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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 62:34)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English - Visually Impaired: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Commentary - Arabic, Commentary - Russian
  Extras
  • 7 Deleted scenes
  • Audio commentary - with Director Adam Shankman and writer Jason Filardi
  • Featurette - Breaking Down Bringing Down The House
  • Animated menus
  • Music video - Better than the Rest - Queen Latifah
  • Interviews - The Godfather of Hop
  • Gag reel

Bringing Down the House

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Yo, yo, yo, wassup, wassup?!? So ya decided to give dis a read then, eh? Choice move, brother – this is definatel’ one ‘ouse worf bringin’ down, ya know what ah’m sayin’?

Ahem. Stop that, and rewind. Translation: Well I say, what’s up? So you have decided to grace us with your presence by giving this jolly old review a read. Top marks for you old chap – this is surely one house that is worth the effort of bringing down off the shelf and placing in your state-of-the-art DVD player.

Ah shove ov-ah Niles, and get wif the program.

This choice flick starrin’ rapper Queen Latifah (Chicago) and skinny white boy Steve Martin (Father of the Bride, Parenthood) in the main possiez is sure to give your beanbag a bit of a jump, you know, coz it’s funny as man, even funnier than shiny tracky dacks. Yo Stevie boy plays some rich lawyer dude who sets up a blind ‘net date with a chick named lawyer_girl. You know, the time comes for her to rock up and he answers the door and there’s this funky African-American named Charlene standing there – yeah, totally dope my man, it’s Queen Latifah. So yeah, Charlene ‘as just escaped from prison (c’mon my man, you should know how easy it is) and now wants this skinny man to clear ‘er name. But this dude is scared by ‘er and doesn’t want anything to do with ‘er, so she enters ‘is world and shakes it all up – you go girl! So yeah, then the laughs come up with some really funny scenes and a twist o’ oddball-arity.

Ah, excuse me, but I think this is my review. Sorry for those interruptions – the pair have been restrained. For the moment, at least. Bringing Down the House is quite a bit of fluffy fun. There’s very little in the way of a deep and meaningful message, so check your brain at the door and have some ludicrous times. There’s some drug references, a tad bit of language and a hint of sexual references as well as a full on bitch fight, horny male teenager antidotes as well as dose of good ol’ family values too. Ah just like the normal Saturday night out.

Queen Latifah simply steals the show with her riotous performance, and Steve Martin is perfectly cast, and that’s coming from a guy who is more often than not frustrated by Martin and his on screen presence. So if you’re in need of a bit of a mindless chuckle, grab this one and give it a go.

  Video
Contract

Presented in Bringing Down the House’s original theatrical aspect of 2.35:1, this transfer is quite nice with its anamorphically enhanced goodness. Colours are healthily lifelike, oozing life and vitality, giving a bright and colourful feel to the film. Blacks are solidly mastered, showing no sign of low level noise, and colours strongly built showing barely any posterisation. This doesn’t come as a shock as this transfer has a relatively high bitrate of approximately 6MBps, and just looks great on screen. The clarity of the image is superb, showing the finest details and only an incredibly fine wash of grain over the image. Film artefacts are free from this transfer, and issues such as aliasing and digital noise reduction are so minor they’re barely worth mentioning. The layer change is nicely placed too, skimming through with only a minor bump to remind you it’s there.

  Audio
Contract

With a swag of Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on this disc, the prime listening option for those of us who speak English is obviously the English one. One interesting point of notice is the inclusion of the English RNIB track – or in other words, some guy telling you what’s happening on screen – not really suitable except for the visually impaired. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout, strongly protruding from the centre channel. The front half of the soundstage is fairly stable, providing a solid backing, but lacking loads of discrete effects. The surround channels and woofer of a thing chirp in at appropriate moments to add depth and an enveloping quality with a great deal of success. There’s nothing terribly special on offer, but reasonable nonetheless.

  Extras
Contract

The 16:9 enhanced animated menus are superb to navigate, and feature suitably toned music as well as wild street art style animations. A very funky set of menus indeed. Up first in our extras list is a featurette - Breaking Down Bringing Down the House. This is your usual promotional-style job, with loads of interviews and film clips to entice people to come and see the film. Running just over 16 minutes, it offers very little insight into the film, preferring to act as a giant ad. Next up is a brief comic featurette titled The Godfather of Hop, which plays on Eugene Levy’s hip-hop style character in the film and features interviews which are (to the actors' credit) quite believable. This is an interesting clip to watch, and sadly more amusing than the gag reel. This runs for nearly four minutes but really isn’t terribly funny.

A rather hypnotic audio commentary is included, spatially constructed over the soundstage with director Adam Shankman in the right channel and writer Jason Filardi in the left. This commentary is full of laughter, and is reasonably informative with regards to specific scenes and concepts. The pair obviously get on quite well, and this is clearly evident in what is a fairly chatty and one of the more relaxed commentaries heard in a while. Ending up the list is Queen Latifah’s music video for Better Than the Rest, as well as seven deleted scenes which are presented in a letterboxed widescreen aspect with fairly low video quality. These scenes add a few laughs to the film, but really do slow the pacing down.

  Overall  
Contract

If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted flick with some pretty good laughs in it, go no further than Bringing Down the House. There’s nothing terribly groundbreaking, memorable or stunning, but just a good solid 101 minutes to comfortably soak in to. Yo, y’know what ah’m sayin’, dude? Bring this one all the way down to your livin’ room!


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      And I quote...
    "This is one house worth bringin’ all the way down..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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