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Not quite THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN or THE HANGOVER, BRIDESMAIDS ($30) does deliver a delightful stream of lowbrow laughter that will certainly tickle the funny bones of anyone looking for a good time. I guess it was only a matter of time before the "chick flick" dipped its toe in the pool of raunchy male dominated comedies. After all, nowhere is it written that women can’t be as crude and funny as guys- otherwise there would be no Lisa Lampanelli. BRIDESMAIDS delivers a warm, fuzzy Lifetime Channel female bonding story, which comes totally highlighted with the broad brushstrokes found in the Judd Apatow school of bawdiness. The premise of BRIDESMAIDS finds Annie (Kristen Wiig) living a directionless existence in Milwaukee. Well into her thirties, Annie is in a dead end job, can barely afford her portion of the rent on an apartment she shares with an oddball roommate, and the closest thing she has to a relationship is the regular booty call she gets from self-absorbed idiot. The only thing good in Annie’s life is her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph).

Unfortunately, then the other shoe drops… Lillian announces that she is going to get married and moving to Chicago. Although Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, Lillian has a new friend Helen (Rose Byrne), whom she as also asked to be a bridesmaid. Of course, Annie sees Lillian’s rich and controlling new friend as a threat to their friendship, which becomes more and more evident as Helen attempts to exert greater and greater influence over Lillian and her wedding. Okay, what I’ve described from the plot of BRIDESMAIDS definitely sounds like a Lifetime movie of the week… so where does the raunchy antics come in? Well, lets just say when the other bridesmaids are added to the mix, and all the gals get together, there are a whole heck of a lot of funny antics to keep one laughing. The cast of BRIDESMAIDS also includes Terry Crews, Maya Rudolph, Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas, Jill Clayburgh, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Ben Falcone, Carnie Wilson, Chynna Phillips and Wendy Wilson.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made BRIDESMAIDS available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Becoming more and more spoiled by Blu-ray, theatrical features on DVD fail to impress on the visual level. That being said, BRIDESMAIDS looks reasonably sharp and detailed in close up and medium shots. However, longer, wider shots tend to come across as soft. Colors are pretty bright and attractive, never coming across as over-saturated or unstable. Black, whites, contrast and shadow detail are just fine for a comedy. The elements from which BRIDESMAIDS are mastered are free from defects. Compression artifacts don’t appear particularly noticeable.

BRIDESMAIDS comes with a fairly standard comedy mix in its 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital. As expected, the forward soundstage is dominant, and offers modest channel separations. The surrounds are primarily utilized used for ambient sounds and musical fill. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as is an English descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary that features director Paul Feig, writer/actor Kristen Wiig, writer Annie Mumolo and actors Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy. We also get eight minutes of Deleted Scenes, plus another nine minutes of Extended/Alternate Scenes. Line-O-Rama offers alternate and improved lines from throughout the movie. A fake ad for a business featured in the movie falls under the banner of Cholodecki’s Commercial, and closes out the extras.

BRIDESMAIDS is a funny, and at times, raunchy chick flick. The DVD looks and sounds fine, but I am sure the Blu-ray looks better.


Bridesmaids (2011)



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 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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