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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Deleted scenes
  • 2 Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary - Director Jay Roach, producer Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller; Director Jay Roach and editor Jon Poll
  • Featurette
  • Booklet
  • Outtakes

Meet the Parents : Collectors Edition

Dreamworks/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 103 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The idea of meeting the prospective in-laws is an adventure in itself for any male; that's why we call them out-laws. Those entering into the European family can attest to the many hurdles that they are faced with and have to overcome, not only during the initial meeting but every subsequent gathering of the 500-plus uncles, aunties, cousins and family friends. It's an endless decathlon with no finishing line in sight.

But what if the father of the bride is an ex-CIA agent?

Meet Gaylord 'Greg' Focker (Ben Stiller), a male nurse about to propose to his girlfriend Pamela (Teri Polo). His proposal is cut short, however, when her sister announces her own wedding plans. Soon our lovebirds are off to meet Mummy and Daddy in the country, and here's where the fun begins.

Jack Byrnes (De Niro) enters stage left, and from here a battle of wits begins between he and Greg, as the latter battles to stay within the 'circle of trust' and win the respect of Jack. A chain of events that pile one disaster on top of another is the end result, in a comedy that makes you cringe at just how unfortunate Greg can be. It's everyone's worst nightmare, and with a name like Gay Focker to top it off you simply don't deserve any respect at all now, do you?

  Video
Contract

Given the youthful age of this movie, a pristine image from Dreamworks would have been expected, yet this seems to suffer from what we commonly know as "low budget effort", where the movie is simply filmed, edited and then shipped. It's not an effects-fest, so a pristine transfer isn't necessary, but there have been other films of a more mature age that look absolutely stunning by comparison.

Given that little introduction, the image is clean, with a few minor film artifacts cropping up throughout the course of the movie. The hue/tint of the image seems ever so slightly off, which gives an un-natural feel to flesh tones etc. Shadow detail is slightly lacking with the image overall seeming a little flat and lifeless.

  Audio
Contract

The 5.1 channel audio is your standard fare for a comedy, with the full sound stage only used during the more dramatic moments and musical numbers. Dialogue is up to the usual standard from Dreamworks, with the front being the main focus of the movie.

The musical score is typical of Randy Newman's past efforts, in fact is there any score he's ever been responsible for that would surprise you that it was his? I feel like I'm watching Toy Story again each time I hear it. The same can be said for James Horner, but at least he has an orchestra to try and disguise his plagiarism of his own music.

That's right, there's nothing more to see here, keep moving...

  Extras
Contract

This new 'Collector's Edition' has added a handful of extras after the bare bones rental release, yet still falls short of what is on offer from the US version. Missing here are a DTS soundtrack, two interactive games (Lie Detector Test & Forecaster), cast and crew biographies, film trailers for other Universal/Dreamworks movies (probably because of release schedules) and the DVD-ROM content. What we do get wouldn't really be missed if it were left out.

First up are two audio commentaries, the first by director Jay Roach, producer Jane Rosenthal and actors Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. Stiller and Roach are in one studio with De Niro and Rosenthal in another, linked via satellite. The second is by director Jay Roach and editor Jon Poll. Straight up, De Niro's contribution must be hidden away in an easter egg somewhere, as he is hardly there. He shows no initiative in commenting about the movie at all, and all we hear when he is prodded by the others about a scene is some indistinct mumbling. The others do their best to counteract this, but are pulled into the "I really don't want to be here either" disease. The second commentary, whilst simple on its own, is a godsend in comparison to the other, with Roach and Poll giving us a wealth of information about the movie, almost as if they wished to seek some redemption for the mistake that is the first commentary.

Following on the menu is the usual fare, with two deleted scenes and a set of outtakes that all look pretty ordinary in respect to the usual standard Dreamworks presents us with, and audio that would make a mime sound good by comparison. Throw in two theatrical trailers that are at least 16x9 enhanced and you've got your budget buffet, complete with a booklet that was not received as part of the review disc. 'Collector's Edition'? I think not.

  Overall  
Contract

One can't deny the humour in this movie comes from the cringe factor at just how unlucky this Focker can be. It's a pity that this 'Collector's Edition' doesn't offer too much to warrant moving up to owning the DVD rather than simply renting it.

The onus is on you, are you a Focker too?


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      And I quote...
    "doesn't offer too much to warrant moving up to owning the DVD rather than simply renting it."
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Playstation 2
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS777 THX Select
    • Speakers:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Centre Speaker:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Surrounds:
          VAF Signature I-91
    • Subwoofer:
          VAF LFE-07
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
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