Reel Reviews

Due Date - Blu-ray Review

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Due Date Movie Review

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3 Stars

Director Todd Phillips has been around the movie-making track for quite some time now, and, after the monster success of The Hangover, he has been in the enviable position of riding that gravy train with biscuit wheels, where the studios think he can do no wrong and he can make whatever the hell he wants.

Taking the ingredients of his latest effort—his oddball star from The Hangover Zach Galifianakis, current ‘it’ man Robert Downey Jr., and a premise John Hughes used to enormous respect in the late 80s—one would think, on first hearing the combination, he was about to hit pay dirt again…

Telling the story of architect Peter, a very highly strung man whose wife (Michelle Monaghan) is due to have a baby, Due Date pits the unwitting dad-to-be against idiosyncratic force of nature Ethan (Galifianakis), a man who gets him thrown off their plane and strands him on the other side of the country with no luggage, no wallet, and no hope.

What unfolds is the basic premise of perennial classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, where our hero (and I use that term loosely) tries to survive his bumbling companion’s company all in order to get back to his family in time.

This is where the similarities end.

While Phillips is renowned for creating some pretty off the wall characters—and these two aren’t any different—there is a complete failure in the case of both Peter and Ethan to gain the audience’s care factor. They are both hard to relate to, with Peter coming off as downright mean at times (gut punching a ten year-old and spitting in a dog’s face) and Ethan a very similar oddball to Galifianikis’s Hangover persona (John Candy’s Del was an everyman, relatable and likeable) they just never get you rooting for them.

There are some laughs throughout, to be sure, but the characters fail to serve the film’s premise well. You simply don’t care if they make it or not, and are really just riding along to see what new disgusting situation Ethan, or his masturbating dog, is going to get them into. The film’s extremes don’t stay just with the characterizations, as its set pieces escalate to the overblown and non-relatable as well. Any attempt it makes to have heart is undermined by its many extremes.

The technical aspects of the film, unsurprisingly, are first rate; it’s a shame such a talented bunch of people didn’t work a little more on the script. Comparisons to John Hughes’s aforementioned classic are inevitable, and probably unfair, but for this reviewer, even if that great film had never existed, Due Date is just too mean-spirited to root for.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Film Info}

Due Date Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for language, drug use and sexual content.
Director: Todd Phillips
Writer
: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr.; Zach Galifianakis; Michelle Monighan
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tagline:
"If there's a hell, I'm already in it."
Official Site: duedatemovie.warnerbros.com
Memorable Movie Quote: "That's so funny! My dad would never do that, he'd love me."
Release Date: November 5, 2010
Blu-ray Release Date:
February 22, 2011

Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife's due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan--on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter's last nerve.

{2jtab: DVD/Blu-ray Details}

Due Date Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

3 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February22, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese (less)
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; BD-Live

Flawless M-PEG 4 AVC transfer, equally impressive DTS-HD 5.1 mix, and a pissy little gag reel. (There is another edition with a DVD/Digital copy).

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 4 minutes)
  • Gag Reel (HD, 7 minutes)
  • Too Many Questions (HD, 1 minute)
  • Action Mash-Up (HD, 1 minute)
  • The Complete Two and a Half Men Scene (HD, 3 minutes)
  • BD-Live Functionality

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