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Paul Weitz
Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery
Writing Credits:
Paul Weitz, Dana Stevens

A father brings up his baby girl as a single dad after the unexpected death of his wife who died a day after their daughter's birth.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

109 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 6/14/2022

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Fatherhood [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 5, 2022)

Though primarily known for broad comedies like Get Hard and Ride Along, Kevin Hart occasionally dabbles in more serious fare. In that vein comes 2022’s Fatherhood, a mix of drama and comedy.

Based on a true story, Liz Logelin (Deborah Ayorinde) dies soon after childbirth. This leaves husband Matt (Hart) a widower and the single parent of baby Maddy.

Matt struggles through his daughter’s pre-school years, but as five-year-old Maddy (Melody Hurd) enters Kindergarten, he encounters new challenges, especially when he decides to date again. Matt tries to balance his daughter’s needs as well as his own via his endeavors as a single parent.

As noted at the start, Hart enjoys a reputation mainly as a funnyman, and for good reason. He started as a standup comic and he works mainly in comedies.

Movies like Fatherhood show that Hart wants to broaden his theatrical horizons but seems reluctant to go Full Dramatic. Heck, the advertising for the film even symbolizes these issues.

If you look at the poster art on the flick’s IMDB page, you’ll see Hart and Hurd as they snuggle in her crib. With the tagline “In It. Together”, we get the implication that the story will tell a heartwarming father/daughter tale.

However, if you view the Blu-ray cover seen to the left, you’ll get a different notion. Here we witness a frazzled-looking Hart and a moody Hurd. The same “In It. Together” tagline appears, but now we get the notion that the movie will tell a comedic battle of wits between harried father and stubborn daughter.

Given that the movie’s ads can’t decide how to sell it, we might sense a film that comes with its own uncertainties. That occurs, as the filmmakers never decide what they want to do with Fatherhood either.

At its core, Fatherhood should follow the implication of that heartwarming tale from the original poster. However, those involved appear afraid to really embrace that notion, so it delivers an awkward mix.

This becomes an issue from literally the movie’s start. We open with Liz’s funeral, and despite the tragedy of the situation, Fatherhood opts for jokes.

These feel desperate and make no sense for the situation. Not that Fatherhood needs to deliver nothing but drama, but the manner in which the film integrates its comedy seems clumsy and inappropriate.

Some movies could pull off this mix of tones, but as executed here, Fatherhood combines the two in an off-putting manner. The viewer seems likely to get whiplash from the dark trauma of Liz’s death and the casual manner in which Matt’s pals joke with him at her wake.

Fatherhood finds a better combination as it goes, but it remains erratic. The movie’s inability to choose between family drama and broad comedy force it to lack the consistency it needs.

We do get a good cast here, and Hart holds his own against those with more “straight acting” experience. Granted, Hart doesn’t quite match up to Alfre Woodard as Liz’s mother, but he does fine, and the rest of those involved work well, too.

Even with the ups and downs, Fatherhood manages to give us a moderately charming experience. It just doesn’t rise above that level, though.

Footnote: a tag scene shows up early during the end credits.

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

Fatherhood appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was an appealing presentation.

Sharpness worked well, as only a sliver of softness crept into the occasional wide shot. Overall definition remained positive, though, without real intrusions into that area.

I saw no evidence of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors tended toward a lot of teal, with some amber at times, and the Blu-ray depicted the hues well. The palette didn’t sizzle, but the tones seemed well-rendered within the design choices.

Blacks appeared dark and tight, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity and delineation. I felt pleased with this high-quality presentation.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine, as the mix brought the variety of settings to life. No one should expect sonic fireworks, though.

Fatherhood provided a soundfield that felt logical for a character drama. This meant good stereo music as well as a decent sense of environmental material.

Not much impactful occurred in terms of the soundscape, though. A scene at a carnival added some pep, but that was about it.

Audio quality appeared positive as well, with natural, concise speech. Music showed nice range and vivacity.

Effects came across as clean and accurate. This felt like an appropriate mix for the material.

The disc opens with ads for A Journal For Jordan, Uncharted, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse and Spider-Man: No Way Home. No trailer for Fatherhood or other extras can be found here.

With Fatherhood, Kevin Hart leans toward drama as well as comedy. Though the movie brings some entertainment, it seems a bit scattershot and unfocused. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and appropriate audio but it lacks bonus features. Fatherhood winds up as a mildly enjoyable movie without much consistency.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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