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She’s Having A Baby (Blu-ray Review)

Through a 5-film Blu-ray collection, Paramount is filling in some gaps in the John Hughes filmography on the format.  Like Some Kind of Wonderful, 1988’s She’s Having A Baby is getting is time in the Blu-ray spotlight finally with this new set as well.  Sadly, no new bonus materials have been done for this one, however, there’s a terrific interview that star Kevin Bacon did with John Hughes from around the time this film came out that is included here (Or ported over).  She’s Having A Baby (I feel like this title needs to be super expressive when you say it) is is another blind spot in my John Hughes watching, so I’m happy to be tackling it on a good format for this review.  You can own the film as part of the John Hughes 5-Movie Collection (Which also has Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Some Kind of Wonderful) when it arrives February 23rd. Its available for pre-order using the paid Amazon Associate’s link following the review.

Film

Jake (Kevin Bacon) and Kristy Briggs (Elizabeth McGovern) have made the leap from high school sweethearts to newlyweds, but married life is not what Jake expected. While he fantasizes about a dream girl and envies the lifestyle of his single best friend (Alec Baldwin), Kristy is ready to have a baby. Instead of sharing this with Jake, she opts to secretly stop taking birth control. However, Kristy comes clean after failing to become pregnant, prompting Jake to go to a fertility clinic.

She’s Having A Baby feels like a very personal effort from John Hughes. I know most of his writing likely come from experience and those he’s met along the way, but this one feels very specific.  It feels like Hughes playing through a journey in his own mind. While some of the characters actions and choices don’t appear to be the greatest, the feeling is at least genuine and honest. Hughes is owning up his own perfections on display in what many would shy away from in embarrassment. Hughes lays it all on the table here.

One aspect of She’s Having A Baby is its storytelling motif that feels quite ahead of its time. There are lot of daydreaming sidebars as well as zany fantastical numbers that wouldn’t be a norm in entertainment or pop culture til later. I’m not laying claim that Hughes invented any of this, just that the way he goes about it feels familiar. Down the road, shows like The Simpsons, Clerks: The Animated Series, Family Guy, Titus and Grounded For Life would all start regularly using these devices and we still have them as such today. In a way, they’ve inspired the meme/gif culture as well.

While not perfect, the film is a funny, thoughtful coming of age that endears and pulls at the heartstrings in all the right moments. Kevin Bacon absolutely shines here as he’s asked to take part in every single frame. There’s fun, there’s drama, there’s happiness and there are also big laughs. While this one merely lands on “good”, it feels like this was a very important project for John Hughes and the end credits non-stop cameo reel feels like he was going all in. Nonetheless, its definitely one to see and or revisit again if its been too long.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/DetailShe’s Having A Baby debuts on Blu-ray with what I’m assuming is a 2K transfer. Its image quality is comparable to that of Some Kind of Wonderful. Its got a dingy, murky “realism” to how it was lit and shot. Details are overall pretty rock solid and the image keeps a healthy layer of grain that adds that filmic print touch to it. Overall, yes, this could be improved, but what we are given is overall probably good enough and the best we are going to get for some time.

Depth:  The image has a decent depth of field with some solid areas of pushback and scale on display be it indoors or outdoors. Movements are cinematic and smooth with no motion distortion issues.

Black Levels: Blacks are plenty deep, allowing the grain to present itself more noticeably in the darker areas. No real issues occur with information loss, but it does hover in that area. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  This is a kind of a dingier “real life” looking aesthetic, but those normal colors have some good thick, boldness to them. When a lit sign, fabric, clothing or art require some pop the contrast allows it to pop.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and texture is pretty discernible from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, German 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, German, French

DynamicsShe’s Having A Baby debuts with a solid 5.1 mix in the TrueHD form. Its a front heavy design, but it does have a good balance with a free, spacious separation between the effects, music and vocals. This probably could’ve served as a 2.0 mix, but the little bit that makes it 5.1 is appreciated.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Nothing too deep, but some nice complimentary bumps goes with natural effects as well as the drum and bass in the score and music featured in the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: The audio mix hangs out mainly in the front end, but there are some nice additions from the rear channels and concert like moments where everyone contributes together. Sound travel is accurate and works back and forth with some good ease.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

She’s Having A Baby comes as a part of the John Hughes Collection 5-film Blu-ray set. In the set it has its own disc. A redeemable digital copy code for the movie is included in that set.

From The Archives: Kevin Bacon Interviews John Hughes (SD, 24:10) – Complete with a timecode running at the bottom, this was brushed upon on the Some Kind of Wonderful disc, but there is more here.

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:14)

Summary

She’s Having A Baby is a bit of a touching, honest outing with a nice mixture of laughs and drama. The transfer on the film is solid enough and the audio is pretty good as well. It includes a nice ported over extra, but otherwise nothing else exclusive to the Blu-ray release. Considering the fair price on the set that includes this one and another previously unreleased Hughes movie (To go along with the very new Pretty In Pink disc), its pretty easy to upgrade and double dip on Ferris or Planes, Trains if you already own them.

She’s Having A Baby is only available as part of the John Hughes 5-Movie Collection

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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