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October 10, 2008
Made of Honor Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
1/5/200824/9/2008Sony PicturesPaul Weiland
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MPatrick Dempsey

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Michelle Monaghan and Patrick Dempsey.

Chick flick alert time folks. Yes, this is a romantic comedy and generally I would be avoiding it like the plague, but the life of a reviewer often means you travel down paths you don't want to take. Sometimes, though, those paths aren't so bad and that is the case here. Dare I say it Made of Honor isn't the boring drivel I was expecting, and was actually quite watchable. That's still not saying this is a great movie though, but we'll get onto that soon...

For Tom, life is good: he's sexy and successful and knows he can always rely on his best friend Hannah. When Hannah goes to Scotland on a six-week business trip, Tom is stunned to realise how empty his life is without her. He resolves that when she gets back, he'll ask Hannah to marry him -- but is floored when he finds that she has become engaged to a handsome and wealthy Scotsman and plans to move overseas. When Hannah asks Tom to be her "maid" of honour, he reluctantly agrees to fill the role... but only so he can attempt to woo Hannah and stop the wedding before it's too late.

Why is it that romantic comedies are so predicatble. No I'm not talking about the always obvious endings, but even the setups, and many of the jokes that you'll find along the way. The director Paul Weiland isn't new to comedies either having directed four episodes of Mr Bean as well as Blackadder: Back and Forth. Sadly this movie really fails to capture many of those belly laugh type moments with only a few chuckles here and there.

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Michelle Monaghan as Hannah in Made of Honor.
While this isn't the most original, or well scripted of romantic comedies, it does have one key ingredient that makes it work - the two lead actors. Both Patrick Dempsey as Tom Bailey and Michelle Monaghan as Hannah really do have a great rapport, and the chemistry is there for all to see. Michelle Monaghan in particular has a charm and personality to her that has the potential to launch her acting career into the stratosphere. We've already seen here in Mission Impossible III, and can currently be see in cinemas as one of the leads in the very entertaining Eagle Eye.

Supporting cast are also pretty entertaining especially Tom's friends and the Scottish townsfolk. We must point out that, sadly, this was screen legend Sydney Pollack's final acting role and while his actual screen time is limited, he is as genuine, and brilliant as ever.

One thing that certainly did surprise me was the rating on this movie. I was quite astonished to discover this was has an M rating in Australia (recommended for those ages 15 and higher) when there is no nudity, almost no swearing besides the odd 'asshole' and almost no violence although there were some sexually suggestive scenes (including one with some 'thunderbeads'). Still, how this movie gets slapped with an M rating while The Spiderwick Chronicles (which we reviewed yesterday) gets a PG rating is beyond me.

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The guys are working with the "Made".
Made of Honor isn't the best romantic comedy ever, but with likable characters, some great cinematography (particularly in Scotland) and a likable, but predicable, outcome this is a feel good movie that is worth a look.

The Blu-Ray version of Made of Honor is encoded at 1080p in the films original aspect ration of 2.35:1 suing the AVC MPEG-4 codec and typically hovers with a bitrate around 30Mbps which is pretty high. Initial impressions were very concerning with some black crush apparent - have a look at the back of Tom's head when he first talks to Hannah in the bedroom. There is also a bit of an inconsistent level of grain and noise in the picture.

Fortunately though the movie does seem to pick up and the further you get into the it the better it seems to look with some of the scenery in Scotland looking absolutely gorgeous including wonderful green montains, gorgeous lakes and wonderful buildings including castles. The picture is free of any film artifacts, as well as compression artifacting.

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Sydney Pollack's in his last acting role.
Yet again Sony Pictures have impressed with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track on this disc which ensures it matches the audio quality of the theatres. As you can imagine though this is hardly the movie to prove the quality of the audio format, or your brand new amplifier. Still the dialogue is crystal clear and the music is suitably lively. The way they play "Gold Digger" by Kanye West at Tom's fathers wedding is brilliant and really shakes the room as you'd expect.

Other languages on this disc include English Descriptive Service, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Turkish and Ukranian Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps. There was some difference in quality with the Turkish track seeming to loose much of the ambient sounds while the Polish track retained the English voices, and meerly dubbed the Polish voices over the top. The Made of Honor Blu-Ray disc contains subtitles in English, English SDH, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croation, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Norweigian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, and Swedish. Subtitles are also available for the commentary in several languages.

I never really expected much in the way of extras on this Blu-Ray disc and, indeed, there is little to get excited about besides a half decent audio commentary. The disc includes connection to Sony's BD-Live (basically a website with promotional traliers etc), but there's nothing new there worth worrying about. Here we go then...

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Oww! You're breaking my back!
Audio Commentary by Director Paul Weiland: It's nice to hear a director enthused about his own product, but there isn't much here of any real substance to get you excited. It would have been nice to have Patrick and Michelle available for the commentary as you sense they could have provided a bit more 'light heartedness'.

Save the Date: The Making of Made of Honour (12:54/HD): While fairly promotional this is still a somewhat interesting piece about making the movie with some behind the scenes footage.

Three Weddings and a Skyline (6:49/HD): A look at the sets and filming of the wedding sequences with production designer Kalina Ivanov. Brief, and only mildly interesting.

Deleted Scenes (3:14/HD): The two deleted scenes really are quite poor with the larger of the two simply offering an extension of the caber toss scene from the movie. Presented in Standard Definition these add nothing to the story and aren't really worth watching either.

Trailers (HD): Trailers for Hancock, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, Jane Austen Book Club and an Promo clip for Blu-Ray and High Definition.

After all the negativity I'd heard from friends and read online about this movie I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed it. No, it's not perfect, nor is it a great love story, but it's not a complete disaster either. Sony Pictures have presented this disc with a solid transfer, and a couple of extras. Made of Honor is worth a look if you're after a romantic night watching a Blu-Ray movie.

Review By: Dave Warner


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