Little Miss Sunshine (2006) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Fox || R - 101 minutes - $34.98 || February 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-02-24


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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: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Writer(s): Michael Arndt (written by)
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin


Theatrical Release Date: August 18, 2006


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • 6 Featurettes
  • Alternate Endings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Poster Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1: English; DTS 5.1: French, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot Summary: By anyone's standards, the Hoover family consists of some decidedly odd characters. There's Richard (Greg Kinnear), a motivational speaker whose career downslide is starting to give the lie to his own philosophy; his wife Sheryl (Toni Collette), who's losing patience with both his crisis and their marriage; their teenage son Dwayne, who worships Nietzsche and has taken a vow of silence until he's old enough to become a fighter pilot; Sheryl's brother Frank (Steve Carell), a Proust scholar who lost a MacArthur grant and his lover but failed in his attempt to lose his life; Grandpa (Alan Arkin), who's been kicked out of his nursing home for snorting heroin; and Olive (Abigail Breslin), Richard and Sheryl's seven-year-old daughter, who isn't going to let a little weight problem get in the way of her winning the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. She's been rehearsing her talent program with Grandpa and seems sure to win, so the family hops into a VW bus and drives Olive to the pageant for a chance to fulfill her dreams.

Not sure what it is, but I'm a huge fan of the whole "dysfunctional family" genre. Not only did I enjoy this film, but others like it (Smart People). Something about the way they all seem to interact with each other - clashing personalities and views - makes for an entertaining story.

Filled to the rim with personality quirks and character traits I can't help but watch as each member of the family slowly starts their own train crash at some point in the film. Whether it be Frank who is overcoming his recent suicide attempt or Dwayne realizing he can't do what he wants in life somehow - in some shape or form - you can relate to how these characters feel.

I can't stress how much Little Miss Sunshine is worth a watch. At this point I've seen the film several times (and once again enjoyed the fact that some of it was shot in my surrounding area) and each time I leave the film liking or identifying with one of the characters even more. A very tight, well written scripts and perfect casting choices.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

Commentary by Michael Arndt with Directors Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

Alternate Endings (5 Minutes; SD) - A whopping 4 alternate endings are included and most change the outcome of the film. After viewing all... I'm glad the film ended the way it did.

Everything below are ** Blu-ray Exclusives **

Deleted Scenes (8 Minutes; Partial SD/HD) - A big bleh here. Nothing more than some throwaway scenes. Worth a watch...but nothing that would have worked in the film.

The Making of Little Miss Sunshine (19 Minutes; SD) & Who Are The Hoovers? (17 Minutes; SD)


- - Both of these are worth a look. While the Making of tends to focus a bit too much on the talking head "x was awesome to work with" it does actually have some insight into the film. The other feature provides some background on all the main characters.

Webisodes (25:29; SD) - Definitely an odd feature...this has mostly Carell cracking jokes at himself.

Rounding out the disc is No One Gets Left Behind: The Music of Little Miss Sunshine (10 Minutes; SD), a Poster Gallery, "Till The End Of Time" Performed by Devotchka (4 Minutes; HD), Soundtrack Spot (1 Minute; SD), Do You Wanna Talk? (1 Minute; SD) and "We're Gonna Make It.." A Session with Mychael Danna & Devotchka (3 Minutes; SD).

Fox finally delivered on bringing out a Special Edition of the film and for now, all these features are exclusive to Blu-ray. Wonder why the DVD never got a re-release?



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Little Miss Sunshine is presented in 2.40:1 (AVC) on a 50GB Disc. Wow! The DVD release looked good (especially up converted) but the Blu-ray looks like Fox really went the extra mile here. Colors are vibrant, some scratches and marks are gone and the Yellow VW Bus never looked so good. Fantastic job for an indie film.

Fox has included an English 5.1 DTS MA track for this release. Like the audio, Fox has certainly upped everything for the Blu-ray release as dialog sounds a bit more balanced. The Soundtrack has never sounded so good (I own the CD) and its always a treat to listen to "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens in lossless. Other audio options include DTS in Portuguese and Spanish and a DD5.1 French track.



.::OVERALL::.

One of the best films I've seen coming from the Fox 'indie' label and this one is worth a purchase on Blu-ray. Tons of new special features, spectacular picture and audio quality and a great film to boot!