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FOUR CHRISTMASES ($36) is a movie that could be subtitled there’s no place like hell for the holidays. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star in FOUR CHRISTMASES as Brad and Kate, a happily unmarried, upscale San Francisco couple, who have spent their last three Christmases together is sunny tropical locales- far, far away from their insanely dysfunctional families. Sure, they tell their families that they are off in some third world country helping the poor, and all goes well every year… until now. Just as they are about to leave for Fiji, the San Francisco Airport is closed down by a crippling fogbank, which cancels every outbound Christmas Day flight. Making matters worse, Brad and Kate are interviewed live by a local news crew, which results in their respective families becoming aware that the twosome are available for Christmas Day visits.

Armed with a safe word to get them the hell out of dodge, Brad and Kate set off on an opus to visit all four of their divorced parents and assorted other family members. The horror begins with Brad's mean old cuss of a father Howard (Robert Duvall), and psycho brothers, Denver (Jon Favreau) and Dallas (Tim McGraw). This is then followed by a call on Kate's oversexed mother, Marilyn (Mary Steenburgen) and sister Courtney (Kristin Chenoweth). Next up is a visit to Brad's mother Paula (Sissy Spacek), who is robbing the cradle with one of his boyhood friends. The only light of normalcy in the whole bunch is Kate’s father Creighton (Jon Voight), but by the time Brad and Kate arrive at his door, the stress of the other three visits begins to take its toll on their happy relationship. The cast of FOUR CHRISTMASES also features Dwight Yoakam, Katy Mixon, Colleen Camp and Jeanette Miller.

New Line Home Entertainment has made FOUR CHRISTMASES available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. FOUR CHRISTMASES sports a really nice looking 1080p presentation that faithfully renders the film’s attractive comedy look. There is an every so slightly diffuse quality to the cinematography, which seems to be popular with comedies, but image sharpness, depth, texturing and detail look fine- just not outstanding. Colors are pretty vibrant, with the holiday hues come across rather nicely. Flesh tones are always appealing. Blacks are deep, whites are clean, plus the contrast and shadow detail are very good. The elements from which FOUR CHRISTMASES have been transferred appear virtually pristine. Grain is very mild, but the picture never looks over-processed.

FOUR CHRISTMASES is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Considering that this is another standard issue, talky comedy mix, I am sure that no one that is going to be picking up a copy of FOUR CHRISTMASES its devastating sonics. Of course, there are a few sequences that make use of the outlying channels, but for the most part, the surround channels are limited to general ambience and musical fill. Thanks to the lossless encode, the musical component has very good fidelity. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. An English Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track has also been provided, as have English and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Featurettes include: Holiday Moments (ten minutes), Behind The Madness (thirteen minutes) and Seven Layer Holiday Meals In A Flash (ten minutes). Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel close out the standard extras. FOUR CHRISTMASES is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

FOUR CHRISTMASES presents an amusing Christmas nightmare that will make the rest of us appreciate our families a whole lot more. The Blu-ray presentation looks and sounds quite nice.



Four Christmases [Blu-ray] (2008)


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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