Sunday, 17 May 2009

Disney's Bedtime Stories

Those lovely folks at Disney have recruited me, via the Think Parents network, to become a Blu-ray ambassador.

It basically breaks down to me getting some Disney Blu-ray discs and in return, I blog my honest opinion.

Good or bad.

Part of their push into embracing Blu-ray technology, and the hope that the masses will follow smartish, I believe.

I bought a HD ready television earlier this year, as I needed a new one for my lounge, and basically you can not really by a new television that is not HD ready.

I can actually remember when HD TVs came out, and as I was living close to the country’s largest Currys electrical store, went to check it out.

My best mate, very much a movie buff, was excited by the hype generated around this type of technology, and was repeating quotes like ‘biggest breakthrough since colour’ and ‘we’ll feel like we’re there, at the match, or even in the movie’.

We actually went together to Currys, making the best use of our toddlers’ naptime after we had been swimming first thing.

I can not imagine the salesmen’s eyes lit-up when we arrived, looking like drowned red-eyed rats, complete with mini-versions in pushchairs.

Hardly the look of cutting edge technology enthusiasts.

But nor were we impressed with them, or HD television.

Sure, the picture was better, and made it worth buying LCD or plasma in lieu of the previous technologies, but not breathtaking, and certainly not worth subscribing to the premium feeds of only a few channels here in the UK.

That thinking has not really changed. When that medium is available for free, or at the cost of the standard feed services I am sure I will get hooked up, but until then, I am still not really interested, and I also feel if I am not alone, that getting it for free may come sooner rather than later.

The same is true with the Blu-ray technology. Having to buy a new player is probably palatable, but then to pay a premium for the same movies or titles, is just too big a price for me to pay.

And probably the majority of the British public.

However, I decided to answer the Disney call, and give their Blu-ray offerings my two penneth.

Bedtime Stories is the first priority movie I have been sent, and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it.

The Blu-ray quality is fantastic, much better than ‘normal’ feed movies, and it seems, easier on the eye. I mean incredibly vivid colours, but they do not seem to burn, or hurt, your spherical viewing muscles.

I am still firmly in the camp of not paying the premium, but I do appreciate its superiority.

The movie itself got off to a fantastic start, the premise of a father raising his children alone, had me at hello.

Add to that the actual actor playing this father, and narrator of the film, is Jonathan Pryce. I man-love him. I saw him in My Fair Lady, opposite Martine McCutcheon, he was brilliant. I man-love him.

The movies’ main star is the hapless-loveable-fool-playing-win-in-a-twist-monkey Adam Sandler. He plays a hapless-loveable-fool-playing-win-in-a-twist-monkey.

Typecast is one word, who knew? Not me or Sandler it appears.

His character is Pryce’s son, trying to keep his dad’s dream alive of eventually running the hotel that he had to sell, as his concentration on being a fabulous father meant his hotel’s financial situation was neglected.

Did I mention; I man-love him?

Russell Brand effortlessly plays one of Sandler’s sidekicks.

The lovely Courtney Cox plays his sister, and the enemy takes the form of Guy Pearce, who thanks to the excellence of Blu-ray technology looks more Mike from Neighbours, than a chiselled jawed Hollywood superstar, thanks Blu-ray.

There are two adorable kids in the film, and a slightly less adorable hamster, that has huge eyes and a late flourishing love of junk food.

The basis of the film, bedtime stories, that in part become true, is a very sweet one.

I enjoyed that, especially as I like reading stories to my own son, and I also like making up stories with him once I turn the lights out, Junior enjoys ‘made-up’ stories too.

Although quite predictable, there were a few sugary moments that had me filling up a little, and some of the music is good too.

The film is probably a tad beyond my son, at four, but I will probably watch it with him, just to gauge his reaction, and to also show him that there are other daddy’s doing what I do, even if this one is a Disney depiction.

I would pick up the film on a few points, and probably the most important one, without spoiling it; is that the kids put themselves into a ridiculous amount of danger, and it gets brushed off in the ‘magic’ of the movie.

I do not suppose it would be very Disney if the kids got a serious lecture about that towards the climax of the film.

Good job I do not direct their films, I will just stick to Blu-ray ambassadoring them.



Potty Mummy said...

You too, huh? Fancy sharing a box of Ferrero Rocher, Ambassador? (However I am less organised than you and have not actually got round to writing the review yet, dammit...)

Not a soccer mom said...

sweet on your new 'opportunity'.
I have yet to see this movie, but my daughter liked it.
thanks for the review

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Congratulations on scoring some free stuff :) Free is always good.

I'm with you on paying the premium. I'm not shelling out bucks for a new player that only plays those special dvds. What about all my old millions dvds? We have the added hassle of having a multi-region player so we can watch dvds we bought here and in the US. Do they have a blue ray version of that?

I have never heard of this movie, living under a bus as I do, but my kids would probably eat it up.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I keep seeing this movie on the shelves and wondered what it's about. Not sure Amy will like it though. I haven't got HD ready even though Sky were desperately trying to flog me HD on Sky!

CJ xx

More than Just a Mother said...

I've received this too - hurrah for free things :) but haven't had a chance to watch it. Good review though. I LOVE the expression 'man-love' - how have I not heard it before?

Kevin Spencer said...

A couple of months back we were at a friend's house and they have HD cable. They absolutely raved about it so I was all very excited to actually have a peek. Wasn't overly impressed. I mean it did looks a little sharper but it wasn't a massive leap forward. So I've yet to fully embrace the more expensive option either.

SciFi Dad said...

Nice review.

Now, if they're ever in the market for a Canadian blogger, who you gonna call?

Zoeyjane said...

Isobel freaking loved that movie - in particular, the hamster. Loved it. Bet yours will think it's all shades of silly, too.

My Little Brown Book said...

I watched 'Brazil' for the first time the other month. AMAZING FILM. I she-love Terry Gilliam.

My Little Brown Book said...

PS - Blogging Mama Andrea - most Blu-ray players play DVD's too so you wouldn't have to get rid of all yours old ones :)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh good review. And I agree with so much of it. Our review will be up in a few days I think. Miss E really loved it. Miss M liked the hamster...for a little while. :D

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