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While I had been aware of him prior, I really came to appreciate funnyman Simon Pegg after watching SHAUN OF THE DEAD for the first time. Since SHAUN OF THE DEAD, I try to catch Pegg’s work every chance I can. That brings us to Pegg’s most recent feature- RUN FAT BOY RUN ($37). While it doesn’t have the makings of a cult classic like SHAUN, I found myself laughing at RUN FAT BOY RUN a considerable amount of time. In RUN FAT BOY RUN, Pegg portrays Dennis Doyle, an aimless, lazy loser, who left his very pregnant fiancée Libby (Thandie Newton) at the alter, five years prior. While Libby has allowed Dennis to be a father to their son Jake (Matthew Fenton), she has moved on with her life and is now involved an American businessman named Whit (Hank Azaria), who is everything Dennis is not- namely, driven, successful and athletic.

Realizing his past mistakes, and that he is still in love with Libby, Dennis decides he wants to win her back (before it is absolutely too late) by proving that he is a changed man. In proving himself a change man, Dennis resolves to enter himself in the very same charity marathon that Whit is scheduled to run. Of course, Dennis is grossly out of shape and becomes winded by the slightest bit of physical exertion. Although almost everyone has given up on him, Dennis does find himself with his own support mechanism- namely his best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran) and his landlord Mr. Ghoshdashtidar (Harish Patel), who strive to whip him into shape… and there is a good deal of emphasis on the whipping part. RUN FAT BOY RUN features a lot of broad physical comedy, but the film has a softer, romantic and even paternal side that holds the whole thing together.

New Line Home Entertainment has made RUN FAT BOY RUN available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is really quite nice, which makes this a fairly attractive looking film. Image sharpness, depth and fine detail are really quite good for a comedy, but RUN FAT BOY RUN isn’t ever going to be considered a Blu-ray demo disc. Colors are warm and nicely saturated, plus the disc produces some pretty appealing flesh tones. The blacks are usually accurate and whites appear crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are all they need to be for this type of undemanding material. The film elements from which RUN FAT BOY RUN has been mastered are free from defects. There is some grain evident in the image, but is fairly minimal.

RUN FAT BOY RUN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. While having this sound mastered in a lossless format (with extra channels nonetheless), one cannot overlook the fact that the sound design doesn’t reach much beyond a fairly standard talky comedy mix. The outlying channels do see some limited active effects, but in general, the sound plays in the forward soundstage, while ambience and musical fill represent the majority of sonic elements directed to the surrounds. Thanks to the lossless encoding, the musical component has very strong fidelity and the sound effects carry full weight. The bass channel keeps things grounded, but the material doesn’t require anything else. Dialogue is crisp and generally easy to understand; that is, if your ear can get passed some of the non-American accents. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English and Spanish subtitles are provided.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director David Schwimmer, actors Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton, plus Gill Pegg (Simon's Mum). Next are seven minutes worth of Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from director Schwimmer. Outtakes, Thandie's Goof, Theatrical Trailers and a Digital Copy of the film close out the supplements.

RUN FAT BOY RUN is a likable Simon Pegg comedy that has been given a very nice presentation on Blu-ray.



Run, Fat Boy, Run [Blu-ray] (2007)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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