When a family patriarch dies, the extended family, including son Daniel (Matthew McFayden) come together to bid the man goodbye. However, the good intentions slowly unravel by way of incorrect corpses, accidental drug taking, an extortion attempt by a Dwarf (Peter Dinklage) - with a revelation that would destroy the deceased mans reputation, capped off by another possible death.
Death at a Funeral is a very British comedy, directed with style by Frank Oz. It runs fairly briskly at just over 80 minutes and is fairly unrelenting in its comedy. With so many low brow comedies produced these days, Death at a Funeral is a breath of fresh air for the genre. Highly recommended.
Death at a Funeral is presented in the widescreen scope aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded in MPEG-4 AVC.
Many would subscribe to the theory that a comedy such as Death at a Funeral need not have anything more than average video quality because of its subject matter. I disagree; if a title is released on Blu-ray then there is no excuse for sub-par video quality. As it stands, Death at a Funeral is better than average, but not a lot more.
For the most part sharpness and colour balances are fine. However, exterior shots look a little less sharp than I would hope for. The most disappointing aspect of the transfer is the relatively frequent film artifacts. There were flecks and scratches at numerous times throughout the duration - this is extremely rare and fairly unacceptable these days, especially for such a recent film.
Overall, the image quality is sufficient and indeed better than my previous DVD, but not by much.
The main audio track here is an English DTS HD Master Audio, encoded at 16 bits.
With the vast majority of sound coming from the front three speakers, there was scant opportunity to create a booming soundscape and even if it did, it would have taken away from the film itself. Importantly, there are no problems understanding dialogue or audio sync problems. Surround effects are rare, aside from leakage of the film score. Bass is only used lightly as the occasion calls for it.
No one expected Death at a Funeral to unseat Iron Man as a reference quality audio track, but what we have is a perfect reproduction of the original cinema experience and that's all we can ask for.
Icon Home Entertainment has given a very light extras package to the film.
Director Frank Oz flies solo on one audio commentary, taking a fairly analytical approach to the making of the movie. The second commentary by stars Alan Tudyk and Andy Nyman, along with writer Dean Craig is far looser and more fun to listen to. Whilst Oz has much pride in his film and it's nice to hear his thoughts, you will have to be a pretty die hard fan of the film to get through it. The second commentary is quite funny and infinitely more enjoyable to listen to.
The only other extra is a seven minute outtake reel in SD quality. Some very obvious fun on the set is what I can take from having seen this.
Review Equipment Used:
Display: Sony KDL52X3100 LCD (1080p resolution/ 24p playback)
Player: Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, PlayStation 3 (24p playback)
Sound: Sony STR-DA5400 Receiver (7.1 configuration), Sony SSX70ED front speakers (x2), Sony SSCNX70ED center speaker, Sony SSFCR7000 surround speakers (x4), Sony SAW3800 Subwoofer, (Front) Sony SAWM500 Subwoofer (Rear)
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