Mamma Mia! (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Musical / Romance
Universal || PG13 - 109 minutes - $39.98 || December 16, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-12-24


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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: Phyllida Lloyd
Writer(s): Catherine Johnson (musical book / screenplay)
Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper


Theatrical Release Date: July 18, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • U-Control
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Deleted Musical Number
  • 7 Featurettes
  • Outtakes
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I'm not ashamed to admit I like ABBA - nay - love ABBA. I've been a big fan of their music for years and if you ever catch me at the Gym or in my car you are bound to hear some sort of ABBA music playing at some point in time. There is something soothing - and energetic - about their music that always brings me in. Whether it is "Dancing Queen", "Take a Chance on Me", "S.O.S." or my personal favorite "Fernando".

Sophie, on the eve of her Wedding, decides to invite three men to her wedding - not knowing which one is truly her father. Sometime before, she found her motherís diary and noticed that her mother had slept with three different men in a short period of time and one of them could possibly be her true father. Her mother never told any of the men that she had a child, so Sophie did what any young girl would do on her wedding day - try and figure it out.

The three men, Harry (Firth), Sam (Brosnan) and Bill (Skarsgard) arrive together on the same boat for the mysterious wedding not really knowing exactly why they were invited. After a short amount of time they once again become reacquainted with their former lover, Donna (Streep). With the help of some clues, and of course ABBA, the film plays out in what I would call a very predictable plot.

I've never really been a huge fan of musicals but was willing to give this one a shot simply because of ABBA. While I wasn't in love with the film, I wasn't running away from it. I enjoyed the (very predictable) plot and while I was not in love with some of the performances (Brosnan) I still think itís a very enjoyable film.

Most of the film is a musical - sure there is some dialog here and there - but you should fully expect the characters to suddenly burst into song at almost any given moment. This became a bit frustrating at times because it seemed to bog down the plot with some useless scenes (Baranski, Walters, Cooper).

Now on to the good and bad... of singing. Seyfried and Streep did an amazing job in my opinion. Seyfried to me is the standout - a very nice voice and she can carry her own if needed (check out the deleted Musical Scene). The worst part would be the men, namely Brosnan. His voice is just painful to the ears and I eventually had to turn down the volume because it became so utterly bad.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Features are presented in SD unless otherwise noted. Also included is a very sparkly Slip Cover.

Feature Commentary with Director Phyllida Lloyd

U-Control (MyScenes, My Chat, My Movie Commentary, Behind the Hits, Picture-in-Picture) - Universal includes their signature once more, and the only real thing of importance here is the PiP track which incorporates some of the information from the features below along with new additional scenes. "Behind the Hits" gives some more information on the ABBA songs in the film (and who doesn't love ABBA?). Then we get to the oh so dreadful "My Commentary" where you get to ó *sigh* ó record your own commentary on the film and upload so others can watch it (look for mine soon!). That's followed by "My Chat" where you can chat with your friends while watching the film via your remote (woo hoo!) and the ever popular "My Scenes" where you can share your favorite clips with all your Blu-ray friends.

Deleted Scenes (8 Minutes), Deleted Musical Number: "The Name Of The Game" (3 Minutes; HD) - A handful of scenes cut from the already bloated film which do not add up to much substance. The musical number is pretty entertaining though (mostly Seyfried), and being presented in HD is a surprise.

The Making of Mamma Mia:
- Birthing Mamma Mia! (5 Minutes; HD)
- The Film making (9 Minutes; HD)
- Meet The Cast (10 Minutes; HD)

- - All three of these features give some insight into the development of the film as well as numerous rehearsals (the agony...) and green screen process. Fans of the film will enjoy this...

Anatomy of a Musical Number: "Lay All Your Love on Me" (5:42) (HD) - A more drawn out look at the musical number "Lay All Your Love On Me". I really love Seyfried, but this was bad.

Becoming A Singer (10:55) (HD) - This is brutal to watch...rehearsal footage yet again and they don't seem to know exactly what to do.

Also included are Outtakes (2 Minutes), BjŲrn Ulvaeus Cameo (2 Minutes), "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" Music Video (4 Minutes), A Look Inside Mamma Mia! (3 Minutes; HD) and, of course, a Digital Copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Mamma Mia! is presented in 2.40:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. Picture quality is striking - colors are incredibly vibrant (as they should be considering how often bright blues were used) and blacks are very dark. I was most impressed with the numerous visuals of the island and beach - all of which look very good.

Universal has included an English DTS MA 5.1 track as well as standard DTS 5.1 in French and Spanish. For a musical, I was hoping for a bit more 'oomph' to it. Don't get me wrong, the film sounds great, but considering the film takes use of so many ABBA songs and the fact that rears were active most of the time, the dynamics were just not there as much as I would want. Even so, dialog is crystal clear (same with the songs) and this is yet another great sounding Universal title.



.::OVERALL::.

Mamma Mia! is definitely not for everyone. Itís a musical at heart and it never hides this fact. I still found the plot to be enjoyable, most of the musical performances decent and with a splattering of special features and impressive picture and audio quality I would consider this one a keeper.