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How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)Strap in for some hilariously awkward moments in dating!  We follow Alice (Dakota Johnson) who’s recently broken up with her boyfriend of 4 years to explore life as a single gal.  Being that she’s had a boyfriend all through college and most of high school, she’s worried that she’ll miss out on everything life has to offer if she remains on her current path.  She ventures to New York to start an entry level job where she meets Robin (Rebel Wilson) who takes her under her wing to expose her to the “wild side” of single life.  Meanwhile, her older sister Meg (Leslie Man), a doctor and self described independent woman, wrestles with the idea of putting her career goals on hold to start a family.

How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

 

Film:
When I first saw the trailer for this movie it seemed like it would have a few funny moments, but on a whole it would pretty much follow the traditional Rom-Com formula.  You know, girl meets boy, they have some magical moment but alas, there’s just one thing standing in between them a true happiness.  I am overjoyed to say that I was wholeheartedly mistaken!  This movie is friggin’ hilarious!  You could probably give most of the credit to Robin (Rebel Wilson), but Meg (Leslie Man) does her fair share of scene stealing as well.Normally with a character such as Wilson’s who shoulders most of the jokes tends to be pretty one dimensional.  Luckily we’re treated to a refreshing take on such a worn out concept.  Wilson’s character actually take’s a surprising arch that doesn’t leave her “shamed” for what makes her happy.  That’s another thing I really like about this film; at no point does the movie “look down” at any of the characters for being who they are or, at least for the most part, try to CHANGE them.  With movies like this you often run into scenes where the film comes to a grinding halt just to have a character realize how much of a terrible person they are.
*

The first time Lucy (Alison Brie) meets Tom (Anders Holm) the bartender I got a sinking feeling that things were about to get SUPER predictable.  I won’t spoil anything, but let me just say that their story ends in a VERY satisfying way that I did not expect.  I’ll be honest, there are going to be a few instances while you watch this movie that might give you cause for concern that it might be heading down a boring rabbit hole.  But stick with it!  Those moments are only there to throw you off of the scent of what they really have in store later.  Trust me, it’s worth it!  They sort of introduce each character to seem like cardboard cut outs of what we all expect from the usual Rom-Com.  But they intent seems to sort of deconstruct those silly notions that we’ve all been force-fed for so many years.

How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

I gotta give a “slow clap” for what Christian Rein did with the cinematography.  The interstitial scenes that pop up as sort of a breather from the comedic moments are quite breathtaking to look at!  The imagery is just so rich and vibrant that in some ways it kinda reminded me of a music video.  The lighting combined with the camera movement and the blocking of the actors gives each of these scenes a level of quality that you usually only see in museums!  They really took their time to make the city of New York part of the cast itself.  They don’t treat it as just the backdrop of the film but rather as a means to continue the story without the use of dialogue.

Some people might describe this as a Rom-Com for men. And granted, some of the dialogue is the kind of stuff that you’d rarely hear women say.  But fundamentally it still very much maintains a female perspective and point of view.  Some of the best parts of this film occur when Alice (Dakota Johnson) is being schooled by Robin (Rebel Wilson) on the ins and outs of how to play the field.  I don’t wanna spoil it too much by going into detail, but suffice it to say I’ll be adding the term “Dick-Sand” to my vocabulary.

How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

Video:

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC (25.98 Mbps)

Resolution: 1080p

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity Detail: Crisp, strong, and consistent.  With such a broad color palette it would be easy to have things kinds mush together visually.  But they do an excellent job of maintain definition.

Depth: As I mentioned earlier the cinematography is beautiful to look at and the depth of the scenes holds of just as well to convey the grand landscapes of New York City.

Black Levels: Deep and good.  They seem to take some stylistic approaches to the darker tones but it only serves to enhance the quality of the scene.

Color Reproduction:  Excellent.  Everthing is lively, vibrant and pleasant to look at.

Flesh Tones: Again I feel like this might be another stylistic choice, but the skin tones have a particular quality that is never seen in nature.  But at no point did this take me out of the film.  This was another element that made the film resemble a music video.
Noise/Artifacts: Clean
 How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)
Audio:

Audio Formats: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps), Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Dynamics: Aside from the club and party scenes, there aren’t many opportunities to showcase the dynamics.  But overall everything seems pretty well balanced.
Low Frequency Extension:  Again, this is a rom-com, to their wasn’t much use for this feature.

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A.

Dialogue Reproduction: There are a lot of fast paced jokes that get thrown at us and do an great job of maintaining the quality of the actors words.
How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)
Extras:
  • The Pros and Cons of Being Single – This behind the scenes featurette includes interviews with the cast as they talk about the motivations behind their characters.
  • Rebel Rabble: A Look at Rebel Wilson – An in depth look at the unique comedic qualities that Wilson brings to both her character and the overall film.  We get interviews from both the cast and filmmakers.
  • The Best Idea Wins: The Humor Behind How to be Single – We get a look at the creative process of Screen Writer Abby Kohn and Director Christian Ditter as well as how they develop their particular brand of humor.
  • Rebel Wilson Outtakes

How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

Summary:
I really had a great time watching this.  I did NOT expect to be crying laughing through most it!  The main character Alice is kinda dull and dumb.  But when you think about it, that’s what she was supposed to represent in the film.  Just someone who’s brand new to the big bad world and doesn’t really know what she wants out of life.  And I can’t say enough about how much Rebel Wilson adds to this movie.  I’m not saying that without her the movie wouldn’t have been worth seeing.  But her presence definitely elevates the comedy to a level that it could not have reached without her. Lucy (Alison Brie) serves more as a side story that never really connects with the primary plot which focuses on Alice.  But her multiple awkward dating moments, plus her scenes with George (Jason Mantzoukas) make her journey a welcome addition to an already hilarious ride!
*

“How to Be Single” arrives on Blu-ray May 24th!

 How to Be Single (Blu-ray Review)

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Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

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