Bedtime Stories (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Family / Fantasy
Disney || PG - 99 minutes - $39.99 || April 5, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-04-01


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer(s): Matt Lopez (story), Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy (screenplay)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Russell Brand, Courtney Cox


Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy
  • DVD Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

If there is one actor who I've liked, regardless of the flops he's been in (Spanglish anyone?), it would be Adam Sandler. He went from Going Overboard to "Saturday Night Live" to starring in a slew of hit films (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) so when a new Sandler flick comes out I'm usually at the theaters. This time, however, I skipped out because I was really not interesting in seeing Sandler approach the young family genre so soon but with this Blu-ray release I can really see I missed out.

Summary: When Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler) babysits his sister's (Courtney Cox) children, his imagination runs wild as he dreams up elaborate bedtime stories - always casting himself as the hero. Entranced, the children add their own ideas to these once-upon-a-time tales of heroics and chivalry. Then... magic happens. These nighttime fantasies become Skeeter's daytime realities, leading him on a real-life adventure in search of his own happy ending.

With the help of the children's tales, Skeeter begins plotting a way to become manager of the new Nottingham hotel that plans to open. As a young boy his father used to own it, before he ran into money issues and was forced to sell it - with the promise that one day his son could run it. Well, Skeeter did work for the hotel but as a janitor and fix it guy living in his old room that still remains on the now gigantic hotel property. With the help of the children he hopes to full fill that dream.

So maybe the story is not all that original - Sandler trying to run a hotel all while talking in his normal goofy voices and acting like a total slacker? Wait a second... wasn't that the plot of Billy Madison? Yes, yes it was. Bedtime Stories takes it to a new level though - instead of Sandler harassing young kids he instead employs them to help him - because whatever they say during their bedtime stories will, in some way, happens to him in real life. If that means he will find his true love in the form of an annoying friend of his sisters (Keri Russell) then so be it.

I was actually a bit surprised how well acted this film was. Sandler plays his typically character, perhaps acting a bit more older then he has before in his comedies, while his friend in the film Micky (Russell Brand) is a freain' riot. I enjoyed Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and in Bedtime Stories you can clearly see this guy needs to get his own movie already (are you listening Judd Apatow?). The two young kids (Jonathan Morgan Heit & Laura Ann Kesling) do a decent job for their age while their mother Courtney Cox only has a few scenes. Keri Russell, who I loved in Waitress, really does not fit in well as a love interest with Sandler and appears terribly mis-cast.

Is this film worth a watch? Absolutely. I enjoyed the film (despite some flaws) and while I think the "real life" scenes were clearly miles ahead better then the "fantasy" sequences I know I am not the target audience for this film. Kids will eat this film up.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This 3 Disc release includes an attractive slip cover. All features are presented in HD.

BD-Live (Profile 2.0/BD-Live only) ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
- Movie Mail
- Movie Chat
- Movie Rewards

- - You can watch the movie with your friends anywhere (as long as they have a BD-Live player), play trivia, send mail, and use points to download images. Kids will enjoy it, but I personally would never use this.

Until Gravity Do Us Apart (4 Minutes) - A look at the Blue screen process during the intergalactic "fight" scene towards the end of the film.

To All The Little People (5 Minutes) - This very short segment includes interviews with the younger portion of the cast and they tell tales of what it was like on set and how funny Sandler and Brand were.

Itís Bugsy (4 Minutes) - If I had to remove one thing from this film, it would be the (mostly) CGI Bugsy. Yet another short featurette that talks about the real guinea pigs used in the film and how they were trained.

Deleted Scenes (10 Minutes) - Some of these are mere seconds of snipped dialog while others show off Sandlers improv skills. Not a bad set.

And finally an Outtake Reel (7 Minutes).

Disc 2 includes a bonus DVD copy while Disc 3 has a Digital Copy. As the case exclaims "a $69 Value!".

When you really look at everything, itís half an hour of special features. Sure, the bonus DVD is great for the young-ins... but gees, this thing is pretty much empty. I've noticed Disney has slimmed down on features from their previous releases (Bolt, High School Musical 3) and I really hope this does not become the norm.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Bedtime Stories is Presented in 2.35:1 (AVC) on a 50GB Disc. As with most Disney films this looks fantastic. Colors are incredibly rich and vibrant while the very minimal grain is still intact. The "fantasy" scenes tend to look better then the real life ones, but this is definitely a great release.

Disney has included a English 5.1 DTS MA Track (as well as French/Spanish DD5.1). A slight step down from Picture Quality mainly due to the surrounds being louder than the dialog at times causing me to turn on subtitles to understand what was going on. This only happened a few times luckily.



.::OVERALL::.

Bedtime Stories is a great little film for children but I'm not sure how well it will hold up for adults. The Blu-ray boasts impressive Picture Quality, average Audio and nearly nothing worthwhile in the Special Features section. Makes this release a tossup for me - great little film but lacking in the department where kids care the most - features.