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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - January, 2010

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"Mamma Mia!" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-january-2010-mama-mia

Synopsis

Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) wedding day is fast approaching and she couldn’t be happier.  Her only remaining wish is to have her father walk her down the aisle.

The only problem: she doesn’t know who her real father is.  After finding her mother’s (Meryl Streep) diary and reading about three past lovers (Stellan Skarsgard, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth), Sophie decides to send each of them an invitation.   When all three men show up for the wedding, the story plays out through the use of classic ABBA tunes.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2008, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 49 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not listed
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski
  • Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Mild Suggestion
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Since my wife is a big disco-music fan, she sat down to watch this with me.  After 30 minutes, she walked out of the room.  I think it was the constant screeching and screaming by the female characters that put the final nail in the coffin for her.  You could probably make a pretty good drinking game out of it.  The vocal performances were terrible, particularly Pierce Brosnan’s.  Note to producers: when casting actors for a musical, make sure that they can sing, unless you plan on over-dubbing real singers.  With the exception of Seyfried, they all were pretty poor.  Sadly, the fun, campy quality of the Broadway musical just didn’t translate to this film.

Technical

I was a bit perplexed by the video quality on this disc.  Every shot had a soft, out of focus look to it (“This is a blu-ray?” commented my wife).  Fine details were lost due to this “blurring.”  Colors were over-hyped with a bit of blooming, which gave everything a very artificial look.   I didn’t notice any obvious edge-enhancement or sharpening so it looks like this was the film makers’ intention.  The soundtrack fared better, with the musical numbers having decent dynamic range and clarity.  Sadly, the clear musical scenes only highlighted the terrible singing performances.  The non-musical scenes were merely average, with little use of the surround and LFE channels.

Extras

I received the special "Gimme!  Gimme!  Gimme!  More" gift set edition of the movie which includes the Blu-ray disc with the movie and special features, a CD of the movie soundtrack, and a full color mini-book that tells "A magical, musical journey from Stage to Screen."  All of this is packaged in a large box complete with flashing blue lights and the theme song that activate when you press the cover.  Bonus features on the Blu-ray disc include a sing-along, a deleted musical scene, a feature commentary and making-of, a break down of one of the musical scenes, a "how-to" for singers, behind-the-scenes footage, location shots in Greece, a music video, deleted scenes, and outtakes.  The extensive content should be a big hit with fans of the film.