The Hangover: Extreme Edition (Blu-ray)
With over $277 million in box-office sales, The Hangover turns out to be one of the most successful films of 2009. Usually this means I won't like it because I haven't cared for most of the popular comedies the past few years, but I actually liked it. Is it stupid and crass on occasion? Certainly, but there are enough genuinely funny moments that overshadow its weaker moments. The chemistry between the four main characters is genuine, and the social commentary on relationships is pertinent to many people I know in my life.
The Hangover's VC-1 encode is technically sound with sharp detail and rich color saturation. An occasional shot exhibits some softness in the backgrounds and nighttime scenes can look a tad noisy, although contrast is excellent giving the image depth and the black levels are inky and deep. There's intermittent edge enhancement with can be seen around sharp objects with bright backgrounds, but fortunately this is quite rare.
With its front-heavy Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, the film doesn't break any new ground in the. Dialog is clear and intelligible, but the surround speakers rarely offer much ambience or discrete effects although there are many scenes that would benefit. The highlight of the track is the score, which serves up impressive bass due to its hip-hop origins, but don't expect an immersive experience.
Supplements are virtually identical to the initial release and include a PIP commentary with director Todd Phillips and the quartet of stars, an interactive map of the partygoers shenanigans, some alternate takes of Ken Jeong (very funny), a gag real, some snapshots from the evening's festivities, and three short featurettes. New goodies include a soundtrack sampler, a 28-page wedding photo album, and a soundtrack sampler that aren't worth an upgrade if you already own it on Blu-ray.
The story is hardly original and the antics of the boys are farfetched, but the setup is well done and discovering what actually happened one clue at a time is a lot of fun. The video presentation is solid, although the audio leaves a bit to be desired. Regardless, if you're looking for a good laugh be sure to give this one a chance but the shameless double-dip by the studio doesn't offer a compelling reason to upgrade.
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector
Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics