Remakes are fairly popular right now. Never are they the latest fad but we get some nearly ever year. Some are better, some are worse, and some are about the same. The In-Laws has just come to DVD and is a remake of a film by the same name that starred Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. That film had a few laughs and a few good moments (pretty much relying only on the chemistry between the two leads) and that was nearly all the film had going for it. The remake with Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas is about the same.
Jerry (Albert Brooks) is a Chicago podiatrist whose daughter (Lindsay Slone) is about to marry the son (Ryan Reynolds) of Steven Tobias (Michael Douglas) who just so happens to be an undercover CIA operative. Both dads are completely opposites in personality and mannerisms. The bond and have a few adventures which is what this film is all about. The son, daughter, and wives are just supporting players that don't get much time to shine. That's a waste as there are some talented people in this film. Brooks and Douglas go all out and work off each other great, but the material is so-so at best and those guys can only do so much. As the film primarily focuses on them it is good that they can carry it but it only works so well.
The In-Laws is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen courtesy of Warner Home Entertainment. Typical of Warner this is a sharp looking transfer that is quite visually pleasing. The print is highly clean with quality black level and vibrant colors. Detail is above average which really gives this one a very film like look.
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 features a rather impressive amount of surround activity for a film of this genre. Separation among the front and rears and left to right is done very effectively. For a comedy film this is very much an above average audio track.
A number of supplemental features have been included on this release. Director Andrew Fleming provides a screen specific audio commentary that is very refreshing in terms of his candor and aspirations. He realizes that it didn't do that well and what he wanted to achieve didn't quite happened, but that doesn't stop him from talking about what he tried hard for and what worked and what didn't.
Also present is a gag reel, 2 deleted/extended scenes, some alternate scenes, and trailers for this film as well as the original film.
The In-Laws, this new version, is about on par with the first film. There are some laughs here and there, some really funny ones, but as a whole the film doesn't mesh that well. It seems like they could have gone further but didn't. This one I would have to say is a good rental title just to experience the few good moments. The DVD by Warner is a great release with an above average transfer and audio track. Comedy films usually get a bit slighted in those areas but such is not the case here. Add in a few extras and you have a well rounded release. Too bad the film isn't up to par with the actual DVD.