[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=4565&w=l[/img]Title: Date Night
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Josh Klausner
Runtime: 88 min
Release Date: 8/10/2010 (Blu-Ray)
Phil and Claire Foster (Carell and Fey) are a very average married couple from Jersey with a very average life. They have two children, two cars, two schedules and not nearly enough time to enjoy each other's company. Phil and Claire live their entire lives on a schedule, even their one "Date Night" is scheduled to occur every Friday evening right after Phil gets home from his job as a tax lawyer. When Phil and Claire discover that some close friends of theirs are separating both begin to wonder whether their marriage is any better off with so little time for one another. The following week Claire decides that she needs to bring some fire back into their relationship, so she puts on a nice dress and dolls herself up in anticipation of their evening out.
Phil arrives home exhausted and doesn't even notice Claire's new look as he says hello to the kids. When Claire asks him when he wants to leave, Phil turns around and finally notices her new look. At that moment Phil decides that it's time they had a real date night in the city (Manhattan). Phil decides to take Claire to 'Claw', an ultra exclusive restaurant in Manhattan, unfortunately people book tables at Claw a month in advance and Phil doesn't have a reservation. With his wife's happiness in mind Phil declares that they will go anyway and still manage to find a table.
Upon their arrival at 'Claw' Phil and Claire are greeted by a snarky maitre d' who informs them in the most patronizing way possible that they should have made a reservation. After some back and forth, the maitre d' sends Claire and Phil to the bar to wait "just in case" a table opens up. After a few minutes at the bar Claire begins to lose hope they will get in and asks Phil if they can go somewhere else. At this point tired of all his plans falling through and of disappointing his wife, Phil decides to take matters into his own hands. When a hostess begins calling for "Triplehorn, part of two" repeatedly and no one answers, Phil blurts out "Us, that's us, we are the Triplehorns". Aghast and excited that Phil would do something like this Claire follows her husband and the hostess to their ill-gotten table, a prime location right in the middle of the restaurant.
After a superbly expensive meal and many glasses of wine Phil and Claire are both quite tipsy, it is at this point that two rather intimidating men tell them they need to speak to them in the back of the restaurant. Assuming this is about their table, Phil and Claire giggle at each other and agree to follow. When they reach the back alley the two men pull out guns and demand that Phil and Claire hand over the flash drive they stole from Joe Miletto. One of them holds a gun to Phil's head as he asks how the couple could be so stupid to make a reservation under the same alias they used to blackmail Joe Miletto. Phil and Claire's words stumble over one another as they attempt to explain that they aren't the Triplehorns, and that they just took the table. The goons are unconvinced and demand they give them the drive before someone gets shot. Phil and Claire suddenly begin to realize that the white lie they told to get a table at the restaurant may end up costing them far more than an expensive dinner.
What was supposed to be a romantic evening for Phil and Claire has turned into the most dangerous experience of their lives. The two enforcers threaten Phil and Claire until out of desperation Phil agrees to take them to the flash drive, even though he has no idea where the object really is. Phil and Claire are taken to the boat house in Central Park, where Phil claims they hid the flash drive. While the two goons are ransacking the corner of the boat house looking for the drive Phil is able to knock them out with a boat paddle and grab Claire. The couple makes a rushed escape via a small boat and dodges bullets from the two angry goons as they reach the other side of the lake. Phil and Claire decide that if they have any hope of surviving this they will need to find the real Triplehorns, get back the flash drive, and clear their names.
Date Night is rated PG-13 for sexual references (some women in the film are scantily clad), one car chase and several uses of profanity including two uses of the f-word and several uses of other profanities. There are guns used in some scenes which may not be appropriate for small children either.
In sum this is a film best reserved for those who are teenagers or older, while adults will certainly appreciate some humor that will fly right over the little one's heads I wouldn't advise showing this to anyone less than 13 years old, parents present or not.
Date Night comes to Blu-Ray with a 22 Mbps AVC encode that doesn't do much to inspire. It's a strictly average looking release with very run of the mill quality throughout. Blacks predominate in this film and are slightly crushed in some scenes. Shadow detail is acceptable but is definitely not up to the level certain recent releases have demonstrated. Skin tones and color saturation throughout the film are quite good and really help you forget about some of the other detractions. There's a distinctly flat look to the shots in the film that should scream detail, the result of which is a lot of close up or wide angle shots that don't quite look like a Blu-Ray should. Many dark scenes have a grainy look that approaches appearing like digital noise in one or two instances, however the overall detraction from the video quality is minimal.
There was no appreciable use of Digital Noise Reduction or Edge Enhancement though one or two night scenes demonstrated a slight "jaggie" effect on long straight edges during crane shots. Overall this is a release that does nothing truly wrong and nothing truly right, it's pure middle of the road quality from start to finish.
The DTS-HD Master Audio in Date Night is perfectly suited to the tone and demands of the film. While the film is certainly a cross between action and comedy it doesn't require the sonic impact that a full out action flick does. In this regard Date Night's audio is well matched to the action on screen, the few more intense scenes in the film bring with them more noticeable low end extension and aggressive use of the surrounds. Dialogue is clear and easily understood throughout the movie with no noticeable sibilance or veiling, viewers will enjoy a clear and easily understood banter between Carell and Fey wherever they may be in the viewing environment. This is a perfectly acceptable audio experience and much like the video has nothing I would choose to actively complain about or praise, it simply does what it needs to do.
Extended version of the film - Adds 14 minutes
Audio commentary from director Shawn Levy
Deleted Scenes - 4 scenes.
Alternate City Sequence
Extended Scenes - 4 scenes.
Directing 301 – 21 minutes, features Shawn Levy.
Disaster Dates – Date stories from members of the cast. 4 minutes.
Directing off camera – 3 minutes, features Shawn Levy
Steve & Tina’s Camera Tests
Gag Reel - 5 minutes
Spoofs – 3 segments
Theatrical trailer [HD]
BD-Live enabled - Live Extras:
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Date Night is the kind of movie that you won't remember with any particular fondness or dislike. The comedy elements are really funny, thanks to the ad lib styles of Carell and Fey, who both do a tremendous job on screen. Unfortunately the plot manages to be a bit convoluted at times and doesn't grip the viewer like a typical action plot would, as a result of this the 88 minute runtime of the film feels a lot more like two and a half hours. If you compare this film to an outstanding example in the same genre (Rush Hour) it's quite clear that while it tries to be a great movie, the film ends up being just okay. I'd still recommend a watch to anyone who is a Steve Carell or Tina Fey fan, or anyone looking for some fairly light hearted entertainment on a boring evening. Date Night won't be your favorite film, but it won't feel like you wasted 90 minutes of your life either.