UNIVERSAL is releasing one of the freshest, brightest comedies in years, "FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL" on blu-ray and dvd. The film's screenwriter, Jason Segal, stars as Peter, a composer for a tv show, whose beautiful girlfriend, Sarah, a tv star, has just dumped him for a "Fabio-like" singer, making world headlines. Trying to pick up the pieces, Peter takes advice to get away. Unfortunately, his trip to Hawaii backfires, upon checking into the same resort as Sarah and her new boyfriend. But, Peter finds potential and better romance with the resort's hotel clerk, Rachel, the beautiful and endearing Milis Kunis. There are plenty of side-splitting laughs throughout the film, as well as some honest insight into relationships, and the comedy moments actually "feel" real, instead of having been pushed to surreal extremes, so the film works and stands out above so many other comedies like this.
The great cast, fresh writing and well paced direction, easily make "FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL" one of the better comedies of the past few years.
UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release and the dvd is enhanced for 16:9. The option on the pop-up menu for either the theatrical or unrated version(about 7 minutes longer)is offered. Having watched the film twice, this reviewer couldn't figure out the new footage, but both feel and look great. Unfortunately, the PIP commentary is only available on the "unrated" version, and, at least on our Samsung BD-P1500, we couldn't get the "bonus footage" icon off of the screen for the entire film, while watching that version.
An important comment about the picture. While at first feeling the image was diminished by less than bright colors, a simple adjustment on the monitor to "vivid" from "standard" changed everything. Not sure why this happened, as all the other blu-rays we view on the same "standard" option, hold up well. Still, "after" this minor switch, it was like night and day! "FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL" stood out immediately, as one of the best looking, "3-D" like images we'd ever seen on blu-ray. It's just beautiful to look at. Sure, some scenes offer that "pop-off-the-screen" effect more than others, but even interior scenes at the beginning look great. However, as soon as the film's location changes to Hawaii, it's often breathtaking. Colors are vibrant, complimenting the exotic setting and clothing. Contrast is great, with deep blacks, providing sensational depth in darker scenes. A GREAT TRANSFER!!! The dvd presentation is also impressive. Colors are rich, and contrast is remarkable at times, for a standard definition release. However, the depth that's so impressive on blu-ray is sorely missed on the dvd. As good as it looks, it just can't touch blu-ray.
UNIVERSAL has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Lossless mix for this release. While music for an Apatow-produced film doesn't stand out like the tracks of a Farrelly Bros. film, it's still good and well complimented here. The lossy mix is surprisingly aggressive for a comedy, but not to the same degree as an action-oriented film. However, discrete and ambient effects stand out throughout the mix in a pleasing way. Exterior sequences, particularly at the beach, fare the best. There's not a lot of bass, but dynamic range is impressive throughout, save for a minor instance near the film's end, wherein some center channel adjustment was necessary to make out dialogue better. The dolby digital 5.1 mix is also quite good, but dynamic range pales in comparison to what's achieved with the blu-ray DTS-HD mix.
There are some great extras, definitely worth checking out here! In addition to deleted scenes, gag reel, and commentary, there's a "line-o-rama" feature, demonstrating how improv is encouraged on the set. Also, one of the best extras we'd ever seen, was the abbreviated "reading," wherein cast at a table go over the actual script. It's better than watching "INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO" as we see actors developing their roles, and really appreciating the script as well!