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GROWN UPS ($35) is a fun and funny movie, but with a cast that features Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider, one would think the film would provide non-stop hilarity… it doesn’t. Now don’t get me wrong, there are laughs aplenty to be found in GROWN UPS, its just that with all the talent involved, one expects to be rolling on the floor or holding their sides in pain from laughing so hard. Maybe I just set my expectations too high, or maybe this bunch of chuckleheads couldn’t improvise humor at the PG-13 rating level that studios require. Bottom line… GROWN UPS will make you laugh, but maybe not as hard as you might expect.

The plot of GROWN UPS finds a group of five childhood friends re-uniting at the funeral for the coach of their championship junior high school basketball team. Lenny (Sandler) has grown up to be a Hollywood agent is married to a fashion designer named Roxanne (Salma Hayek). Eric (James) has grown up to be the co-owner of a lawn furniture company and is married to Sally (Maria Bello). Kurt (Rock) has grown up to be a stay at home dad and is married to the family breadwinner Deanne (Maya Rudolph). Rob (Schneider) has grown up to be a three time divorced, new age, vegan hippie, and is married to Gloria (Joyce Van Patten), who is thirty years his senior. Marcus Higgins (David Spade) has grown up to be a horny, directionless slacker and womanizer. Following the funeral, the five friends, their spouses and children all gather at same lake house where they boys celebrated their basketball championship, more than thirty years ago. As expected, once the friends get back together, the boys inside come out to play… as they bond with one another, their wives and their families. The cast of GROWN UPS also features Ebony Jo-Ann, Di Quon, Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Madison Riley, Jamie Chung, Ashley Loren, Jake Goldberg, Cameron Boyce, Alexys Nycole Sanchez, Ada-Nicole Sanger, Frank Gingerich, Morgan Gingerich, Nadji Jeter, China Anne McClain, Dan Patrick, Tim Herlihy, Blake Clark and Norm MacDonald.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made GROWN UPS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is really nice and very appealing… in an undemanding comedy sort of way. Image sharpness, depth, texturing and detail are very good, but the picture sometimes looks a little too much like an expensive sitcom. Perhaps it’s the digital cameras used for the shoot, or maybe it’s just the flat sitcom styled lighting that is responsible. Colors are pretty vibrant, while the flesh tones are always appealing. Blacks are deep, while the whites appear crisp. Contrast is usually fine. Shadow detail is all that needs to be for this kind of material. The elements from which GROWN UPS has been mastered are free from defects. A very modest amount of digital noise shows up in the image, but sometimes it is virtually absent.

GROWN UPS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, GROWN UPS features a fairly typical talky comedy mix. Sure there are a few sequences when active effects are tossed into the outlying channels, but there is nothing here to provide too much sonic engagement. As expected, ambience and fill are the primary components fed to surround channels, while the music is given a nice spread across the front. Fidelity is just fine; the lossless encode certainly enhances the musical component, which is more full-bodied and more transparent than any other sonic element. The bass channel keeps things grounded, but there aren’t any ground shaking opportunities for the subwoofer. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are also encoded onto the disc, as is a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track and an English descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Dennis Dugan. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Laughing Is Contagious (four minutes), Riff-O-Rama (five minutes), Dennis Dugan: Hands On Director (five minutes), The Lost Tapes Of Norm Macdonald (seven minutes), The Cast Of Grown Ups (seven minutes) and Busey And The Monkey (three minutes). Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, a Gag Reel and Bonus Trailers close out the standard extras. GROWN UPS is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

GROWN UPS is fun and funny, but not as hilarious as one might expect. The Blu-ray presentation is attractive looking and nice sounding, but the material isn’t all that challenging on the either the video or audio fronts- just like an overproduced sitcom.


Grown Ups [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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