Father Of The Bride / Father Of The Bride Part II (1991-1995) 
Blu-ray Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012

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“Father Of The Bride” is a staple in the Steve Martin’s repertoire.  Surprisingly though, it is not really the funniest of films.  Nor is its sequel.  At times it seems as though Martin is trying to hard to push comic relief into lifeless scenes.  Nevertheless, the films have a spirit that puts them at the top of the list, well almost.

Neither of the “Bride” films is a repetitive watch. I was thrilled to see them, but then again I haven’t watched them since their initial release in the early 90s.  I have satisfied my craving and now the films will likely sit on the shelf collecting dust.  But that is probably the case with more than 90 percent of our collections, right?

The first film introduces us to he Banks family.  George doesn’t deal with the fact that his little girl has grown up and is getting married.  The same principle applies in the second film when his daughter shows up and announces that she is pregnant.  Of course, mom Nina has a surprise of her own for husband George.  I must say, I think I like the second film better than the original.  The sequel has a draw that wasn’t present in the original.  However, this is a only a guess as to which is better for viewing.  I’m on the border of indifferent.

The two films arrive on one Blu-ray disc.  Strike one.  Okay, so there are no real artifacts to speak of to support that claim, but alas I think we all would like each film to have its own disc.  However, I guess the production costs of Blu-ray discs are still too high.  That didn’t prevent the studio from including two DVD discs in the package, one for each disc.  Hardly seems fair, right?

I am becoming wary of Disney catalog transfers.  Their animated films look breathtaking.  But these real-life, catalog films suffer in there transfer.  “Father Of The Bride I/II” appears to be the worst offender yet.  The first films suffers from over-baked, over-saturated, over-cooked fleshtones.  Everyone looks like George Hamilton.  Doesn’t seem like that hard of a fix in post but alas we are leave with bronzed, flushed faces.  Aside from the faces, there are numerous other color inaccuracies.  Blacks are crushed throughout.  Thankfully, detail is nicely rendered and the filmic texture is preserved.  The second film pulls a 180.  No, not from bad to good, but from bad to worse.  The color inaccuracies are better by some small degree.  No, what is torturous about the second film’s presentation is the murky and clumpy details.  The image is not soft so to speak, but it looks like a puddle.  It almost looks as though a low-res image has been blown up for the big screen.

Needless to say, the video qualities of these two films leaves much to be desired.  I can’t in good conscience say that this is worth the upgrade.  The prints here are source from the same DVD transfers.

The audio quality of the two films is fairly benign.  There is nothing extravagant in the audio tracks.  Both are presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1.  The surround atmosphere is minor but consistent.  The LFE channel is absent as to be expected.  The dialogue is nicely prioritized with just a touch of crispy crackling in some of the lines.  The transfer seems fine.  Chalk up the abnormalities to the age of the sound design.

The single-disc Blu-ray comes with a few bonus materials for each of the films.  The first film has an audio commentary with director Charles Shyer, a making-of featurette, a Martin Short/Steve Martin interview and a score soundtrack.  The second film contains another audio commentary with Steve Martin and Martin Short as well as a production featurette.

The “Father Of The Bride” series is cute on the borderline of being a Steve Martin classic, but it just falls a bit short.  The real disappointments here are the video transfers of the two films.  However, I doubt there is much interest in this title for the studio to consider a complete overhaul and re-release.  Well, at least not anytime in the near future.  Unless you are big fan of the series just stick with the original DVDs.
Studio Touchstone Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG
Starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, Martin Short, Kieran Culkin, Eugene Levy
Director Charles Shyer
Film Release Year 1991, 1995
Release Year 2012
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 1 hr. 45 mins., 1 hr. 46 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles English SDH • French • Spanish
Special Features Director Audio Commentary; “An Invitation To Father Of The Bride”; Steve Martin/Martin Short Interview; Audio Commentary by Steve Martin and Martin Short; Production featurette; DVD Copy for each film
Forum Link http://www.avrev.com/forum
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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