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Tom Shadyac
Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Steve Carell
Writing Credits:
Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, Steve Oedekerk

A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world.

Box Office:
$81 million.
Opening Weekend
$67,953,330 on 3483 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 6/2/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Tom Shadyac
• “The Process of Jim” Featurette
• Outtakes
• 15 Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary


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Bruce Almighty [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 25, 2018)

For about a decade, Jim Carrey enjoyed life as arguably the biggest box office star in the US, a run that came to a close with 2003’s Bruce Almighty. Oh, Carrey starred in some movies that did decently post-2003, but Almighty really represents the last time audiences eagerly embraced one of his films.

A TV reporter in Buffalo, Bruce Nolan (Carrey) feels like he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. This leaves him with tacky “public interest” gigs instead of the anchor slot he believes should be his, and he thinks the world craps on him in other ways as well.

Fed up, Bruce mocks God – and then gets a visit from the Big Guy (Morgan Freeman) himself. God gives Bruce infinite powers and challenges him to do a better job.

Like other Carrey films such as Liar Liar and Yes Man, Almighty exists as a concept more than anything else. It takes a wacky notion and assumes that Carrey will milk the idea for all its comedic worth.

Sometimes this works, such as with Liar, a film that amused almost entirely due to Carrey’s crazed performance. Other times Carrey just can’t tote the whole load, which led to the tiresome bore of Yes Man.

In the case of Almighty, the movie suffers from far too many flaws for Carrey’s charms to win the day, and the title character himself turns into a liability. Bruce simply seems like a jerk from the minute we meet him, and that never really changes, as he continues to feel annoying.

That’s a major problem, as we need some form of attachment to Bruce to let the film prosper. Instead, Bruce comes across like a self-pitying whiner – he has a hot girlfriend and a good job but he acts like he always gets the fuzzy side of the lollipop, and this makes it tough to invest in his journey.

Carrey largely operates on cruise control, so we see nothing new or fresh in his performance. Carrey looks tired with his usual routine, perhaps because more dramatic films like Truman Show and Man on the Moon allowed him to flex non-comedic muscles.

After those experiences, Carrey may’ve been less than excited to go back to the usual rubberfaced well. Whatever his emotions may have been when he shot Almighty, he simply seems to lack investment in his performance, so he goes through the usual slapstick motions without the necessary spark.

Almighty does manage a few laughs when it lets Bruce cut loose. The scenes in which he first tests his new powers allow the movie to fulfill a little of its potential and provide decent amusement.

Unfortunately, almost everything before and after those bits feels sluggish and tedious, and the movie gets worse as it goes. Almighty grows sanctimonious and melodramatic during its second half, traits that sap any potential comedy and make it a chore to watch.

Ultimately, Almighty flops because it lacks characters who matter to us and it doesn’t compensate with enough real comedy. This doesn’t threaten to become Carrey’s worst comedy but it’s a definite disappointment.

Footnote: a short outtake reel pops up early during the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture D/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Bruce Almighty appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Ouch – what a terrible transfer!

Sharpness became a definite liability, as only close-ups offered acceptable delineation. Anything wider looked soft and mushy, without clarity that rose above DVD levels.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, but edge haloes created a persistent distraction. Though the image lacked print flaws, it came with artifacts that gave it a messy appearance.

Colors appeared flat and faded. Granted, the film’s palette leaned toward a subdued mix of amber and blue, but even within the restrained goals, the hues appeared bland and pale.

Blacks were inky and dense, while shadows felt murky and unappealing. This was a terrible presentation that never lived up to Blu-ray standards.

Though unspectacular, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack at least managed to become acceptable. Don’t expect a lot from the soundfield, though, as it lacked a lot of ambition.

Every once in a while, a scene used the spectrum in a moderately involving manner, such as one at Niagara Falls or another that involved a car crash. Still, this usually remained a low-key “comedy mix” without a lot of activity or involvement.

Audio quality seemed perfectly decent, with music that appeared full and rich. As noted, effects didn’t have a lot to do, but they remained reasonably accurate and tight.

Dialogue occasionally showed a bit of roughness around the edges, but the lines were always intelligible and they usually came across as fairly natural. In the end, this was an adequate soundtrack for a comedy.

When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Tom Shadyac. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters and inspirations, cast and performances, various effects, sets and locations, music, editing and related areas.

A veteran of the format, Shadyac seems comfortable as he presents a pretty good look at his film. He offers a fairly nice array of insights that explain his decisions and give us a solid view of the different processes. Shadyac doesn’t provide a truly great commentary, but he makes this one very enjoyable.

15 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 30 minutes, 30 seconds. These tend to mix extra time with supporting characters and alternate/extended takes.

Expect a mixed bag, as the clips show strengths and weaknesses. A few offer moderate amusement but most feel superfluous.

We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Shadyac. He tells us about the sequences and sometimes lets us know why he cut them. Shadyac’s notes offer a smattering of insights but he often just describes the material.

A reel of Outtakes lasts six minutes, 37 seconds. It provides some of the usual goofs and giggles, but it mainly emphasizes Carrey’s craziness on the set. That makes it more fun than the typical compilation.

Finally, The Process of Jim goes for five minutes, 54 seconds and includes notes from Shadyac. He discusses Carrey’s creative processes and the way his work impacts films. This mostly acts as an excuse to show more Carrey outtakes.

A massive hit in 2003, Bruce Almighty now looks like Jim Carrey’s last gasp. The movie found a huge audience but it doesn’t work, as it seems like a one-note concept film that indulges in far too much mawkish sentiment. The Blu-ray provides pretty decent audio and supplements but visuals look terrible. Even big fans of the film should stay away from this unappealing Blu-ray.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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