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

The Tooth Fairy [Blu-ray]

 

(Michael Lembeck, 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Production:

Theatrical: Mayhem Pictures/Blumhouse

Blu-ray: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (B+C untested)

Runtime: 1:41:28.832

Disc Size: 40,393,433,363 bytes

Feature Size: 27,146,797,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard U.S. Blu-ray case w/ flippage

Release date: May 4th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3597 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3597 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck

• Training Center – (20:25)

• Sing Along Fairyoke – (3:45)

• Behind the Scenes – (38:55)

• Gag Reel – (2:34)

• Deleted Scenes – (8:20)

• Tooth Fairy DVD

• Digital Copy Disc

 

 

The Film: 5
We've seen this idea before, a grinchy kind of guy who, by having to take on the role of that which he most humbugs, comes to find the meaning of. . . whatever. So, the theme is familiar – how about the telling?

Perhaps it's that broad smile, so unexpected from a man the size of a small mountain and twice as strong, but there's something very endearing about this movie that transcends cliché. And speaking of smiles – or, rather, grins – there's Stephen Merchant (The Office in the U.K.), who looks like a character right out Dr. Seuss. Merchant plays Tracy, a fairy with a mildly spiteful attitude about his job, probably because he suffers from wings envy. He hasn't got 'em. Never did. Isn't likely to get them.

Dwayne (I feel kinda like we're on a first name basis after this movie) is a hockey player who hasn't snapped a puck in years after having settled into a career role as "The Tooth Fairy" – so named for the teeth he's knocked out every time he levels an opponent. His coach seems to think that's all he good for – and perhaps that's true since we never actually see Dwayne skate – he looks like he's just wheeled around – but I'm sure we're not supposed to notice.

Derek (that's Dwayne) has a girlfriend (Ashley Judd, who doesn't seem to believe in aging like the rest of us girls!), a single mom of two kids: a teenage boy (the relentlessly cute Chase Ellison – he's been on TV since he was 7), who tinkers with his guitar and isn't bad at it, and his younger sister (Destiny Whitlock, who is even cuter.) Destiny is nine and looks five, which is fortunate because her character still believes in the tooth fairy.

The idea is that Derek has been sentenced to two weeks duty as a tooth fairy, during which time he is on call, no matter where he is or what he's doing, to sneak into a home where a sleeping child expects to awaken in the morning to money in place of his or her tooth. Derek's job is to make the swap. As Derek's caseworker, it's Tracy's job to see to it that he competes his missions. Merchant is outstanding here. He is visually a scream, and his manner and dialogue has just the right bite to make us believe that The Rock has to give way to him.

Julie Andrews is the Director of Tooth Fairy affairs. Julie still has that same stick up her whosits that she's had since The Sound of Music, and it suits her perfectly here. Billy Crystal has an uncredited role as Jerry, Totthfairydom's version of "Q," handing out a selected arsenal of gadgetry to Derek so as he can complete his missions without being found out. Crystal is even funnier than usual, and grownups will want more of him but, alas, it's not his movie. It's Dwayne's. And, except in those scenes where he tells kids not to bother with their dreams because someone else is going to snatch them away anyhow, he's really lovely, especially in his pink tutu, and much more credible doing this sort of thing than Arnold. Seriously, though, the kyboshing scenes are the movie's only weakness. In Dwayne's defense, they're written with such little subtlety, it's no wonder The Rock can't find the right tone.

 


 

Image: 5   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
We've seen this idea before, a grinchy kind of guy who, by having to take on the role of that which he most humbugs, comes to find the meaning of. . . whatever. So, the theme is familiar – how about the telling?

Perhaps it's that broad smile, so unexpected from a man the size of a small mountain and twice as strong, but there's something very endearing about this movie that transcends cliché. And speaking of smiles – or, rather, grins – there's Stephen Merchant (The Office in the U.K.), who looks like a character right out Dr. Seuss. Merchant plays Tracy, a fairy with a mildly spiteful attitude about his job, probably because he suffers from wings envy. He hasn't got 'em. Never did. Isn't likely to get them.

Dwayne (I feel kinda like we're on a first name basis after this movie) is a hockey player who hasn't snapped a puck in years after having settled into a career role as "The Tooth Fairy" – so named for the teeth he's knocked out every time he levels an opponent. His coach seems to think that's all he good for – and perhaps that's true since we never actually see Dwayne skate – he looks like he's just wheeled around – but I'm sure we're not supposed to notice.

Derek (that's Dwayne) has a girlfriend (Ashley Judd, who doesn't seem to believe in aging like the rest of us girls!), a single mom of two kids: a teenage boy (the relentlessly cute Chase Ellison – he's been on TV since he was 7), who tinkers with his guitar and isn't bad at it, and his younger sister (Destiny Whitlock, who is even cuter.) Destiny is nine and looks five, which is fortunate because her character still believes in the tooth fairy.

The idea is that Derek has been sentenced to two weeks duty as a tooth fairy, during which time he is on call, no matter where he is or what he's doing, to sneak into a home where a sleeping child expects to awaken in the morning to money in place of his or her tooth. Derek's job is to make the swap. As Derek's caseworker, it's Tracy's job to see to it that he competes his missions. Merchant is outstanding here. He is visually a scream, and his manner and dialogue has just the right bite to make us believe that The Rock has to give way to him.

Julie Andrews is the Director of Tooth Fairy affairs. Julie still has that same stick up her whosits that she's had since The Sound of Music, and it suits her perfectly here. Billy Crystal has an uncredited role as Jerry, Totthfairydom's version of "Q," handing out a selected arsenal of gadgetry to Derek so as he can complete his missions without being found out. Crystal is even funnier than usual, and grownups will want more of him but, alas, it's not his movie. It's Dwayne's. And, except in those scenes where he tells kids not to bother with their dreams because someone else is going to snatch them away anyhow, he's really lovely, especially in his pink tutu, and much more credible doing this sort of thing than Arnold. Seriously, though, the kaboshing scenes are the movie's only weakness. In Dwayne's defense, they're written with such little subtlety, it's no wonder The Rock can't find the right tone.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: 7/6
The DTS-HD MA mix is, more often than not, front directed with just enough ambience and music divvied up to the surrounds to add some dimension. In the hockey arena, crowd noises and the arena sound machine pump up the volume to all channels, if not the bass. In the fairy world, the swoosh of some flying fairy makes good use of the surrounds.

 

Operations: 6
AS with other Fox Blu-rays of late, the main menu includes a Search tab that you have to click on to get to the Chapters.

 

 

Extras: 3
The Behind the Scenes segment is hosted by Director Lembeck and Visual Effects guy Jake Morrison. They stress how they managed what they did with severe budget constraints, then they take us on a behind the scenes look at how many of them the effects were pulled off with the aid of side by side comparisons.

The Tooth Fairy Training Center is not, as you might have anticipated, about how The Rock trains for his role as a fairy (I just love saying that) but a calisthenics program for single digit kids led by a nice fairy in pink (see caps). The Sing Along is hard to target. It's a "Fairyoke" duet between Dwayne and Stephen as they sing one of the most excruciatingly awful songs ever written. I guess they choose it so as to distract from how odd they sound singing it.

 

 

Bottom line: 6
A pleasing family entertainment, even if the message is a little heavy-handed. The cast is uniformly very good, with Johnson acquitting himself well as a repressed good guy. Merchant is awesome.

Leonard Norwitz
May 10th, 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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