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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

The Hangover (Unrated) [Blu-ray]

 

(Todd Phillips, 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Green Hat Films

Blu-ray: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:47:53.508  /  1:39:46.021

Disc Size: 40,142,435,134 bytes  

Feature Size: 17,095,170,048 bytes   / 18,351,869,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.5 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case w/ slipcover

Release date: December 22nd, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1405 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1405 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Theatrical & Unrated Cuts

• Picture-in-Picture Commentary with Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms & Todd Phillips

• Map of Destruction – in HD

• More Pictures from the Missing Camera – in HD

• The Madness of Ken Jeong – in HD (7:56)

• Action Mash-Up – in HD (0:35)

• Three Best Friends Song – in HD (1:23)

• The Dan Band – in HD (1:08)

• Gag Reel – in HD (8:16)

• Digital Copy Disc

• BD-Live 2.0

 

 

The Film: 7
The Hangover is Dude, Where’s My Car? by way of Larry Flynt. Smarter, Funnier, Raunchier and, in many ways, delightfully stupider. Critics, especially the boys, loved this movie. Here’s a taste:

The Hangover disarmed me by starting at the end, the morning after the bachelor party. Phil (Bradley Cooper), a married teacher, is on the phone telling the bride that he, his friend Stu (Ed Helms), a pussy-whipped dentist, and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the bride's pervy brother, have lost Doug (Justin Bartha), the groom-to-be. Could this movie about a bachelor party actually leave out the party? It could. And we're all the better for it. To watch these hungover guys — they've actually been drugged — struggle awake in a trashed Vegas suite featuring a burning couch, a crying baby, a sizzling stripper (Heather Graham, good to see you), a live chicken and a Bengal tiger owned by Mike Tyson is, well, a sight gag for the time capsule. I couldn't help laughing. Fellow critics (though the hypocrites might deny it) laughed too. Funny? The Hangover rocks the house with funny.

 

Excerpt from  Peter Travers at the Rolling Stone

 

 

"The Hangover" is directed by Todd Phillips, whose "Old School" (2003) and "Road Trip" (2000) had their moments but didn't prepare me for this. The screenplay is by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, whose "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" certainly didn't. This movie is written, not assembled out of off-the-shelf parts from the Apatow Surplus Store. There is a level of detail and observation in the dialogue that's sort of remarkable: These characters aren't generically funny, but specifically funny. The actors make them halfway convincing.

Excerpt from  Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times:
 

"The Hangover" is the latest from Todd Phillips, a director who knows what men are really like. Other comedies present men in ways that are too crude or too sentimental, but Phillips - both in previous pictures ("Old School," "Starsky & Hutch") and this new one - has an instinctive feel for the truth. His honesty is what makes Phillips' movies hilarious, even when they're not consistently successful, and what makes "The Hangover" the funniest movie so far this year. Here's the truth about men: They are often prone to lewd, absurd, demented behavior, particularly when traveling in packs; and yet at the exact same time, men can be wildly romantic, in ways that are absolutely juvenile, yet weirdly soul nourishing. Another truth: Sometimes men, even married men (maybe especially married men), need to be around other men.

Excerpt of review from Mike LaSalle The San Francisco Chronicle located HERE


 

Image: 8/8  NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale. The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.

The Hangover is the sort of movie one enjoys uncritically, as far as its technical aspects are concerned. For most, its somewhat increased contrast, saturation and eager blacks are entirely in sympathy with the Vegas locations and mood (even the scenes in L.A.). One is less likely to notice the occasional edge-enhancement and softness. Source elements are blemish-free and DNR seems not in evidence.

 

NOTE: Both the Theatrical R-rated Version and Unrated Version of The Hangover are available (NOT seamlessly branched and differing by about 8-minutes) on the Blu-ray and look virtually identical taking up the same disc size with the same bitrate.
 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 6/7
From the outset, I was surprised at how hard I had to work to make out the dialogue, which I found a bit thick and murky at times. Just as important, the audio mix fails to convey the delirium experienced by the hungover. Though there is a certain amount of dynamic, punchy effects, I had the feeling they were a little disconnected from the action on screen. The impression is one of a 2-channel original that was slapdashed into 5.1.
 

Operations: 7
A Play All function for the minute-long bonus features would have been welcome. On the other hand, points for readable menus that tell us everything we want to know at a glance.

 

Extras: 3
If you’re hoping for the breath and depth of bonus features such as we saw on I Miss You, Beth Cooper, prepare to be disappointed. The PIP commentary is in Beavis & Butthead format, with the actors reminiscing with jolly gusto and director Phillips putting the damper on the proceedings with his out of sync production comments. Maybe that explains the frequent silences.

The Map of Destruction is promising, but something of a disappointment if you are expecting some serious background on any of the 13 all too brief user-accessible points of interest. Except for the wonderfully zany 8-minute collection of deleted bits of the insane Mr. Jeong, most of the remaining bonus features (the Action Mash-Up, The Dan Band and 3 Best Friends Song) are not worth the trouble. Finally, there's a scrapbook of 100 photos that more or less reconstruct the night between the toast and the awakening.

 

 

Bottom line: 7
I have to admit that this sort of humor doesn't really appeal to me much – where everyone acts stupidly, not just because once they herd, that's what guys do even when they are sober (witness the yuks when Alan almost causes an accident on the highway on their way to Vegas), but all the more so when they are drugged. Barely coming out of a stupor and making life decisions (Stu's breaking up with his girlfriend) is just as stupid even if they're the right ones. The Blu-ray image is quite good and the audio just barely cuts it, but who's really gonna care, rolling on the floor as folks are wont to do!

Leonard Norwitz
January 9th, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.


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