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June 7, 2009
Bride Wars Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
15/1/20093/6/2009FoxGary Winick
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MAnne Hathaway
Kate Hudson

THE MOVIE
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Kate and Anne in Bride Wars.

There is no denying that the two stars of Bride Wars, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, are both talented actors and gorgeous women. With two of the hottest stars in a movie together there was little doubt that it would find an audience, but was it worth their time? In our opinion, sadly, no. Still despite our opinions the movie managed to gross an impressive $114 million worldwide which isn't bad given the $US30 million production budget. But what's it about anyway?

Best friends Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have always dreamed of the perfect wedding at New York's famed Plaza Hotel. But when their nuptials are accidentally booked for the same date, one of them will just have to switch her plans, right? As if!

Admittedly romantic comedies aren't usually my cup of tea when it comes to movies and while this isn't simply about the romance, it certainly plays a key component as the two characters battle for the wedding of their dreams at the New York's Plaza Hotel. All the ingredients are there for a great movie, a good premise and two bankable stars. Why then aren't I glowing about this film?

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Kate Hudson in the wedding dress.
Unfortunately this movie has a weak script, a lack of witty dialogue, and some of the most uninteresting 'revenge' attacks between each of the two main characters to spoil the others wedding. Really, there is so little to admire about this movie. When you think about 'warring' people one need only look at War of the Roses with Michael Douglas or Kathleen Turner to she what a movie like this really should be like. Even the recent What Happens In Vegas with Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz manages to better this film, just.

Still, both Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson are two of my favourite female actors at the moment and there was hope that they could save the movie to an extent. Unfortunately even their good looks and charm can't drag this movie above mediocre. In fact the only reason to watch this movie is to see Anne Hathaway light up the screen - for the guys - a dance off in a strip club. That almost makes this movie worth the price of admission alone, but that was a rare standout moment among another 80 minutes of dullness.

Bride Wars is a forgettable movie that is a rental at best in my opinion. This isn't either actress' best work, not even close, and it's hard to recommend this, even to fans of chick flicks.

VIDEO
So perhaps the video quality will be a shining light then. Encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec at the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 Bride Wars is another solid transfer from Fox. With a bitrate that constantly hovers around 30Mbps there is plenty of room for the video quality to breathe and the transfer is wonderfully presented with natural skin tones and impressive levels of detail.

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A proposal for Anne Hathaway.
Having said that there is little here to really demonstrate the Blu-Ray format beyond the higher resolution. As expected for such a recent release the source material is pristine with no film artifacts, while the video compression demonstrates no issues either. Still, it lacks a real 'pop' and sparkle to elevate it beyond solid.

AUDIO
As a very dialogue driven movie there was never going to be anything too exciting happening with Bride Wars in the audio department. Encoded with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track there is some use of the surround sound, the dialogue is exceptionally clear and, on the very rare occasion it's used, the sub woofer kicks in but never to the point of becoming overwhelming. Case in point is the dancing at the strip club. As with the video though the presentation is less then stellar, and certainly not something you would use to demo your home theatre. Functional.

Other soundtracks on this disc include Spanish, German, Russian and (we think) Ukrainian DTS 5.1 tracks encoded at 768kbps. We sampled some of these briefly and didn't encounter any big issues. Subtitles are provided in a number of languages including English for the Hearing Impaired and they were accurate to the dialogue with good pacing for readability.

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Catching the wedding bouquet.
EXTRAS
One thing that always amuses me about releases such as this is that the movie is clean and censored without a single swear word, but when you get to the extras there are "F-bombs" dropped in several of the extras. I guess that’s why the disc is rated M as the movie was rated PG in cinemas and on DVD. Anyway onto the extras...

Pop-Up Trivia Track: Some mildly interesting facts are provided on this trivia track so if you've seen this movie before you may want to put this on.

Deleted Scenes (7:04/HD): This series of seven deleted and extended scenes doesn't really add anything to the story, with many containing gags that fall flatter then those in the movie. Still some interesting things that were cut from the movie.

Improvisations (2.47/HD): Several improvised scenes. Nothing too special really.

Meet me at the Plaza (6:47/HD): A look at the real Plaza hotel and some of the people that actually work there including some of the celebrity weddings that have taken place there.

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Anne Hathaway looks stunning.
The Perfect White Dress (4:37/HD): A short featurette which looks at selecting the dress for your wedding day. Trust me, at stores like these, they're too expensive!

In Character With Kate Hudson (2:15): A very short Fox Movie Channel Promotional piece with little information, and only in Standard Definition.

In Character WIth Anne Hathaway (3:23): As with the Kate Hudson clip this time we have an interview with Anne Hathaway. Again, it's a very short Fox Movie Channel Promotional piece with little information, in Standard Definition.

OVERALL
Even the two very likable stars can't save this movie from being flat, predictable and lacking some real laughs. The transfer is also a little sub-par and there are only a smattering of extras. One for fans of the movie to purchase, but for most others a rental would suffice.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
5/10
THE VIDEO
8/10
THE AUDIO
7/10
THE EXTRAS
2/10
OVERALL
5/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Fox. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.