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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Todd Phillips
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride, RZA, Matt Walsh
Writing Credits:
Alan R. Cohen (and story), Alan Freedland (and story), Adam Sztykiel, Todd Phillips

Tagline:
Leave Your Comfort Zone.

Synopsis:
From The Hangover director Todd Phillips, Due Date throws two unlikely companions together on a road trip that turns out to be as life-changing as it is outrageous. Expectant first-time father Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) looks forward to his new child’s due date five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at his wife’s side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when an encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan on a cross-country trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, many friendships and Peter’s last nerve.

Box Office:
Budget
$65 million.
Opening Weekend
$32.689 million on 3355 screens.
Domestic Gross
$100.448 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 2/22/2011

Bonus:
• “The Complete Two and a Half Men” Scene
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Due Date: Too Many Questions”
• “Action Mashup”
• Previews
• DVD/Digital Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Due Date [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2011)

With the director and breakout actor of The Hangover on board, could Due Date repeat the success of the 2009 comedy smash? Apparently not. While it actually did okay at the box office, its US take of $100 million paled in comparison with the $277 million raked in by Hangover.

So unlike its predecessor, I guess we’ll get no Due Date 2. Which is pretty much fine with me. While I this one has some entertainment value, it doesn’t exactly soar.

In Atlanta for business, Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) tries to head home to LA, where he anticipates the imminent birth of his first child. He hits a major snag when he meets Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), an aspiring actor headed to Hollywood. Ethan’s lack of self-awareness and social skills causes run-ins between the two of them, and they eventually get booted from their flight.

Their behavior also lands them on the “no-fly list”, so they need to take surface routes to California. Unfortunately for Peter, his bag and his wallet stayed on the flight to LA, so he lacks any way to get home. He actually attempts to steal a rental car, but he instead finds himself Ethan’s guest. This leads to a wild ride across country as Peter races home for his child’s birth – and tries to tolerate the outrageous antics of Ethan along the way.

If that plot synopsis sounds kind of familiar, that’s because Date shares a whole lot of similarities with 1987’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s not a literal remake, but Date clearly borrows an awful lot from the John Hughes flick.

Though I don’t remember thinking that Planes was quite so contrived. Granted, a film like this inevitably must resort to some outlandish ways to keep the mismatched leads together, so a certain disconnect from reality becomes inevitable. Nonetheless, I think Date stretches credulity more than once or twice; it often just seems ridiculous.

That extends to the nature of its characters, especially in Peter’s ever-changing view of Ethan. He hates him most of the time, but this changes on a dime, often for little logical reason. Sometimes he goes off due to some minor transgression, but then he forgives Ethan major idiocy.

Really, the development of the Peter/Ethan relationship becomes a problem because it makes so little sense. Essentially, Peter bonds with Ethan after the would-be actor rescues him – from a bind than Ethan created! In truth, it feels like Peter comes to love Ethan solely because the movie dictates it, not for any natural reason.

Which gets back to that whole “contrived” thing. Peter’s the only character who shows an arc, but it’s an unbelievable one, and not something that seems to generalize to the real world. At the film’s start, Peter comes across as somewhat uptight, and normally one might expect that he’ll loosen up as he gets to know his more freewheeling travel buddy.

Maybe that’s the case here, but it doesn’t seem that way. Peter’s friends with Ethan by the end of the movie, but he doesn’t really show any indications that he’s learned or grown in any way. He’s just decided that he likes Ethan – end of arc.

As for Ethan himself, he’s exactly the same character at the finish that he was at the start. For all intents and purposes, Galifianakis plays the same role he had in Hangover. Indeed, Ethan is so much like the earlier movie’s Alan that they might as well have been the same parts; Ethan and Alan are both naïve, quirky man-children who bumble through life without the slightest hint of self-awareness.

Playing the same part again means that Galifianakis runs the risk of typecasting, but I must admit he still makes the part work. He was the best thing about Hangover, and he continues to amuse here. Galifianakis and Downey also share pretty good chemistry, so their pairing turns into a positive.

Unfortunately, I can’t get past the movie’s absurdity to really embrace it. I know that’s largely my fault; I know I shouldn’t expect realism from a goofy comedy like this. And I don’t demand perfect logic all – or even most – of the time.

But I’d like something a bit more sensible than what we get. At its best, Due Date provides decent laughs, most of which come from the talents of its lead actors. However, it just becomes awfully stupid at times, and the lack of coherence and consistency make it an erratic piece of entertainment.


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

Due Date appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Very few concerns cropped up here.

Sharpness was excellent. From start to finish, the flick presented crisp, concise images without any issues connected to softness. Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t occur, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to present any problems, as the movie offered a clean image.

In terms of colors, the film favored a mild golden tint. Though it was reasonably natural, that overtone affected the hues. I thought the colors looked fine despite the golden feel; they were solid within the design parameters. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were generally good. A few shots appeared somewhat thick, but low-light images were usually pretty nice. I thought this was a consistently high-quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed more than satisfactory. It favored the usual “comedy mix” and didn’t present many chances for the soundscape to explode. We did find a few action scenes – most of which took place on the road – but the track usually opted for stereo music and general environmental material. Though these didn’t seem exciting, they opened up the piece in a satisfying manner.

I thought audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed distinctive and natural, with no rough tones or other issues. Score and songs displayed clear, warm music, and effects functioned well. Those elements were reasonably realistic and full throughout the movie. Again, nothing here dazzled, but the mix accentuated the action in a good way.

Despite the film’s moderately high profile, we don’t get a ton of extras here. The Complete Two and a Half Men Scene lasts three minutes, two seconds and offers exactly what it describes. The movie’s Ethan character gets a role on Men; we see a quick tidbit of it during the flick, but we watch a longer version of it here. Man, is the real Men as unfunny as this clip? I don’t know, but it’s still an interesting bonus feature.

Three Deleted Scenes run a total of three minutes, 55 seconds. The first lasts two minutes, 45 seconds and gives us an extended version of the sequence in which Peter and Ethan discuss the Men series. The second clip is 35 seconds and adds to the Waffle House chat, while the last one goes for 25 seconds and offers a bit more of Ethan and Peter post-escape from Mexico. Clearly the first is the most substantial, though even it isn’t tremendously different than the final cut; it develops Ethan’s love of Men more but doesn’t do a whole lot. The same goes for the others; they’re brief extensions and not especially memorable.

Next we find a Gag Reel. It fills six minutes, 31 seconds and provides the usual mix of goofs and giggles. However, it also throws in various cut gags and improv bits, so it becomes more interesting than the standard blooper collection.

The next two areas give us montages. These cover Too Many Questions (0:41) and Action Mashup (0:30). The first collects a bunch of Ethan’s queries, while the lot combines many violent bits. Both do nothing for me.

The disc opens with ads for Mortal Kombat and Hall Pass. No trailer for Due Date appears here.

A second disc provides both a digital copy of Due Date for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras.

Should fans who loved The Hangover expect to enjoy Due Date? Yes – if they were wild about Zach Galifianakis’s performance. Essentially, Date is a movie based around his Hangover character, so if you like Zach, you’ll like this film.

I did enjoy Galifianakis in Hangover, and his chemistry with co-star Robert Downey, Jr. adds amusement here. However, the film’s lack of coherence and logic makes it inconsistent and affects its entertainment value. The Blu-ray provides very good visuals and positive audio but skimps of supplements. This is an occasionally winning comedy but not a great one.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8571 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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