[img]http://pencurifail.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/grown-ups-2-blu-ray-cover-89.jpg[/img]Releasing/Participating Studio(s): Sony Pictures
Disc/Transfer Information: Region A; 1080p High Definition 1.85::1 (Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85::1); Mastered in 4K
Video Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Tested Audio Track: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Director: Dennis Dugan
Starring Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, David Spade, Maya Rudolph
JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE A LITTLE OLDER DOESN’T MEAN THEY’VE GROWN UP
Wanna know what the funniest part of Grown Ups 2 (they could have found a better name for it) was, after all the comedic hoopla that surrounded its debut? The sequence in which David Spade’s dumb *******-esque character goes rolling through an entire town inside a tire, eventually being “stopped” by Shaquille O’Neal’s goofy cop character…the scene had me laughing hysterically to the point I couldn’t breathe, reminding me very much of the first time I witnessed Chevy Chase’s “Clark Griswold” character go flying down the slope on that idiotic oil-coated sled in Christmas Vacation. Other than that, this came off as more of a disappointment that what was promised; it wasn’t that bad for a quasi-raunchy PG-13 rated comedy, but it wasn’t as funny as we were lead to believe. The rumors had it that it was “yards funnier than the first film,” but I didn’t think so. Worse, I didn’t think the first one was all that great to be honest. The cast assembled here – Sandler, Rock, James and Spade – and their gorgeous wives played by the oh-so-pretty Hayek and lovely Maria Bello still have a somewhat sticking camaraderie amongst each other, but the jokes and gags come off as more weird and strange than funny here. The gist is that now even older, the boys can still get together to whoop it up, but standing in their way are a bunch of frat boys that have taken over the local swimming hole they all grew up around. This notion was, quite frankly, dumb after awhile and got truly annoying and nausea-inspiring when the two main spoiled frat kids kept making weird gestures to each other after verbally going off on the older, out of shape neighborhood “townies.” Ridiculous.
What saves the film, in the end, from being totally forgettable are some standout performances by supporting roles from the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and even “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the former WWF/WWE star that was as popular as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in his prime. Shaq plays a neighborhood cop that’s as goofy as anything you’ve seen out of “Hightower” in the Police Academy films while Austin portrays an old bully from Sandler’s character’s past that plays the cool, brooding, threatening bad boy with a kind of laughable realism. The plot, quite honestly, of Grown Ups 2 isn’t really even worth analyzing to a certain extent, save to say the group gets together once more at Sandler’s character’s house for a massive 80’s themed bash, of which the frat boys they had previous run-ins with crash after their house gets trashed by, allegedly, the “local townies.” Before that occurs, we witness some hijinks in the form of Spade’s character being alerted to the fact that he has an out-of-wedlock son (that ends up being a tremendously tall nightmare of a bad kid), Tim Meadows’ character losing most of the hair on his head while working at K-Mart, Meadows’ character’s son being a clone copy of his father but who thinks he’s Urkel caught in a gangster rapper’s body and the wives of all these misfits going gaga and bonkers over a workout instructor. We also get a pretty funny sequence involving a small role by Jon Lovitz in which he pretends to be the ladies’ instructor so he can look at their “assets” while telling them to get into certain positions; he turns out to be the janitor of the building.
One afternoon, when returning to their go-to swimming spot off that high cliff, the boys run into a gang of ridiculous, testosterone-charged frat guys from a local college that end up trading insulting one-liners with them, the insults from each group based on age and body conditions. The brainless, imbecilic jocks are of course coupled with out-of-control-looking bikini-clad hotties that the boys can only fantasize about now that they’re old, fat (for the most part) and married – but what I never understood is that with wives at home that look like Maria Bello and Salma Hayek, why would you ever think of another woman? Be that as it may, the guys begin running into their own off-the-wall situations such as meeting Tim Meadows’ character in K-Mart, coming out into the parking lot to be accosted by a hip-hop-dancing Shaquille O’Neal, watching David Spade’s character go flying through the town inside a tire and Sandler’s character being quasi-threatened yet again by Steve Austin’s character who he runs into at his daughter’s ballet show at school (apparently, Austin’s character is dating the incredibly smokin’ hot dance instructor of the school, who all the guys can’t take their eyes off in the audience). Somewhere towards the middle of the film comes the sequence so hyped in all the trailers, but which confused me in its attempt to garner any hysterical laugh moments – that is, when Maria Bello’s character drives hubby Kevin James to a car wash being sponsored by gorgeous cheerleaders from the local college but who end up washing the car Chris Rock’s character’s son is in with his dimwit driving instructor (Steve Buscemi) while their car is soaped up and scrubbed down by cheerleader outfit-wearing frat boys. I didn’t get it either.
Still with me? The end sequence of Sandler and Hayek’s characters throwing a big 80’s themed bash at the house explodes into all sorts of nonsense, as you would expect, including Shaq attempting to dive into their swimming pool but instead taking down the whole diving board before he drops in, Austin’s character ready to wipe the floor with Sandler’s once again, an impromptu performance by none other than the J. Geils Band who perform “Centerfold” and the frat boys crashing the party in revenge for what was done to their frat house…which ends up being the work of Spade’s character’s unstable, psycho kid he never knew about prior to the events leading up to the party. The boys stand their ground and actually rush the frat boys in a hand-to-hand combat regiment that breaks out right there on the backyard lawn, as Shaq and Austin make mincemeat out of some of the whiny, overpriveleged , snotty-nosed frat kids during some laugh-inducing moments.
I suppose this was an interesting night’s rental if you so choose, but I wouldn’t consider it “must buy” material – it’s good for a comedy rental if you’re in the mood.
[img]http://wae.blogs.starnewsonline.com/files/2013/06/grown-ups-2.jpg[/img]VIDEO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC LOOK?
The packaging on the Grown Ups 2 Blu-ray proclaims the film was MASTERED IN 4K, obviously in an attempt to tie in with Sony’s own foray into the format with their TVs and such. There’s a trailer on the White House Down Blu-ray for this film’s release and the picture quality was like nothing I had seen before – I mean it was jaw-dropping. After seeing the notice that the feature was mastered in 4K on the Blu-ray box, I chalked the trailer’s quality up to this fact – however, the film itself on the Blu-ray didn’t quite look like that trailer clip I viewed. The 1.85:1 1080p transfer looked stunning and beautiful, don’t get me wrong – but it didn’t appear any different, to my eyes, than any well-mastered 1080p high-definition transfer for any other title; being supposedly “mastered in 4K” resolution, you’d expect the image and visuals to pop off the screen and dazzle in a way difficult to describe, but they really didn’t. Everything about the transfer was top-notch – outdoor sequences sizzled with startling clarity and realism, colors popped, the image remained uber-stable – but it didn’t blow me through the wall like the marketing announcements on the packaging would have you believe.
Outside of that element, everything here was in premium condition – as I said, all aspects of the outdoor, brightly-lit sequence shots came off in a stunning, eye-opening manner, characteristic of the very best Blu-ray transfers out there. The foliage of trees, the incredibly contrast-rich greens of grass, the detail in clothing…it was all here on vivid 1080p display. Nothing was a problem; blacks appeared solid and inky without degrading into a twitchy mess, shadow detail remained unaffected by crush and grain was never a problem.
It’s just that notation by Sony executives that the Blu-ray transfer was “mastered in 4K” – the picture quality, to me, didn’t appear any different from the very best “standard” Blu-ray transfers.
[img] http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTmfDRrnHaUAUSCSAAlhErycYLla_6mpW7jMrGo91GY8Sr5UxBoSGfqpXsMeA[/img]AUDIO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC SOUND?
As is common with this genre of film, Grown Ups 2 on Blu-ray comes with a rather anemic DTS-HD Master Audio track in 5.1 on the Region A release, keeping dialogue delivery on the lower, hushed side and offering no real spread to the rears in any memorable way. Nothing about this mix really stood out in any particular fashion; even the musical sequences appeared a bit “muffled” and quiet, as if they needed to be unveiled and left to breathe. All in all, I suppose it was a fitting track for an equally quasi-uninspired feature.
Thank you for reading; I’m attempting to get a copy of the new JFK-centric thriller Parkland to review but it’s been hard to come by with my sources. Please tell me what you thought of Grown Ups 2 if you happened to catch it!