Bedtime Stories (Blu-ray)
The first act sets up the story with plenty of potential, but unfortunately the second act is a complete mess, and the somewhat pleasing conclusion can't save it. The strong supporting cast includes Courteney Cox, Theresa Palmer, Guy Pearce, and Keri Russel, all of whom perform admirably, but Sandler's sophomoric act grows tiring and has been seen many times before.
The movie is a bore, but at least it looks good with a near-reference AVC encode. Resolution is sharp and detailed, and colors leap off the screen, especially when it rains gumballsdon't ask. Flesh tones waver from scene to scene depending on the lighting, but they are reasonably accurate overall. Nighttime scenes look outstanding, especially the rooftop cookouts featuring inky blacks and phenomenal depth and shadow delineation.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track is solid yet unremarkable. Dialog is firmly rooted in the center speaker, and the dynamics are very good. The fantasy sequences offer the most active surround environments with charging horses and an outlandish battle in zero gravity, but the bass doesn't pound as deep and hard as it could. Maybe because it's geared toward kids, the sound mixer decided to scale back the audio experiencethankfully Pixar doesn't take this approach.
The high-definition supplements include a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects, a close-up look at Bugsy the big-eyed guinea pig, interviews with the kids, bloopers, and deleted scenes. The three-disc set also includes a digital copy and a standard-definition version of the movie, a regular occurrence with Disney titles these days. Rounding things out are some BD-Live features that include Movie Chat, Movie Mail, Movie Challenge, and Movie Rewards.
It's never a good thing when a movie peaks in the first act, but unfortunately, that's exactly the case here. Kids may enjoy it more than parents, but not by much. At least it looks great on Blu-ray, and if the kids like it a lot, Disney's inclusion of a DVD copy allows for portability to the car or spare bedroom.
Release Date: April 5, 2009
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 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