Hangover, The (Unrated) (2009) 
Blu-ray Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009

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“The Hangover” should really be called “Dude, Where’s My Car? Part 2,” or perhaps “Dude, Where’s the Groom.”  The story is nearly the same and the execution is just as bad.  That is my opinion.  However, I can easily see this being a hit or miss comedy.  It probably is a huge hit with the college dorm crowd and the immature adults out there.  However, anyone that is hoping for some type of substance will surely stay clear of this film.

There is no other way to explain this film other than predictable and dull.  Comedies need to move at a quicker pace.  “The Hangover” contains prolonged, dull scenes.  Despite being a comedy of sorts I found myself nodding off during some sequences because they were pedestrian and slow.

Another issue with “The Hangover” is that you know how it is going to end right from the start.  The groom is missing and will surely be found and make his wedding just in time at the end.  All the events that occur along the way are just silly.  There is no connection between one event and another.

I could forgive the lack of substance, but the comedy is boring.  I don’t think I chuckled more than a half dozen times over the course of the film.  The script is contrived.  Sorry, but this film strikes out on all levels.

The video transfer of “The Hangover” is fully functional.  It will sure to please any fans of the film that must own the disc.  Warner Bros. presents the Blu-ray with a VC-1 encode and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.  Colors are nicely saturated and contrast is only overblown to serve the purpose of the Las Vegas landscape.  Daytime sequences function much better than nighttime ones.  Nighttime sequences have issues with noise and vibrancy.  Nevertheless they are fully resolved.  Black levels are rich and shadow delineation is accurate to the source material.  The source print is in good shape with hardly any digital noise reduction.  Edge enhancement has been applied in a few cases and banding does occur on several instances.  Most will not notice these issues, but they do detract from the transfer.

Unfortunately, the audio transfer is not so stellar.  As a raucous comedy one would expect a fully developed soundtrack.  That is not the case here.  It is surprisingly front heavy for the majority of the film.  There are less than a handful of instances in which the rear speakers are actively engaged.  Directionality and panning is spotty.  Dynamics are flat.  Whether it be pop-rock music or dialogue, the dynamics remain within the same narrow range.  The LFE channel pops in and out.  Dialogue is clean and clear, but sometimes is a bit too clear.  The ambience surrounding the dialogue drops out on several occasions leaving the dialogue floating in mid air.  The track is perfectly understandable, but it was capable of so much more.

The special features package is just as flat and unentertaining as the film.  The Blu-ray is equipped with a picture-in-picture track that is flat and dull.  The director and cast members host a “hey, look at the screen” commentary.  “The Madness of Ken Jeong” contains alternate takes with the actor.  “Map of Destruction” is an interactive map allowing you to trace the actors’ steps.  “Three Best Friends Song” is the full version of the “song” within the movie.  “Action Mash-Up” is a brief collection of action sequences.  “The Dan Band” offers a rendition of “Fame.”  There is a mundane gag reel.  The most touted special feature is 100 additional images from the crew’s lost camera.  They get a bit redundant really quickly.  The disc is also enabled with BD-Live functionality.  The package also contains a Digital Copy of the film.

“The Hangover” is not that funny.  Still, there are some people out there that will find this movie right up their alley.  But don’t be surprised if you are left feeling gypped.  The video transfer is more than adequate, but the audio quality is somewhat disappointing.  View at your own risk.
Studio Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating Unrated
Starring Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor
Director Todd Phillips
Film Release Year 2009
Release Year 2009
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 1080p (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Running Time 1 hr. 40 mins., 1 hr. 48 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 • English Dolby Digital 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • French • Spanish
Special Features Picture-in-Picture Track; “The Madness of Ken Jeong”; Gag Reel; “The Three Best Friends Song”; “The Dan Band!”; Map of Destruction; “Action Mash-Up”; 100 Missing Pictures; BD-Live; Digital Copy
Forum Link http://www.avrev.com/forum
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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