Baby Mama [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Universal Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (30th October 2008).
The Film

In the past few years, Tina Fey has become more and more successful. With various television shows and movies under her belt, it was no surprise she was known. Now, thanks to a certain vice presidential candidate, she has become quite the ticket. 'Baby Mama' is not her first movie, nor will it be her last, but is light and enjoyable nonetheless.

Successful businesswoman Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) has conquered her business, and how her biological clock is starting to tick with all the subtlety of a wrecking ball going through a wall. So she enlists the help of a fertility company, who gives her Angie (Amy Poehler) to be the surrogate mother of her child. Meanwhile, she has to prepare a new store opening for her company. These elements lead to one crazy situation after another, especially considering Angie is the crazy one, turning Kate's life completely upside down.

This feminine odd couple frolic through the various stages of pregnancy, though one of them has a big secret. This is, of course, to create some tension in the viewer. All the excitement and fun things that pregnant ladies do are now experienced between the two of them. At the same time, Kate meets a small juice shop owner, Rob (Greg Kinnear), and they hit it off.

The comedy is, as I've said, pretty odd couple-like, where the two personalities clash pretty much throughout their friendship. There's some funny dialogue throughout the movie, but unfortunately the funniest lines are throwaways, like at the baby shower. The last line of that scene is one of the funnier ones of the movie, but is far from the focus of the scene. Although, I do have to mention the court scene, which is pretty wacky, with some very nice understated (and not-so-understated) humour.

There are no real long parts, and the light tone, even during the more dramatic moments. The actors do a nice job handling the material given to them. Indeed, producer
Lorne Michaels managed to get an absolutely stellar cast together. In addition to stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, John Hodgman, Maura Tierney, Steve Martin, Sigourney Weaver, Romany Malco and Greg Kinnear, among many other recognizable bit parts. They all help populate this movie with light but funny performances performances.

'Baby Mama' is a cute movie. It's a movie about friendship and the circumstances that can lead to them. It's sweet and cute and pretty light. The ending is particularly appropriate, as well. 'Baby Mama' will not propel Tina Fey's career any farther than it is, but it won't make her suffer, as well. It's one of those movies to watch when you don't know what to watch.

Video

1.85:1 widescreen, using the VC-1 codec. As with the sound, the picture is very well done, but won't show what your display is really capable of handling. That's not to say the picture is bad far from it but the movie has absolutely no razzle-dazzle. It does, however, have a very open, simple palette with simple cinematography. The colours are accurate and skin tones have a natural look. Contrast is slightly flat, but the picture is clear. The level of detail is also very nice. The picture has the desired softness, especially in brightly-lit scenes, but the picture is overall very nice.

Audio

The main track is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 tracks are also available. Most of this movie is dialogue, and the track has no problems handling this element. Every single word is clear, distinct and centered. Given that not much of the movie asks for any other speaker, they are mostly forgotten. The rears aren't used at all and the side speakers only enhance what's in the centre. It's a decent track, but won't show off what your system.
English (HoH), Spanish and French subtitles are here.

Extras

A lot of the extras from the standard DVD aren't ported over to this release, though it does have a picture-in-picture track, which I'll get to later.

First up is that there are surprisingly, but thankfully, no start-up trailers, so mention has to go to Universal for that. As far as extras go, the first is an audio commentary by writer/director Michael McCullers, producer Lorne Michaels and actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Though the biggest fish, Lorne Michaels, is mostly silent, the three others more than make up for this lack of words. They provide a very nice and very chatty track. They talk about everything from characters to locations to production stories. They also point out mistakes and funny things in the background, as well. This is a very enjoyable track, especially for fans of the movie.

Less interesting, unfortunately, is the high-definition exclusive U-Control feature, only available for BonusView-enabled players. These are only videos (so no stills, storybaords or script pages), in the form of interviews and behind the scenes footage. The interviews are taken from an EPK, where the stars talk about the basic plot and their charactes. There are, however, some very nice behind the scenes footage showing you how they shot various scenes. Unfortunately, there are many gaps without any videos, and these gaps can span a chapter or two. If the cast and crew had recorded interviews or comments specifically for this track, it would have been a lot better. This is to watch only if you're a big fan of the movie.

Overall

The Film: B- Video: B Audio: B- Extras: C Overall: B-

 


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