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Blu-ray: Fun and delightful! Both popular Steve Martin comedies in one Blu-ray release!
on May 19, 2012
In 1950, the American comedy "Father of the Bride" directed by Vicente Minnelli and starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor was a big success in the box office and nominated for several Academy Awards. The film would inspire a sequel titled "Father's Little Dividend" in 1951.
Fast forward over 40-years later and a remake of the film co-written and directed by Charles Shyer ("Alfie", "The Parent Trap", "The Odd Couple") and starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Martin Short was released in 1991 and earned over $89 million in the box office. And like the original film, would also inspire a remake of the sequel titled "Father of the Bride Part II" featuring the original cast and would go on to earn over $76 million in the box office.
And now both films will be release together on Blu-ray courtesy of Touchstone Home Entertainment.
"Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride: Part II" were released back in the 1990's. The video quality is much better than the previous DVD. While there is a good amount of grain and even some noise considering the age of this film, including some scenes that look soft, there were also scenes that featured a lot of detail. From the skin pores that can be seen on Steve Martin's face to the vibrant colors that can be seen throughout the film, there is definitely an upgrade in quality video-wise.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for audio, "Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride: Part II" is presented in English 5.1 DTS HD-MA and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. While the lossless audio features clear dialogue and the music sounds fantastic in lossless, it's not exactly a film that utilizes the surround channels all that much, especially during crowd scenes. But nevertheless, the soundtrack does sound very good, especially over its DVD counterpart for both films.
Subtitles are provided in English SDH and Spanish.
"Father of the Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition/Father of the Bride Part II - 3-Disc Combo Pack" comes with the following special features:
Father of the Bride
An Invitation to Father of the Bride - (13:36) Interview with director Charles Shyer and the cast of "Father of the Bride".
Martin & Short Interview Each Other - (5:13) A humorous interview between Steve Martin and Martin Short.
Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary with co-writer and director Charles Shyer.
Father of the Bride: Part II
Theatrical Trailer - (2:28) The theatrical trailer for "Father of the Bride: Part II"
Production Story - (4:21) Featuring behind the scenes of "Father of the Bride: Part II" and about how a few of the talents knew each other well.
Just Between Friends - (3:53) Martin Short interviews Steve Martin for "Father of the Bride: Part II".
"Father of the Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition/Father of the Bride Part II" Blu-ray comes with a separate DVD for each film.
As a fan of Steve Martin comedies, I was pleased that both "Father and the Bride" films were released on Blu-ray.
First, let's talk about the first film "Father of the Bride". What I enjoyed about the first film is how it is a film that many parents can relate to. Seeing your children grow and then eventually getting married. As a father, I sympathize with the character of George Banks and I often myself looking at photos that seem like they were taken yesterday of my child. And realizing how quickly they grow up.
And for many fathers who have daughters, you worry that make good decisions when it comes to their lives, their careers and also the person that they marry. The film focuses primarily on the father's perspective and being a concerned father but also a fiscally conservative person, I can also sympathize with George Banks characters when the price of the wedding skyrockets.
But what this film had was a lot of charm. Aside from the crazy antics of George Banks snooping around the MacKenzie home, nearly everything else with the film, many people can relate to. From a parents noticing their child and their significant other being affectionate to that first meeting between a significant other and the parent. These emotions that George is feeling, many fathers can relate to. Although, the blow up in the supermarket as George feels he is being gouged in the wallet and then losing his temper when it comes to the number of hot dog buns in a package as a sign of release, was a bit over-the-top.
But what Steve Martin film isn't? You expect a lot of hijinks from his character and for the most part, Steve Martin delivers. Also, I felt that Diane Keaton was played the wife/mother remarkably well. It's one of those films to catch actress in a different role far from the roles we have seen of her back in "The Godfather" or Woody Allens films. She played the role wonderfully and both Martin and Keaton had wonderful chemistry.
And that leads us to new actress at the time, Kimberly Williams (before she married country singer Brad Paisley and would star in the ABC sitcom "The World According to Jim"). Kimberly brought innocence to her character and for her major film debut, it was important for her to portray a variety of emotions and for the most part, she succeed.
And then you have your supporting characters, Martin Short and Steve Martin always work great together, a young Kieran Culkin brought a bit of humor to his character as well.
So, the first film I enjoyed a lot because it's a storyline that was fun, enjoyable but also a story that parents can relate to.
As for the second film, "Father of the Bride Part II", while I enjoyed the storyline of the aspect of being a new grandfather, once again, something that parents who have children that are married, viewers can sympathize.
But by having two people pregnant, it took a bit away from the primary focus from Annie and her husband and while we know that George Banks can get out of hand whenever he is stressed out, while the first film was more believable, this one was getting a bit over-the-top. Perhaps people wanted to see more of Diane Keaton and Martin Short or the usual crazy Steve Martin character portrayal but I was hoping to see more of Annie and Bryan, but instead it became more about George and Nina.
The sequel was still entertaining but not as enjoyable as the first film. The whole "Selling the house, staying at the MacKenzie residence, getting the house back" scenes felt absolutely unnecessary and took away my enjoyment from the second film. I know the reason was to show this phase that George was going through and the irrational decisions that he tends to make while stressed out but it was a bit too-over-the-top for my taste.
As for the Blu-ray release, the video and audio quality is a step ahead of its DVD counterpart. Primarily visually, the film looks good, although it does show its age at times. But the film is well-detailed and vibrant, lossless audio was good but not as immersive as I was hoping during the crowd sequences. And both films have audio commentary and a few special features. Although, there is nothing new added to this Blu-ray release.
Overall, "Father of the Bride: 20th Anniversary Edition/Father of the Bride Part II - 3-Disc Combo Pack" is a good double-film set that is lighthearted, fun and enjoyable. You're literally getting one film for the price of one on Blu-ray and if you are big fans of the films and own the previous DVD versions, the upgrade to Blu-ray is well worth it.