HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Bridget Jones Baby
HTS Overall Score:77
2001’s “Bridget Jones Diary” was a universal success, with Renee Zellweiger shooting to stardom almost overnight. Based off of Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name, it revolved around a late 20’s English woman named Bridget Jones and her delightfully unhappy love life. Ending with that sort of fairy tale charm, the movie was not exactly calling for a sequel, but it got on in the form of “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”. A rather awkward, but decently funny, film. Now fast forward 12 more years and we’re actually getting ANOTHER Bridget Jones vehicle. Something that no one actually really expected, or to be honest, really wanted. It’s been 10 years since Renee Zellweiger actually starred in a movie (the last being “Case 39” which was filmed in 2006, but released on video in 2010) and she’s almost unrecognizable (by all accounts she’s had more work done on her face than a dodge charger) to boot. I was more than a little nervous about “Bridget Jones” trying to make a comeback after 12 years, but the movie isn’t any better or worse than the “Edge of Reason”, which means it’s a charming little film with more than its share of bumps and bruises along the way.
The film opens up on Bridget’s 43rd birthday, where the perpetually single woman is sadly staring at a single lone cupcake. It seems that the fairytale ending of the first and second movie were not long lived, as she and Frank Darcy (Colin Firth) have been broken up for at least 5 years. Bridget is working as the producer at a London News station and seemingly well-adjusted to the fact that she’s a perpetual failure at love. Mr. Darcy has been married to a beautiful socialite for some time, while her long time womanizing love interest, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), is killed off in a plane crash, leaving Bridget even more alone than ever. However things turn around when she and her friend Miranda (Sarah Solemani) head out to burning man like music festival where Bridget hooks up for a one night fling. Thinking nothing of it, Bridget comes home to find out that Frank Darcy is actually going through a divorce with his shrew of a wife and the old flame that had died out is instantly rekindled into a burning night of passion.
Surprise! Guess what happens when you have sex!? Yes, that means Bridget is now expecting a little one and she has NO idea which one of the two men is the father. The one night stand at the music festival turns out to be none other than tech billionaire Jack (Patrick Dempsey), which leads to another conundrum. How does Bridget try and get a bit of DNA from him to see if he’s the father? It’s not like she can just waltz into his work and ask for it. He’s a stinking billionaire! Which ironically leads to a hilarious online interview to see if she can wheedle some information from him early in the film. Well, sneaking around can only go on for so long and Bridget finally has to let the two men know that there is a 50/50 chance that one of them is the father of her child. This naturally sparks off some competition between the two me as both vie for the affections of the perpetually swelling young mother. Ironically we don’t get to find out who the father is immediately, something which is prolonged throughout the entire movie by having Bridget having a fright when she sees the long needle that would be inserted in both her and her child and opts to wait till childbirth (a cheesy ploy, but it certainly works).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=87186[/img]While “Bridget Jones Baby” is not the sharpest comedy tool in the shed, it is a fairly decent sequel. Something which is probably realized by having the first film’s director come back to do this one. Instead of being adapted from one of Helen Fielding’s novels, “Bridget Jones Baby” is actually penned with Helen Fielding coming in and creating a brand new original screenplay based off of what’s come before. That means no actual book to read like the previous movies, but the new twists and turns allow from something that goes beyond your basic sequel. Bridget gets to experience the total chaos of a romantic triangle (once again), but this time it’s not just all about her romance life. It’s about bringing a new life into the world AND navigating the choppy waters of romance in a new way. Mr. Darcy is no longer the perfect unattainable man. He and she have broken up for quite some time and their romance has dwindles, although not completely snuffed out as you can probably tell. This time Jack is the perfect guy. He’s a billionaire, he’s appealing, he’s charming and he wants to be the father of her child. Not to mention the fact that he’s NOT a sleazy womanizer like Hugh Grant’s character was in the other two films.
“Bridget Jones Baby” is not exactly something I would have expected to see. It was a sequel that no one really wanted or needed, but somehow got made anyway (kind of like “Dumb and Dumber Too” or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”), but it’s actually not the train wreck I was initially expecting. Colin Firth is magically charming as always, and Renee Zellweiger falls back very comfortably into the role of the slightly neurotic Bridget (despite looking bizarrely unrecognizable after so much plastic surgery). However, it’s Patrick Dempsey that acts as the breath of fresh air in the film. He’s a very sincere and charming character and it’s much more interesting to watch Bridget mull over and choose between two GOOD men, instead of the good guy and the exciting bad boy that she waffled between earlier in her life.
Rated R for language, sex references and some nudity
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=87194[/img]Shot using Arri Alexa digital cameras, the 2.40:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray is simply stunning to behold. Sharp almost to the point of distraction, the movie basks in a sharply detailed looking image that just shows off stunning detail all around. Renee is definitely aging and you can see every crease and laughter mark on her face (and most likely some plastic surgery stretching as well), and the luscious English countryside is beautiful to behold. Colors are very warm and inviting with a great saturation and a fairly neutral looking color grading. Nothing looks out of place or overly stylized, although I did notice that the whites like to bloom in bright sunlight (look at the Gazebo in the park near the end, the white paint almost looks luminescent). Black levels are deep and inky, and there were only a few instances of crush to complain about. Overall a GREAT looking transfer.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=87202[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track for “Bridget Jones Baby” fulfills everything I expected it would. I expected a slightly front heavy track that focuses mostly on dialog with a few good moments to open up, and that’s exactly what we got. The dialog is crisp and clear, locked up front and perfectly centered. Most of the movie is really heavily dialog based, so don’t expect a blistering surround experience, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t ample opportunity for those surrounds to kick in. During the concert and the occasional score related musical number the track lights up with some pretty impressive LFE and a good surround complement to the singing, but then softly fades into the background to give way to the front loaded dialog bits. LFE is tight and clean, but fairly constrained throughout, giving us a fairly natural audio experience that isn’t too aggressive, but can kick it when necessary.
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted & Alternate Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Full Circle - The Making of Bridget Jones's Baby with Renee Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey, and Colin Firth.
“Bridget Jones Baby” is a mildly charming film that will appeal to the fans of the first two movies (especially if you enjoyed the sequel). It never is really needed and it becomes obvious after watching that this was a puzzler in getting made, but the movie is not without its charms. Firth and Zellweiger play so well off of each other and the inclusion of Emma Thomson and Patrick Dempsey create some wonderful chemistry on screen with the surrounding sub plot. I can’t see myself raving about it like I did with “Bridget Jones Diary”, but if you enjoyed “Edge of Reason”, the third film in the franchise is equally as entertaining. At least worth a rental.
Starring: Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger, Gemma Jones, Patrick Dempsey
Directed by: Sharon Maguire
Written by: Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 123 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Buy Bridget Jones Baby On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Decent Rental
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