Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 10, 2012 by Dennis Amith
“Bringing Down the House” is a hilarious and fun comedy that will make people laugh today as it did ten years ago! For those who love the film will definitely want to upgrade to Blu-ray!
TITLE: Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition
FILM RELEASE: 2003
DURATION: 105 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital
COMPANY: Touchstone Home Entertainment
RATED: PG-13 (For Language, Sexual Humor and Drug Material)
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Directed by Adam Shankman
Written by Jason Filardi
Produced by Ashok Amritaj, David Hoberman
Co-Producer: Todd Lieberman
Executive Producer: Jane Bartelme, Queen Latifah
Associate Producer: Cookie Carosella
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography by Julio Macat
Edited by Gerald B. Greenberg
Casting by Victoria Thomas
Production Design by Linda DeScenna
Art Direction by James Nedza
Set Decoration by Ric McElvin
Costume Design by Pamela Withers
Steve Martin as Peter Sanderson
Queen Latifah as Charlene Morton
Eugene Levy as Howie Rottman
Joan Plowright as Virginia Arness
Jean Smart as Kate Sanderson
Kimberly J. Brown as Sarah Sanderson
Missi Pyle as Ashley
Michael Rosenbaum as Tod Gendler
Betty White as Mrs. Kline
The laugh-out-loud comedy “Bringing Down The House” will be available for the first time on Blu-ray™, May 15th, with a stunning new digital transfer!
The hilarious Steve Martin (Father Of The Bride) and Academy Award® nominee Queen Latifah (Best Actress In A Supporting Role, Chicago, 2002) star with Eugene Levy (American Pie) and Betty White (The Proposal) in this hysterical culture clash hit.
When Peter Sanderson (Martin), a divorced, uptight lawyer, meets Charlene (Latifah), a street-smart soul sister who’s just escaped from prison, his life is turned upside down. Crazy complications abound, and Peter soon discovers he may need Charlene just as much as she needs him. It’s a houseful of fun your family will enjoy again and again.
In 2003, the romantic comedy “Bringing Down the House” starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah would earn over $164 million in the box office.
Directed by Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”, “Bedtime Stories”, “A Walk to Remember”) and written by Jason Filardi (“17 Again”, “Back Nine”), despite mixed reviews from critics, the film would become a financial success and also earning Queen Latifah a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture and also a Teen Choice Award for “Choice Movie Actress Comedy”.
And to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the film, Touchstone Home Video entertainment will be releasing the film on Blu-ray.
“Bringing Down the House” is a film which focuses on tax attorney Peter Sanderson (played by Steve Martin). Peter is a workaholic and because of that, it led to the divorce with his former wife Kate, which he still has feelings for but is unable to stop his workaholic manners. Both have two children, Sarah (played by Kimberly J. Brown) and a son named George (played by Angus T. Jones).
While both live in different homes and Kate is dating Peter’s former golf caddy, she also still has feelings for Peter, despite her sister Ashley (played by Missi Pyle) and Peter not getting along.
Meanwhile, Peter is communicating with a woman known as “Lawyer Girl” on the Internet and both have agreed to finally meet each other.
On the night he is to meet “Lawyer Girl”, Charlene Morton at his home, it turns out that Charlene is not the Caucasian woman in the photo, but an African-American woman, being taken in by cops and served prison time.
While in prison, Charlene (played by Queen Latifah) read a lot of law books and is hoping that Peter can take her case because she was wrongfully convicted. As Peter feels betrayed, he tries to kick Charlene out of his home, but when she starts play screaming that Peter is the father of his child, Peter worries that his neighbor across the street, Mrs. Kline (played by Betty White), who happens to be his boss’ sister, may complain about him.
So, Peter gives Charlene a place to stay for the night and hears her story. And to also find out that Charlene has kept records of their communication on the Internet and she threatens to expose him if he doesn’t help. But while she is sleeping, Peter burns the papers and kicks her out again, and goes to pick up his two children who is spending the week with him.
Unfortunately for the kids, their original plan to go to Hawaii is dampered because Peter’s bosses are relying on him to bring billionaire, Virginia Arness (played by Joan Plowright) to the firm. So, his job has come in priority once again over his family. He knows it but as a workaholic, it’s a life that he only knows.
But when they return back home, Charlene has broken into the house and invited many of her African-American friends to party. Shocked by what Charlene has done, he kicks her out again. But the persistent Charlene is not going to stop until Peter takes his case and sure enough, she has shown up during his meeting with the billionaire, Virginia Arness. Scared that Charlene may ruin business, he makes a deal to take on her case but at the same time, pretend to be his nanny and watch over his children during his meetings. Meanwhile, Peter’s good friend and fellow lawyer Howie Rottman (played by Eugene Levy) is sexually attracted to Charlene.
Meanwhile, at the same location is Peter’s former sister-in-law Missi who is watching him and Charlene and giving news to his ex-wife that Peter may have some sort of relationship with his African-America nanny.
With Charlene now temporarily living with Peter and his children, how will life go for Peter and will he be able to solve her case?
All these two individuals know is that they may be total opposites from different sides of the city, but at this point in time, they need each other.
Perhaps the biggest difference from the original DVD release of “Bringing Down the House” is the film’s video quality. Presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 2:35:1), “Bringing Down the House” looks absolutely vibrant with this new digital transfer.
The outdoor scenes look amazing, no sign of the artifacts from the older DVD release, the clarity and detail is much more apparent in the Blu-ray release and for those who love this film, may want to upgrade to this latest Blu-ray release.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Bringing Down the House” is one of those films where you expect dialogue to be the primary focus and if anything, audio primarily coming from the center and front channels. But “Bringing Down the House” is also a film known for its music soundtrack, from Queen Latifah to Robert Palmer, the soundtrack does have its fair share of hip hop and pop music and the soundtrack does feature a good amount of bass during those music-driven scenes. Dialogue is crystal clear and for the most part, the lossless soundtrack is definitely a step-up from the original DVD verison.
“Bringing Down the House: 10th Anniversary Edition” comes with the following special features:
- Breaking Down “Bringing Down the House” – (16:33) Interview with Adam Shankman and the cast of “Bringing Down the House”.
- The Godfather Hop – (2:57) A featurette focusing on Eugene Levy’s character, Howie.
- “Better than the Rest” Music Video – (3:44) Queen Latifah’s music video.
- Deleted Scenes – (4:10) Featuring four deleted scenes: Ashley Spies on Charlene, More Golfing with Arness, Howie confronts Peter on Humping and Charlene Bitch Slaps Mike.
- Gag Reel – (4:00) Featuring the bloopers from “Bringing Down the House”.
While “Bringing Down the House” was not exactly a favorite of film critics, part of the success of the film is because of its mismatching of talents. One would never expect Steve Martin and Queen Latifah to be in a film together, yet they did and for the most part succeeded.
While Steve Martin usually delivers in his role, what brought a fun atmosphere was Queen Latifah, who served as Executive Producer for the film but also worked closely with director Adam Shankman and writer Jason Filardi to bring some credibility to her character, know what kind of slang and terminology would go well with the audience, especially since both are complete opposites but at the same time, during this point in their lives, they realize how much they need each other.
It’s hard to believe 10-years has gone by since the release of this film in theaters, and while most of the cast members have gone on to bigger things (especially the young Angus T. Jones, who is now among the highly paid actors on television (ala “Two and a Half Men”), the film’s comedy still works today as it did in 2003. It’s one thing to see Steve Martin deliver his one-liners, but to see Queen Latifah show off her comedy skills, even a little action with actress Missi Pyle, its the chemistry that seemed odd at first, comes together in this crazy, farcical film. It’s one of those films that you want to watch, get away from reality and just laugh at how crazy the situations are.
Eugene Levy escapes from his fatherly comedy routine that he tends to play on the “American Pie” films and plays the sex-crazed lawyer who just lusts after Charlene and is blunt of how he feels towards her. Betty White plays the bigot neighbor across the street who runs out of the house after hearing Charlene scream and telling Peter “I hear Negro!”. There are jokes that Queen Latifah brought to the film, that may raise eyebrows but she knew what jokes would work well with a diverse audience.
As for the Blu-ray release, the film looks fantastic and definitely an upgrade over the previous DVD release. The special features are pretty much the same content that was on the original DVD but for those who want to upgrade or those strictly looking for a comedy to watch and have a good time, “Bringing Down the House” is a film worth considering.
Sure it’s farcical film that may be too absurd for some, but for those who aren’t looking for anything too serious but something just to watch and laugh, will find “Bringing Down the House” an entertaining comedy.
Overall, “Bringing Down the House” is a hilarious and fun comedy that will make people laugh today as it did ten years ago.
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