What Happens in Vegas (2008) - Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Fox || PG13 - 101 minutes - $39.98 || August 26, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-08-29


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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: Tom Vaughan
Writer(s): Dana Fox (written by)
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Rob Corddry, Treat Williams, Dennis Miller, Queen Latifah


Theatrical Release Date: May 9, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Sitting Down with Cameron and Ashton
  • DVD Extra Time with Zach Galifionakis
  • From the Law Firm of Stephen J. Hader, Esq.
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Bottoms Up! - An Intoxicating Vegas Experience
  • Digital Copy
  • Easter Egg


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean

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.::THE FILM::.

The movie title, What Happens in Vegas borrows the now well known slogan Sin City utilizes in its marketing, unfortunately the filmmakers ignored the last part and, in the case of this romantic-comedy, was probably the most important and should have been followed: “What happens in Vegas... STAYS IN VEGAS”.

What Happens in Vegas is not only yet another half-baked, ordinary and forgettable romantic comedy but it’s a movie that takes a premise, about a recently fired man (Kutcher) hooks up for a night of partying with a recently dumped woman (Diaz) and the two wake up the next morning hitched, and stretch to 100 minutes of stale and unfunny material that was better suited for a sitcom. Hell, I’m sure a show like “Friends” probably did this plot once or twice before. Like Fool’s Gold before, the recent stint of rom-coms do not have the magic or the laughs of those of the past. Perhaps I’ve become more cynical with each passing year but neither Gold nor Vegas have anything other than a loose storyline and flat jokes. Add in the fact that Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher never really clicked on screen, and you’ve got a movie that has absolutely nothing going for it.

In any case, the rest of the so-called plotline finds Jack Fuller and Joy McNally married but before they could get it annulled, Jack, using Joy’s quarter, wins a $3 million jackpot and the judge (Dennis Miller playing basically himself, including a rant), being the old fashioned guy he is, forces the couple to live as man and wife for six months before he will make a judgment of who gets the money. As I’m sure you know, “hilarity” ensues.

What Happens in Vegas is probably the worst kind of movie out there. No, it’s not terrible, in fact I will admit there were a couple times I did laugh, but unlike some of these truly awful comedies, you know they’re terrible and in fact may even remember it for its awfulness. But in this case, What Happens in Vegas is just another ordinary and forgettable romantic comedy destined for its time in the Wal-Mart dump bins.

The problem with the story is you have two characters that hate each other and will do just about anything to get the full $3 million, so each character spends a better part of the movie doing whatever they can to sabotage one another. Of course, you know what happens next. Soon they start to see each other in a different light and maybe, just maybe, they could have actual feelings for the other. But I didn’t buy that latter half of the story at all and when you finally get to that final and oh so predictable scene, it didn’t feel true, even in the world where a judge does this inane decree (whether it happens or not, is still inane).

Listen (err, read), I like both of these actors. Unlike some, I think Ashton Kutcher is a half-decent and funny actor. Even during his obnoxious days on “Punk’d”, I still myself laughing (though his part here seemed more suited to Seth Rogen). And sweet Cameron Diaz can play that girl next door type of personality like no one else. She’s a little cooky but you still can like her. But together and with this script by Dana Fox, whose feature debut was another average rom-com called The Wedding Date, What Happens in Vegas isn’t worth anyone’s time.

If you’re desperate for a rom-com and refuse to watch older classics like An Affair to Remember or the retelling of Sleepless in Seattle, then go right ahead and rent this, otherwise I think you can safely pass this by along with all the rest like Fool’s Gold.

The movie does have some solid supporting talent with Lake Bell (Over Her Dead Body, yeah, I know), Dennis Farina (Get Shorty), Dennis Miller (Bordello of Blood), Treat (The Substitute 2-8) Williams and Queen Latifah (Chicago). It was also directed by Tom Vaughan the man behind... um... nothing I ever heard of outside episodes of “Big Love” and “John from Cincinnati”, although I doubt even in more capable hands it would’ve made a difference.

In the end, What Happens in Vegas is an average movie with absolutely no memorable moments or characters. Diaz and Kutcher, as funny as they can be with the right script, have no chemistry together and the script itself is devoid of any truly funny moments and the plotline is something derived from an episode of “Friends” or something.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The menu system on the Blu-ray isn’t the greatest. At first it’s just a common display with Play Movie, Scenes, Language and Features, but unlike some BDs and DVDs, when you click for the features, a small bubble pops up and you must scroll one by one to get to the next rather than a bigger bubble with everything or a separate page.

The first feature on this “Jackpot Edition” is a feature commentary with director Tom Vaughan and editor Matt Friedman. The track isn’t anything outstanding but Vaughan does give a good amount of behind-the-camera details from filming locations to reshoots.

Sitting Down with Cameron and Ashton (8:20) – Probably one of the more boring features, stars Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, sitting in a suite overlooking Las Vegas, ask one another questions about the production or real life things such as marriage and the whole “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.

DVD Extra Time with Zach Galifianakis (8:14) – This is a hilarious interview with director Vaughan and Galifianakis (who had a small supporting role) where Vaughan is asked a series of random and some ridiculous questions. Honestly, this was actually funnier than the feature itself!

From the Law Firm of Stephen J. Hader, Esq. (2:30) – Funny enough spoof on all those lawyer commercials you see on TV.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (7:57) – These are a selection of (6) scenes that didn’t make the cut into a movie that was already 40-minutes too long. Probably the smartest thing the filmmaker did...

Gag Reel (5:09) – You get your usual flubbed lines and, with Cameron Diaz, a case of the giggles in response to an improvised line.

Easter Egg (1:35) - Well, I guess this isn’t technically an easter egg since I found it while scrolling through the features, but it’s a series of alternate lines (many through ADR) for one scene. It got old pretty quick.

Bottoms Up! — An Intoxicating Vegas Experience – This is a drinking game for you and all your friends to play. There are rules of when to drink, though I say go without rules and drink anyway, it’ll make the time pass much quicker. Wahoo! We’re going streaking! ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

This “Jackpot Edition” also comes with a second disc with the digital copy of What Happens in Vegas, something I for sure will not use. Plus, there is a “Inside Look” at an upcoming Fox movie, Marley & Me starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. Unless I missed something, it was just a teaser trailer...



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

What Happens in Vegas comes to Blu-ray on a 50GB (AVC codec), single layer disc, in 1080p high-definition and in its OAR of 2.35. The picture looks pretty good as any newer film should, yet at the same time I’m not a big proponent for romantic-comedies in HD. Personal preference aside, the colors seems about right with bright Vegas-like colors and, from my POV, the skin tones look OK. I don’t think this is a fantastic HD transfer, but it’s decent enough. Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are also available along with Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean subtitles.

Fox provides this Blu-ray disc with a DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio which, to me, seems like overkill for a movie like this. All the dialogue is very clear and coming through the center speaker while the selection of pop songs gets blasted through the other channels. In fact, more than once I had to adjust the volume as the music got too loud for my ears but then the dialogue too soft with the volume turned down.



.::OVERALL::.

What Happens in Vegas is certainly NOT one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year nor is it a terrible romantic-comedy, but with these two star whom have no chemistry with one another and a story that went on 40-minutes too long. At the core, the film is an average rom-com and an all around forgettable movie.