Cover Art and Menu: 8/10
I really like this cover. It’s perky, which I normally despise. This time though, it’s different. Here’s what happened. The first time I saw this cover I rolled my eyes and grunted at what appeared to be another boring stepping stone for young comedic Saturday Night Live peeps. I saw the movie and my attitude totally changed. The movie was fun and entertaining and now when I look at the cover I “get” it. It’s not as wacky as the image of the two chicks might lead you to believe. Other than that it’s a serviceable, colorful, not loathsome DVD package.
The menu on the other hand, is loathsome. It shows clips from the movie as you navigate to the section you want. Do you people realize I don’t want to see parts of the movie before I see the flipping’ thing?
- U-Control Picture In Picture (Blu-ray Exclusive) – I don’t like U-Control. Is that clear? I like the extras they sprinkle in here and there with the picture in picture. The picture in picture sucks though, seriously. If you are watching on a TV that’s less than 50 inches the picture in the corner is so small it’s not even worth the effort. Just put these extras in a menu and let us watch them as we wish. Don’t make us navigate through each chapter finding the few bits and pieces you have put in, while having to hit a button every time one pops up. Too much effort for a few behind the scenes clips and talking head interviews with the cast and crew.
- Feature Commentary With Director & Cast (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – While these folks are fun and give a great commentary, I just don’t think this is an extra anymore. I expect commentaries as part of the DVD experience. It is pretty funny though, check it out if you really enjoy the movie it’s that much more fun listening to the leading women and director chat about things on and off the screen.
FYI: There are more extras on the standard DVD version of the movie.
The Movie: 8/10
Yes, I am giving this movie an 8 out of 10. I’m not delusional nor have I suddenly been fitted with rose colored glasses. I can see movies for what they are and sometimes it’s nice to just sit back, have really low expectations shattered and have your snotty attitude conked in the noggin to remind you (me) that a cynical and brooding view of things isn’t edgy or cool, it’s just boring sometimes. It’s nice to have some fun, smile and laugh at some goofy stuff. Baby Mama is what it is, a comedy with those new fangled sensibilities about love and relationships, parenthood, being a grown up, living life your own way, etc. Let me explain why it deserves such a high score on my little grading scale.
First, the movie features women who are not sappy, overly sentimental, strangely manlike, damaged, broken, or in distress and in need of rescuing. There is a bit of romance and with all man woman relationships there is a bit of neediness and longing for companionship. However, it’s not like the women in this movie are desperate for someone to take care of them or control them or make them ‘whole’. Yes, coupling happens. People find each other through the murk of the comedic scenarios; it’s just not heavy on the “every women needs a man in her life” vibe. I appreciate that.
Next, the comedy is bold and has a whiff of wackiness, but it’s smoother than slap stick, in-your-face flicks. I think it’s the honed and crafted skills of the leading women, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey that give the humor a twist that can be either awkward or subtle. Peeing in a sink, sitting on a conference room table in a skirt, these are women talents that have been left off the big screen for far too long.
Last but not least, the story isn’t original and somewhat predictable, but it’s about 72% interesting, so that’s pretty good. Something like Year of the Dog, that’s 100% interesting. What Happens in Vegas, that’s about 2% interesting. You can see my scale is perfectly logical, right? I wanted to see what happened to the characters. I cared about them all really. Well, not Dax from Punked. He was the least interesting and lowest quality character/performance, but most movies have to have at least one poo smear in the diaper of success. I might not be that into the whole idea of needing a baby. I’m 40, no babies, no strong desire to have one, and no parts left to have one, so there ya go. I do get it, some women think having a baby is a goal in life and this movie reflects that sentiment, which makes it different enough from my own life to make it that much more intriguing for me.
Overall this is a sweet but not sugary, funny but not whacky, popcorn flick that made me laugh many many times. I can’t explain fully why it appeals to me, I guess the quality of the leading women, the smart humor, and the touches of goofiness here and there to liven things up a bit. That sums it up pretty well I think. I laughed a lot, and if it were on TV right now I’d watch it again. (At this moment I only have a TV, no DVD player or other high tech device for watching movies.) Those are two criteria I think measure a movie quite well.
Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 8/10
I think I have said this before but comedy’s on Blu-Ray disc are all well and good but are never going to show off the HD format properly, Baby Mama is presented in 1.85:1 1080P widescreen which almost uses your entire screen (you have about half an inch of letterbox top and bottom). The Blu-Ray disc looks a lot sharper than the DVD, as Kevin Smith said this week on the Smodcast watching a Blu-Ray is just like watching a cinematic print, I have to agree.
Audio is presented using the DTS HD Master Audio format at a full 1.5MBPS, the movie doesn’t have a subtle soundstage though so its kind of wasted on it. Surround sound kicks in mostly on the films montage scenes set to music, bass sounds great especially during the musical areas. I am not saying the Blu-Ray is bad as actually its very very very good its just a comedy like this doesn’t really use the format to its fullest.
As much as I like this movie, it’s a rental. Sorry folks, but no matter what you try to cram down my money spending throat, most movies are NOT worth the $20+ for DVD. They are especially NOT worth over 30 bucks on Blu-Ray. As my British husband would say, “They are taking the piss.” Give me a break folks, who in their right mind spends that kind of money on a movie? Rent it. Enjoy it. Laugh at the fancy pants at the movie studio while you enjoy some other things for your money like food and electricity. Put this Blu-Ray on the shelf for $12.00 and I’d pull out the old debit card, no problem. Volume sales, do you know what that is? The more you sell at a lower price the more you make….I learned that in college.
Overall Score 7/10