Grumpy Old Men/Grumpier Old Men (1993) - Comedy Double Feature [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 204 minutes - $24.98 || February 23, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-02-28


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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: Donald Petrie, Howard Deutch
Writer(s): Mark Steven Johnson (written by)
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margaret, Sophia Lauren, Kevin Pollak, Daryl Hannah, Ossie Davis, Burgess Meredith


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

A year after already releasing Grumpy Old Men on the Blu-ray format, they are re-releasing it again this time with the underrated sequel, Grumpier Old Men. Most of the time this would anger me, but given the low SRP ($24.98 at the time of this writing), if the price gets low enough (~$12), it will be worth picking up just for the sequel (more later).

In any case, I already reviewed the original film last year, so hereís an excerpt from that review:

Grumpy Old Men (1993) Ė **** / *****

One cannot help but admire the talents for Lemmon and Matthau, you canít find that comedic chemistry very often and there are only a few over the past few decades (the one that immediately springs to mind is Ed McMahon/Johnny Carson and Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis). But the Lemmon/Matthau duo, since their beginnings in Billy Wilderís The Fortune Cookie (1966) followed by a true classic, and one that the Matthau-Lemmon pairing are most known for, The Odd Couple (1968). The two would go on to co-star in 8 other movies together including sequels The Odd Couple II and Grumpier Old Men. The Odd Couple II would in fact be their last screen presence together and although the movie could not capture the magic of the original, itís only fitting that what really started their onscreen duel would be their last.

This film also marks the writing debut of Mark Steven Johnson, yes the same man behind Daredevil and the woeful Ghost Rider. Obviously this screenplay works because of Matthau and Lemmon, but if even half of the sharp and witty dialogue was his, I wish heíd go back to writing comedy (although to be fair, the Daredevil directorís cut wasnít too bad)...

Grumpy Old Men, though, is probably right up there with The Odd Couple in showing just how, despite their cynical and angry characters, great the two worked together. Moron! Putz!

Grumpier Old Men (1995) Ė ***ĺ / *****

After the success of the original, managing a quite respectable $70 million (thatís $127 million adjusted), a sequel wasnít far behind as there was more story to be told this time giving Max his own love story after letting Gus get Ariel. Most of the time these kind of plots would be contrived but thanks to the absolutely fantastic charisma and on-screen and off-screen friendship between two pros, it makes the entire film a treat.

Adding to the ensemble of Matthau, Lemmon and Ann-Margaret is the sultry and seductive Sophia Lauren as Maxís love interest, Maria Sophia Coletta Ragetti. As with any good love story, and one with ďGrumpyĒ in the title, you get the hilarious hate-love-hate-love aspect mixed in with the love-hate between best friends and a subplot involving their kids impending nuptials. Together, itís a recipe for one heck of a movie and one of those rare sequels that actually matches the original (and in some peopleís opinions, surpasses it).

If you have yet, for some reason, not seen the fun Matthau/Lemmon bitterness and friendship, you need to check both of these films out (along with The Odd Couple, of course) as you will not see much better of a pairing than these two and I doubt youíll see it again. On a side note: this was also a fond and fitting farewell to Burgess Meredith as it was his final film.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Well, no features for either film, so Warner even dropped the theatrical trailer thatís available on the standalone Blu-ray for Grumpy Old Men...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The video for the original is no doubt the same (same VC-1 codec), but my thoughts are the same for both films. Both Grumpy and Grumpier Old Men come in 1080p high-definition and in their original 1.85 aspect ratio. The original Blu-ray release aside, you can now have both films in widescreen which has not been available on DVD. The picture itself overall looks quite good especially give the ages (17 and 15 years respectively). Obviously itís not going to pop off the screen like some of the more recent releases, but I was still impressed that it didnít show many flaws (dust and scratches) and the detail levels for both were pretty good.

Unlike the original release (Dolby TrueHD), Grumpy Old Men now sports a virtually identical 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. As I said in my original review: ďOf course it is front loaded and doesnít sound all that good, but again, itís acceptable for a film this ďoldĒ. It is a comedy so take that into consideration as it is strictly dialogue with only a scene or two of actual sound effects to go along with a comedic score.Ē I can also say this for Grumpier Old Men even though itís 5.1 channels instead. Again, itís mainly dialogue driven but you get some ambient noise from the front and rear speakers along with the score.



.::OVERALL::.

Although it does stink that Warner would release this not even a year after the standalone issue of Grumpy Old Men, the fairly low SRP and now seeing Grumpier Old Men in widescreen as it should have been all along makes this a worthy release. Iím pretty sure youíll be able to nab this at around $12 within a year at which point itís well worth picking up.