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While not his best film, BRUCE ALMIGHTY ($30) is an amusing starring vehicle for funnyman Jim Carrey. In BRUCE ALMIGHTY Carrey portrays Bruce Nolan, a local Buffalo New York television reporter, who always is assigned to the amusing human interest pieces, but his goal is to get the soon to be vacant anchorman job at his television station. When rival reporter Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) is awarded the anchor position during a live broadcast, Bruce has an on air meltdown that results in his being fired from his position. As his day gets progressively worse, Bruce begins complaining about the way God has been treating him and even goes as far to say that he could do a better job of being the Supreme Being. Low and behold, God (Morgan Freeman) contacts Bruce and takes him up on his offer. Imbued with the powers of The Almighty, Bruce sets about solving all of his own petty little problems, while forgetting about the rest of the world. However, things only get worse when God reminds Bruce of his duties to humanity, and although he starts by solving local problems, our would be deity totally screws up the Buffalo area with one fell swoop… The cast of BRUCE ALMIGHTY also features Jennifer Aniston, Philip Baker Hall, Catherine Bell, Lisa Ann Walter, Nora Dunn, Eddie Jemison, Paul Satterfield, Mark Kiely, Sally Kirkland and Tony Bennett.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made BRUCE ALMIGHTY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. BRUCE ALMIGHTY is a movie whose cinematography looks it were shot by a TV news crew using flat sitcom lighting, so the 1080p presentation isn’t likely to be a revelation to anyone. The picture appears fairly crisp and well defined, but nothing about it really jumps off the screen. Colors sometimes look as though the BRUCE ALMIGHTY were shot under fluorescent lighting, with little color correction applied to overcome the poor source. Other times, the hues appear realistic, but they never pop in an appealing way. Blacks are accurate, as are the whites. Contrast and shadow detail are fine, but the material never makes too many demands in that area. The elements from which BRUCE ALMIGHTY has been transferred appear clean. Grain is present, and helps maintain a film-like quality.

BRUCE ALMIGHTY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, this is a fairly standard and unremarkable, talky comedy mix. As expected, much of the sound is localized to the front… and to the center channel primarily. Sure, there are a few sequences where the outlying channels kick to life with active effects, but for the most part, they provide little beyond the expected complement of ambient sounds and musical fill. The musical component has respectable fidelity, but the nature of the sound is fairly non-taxing. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and is totally understandable. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Tom Shadyac. Next is The Process Of Jim, a six-minute look at comic whirlwind Carrey giving plenty of performance "choices" to the director and editor. Thirty minutes of Deleted Scenes with optional director's commentary and seven-minutes Outtakes close out the standard extras. BRUCE ALMIGHTY is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

BRUCE ALMIGHTY is a generally amusing Jim Carrey vehicle. The Blu-ray presentation can’t overcome the uninspired cinematography, but it is still better than standard definition.



Bruce Almighty [Blu-ray] (2003)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 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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