Failure to Launch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a consistently good transfer but not a special one.
Sharpness was usually acceptable. Light edge enhancement appeared, and that occasionally left the image without great definition. Most of the movie was fine, though, as it usually presented solid clarity and delineation. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and print flaws seemed absent.
Colors looked natural and fairly lively. The movie favored a broad palette and replicated the tones in a warm, distinctive fashion. Blacks seemed reasonably deep and dense, while shadows were usually smooth and clear. A few low-light scenes came across as a little dark, though. The moderate issues with sharpness left this one as a “B” transfer.
Given the romantic comedy roots of Failure to Launch, I expected little from its Dolby Digital 5.1 soundfield. Indeed, this was a fairly restricted soundfield that fell in line with films of this genre. The audio stayed largely focused on the front channels. A few elements like bicycling and paintball opened up the surrounds a bit, but there wasn’t a lot of information on display. Music showed good stereo imaging, at least, and the general ambience was fine.
Audio quality was acceptable. Speech seemed natural and concise, with no issues connected to edginess. Effects were a minor consideration but sounded clean and accurate. Music also demonstrated good clarity and vivacity. There wasn’t a lot of ambition on display here, but the track worked fine for the material.
Most of the DVD’s extras come from its five featurettes. First comes the 11-minute and 41-second Casting Off: The Making of Failure to Launch. Like the rest of the programs, it melds movie clips, behind the scenes shots, and interviews. We hear from writers Matt Ember and Tom Astle, director Tom Dey, and actors Matthew McConaughey, Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Terry Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Bates, and Zooey Deschanel. “Off” looks at why the participants chose to work on the project, the actors’ performances and personalities, and aspects of the story. A few mildly funny stories emerge, but for the most part, this is nothing more than bland promotional fluff.
Next comes The Failure to Launch Phenomenon”. This 11-minute and 23-second piece features McConaughey, Parker, Ember, Astle, real-life adults who still live at home Peter Micek, Opher Mizrahi, and Bob Tebbe, Peter’s parents Teresa and John Micek, Becoming a Wise Parent for Your Grown Child co-authors Betty Frain and Eileen M. Clegg, and Peter’s aunt Dorothy Svihovee. The show looks at the concept of grown men who continue to live with their relatives. It gives us a little insight into that idea, though I don’t think Micek belongs here; he’s only 24, which isn’t that old to still be at home. I’d have preferred more with the other guys, both of whom are in their thirties. That’s just sad!
For the six-minute and 56-second Dating in the New Millennium, we find comments from Tango Magazine editor Marnie Hanel, Spark Networks VP Gail Laguna, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, author Jillian Strauss, Tango Magazine founder/president Andrea Miller, Tango Magazine deputy editor Kelly Bare, and Table for Six Total Adventures CEO Julie Paiva. True to the program’s title, we hear about modern dating options and challenges. This is a decent overview of popular concepts like online dating and speed dating, though it does occasionally feel like an ad for some of the services.
Two actors chat during Moviefone.com Unscripted With Matthew and Terry. Within its 13 minutes and 38 seconds, we see a conversation with McConaughey and Bradshaw. The guys inteview each other as they throw out questions submitted by Moviefone.com readers. They cover subjects like working with Kathy Bates, McConaughey’s reaction to Bradshaw playing his dad, doing nude scenes, thoughts about sports, Bradshaw’s approach to acting and his reluctance to work in films, McConaughey’s impressions of being “Sexiest Man Alive”, what they love about making movies, and dating experiences.
This isn’t the most in-depth chat you’ll ever see, but it’s a lot of fun. Both Bradshaw and McConaughey mix easily and show charm. They seem like they’d be great guys to hang out with and yak over a beer, and that tone makes this an enjoyable little piece.
Finally, The Failure to Launch Contest goes for five minutes, 58 seconds. This looks at adults who still live at home, and actors Cooper and Bartha have to pick one of three finalists who’ll win six months free rent. Thousands of nominees and these were the three they picked? None of them seem like the losers we want to see. They’re all young – though one’s 29 - and they’re not in keeping with the movie’s spirit.
Along with a trailer for Launch, the DVD includes some ads. We get clips for She’s The Man, Barnyard and Mission: Impossible III. These appear in the disc’s Previews area and also start the DVD.
Failure to Launch starts with a cynical concept and doesn’t get any better from there. It barely attempts a true story, as it prefers slapstick vignettes and cheap character laughs. The DVD offers reasonably good picture and audio along with a few decent extras. A bad movie from start to finish, Launch even subjects it to shots of Terry Bradshaw’s naked ass. This may qualify it as cruel and unusual punishment.