SRP $29.98 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 UNIVERSAL
 
SRP $39.98 1.85:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 UNIVERSAL
 

British actor/comedian, Rowan Atkinson, was quite good in "RAT RACE" and also enjoyable in an even smaller part in "LOVE ACTUALLY," but the success of his "MR. BEAN" character is stupifying!  This character(a pale imitation of Charlie Chaplin) was created over 17 years ago, and enjoyed enough success in Britain to bring about an animated series!!!  What? Atkinson was good in the two films mentioned, because he was brief and a gag of his needs to be brief. As with the "MR. BEAN" movie, this character just doesn't hold an audience for more than a few minutes, without growing extremely irritating! 

In "MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY," Bean takes part in a church charity raffle, winning the grand prize of a trip to the French Riviera during the Cannes film festival.  Of course, Bean's adventure begins with him being left at the wrong location(hilarious), and things get only more confusing and disastrous for Bean and the viewer as the film plods forward.  For some inexplicable reason, great actors like Willem Dafoe and Jean Rochefort agreed to appear in this film, in less than appealing roles. It's impossible to comprehend what these actors are doing with their earnings. Why do they need the money so badly to appear in films far beneath their acting capabilities?  "MR. BEAN'S HOLIDAY" is a horrible film, ranking up there with the worst films of 2007, not an easy accomplishment!

UNIVERSAL has done a fine job with its transfers. Presenting the film on stand alone dvd, as well as an hd-dvd/dvd combo unit, it's presented with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio(16:9 enhanced for dvd).  Colors are solid on both formats, but grain is often intrusive on dvd, while only sporadic on the hd-dvd. Contrast is notably better on hd-dvd, providing better detail and less grain in darker scenes. The dvd image offers decent depth, whereas the hd-dvd has several sequences with that "jump off the screen" kind of detail, we typically associate with hd-dvd. It's just disappointing that these moments are far too few.

UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the dvd and a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for the hd-dvd.  Essentially a "comic-stylized" soundmix, focusing on dialogue, most of the mix is center channel targeted.  However, music and ambient effects kick in on occasion, but without much impact. There are no bass effects that stand out, and discrete effects are unremarkable. The hd-dvd's TrueHD mix offers notably better dynamic range than the dvd, but it's still a pretty standard mix, with little energy. Music and ambient effects are better balanced on the TrueHD mix.

Additionally, UNIVERSAL has included deleted scenes(none of which add to the film, other than in making it feel longer!), "behind-the-scenes" footage, and interviews.

This can't be recommended in either format, unless the viewer has already seen and "liked" the actual film. It's just not broad enough in its appeal to recommend it otherwise.