MEET THE FOCKERS [2004/2010] [Blu-ray] [US Release] And You Thought Your Parents Embarrassing! Perfect Picture and Purest Digital Sound Available!
Domestic disaster looms for male nurse Greg Focker [Ben Stiller] when his straight-laced ex-CIA father-in-law [Robert De Niro] asks to meet his wildly unconventional Mum and Dad [Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman]. Its family bonding gone hysterical haywire, in this must-see comedy the critic are calling "A laugh riot!" says Larry King.
Cast: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson, Spencer Pickren and Bradley Pickren [Little Jack], Alanna Ubach, Ray Santiago, Tim Blake Nelson, Shelley Berman, Kali Rocha, Dorie Barton, Jack Plotnick, Wayne Thomas Yorke, B.J. Hansen, J.P. Manoux, Myra Turley, Vahe Bejan, Kathleen Gati, Angelo Tiffe, Kyle T. McNamee, Cedric Yarbrough, Max Hoffman, Benjamin Trueblood, Bruno Coon, Rock Deadrick, David Sutton, Berna Roberts, Victoria Chalaya (uncredited), Karen-Eileen Gordon (uncredited), Angie Jaree (uncredited), R. Martin Klein Allan Kolman (uncredited), Connie Richmond (uncredited), David Zimmerman (uncredited) and Jinx [the cat]
Director: Jay Roach
Producers: Jay Roach, Jane Rosenthal, Jon Poll, Nancy Tenenbaum and Robert De Niro
Screenplay: Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg
Composer: Randy Newman
Cinematography: John Schwartzman
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 DTS and Spanish: 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Running Time: 116 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ is a mild comedy with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, and was a surprise box office sensation when it was released in 2000, leading subsequently to preparations for a sequel, which was thought would never materialised. The sequel wasn't released until 4 years later, with the ingenious premise that, instead of focusing on Teri Polo's parents from the first film Jack Tiberius Byrnes [Robert De Niro] and Dina Byrnes [Blythe Danner], we'd visit Ben Stiller's parents, hence the title: 'Meet the Fockers.' Admittedly casting of Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman as Ben Stiller's hippie dippy parents was a stroke of genius. But the association of "genius" and ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ begins and ends there. I never saw it at the cinema, but I am glad I waited for this Blu-ray release.
The basic premise of the sequel is that Gaylord "Greg" Focker [Ben Stiller] is travelling with his soon-to-be-wife Teri Polo and her parents Jack Tiberius Byrnes [Robert De Niro] and Dina Byrnes [Blythe Danner] on their RV road trip to visit his parents. If you'll remember from the first film, Robert De Niro is a hard-nosed former CIA Agent, so there's a lot of stuff that involves him being uptight, hilarious, I know. The cat from the original film, Jinx, is also on-board the RV (for some unknown reason). Harkening back to the earlier film, the cat can flush the toilet. So if you're wondering if Dustin Hoffman's pint-sized Chihuahua will have a run-in with the cat, wherein the cat flushes the dog down the toilet, well, and my friends you are in for a real treat.
I was struck this time around by how weird it is that Ben Stiller was supposedly brought up by these incredibly sexually liberated parents, yet he himself is a total uptight dweeb [who I personally am not a great fan of this actor]. Also what's really crazy is that a lot of this second film concerns itself with a young child, in this case Ben Stiller and Teri Polo's nephew, who again is part of this road trip for reasons I can't entirely understand. So you have Robert De Niro and his wife reacting to the outrageous exploits of Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman; you have everyone reacting to a baby, and the baby reacting to everyone else; and you have a cat flushing a dog down a toilet, hilarious? One of the weirder subplots in the film is Robert De Niro becoming suspicious of Ben Stiller has illegitimately fathered a child a number of years ago. First off, who really cares? Secondly, it's just lazy plotting and it's the kind of broad silliness that the film often falls down on, but it doesn't make it any less annoying or trite.
Especially funny is Barbra Streisand assaulting Robert De Niro with an erotic massage and she also has great chemistry with a delightfully impish Dustin Hoffman. Sadly the writers don't fully exploit the clash between Dustin Hoffman's ageing hippy and Robert De Niro's government spook as the awkwardness between Jack Tiberius Byrnes and Gaylord "Greg" Focker remains the heart of the story.
On the downside Ben Stiller's onscreen fiancée Teri Polo is given nothing to do except balk in the appropriate places and the major set-ups also feel a little too familiar. Among these are the customary blocked toilet gag and a re-tread of the polygraph scene from ‘Meet The Parents,’ but this time Jack Tiberius Byrnes injects Gaylord "Greg" Focker with truth serum. Although not as disarmingly funny the second time around, inspired casting means that, unlike most in-laws, the Fockers don't outstay their welcome.
But surprisingly this film ended up making more than $500 million worldwide, with yet another sequel released at the end of 2010. If you made the silly mistake of seeing the first film, then ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ is a total vast improvement, as `Meet the Parents' was totally rubbish and was so totally unfunny, on top of all that how the hell was it a big hit, especially with the terrible Ben Stiller in it and they call him an actor, what a joke.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ has a 1080p encoded image, with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The best thing about this image is the astoundingly vivid and gorgeously saturated colours. Dustin Hoffman's bright red shirt is a wonder to behold, and it never radiates into blooming territory. The Florida landscape locales that look very lush, with wonderful turquoises, and the kaleidoscope of party umbrellas during the closing wedding scene are also quite beautiful. But, oh, what edge enhancement and other artefacts, especially when Jack holds up the little graphic signs for Little Jack's edification, ugly white halos surround the black lines. There's rampant edge enhancement throughout the film, and over and over we get a lot of shimmer on things like Robert De Niro's salt and pepper hair, as well as moiré and aliasing on things like Jack's blue pin striped sport coat. If you can get past that (and it's frankly not always easy to do so), this Blu-ray sports a nicely sharp image with good fine detail, decent grain structure, excellent depth of field, and very good contrast. But it's the colours that will probably linger in memory as being the best thing about this transfer.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – As in the mindless vacuous ‘MEET THE FOCKERS,’ we are given a perfectly serviceable 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix that simply doesn't have a lot of opportunity to strut its stuff. There's certainly decent enough surround activity, within the confines of a dialogue driven comedy, but it's limited to things like the roar of an RV panning through the sound field, or party noises at a nightclub. Otherwise, we have excellent fidelity during the talking scenes, with everything crystal clear and easy to hear, anchored solidly in the front channels. It's hard to get very worked up about a sound mix like this, but there's certainly nothing wrong in any way with this DTS track. It does its job absolutely professionally, with no problems to report.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Director Jay Roach and Editor/Co-Producer Jon Poll: Like 'Meet the Parents,' this features commentary with director Jay Roach, who previously helmed 'Parents' and the three 'Austin Powers' features, and his editor and co-producer Jon Poll. Unlike the 'Meet the Parents' disc, this doesn't have a livelier and extremely weird commentary with the cast; this track is mostly technically oriented and will please only hardened fans of the franchise (are there hardened fans of the franchise?)
Special Feature: Bloopers [1080p] [11:03] Sometimes bloopers can cause caustic intolerance of endless bloopers, but I will have to admit that in this never-ending string of bloopers, screw-ups, and flubbed lines, there are some amusing moments mostly with Robert De Niro, which if it had been not included, would not be any loss.
Deleted Scenes [1080p] [15:45] I know it's shocking that a film that feels like a loose selection of deleted scenes from the first film should have its own cache of deleted scenes but, hey, it does. There is some mildly diverting stuff in here but it's mostly pretty lame. You can very easily skip this without any worries.
Special Feature: Inside The Litter Box: Behind-the-Scenes with Jinx The Cat [1080p] [4:02] Apparently a feature on the 'Meet the Parents' disc about the damn cat wasn't enough. There is still at least four minutes of new material to explore with the cat that flushes the dog down the toilet. I suggest you skip this.
Special Feature: The Manary Gland [1080p] [3:05] Oh yeah! I cannot believe they included this totally crass silly item. SKIP this if you feel you might be offended and will be no loss if you do NOT view this item.
Special Feature: Fockers' Family Portrait [1080p] [5:59] Split into separate brief chapters on Gaylord "Greg" Focker, Rosalind "Roz" Focker and Bernard "Bernie" Focker, offering the actors talking about their characters. Ben Stiller, Barbra Streisand, and Dustin Hoffman talk about bringing the Focker family to fully formed life. This is flimsy stuff and can easily be avoided.
Special Feature: The Adventures of a Baby Wrangler [1080p] [5:32] This is a brief documentary about the two young children that play the baby in the movie named Little Jack. I know, it sounds terribly exciting. Thankfully, it's over in less than 6 minutes.
Special Feature: Matt Lauer Meets The Fockers  [7:57] Here we have a fun interview segment with the cast. It's called synergy, people! It's one of the biggest constellations of stars you'll see all year and one of the biggest surprises on the screen: three of Hollywood's most honoured dramatic icons doing anything for a laugh. Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. They're the nuts and bolts of the screwball comedy ‘Meet the Fockers,’ the film from NBC's parent company NBC Universal, that's a follow-up to the hit ‘Meet the Parents.’ The films a sequel, but the conversation is a first. NBC’s Matt Lauer sat down with the entire cast for their only television interview together. And it was quickly clear that this comedy is all about chemistry. They talk about your raucous reunions, this is the first time this cast has gotten together as a group since filming, and there's no director here to yell cut. There's a lot of Hollywood clout sitting on these couches. Among this group, you can count 18 Academy Award® nominations, six Oscars, and billions of dollars in box office. Matt Lauer brought them all back to the Focker family living room where these two film clans first meet and they actually brought them set to them. "Meet the Fockers" is the sequel to the hugely successful ‘Meet the Parents,’ which first followed the struggles of Ben Stiller's character, Gaylord “Greg” Focker, as he desperately tries to win over his fiancée’s by-the-book dad, Jack Tiberius Byrnes, as played by Robert De Niro. The film ends with one thought left hanging in the air and that the two sets of parents have to meet.
Finally, ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ like many of the actors in the cast, who are slightly old and tired. It's a warmed over re-tread of the "hey, let's make people squirm" formula that inexplicably made the first movie a box office smash. To most critics, they felt at times things were not that funny, but I must be a very rare find, as I thought it was quite funny in places, so even if you might feel you are not a fan of the film, I would still recommend this Blu-ray disc, especially if you are a fan of either Barbra Streisand or Dustin Hoffman. The video transfer not that pristine, especially for a Blu-ray disc, the audio mix is workmanlike at best, and the special features have already been exhibited on the previous DVD release. Still despite this, I really liked this film and I am glad it is in my Barbra Streisand Blu-ray Collection, but as to whether you are keen to purchase ‘MEET THE FOCKERS’ then maybe you should hire it out first, but for me personally, I am glad now I own this Blu-ray Disc. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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