Bedtime Stories (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I was channel surfing the other day and came across one of my favorite movies, “Happy Gilmore”. I love it and have seen it at least a dozen times (and parts of it more than that). Ironically enough, the next day brought me “Bedtime Stories”, Adam Sandler’s latest film that’s strictly aimed at a quite younger demographic. I’d seen the posters, of course, and was reticent about popping this into my Blu-ray player. But it was cold and raining outside so I figured I’d give it a shot. For some odd reason, I really liked it. Yes, I realize that Sandler’s a father now and the only reason he made this was for his kids but there was something about this movie that got me. True, it’s not the funniest movie out there and yes it’s as predictable as they come, but Sandler seemed to be playing a somewhat more grown up version of his character in “Billy Madison” (another favorite of mine and coincidentally enough, he also was heir to a hotel fortune). All coincidences aside, here’s what to expect from “Bedtime Stories”.

Sandler plays Skeeter whose father ran a quiet little hotel but was forced to sell to Nottingham (Richard Griffiths) when times were hard. Nottingham promised that if Skeeter worked hard, someday he’d let him run the hotel. We flash forward 35 years and Skeeter is indeed working at the hotel, but as the maintenance man. His sister, Wendy (Courtney Cox-Arquette), is heading to Arizona to look for work and needs Skeeter to watch them for a few days. He’s not totally alone though as Wendy’s friend Jill (Keri Russell, still perhaps the most beautiful woman on the planet) is helping with the duties. Skeeter is at a loss, but starts telling some wild bedtime stories with the kids offering their input. Strangely enough, parts of these stories start to come true in Skeeter’s life, so he decides to skew the stories to his favor. You see, Nottingham has told Skeeter that if he can come up with a better them for his new hotel than Kendall (Guy Pearce), then he’ll be able to run it. Will Skeeter be destined for a life as a maintenance man or will he get the girl, have the love of his nephew and niece and live happily ever after?

Well what to you think? The movie is called “Bedtime Stories” and how many of these have ever had an unhappy ending? Admittedly I can see how people might be turned off from this film. Then again, I can see how some others would like it as well. I’m a big fan of Adam Sandler’s early work though his more recent films have been kind of lacking (namely “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”). This character he plays seems to be reminiscent of earlier characters like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. We even get some of his trademark jibberish-speak that he made famous on his CD’s some time ago. This is Sandler’s first PG comedy and I think it’s actually clean enough where parents can show this to their kids and not have to worry about it. I had my expectations set pretty low and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I’ll have to continue that trend…

Video: How does it look?

The film is a veritable feast for the eyes. “Bedtime Stories” comes to Blu-ray in a gorgeous 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer that never lets up. Colors seem to literally jump off the screen and in a movie where a fire red horse is featured, you can bet that it should look realistic. Almost every color in the spectrum is used and with great effect. Detail is razor sharp and colors are so bright and vivid, you’d think you could reach out and touch the actors. I’m a bit hesitant to give out a perfect score for video, but I played this on two different plasma screens with two different players and the results were the same both times. This transfer is amazing.

Audio: How does it sound?

While not quite on the level that the video is, the audio has several moments as well. Dialogue is at the heart of this film, but in a film that houses a zero gravity space battle or gumballs falling from the sky, there better be some pretty impressive sound to accompany it. There is. The DTS HD Master Audio track rocks in some scenes and is simply average in others. Suffice it to say that you’ll get your money’s worth though.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Don’t let the package fool you, this really is a three disc set though the second disc is a digital copy of the film and the third is the standard DVD of the movie. I’ve no idea why Disney is doing this, but when you buy the Blu-ray you do get more for your buck. Supplements-wise, the film is kind of lacking. We do get some outtakes and a few deleted scenes, but more importantly we get a look at what it took to make some of these amazing special effects. The film had a budget of more than 80 million dollars and I’ve a feeling that after Sandler’s paycheck, the rest of the dollars went to CGI. We do get a look at the big-eyed guinea pig, Bugsy and the less said about that scary thing, the better. There are some trailers included as well as some exclusive BD-Live content as well.

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