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Due Date - Blu-ray Movie Review

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Due Date Movie Review

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3 Stars

Its script may be credited to four names, but, let’s be honest, Due Date is simply a weak update of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – without the heart and charm of John Hughes – and, yes, even that film was a minor disappointment. You already know the jokes and the set-up of the story which sees two complete opposite psyches sharing the same stretch of highway in the same car as they make a cross-country journey full of hatred and a burgeoning awkward friendship. Unfortunately though, Due Date suffers the fate of so many modern-day comedies because the best moments have already been highlighted by its trailer.  What’s that?  You’ve seen the trailer?  Oh, well, unfortunately (or, fortunately, as the case may be), there really is no need for you to sit through the rest of the film as there really are no surprises in this – shockingly enough - four-person penned script.

Robert Downey Jr. is Peter.  Peter’s wife is about to have their first baby.  Peter needs to get home – from Atlanta to L.A. - quickly. Peter’s an asshole. End of story. He meets, or bumps into, a clueless Ethan, played by a scene-stealing Zach Galifianakis, at the airport and the two embark on a journey that sees them getting put on a No-Fly List, drinking Ethan’s father, crossing the Mexican border, getting shot, and, eventually, becoming friends as they share their “daddy” issues along the way to the hospital where Peter’s son is to be delivered.  It really is that simple of a narrative and that charmless.

Earlier I said there weren’t any surprises in Due Date, but – in all fairness – there is one scene involving Downey and a child and some punching that incorporates a spirit of meanness that manages to be a welcome surprise to the film’s flaccid formula. But it is that spirit of meanness I want to isolate for a bit. Downey, usually a charmer, plays a very mean-spirited person and, as a result, there is a troubling spirit to the sense of adventure and antics that doesn’t translate well to the viewer.  At times, this meanness is borderline uncomfortable and confusing; it doesn’t play like the antics of Hot Tub Time Machine or even EuroTrip. The comedic violence comes across without statement and without purpose other than to suggest that Peter is a prick.  He gets shot, but you don’t feel any sympathy for him and sure as hell don’t feel sympathy for his being trapped in a cross-country “collision” with Galifianakis, whom you’ll probably pity more than be annoyed by.

Yes, Galifianakis can fill the gaps in the script with some interesting comedic interpretation and sight gags, but neither he nor Downey can make the script work like it should because – let’s face it – the script is really…well…underwhelming and unfocused in its comedy. If this were teenage material, it would probably play better ala Road Trip (also directed by Todd Phillips). Due Date is not about teenagers. It’s about adults. Sure, Peter and Ethan might act like teenagers, but there should be some sort of guidance in their development – some sort of point to it all. Even The Hangover had its moment of introspection, making for a far better picture in comparison. Yet, when you witness Peter and Ethan getting beaten up by a paraplegic, you begin to understand that there really is no purpose. Certainly, it has its moments that will garner some laughs, but not the belly-shaking guffaws you'll want to give it.

Due Date has the talent behind it, but its script just can’t deliver.

{pgomakase}

{2jtab: Film Info}

Due Date Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for language, drug use and sexual content.
Director: Todd Phillips
Writer
: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr.; Zach Galifianakis; Michelle Monighan
Genre: Comedy
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tagline:
"If there's a hell, I'm already in it."
Official Site: duedatemovie.warnerbros.com
Memorable Movie Quote: "That's so funny! My dad would never do that, he'd love me."
Release Date: November 5, 2010
Blu-ray Release Date:
February 22, 2011

Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is an expectant first-time father whose wife's due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan--on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter's last nerve.

{2jtab: DVD/Blu-ray Details}

Due Date Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

3 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February22, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese (less)
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; BD-Live

Flawless M-PEG 4 AVC transfer, equally impressive DTS-HD 5.1 mix, and a pissy little gag reel. (There is another edition with a DVD/Digital copy).

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 4 minutes)
  • Gag Reel (HD, 7 minutes)
  • Too Many Questions (HD, 1 minute)
  • Action Mash-Up (HD, 1 minute)
  • The Complete Two and a Half Men Scene (HD, 3 minutes)
  • BD-Live Functionality

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