Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 2, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a fun, entertaining and safe film for the entire family!
Image courtesy of © 2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
YEAR OF FILM: 2014
DURATION: 88 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:39:1 aspect ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, english 2.0 Description Track, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Rated: PG (For Rude Humor including Some Reckless Behavior and Language)
RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2015
Based on the book by Judith Viorst
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Screenplay by Rob Lieber
Story by Casey La Scala
Executive Producer: Peter Schafer
Produced by Marc Bienstock, Casey La Scala, Brad Luff
Music by Nathan Whitehead
Cinematography by Doug Emmett
Edited by Paul Covington
Casting by Nancy Nayor
Production Direction by Brian Stultz
Art Direction by Brian Baker
Set Decoration by Thurston Edwards
Costume Design by Carol Cutshall
Steve Carrell as Ben Cooper
Jennifer Garner as Kelly Cooper
Ed Oxenbould as Alexander Cooper
Dylan Minnette as Anthony cooper
Kerris Dorsey as Emily Cooper
Elise Vargas as Baby Trevor
Zoey Vargas as Baby Trevor
Sidney Fullmer as Becky Gibson
Bella Thorne as Celia
Megan Mullally as Nina
Disney’s heartwarming comedy will have your entire family laughing out loud. Based on the best-selling book, it follows the exploits of Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life and wonders if bad things only happen to him. But he discovers he’s not alone when his dad (Steve Carrell), mom (Jennifer Garner) and family live through their own terrible — and hilarious — day. It will tickle everyone’s funny bone and warm their hearts as they discover how even on rotten days, families can grow closer.
In 1972, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst was released and since then, the book has received multiple awards, and in 1990, received a musical adaptation.
Over 20-years-later, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” received a film adaptation directed by Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl”, “Youth in revolt”, “Cedar Rapids”) and written by Rob Lieber.
The film would star Steve Carell (“The Office”, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), Jennifer Garner (“Alias”, “Dallas Buyers club”, “Daredevil”), Ed Oxenbould (“Julian”, “Paper Planes”), Dylan Minnette (“Prisoners”, “Let Me In”, “Saving Grace”), Kerris Dorsey (“Walk the Line”, “Moneyball”, “Brothers & Sisters”), Bella Thorne (“Shake It Up”, “Frenemies”) and Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”, “The Kings of Summer”).
And now “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Feb. 2015.
The film begins with Alexander Cooper (portrayed by Ed Oxenbould) showing how his family had a very bad day. We see the family driving in a minivan that has been badly damaged with a sick sister, a baby with green markings all over his face and everyone in not the best mood.
Alexander then begins talking about what happened to the family days before.
We learn that Alexander is getting pumped up for his birthday and can’t wait to invite Becky Gibson (portrayed by Sidney Fullmer), the girl of his dreams.
His older brother Anthony (portrayed by Dylan Minnette) is dating the conceited popular girl on campus, Celia (portrayed by Bella Thorne) and he is going to take his driver’s license in hopes he can bring his girlfriend to the prom.
Alexander’s older sister Emily (portrayed by Kerris Dorsey) has the lead role to play Peter Pan for the school play and is busy studying for her role.
His mother Kelly (portrayed by Jennifer Garner) has received positive words from her boss Nina (portrayed by Megan Mullally) that once they publish a book and all goes well, she will receive a promotion but she must focus on the campaign, which causes Kelly to worry because she won’t be as home as much for her husband and children.
Meanwhile, Alexander’s father Ben (portrayed by Steve Carell) has become a “fommy” (father mommy) and is busy taking care of baby Trevor and the household. But he hopes that he can one day return to work. And he has a job interview coming up.
While, everyone seems to be having good luck, Alexander feels that he is the only in the family that’s not. As Alexander is hoping people will come over to his birthday party, a popular guy on campus is throwing his birthday party on the same evening. So, his chances of Becky coming to his party is nil.
Meanwhile, a guy he knows has posted photos of Alexander’s head on various photos and sent to the entire class. And to make things worse for the day, he accidentally catches Becky’s lab book on fire and creates a fire in class, he accidentally drops baby Trevor’s favorite bumblebee pacifier in the garbage disposal.
So, at dinner, everyone in the family has had a magnificent day, except Alexander, who has had the worst day possible.
With Alexander’s birthday coming up, he puts a candle on a cupcake and blows out a candle to make a wish. And that wish is that his family would experience a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, so they will know what kind of day Alexander had.
But what happens when Alexander’s wish comes true?
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:49:1 aspect ratio). The film boasts fantastic detail as you can see skin pores, the sweat on Steve Carell’s face, while skin tones are natural and black levels are nice and deep.
I didn’t notice any banding or artifact issues during my viewing of the film, but picture quality is fantastic!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for the lossless audio, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, an English 2.0 descriptive audio soundtrack and also in French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital language tracks.
The film is primarily dialogue and musically-driven. Dialogue and music are crystal clear with some scenes featuring ambiance, especially during moments where there are is a lot of people at a certain scene. Also, a few action scenes featuring a car accident and a mishap at the play utilize the surround channels. For the most part, the lossless soundtrack is very good!
Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” comes with the following special features:
- Alexander… in Real Life – (5:18) Featuring interviews with the original creator/author Judith Viorst and Alexander Viorst. Both talking about how the book was created.
- Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos: The Australian Outback Yard Party – (7:12) A featurette about showcasing Alexander’s love for Australia.
- Walkabout: A Video Diary – (6:08) Featuring Ed Oxenbould filming the cast and crew, while the cast and crew discuss what Ed Oxenbould brings to the set.
- And the Delightful, Magnificent, Very Good Bloopers – (3:34) “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” outakes.
- “Hurricane” by The Vamps – (3:58) Music Video featuring The Vamps.
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” comes with a slipcover and also a Disney Movie Rewards code.
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” was a film that many fans of the book would say “finally!”.
With a lot of recent children’s books turning into film, it was natural for Judith Viorst’s popular children’s book receive a film adaptation and the film has the elements to make a a wonderful family film trilogy.
Unlike the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” which had its fair-share of humor but in someways, a bit problematic as the main child protagonist was vain and selfish, at least with Alexander, he’s a boy that cares for his family and his friends, the problem is that things tend to not go his way.
With “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, the film operates more on a family dynamic and I feel this is where this family film tends to shine. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner are no doubt star talent to play the parents of four children, but these children are nothing to despise.
You have your teenage son dating the popular girl at school the theater-driven daughter who wants quiet time to learn her lines, you have a baby who only wants to use a bumblebee pacifier and then there’s Alexander, who looks at his parents and his older sibling success and thinking that they don’t have their bad days, only him.
So, he makes a wish for them to experience a bad day and sure enough, for each of them, nothing goes right and Alexander realizes that his wish has come true.
How bad can it get for the Cooper family? Let’s say a plenty.
And one of the fun things to see throughout the film are appearances by Megan Mullally, Donald Glover, Jennifer Coolidge, Dick Van Dyke and more.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality offers a lot of detail and colors are vibrant, skintones look natural and the lossless soundtrack provides crystal clear dialogue, music and also surround-use during the more action-driven scenes. And for special features, you get a few of them including the interview with Judith Viorst and the original Alexander, her son Alexander Viorst discussing the book and how it was created.
Overall, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a fun, entertaining and safe film for the entire family!
And while its story plays it quite safe when compared to a film like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or even “Home Alone”, thanks to its cast and constant shenanigans, it’s a hilarious family film worth recommending.
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