ambience and music is nicely presented in the rears.  The LFE channel lacks a bit, even though it is a laid back track.  A great audio track to go along with the superb video track.

The Blu-ray contains the same bonus materials that were present on the HD DVD.  At least most of them are presented in high definition.  The package is a little light, but it does contain the major bonus materials.  First, there is an audio commentary with the Farrelly Brothers.  This is a great commentary that consists of jokes and a wealth of information.  A commentary with the actors would have also been nice to hear.  "The Farrelly Brothers in the French Tradition" is a pretty standard making-of featurette that contains a decent amount of behind-the-scenes footage.  "Ben & Jerry" is a father and son chat.  "The Egg Toss" is silly behind-the-scenes segment.  "Heartbreak Halloween" is simply footage shot at the cast and crew's Halloween party.  There are six deleted scenes that are somewhat entertaining, but were correctly excised from the final film.  Lastly there is a gag reel and a theatrical trailer.

"The Heartbreak Kid" is a decent remake that is worth a watch.  The video and audio quality is superior to most Blu-ray releases, and surely superior to most of the recent comedy film releases.
Studio Paramount Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating R
Starring Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman, Carlos Mencia, Jerry Stiller, Danny R. McBride
Director Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Film Release Year 2007
Release Year 2008
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 1080i (supplements) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Running Time 1 hr. 55 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • English • French • Portuguese • Spanish
Special Features Director Audio Commentary; Deleted Scenes; Gage Reel; "The Farrelly Brothers in the French Tradition"; "Ben & Jerry"; "Heartbreak Halloween"; "The Egg Toss"; Theatrical Trailer
Forum Link http://www.avrevforum.com
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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