Somehow I forgot to review this film after watching it. Guess it fell through the cracks of my brain. So to make up for lost time here at last is a review for 50 First Dates. I guess though it probably was forgotten by me as the film itself is well one that is easily forgotten. The story is not too well developed, and the impression the trailer gives you is not quite what this film is about in terms of how it gets handled. Honestly the film isn't even too funny. The supporting cast is what makes the few laughs work and without them this would have been a complete dud. Keeping in tune with the idea that the worse a film is the better its DVD will turn out, 50 First Dates makes for a great DVD with a striking transfer and a better than average 5.1 mix for a comedy film.
Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) is a woman with no short term memory thanks to a car accident. Each day she awakes to not recall the last one, so basically everyday plays out the same for her as her father and brother (Sean Astin) try to keep her condition from coming up so that she is never distressed. In comes one night stand king Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) who gets a change of heart after meeting Lucy and learning of her sad condition. So begins Henry's journey to try and win over Lucy and deal with her problem of waking up the next day and not remembering Henry at all. Somewhat charming and good hearted, the film just doesn't flow that well and the laughs are too few and far between to make this a classic of any sort.
50 First Dates is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. The image is terrific in all regards. Sharpness is high, detail is flowing in every scene, and grayscale settings could not be any better. Colors are bold, vibrant, and just terrific. This is one transfer that really pushes the boundary of what DVD's current resolution has to offer. Nothing negative to point out at all, as everything is how it should be. From interior shots to exterior ones, enhancement and halos and all that jazz is really hardly anywhere to be seen. Simply put this is a heck of a transfer.
Audio comes in the form of a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The mix is pure comedy 5.1 in design and execution. What that means is the mix is front heavy with some light surround ambience. I will give it a few props for separating out a lot of the surrounds sounds that are present instead of lopping them together like so many other comedy tracks tend to do. Dialogue was clear, the fidelity was good, and like the video I have no complaints at all.
Extras begin with an audio commentary by director Peter Segal along with actress Drew Barrymore. The two cover a wide array of topics, with Segal going technical and Drew just adding in some stuff about how she works a character and getting to work with Sandler.
Next comes some featurettes. The Dating Scene (20m) covers a bunch about Hawaii and well how easy it is to date someone there. Talkin' Pidgin (5m) is well about what you would expect, with all the included lingo. Last is Reel Comedy from Comedy Central (24m).
Beyond the featurettes you will find a blooper reel and about 5 minutes of deleted material with optional commentary from Segal. Brining up the rear is a TV spot for Sandler's new album, 3 music videos, filmographies, and a number of trailers for other Columbia films of similar content.
To me Sandler is resting too much on his laurels. While Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore are far from great classics of comedy, both are films that just keep you laughing and for all the stupidity going on. Both have repeatability stamped all over them. Every other film Sandler has done has, at least to me, become more and more mediocre with fewer laughs. He seems too wrapped up in a formula now for these types of films. I guess he needs to be an ass in his next film, where you won't like him, and then he can slowly become likable. That would be different I guess. Well sort of. 50 First Dates is a great looking and sounding DVD and while not the best film out there it would do just fine as a rental.
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