H D - S E N S E I

A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze

 

Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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The Love Guru [Blu-ray]

 

(Marco Schnabel, 2008)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Video: Paramount

 

Discs:

Region FREE

Feature Runtime: 1:26:41

Chapters: 18

Feature film disc size: 25.1 Gig

One dual-layered disc, one digital copy disc

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 16th, 2008

 

Video:
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, DUBs: French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese or none

 

Supplements:

• Featurette: Mike Myers and the Love Guru - An Inside Look (9:35 in HD!)
• Featurette: One Hellava Elephant (5:44 in HD)
• Featurette: Hockey Training for Actors (8:03 in HD!)
• 10 deleted/extended scenes
• Alternate ending (13:46 in HD!)
• Bloopers (3:48 in HD)
Back in the Booth With Trent and Jay (5:08 in HD!)
• Outtakes (10:12 in HD)
• Theatrical trailer (1080p, 2:31 in HD!).
• Disc two of this set contains a digital copy!

 

 

Product Description: A hilarious comedy starring Mike Myers as guru Pitka in his first original character since the blockbuster hit Austin Powers. Myers plays an American raised in India by gurus (Tugginmypudha & Satchabigknoba) and returns to the U.S. in order to break into the self-help business. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player (Romany Malco), whose wife left him for a rival athlete Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake). Mini Me is back from Austin Powers and plays the hockey coach for more classic comedic moments that will have audiences laughing from opening to closing credits...

 

 

 

The Film:

Let's be brief here. Despite the extensive work and amusing satires that fill the film - The Love Guru just isn't very funny. Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world excepting it seems so hard to be trying to be funny. Gags come one after another - some imaginative - some lowbrow (the vertically challenged, boogers, mating elephants, big penises etc.) but for whatever reason it doesn't all gel very well. Humor can support a film's plot but it doesn't seem to work very well the other way around - especially here. The Leaf hockey and Bollywood gags are very good (Myers in top form!) but must surely isolate some who won't get the satirical intent. I suppose, at its best, Mike Myer's fans may wish to indulge in a rental but the 'touch' he had in so many previous films seems to have departed him on this project. 

 

Gary Tooze

 

 

 

Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

I have a personal theory about Blu-ray image quality. Certain films will enter 'must-own territory' for this 1080P format (Antonioni's work would be a strong example). If your emotive connection will benefit from an improved visual appearance then it should be strongly considered for viewing in this new format. But comedy, as a genre, doesn't promote the upgrade from SD-DVD. The Love Guru would be a fine case-in-point. It looks quite strong - the hockey scenes are marvelous - ditto for the colorful Bollywood dance/music mocks. This is a very good transfer! This dual-layering production is very adept (the feature takes up 25.1 Gig) - and I was genuinely impressed with how it looked... but this is not a film you need on Blu-ray. It would export almost all the same humor and amusement (or lack of) in SD-DVD. It definitely wouldn't look as good in the lesser format, but it surely wouldn't affect the jokes at all. The captures below should give you an idea of how it will look - it's quite fine - so what? If you have to see the film - get the SD-DVD.

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
The TrueHD separates a few times (elephant's etc.) but its mostly dialogue driven and cleanly mixed it really doesn't give a lot to the surround capabilities of your system. There is some music that I enjoyed and there is nothing wrong with this track - expecting that it is fairly underutilized. There are optional subtitles if required.

 

 

 

Extras:
It seemed like a lot of glad-handing and 'puffing' from all involved. As a bonus it is all in HD, but would have remained as innocuous in SD. Three main featurettes, bloopers, outtakes, alt-endings and the like - all less than an hour in total. It even seemed like the cast and crew were simply prepared to move on from this. Even Myers himself seemed a little sheepish.

 

 

Bottom line:
I know I'm parroting the negativity of other journalists about the value of The Love Guru... so to be a bit positive - there are some decent moments (actually a lot of them), the problem is they don't work rapid-fire consecutively and without precedence. The pacing is off kilter and the buildup is non-existent - each gag just launches one after the other. But, I did stay awake and watched the entire film - something about it was endearing beyond Miss Alba's lovely smile (and there is a lot of 'good' in Meagan Good!).  I'm sure Mike Myers will get on track soon - this should prove an aberration in his career. As for the
Blu-ray transfer - it's perfectly fine - not a glitch in sight or sound despite my opinion that most comedies don't require the support of the high-definition resolution.

Gary Tooze

September 25th, 2008

 

 

 

 

 





 

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