Software Reviews

DVD: Just Married—20th Century Fox
Video-3
Audio-3
Extras-3
Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show, Dude, Where's My Car?) and Brittany Murphy (King of the Hill, 8 Mile) play newlyweds who discover that they truly hate each other while they're on their honeymoon. Just Married doesn't exactly break new ground, but it's quite funny and entertaining, mostly due to the onscreen chemistry and charisma that the two stars imbue. Obviously not much of a thinker, it's at least fun. While you're watching, keep in mind that Kutcher does all of his own stunts.

The widescreen side of the disc is in the 1.85:1 anamorphic format, and it looks surprisingly good. There's not a ton of fine detail, but strong colors and beautiful cinematography make up for it. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack isn't used to its fullest, but it shows off the fun score, and the dialogue is clear.

While there's a fair quantity of extras, they lack in quality. The entertaining, slightly insightful commentary with director Shawn Levy and the two stars is perhaps the best extra. The most surprising thing is finding out that Ashton Kutcher puts a lot of time, effort, and thought into his roles. Dude, where's my method acting? Levy also offers commentary for several deleted scenes, which are rather boring. There's a making-of documentary that's mostly just clips from the movie, as is the included Comedy Central Reel Comedy show. If you're in the mood for something fun, this is certainly worth a rental.—Geoffrey Morrison

DVD: The Jungle Book 2—Buena Vista
Audio: 3
Video: 5
Extras: 3
We understand that Disney can't produce a Monsters, Inc. or Beauty and the Beast with every animated release, but setting those standards just makes efforts like The Jungle Book 2 look all the more lame. To be fair, JB2 is gorgeous, with brilliant colors and painstakingly rendered, richly detailed backgrounds. Current animation technology brings new depth and shading to Mowgli, Baloo, and other characters we remember from the original film, but I can't say the same for the story or musical numbers. The best films, animated or otherwise, have plots that develop and songs that move the story along. Neither is the case here. JB2 is so dull, it feels far longer than its 72-minute running time.

The 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer displays the film's strength—its art direction—to perfection. Image quality is crisp and clean, and the disc beautifully reproduces the diverse color palette. The audio is disappointing, though. Even with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, the soundtrack isn't as lively as it should be. Colonel Hathi's marching-elephant platoon should have really thumped the subwoofer, but it didn't.

The disc's extras have a definite kid slant to them, with games, music videos, and sing-alongs (lyrics are provided karaoke-style). My recommendation: Forego this weak sequel and rediscover the original while Disney's 30th-Anniversary version is still available.—Drew Hardin