Top positive review
PARENTAL GUIDANCE  [Blu-ray + Digital ULTRAVIOLET]
on 2 June 2013
PARENTAL GUIDANCE  [Blu-ray + Digital ULTRAVIOLET] Here Comes the Grandparents! There Go The Rules!
Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei prove that laughter is relative in this comedy that’s fun for the whole family. Old-school grandparents Artie [Billy Crystal] and Diane [Bette Midler] get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their daughter’s [Marisa Tomei] over-protected kids. But things go from hectic to hysterical when Artie realises the kids are running the house with their new-fangled technology. By playing by his own rules, which include sugary snacks, old-fashioned games and tough love, Artie manages to outsmart the kids and achieve the impossible – bringing the family closer together.
Cast: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Jennifer Crystal Foley, Rhoda Griffis, Gedde Watanabe, Tony Hawk, Steve Levy, Cade Jones, Maverick Moreno, Madison Lintz, Corey James Wright, Justin R. Kennedy, Fyodor Cherniavsky, Brad James, Christine Lakin, Ron Clinton Smith, Brooke Jaye Taylor, Maia Moss-Fife, Nate Panning, Kendra Goehring, Matthew Warzel, Peter Luis Zimmerman, Daniel Fridkin, Ralph Branca, Jeff Ailshie (uncredited), Hannah Marie Bailey (uncredited), Jon Bailey (uncredited), Peter den Boer (uncredited), Cabrenna H Burks (uncredited), Miller Carbon (uncredited), Blake Cooper (uncredited), Brett Cooper (uncredited), Ruth Dalton (uncredited), Wayne DeBary (uncredited), Ryan Gilmore (uncredited), King (uncredited), Sharon Oliphant (uncredited), Joel Rogers (uncredited), Kyla-Drew (uncredited), Sherrod Sisco (uncredited), Jonah Verdon (uncredited) and Callan Wilson (uncredited)
Director: Andy Fickman
Producers: Billy Crystal, Dylan Clark, Kevin Halloran, Peter Chernin and Samantha Sprecher
Screenplay: Joe Syracuse and Lisa Addario
Composer: Marc Shaiman
Cinematography: Dean Semler
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio Descriptions
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 105 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘Parental Guidance,’ is a hilarious comedy with Billy Crystal, who is about a minor-league baseball announcer who, after he’s canned for being an old shtick in the mud, he doesn’t know how to tweet, develops a new relationship with his daughter and grandkids. Actually, he teaches everyone a lot of lessons and it is revenge of the old geezer and allowing him to have his curmudgeonly cake and eat it too. It could be worse, and would be without Bette Midler or Marisa Tomei. Ms. Bette Midler plays Diane Decker, the saint married to Billy Crystal as Artie Decker. The kooky Diane Decker is first seen, half-heartedly and fully clothed, working a stripper’s pole in her living room alongside her gal pals, which they seem to have brought their own.
Alice Simmons [Marisa Tomei] and her husband Phillip Simmons [Tom Everett Scott] have a weeklong vacation plans at Hilton Head that don't include their three children. With husband Phil's parents unavailable to baby sit for a week, Alice Simmons [Marisa Tomei] reluctantly asks her old-school mother Diane Decker [Bette Midler] and father Artie Decker [Billy Crystal] to do their Grand parenting honours.
They're very much aware that they're the last resort for their daughter with her 21st Century methods of childrearing, but they make the trip from Fresno to Atlanta to help out and do their best. And they find they're constantly challenged by the hyper-serious twelve-year old Harper Simmons [Bailee Madison], the stuttering eight-year old Turner Simmons [Joshua Rush], and the pre-school banshee Barker Simmons [Kyle Harrison Breitkopf]. All of their parenting methods seem to turn out disastrously with the three grandkids that are simply used to being dealt with a different skill set, but small, positive events make the grandparents start to believe that it's not a hopeless case with their grandchildren.
Screenplay Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse don't miss an opportunity to work in possibilities for groin, puke, poop, and pee jokes [was there any doubt about it given the ages of the three kids], and none of them are especially effective. Better are the more charming and funnier moments when Diane Decker [Bette Midler] takes Harper Simmons [Bailee Madison] dress shopping making her feel like a million bucks or Artie Decker [Billy Crystal] tries to grasp the new rules for children's baseball. In order for the film's most ridiculous slapstick sequences to work, the seniors, especially Artie Decker, who makes one bone-headed decision after another, have to let common sense completely evaporate from their brains which sometimes tries the viewer's patience. As the grandparents continue to adjust to their approach to the children, the more complicated things become. Yet, the whole family learns new things about each other and themselves through both the bonding opportunities and disastrous turn of events they encounter along the way. Ironically, the only thing that brings ‘Parental Guidance' together comes during the end credits, which are lined with photos of the cast and crew enjoying life with their families. Those moments depict love, humour and lots of beautiful human emotions.
Does it work? You bet it does. There are smiles and tears, love and affirmations, a few funny jokes and a lot of easy sentimentality. At one point Artie Decker and Diane Decker sing a song, delighting the children and suggesting that more tunes would have been a nice idea here. Any time Ms. Bette Midler is around, it’s smart to have her sing. She and Ms. Marisa Tomei are sympathetic, likable screen presences, but there isn’t much for them to do except smile indulgently at, and be upstaged by, men and children alike. And while this may nominally be a family affair, don’t be fooled for a second: this is Billy Crystal’s show from opening to close, and he is not especially good about sharing.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The film has been transferred in its original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and is presented in beautiful 1080p encoded image. Sharpness is generally excellent apart from a few weirdly soft shots at unexpected moments. Colour saturation levels are very much under control resulting in rich colour [the green lawns are quite striking] and believable flesh tones. Black levels are very strong.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix doesn't do much with its wide soundstage. Most of the films sound design is front-centric with only Marc Shaiman's music occasionally dipping into the rears, but Billy Crystal's [and everyone else's] wisecracks and verbal humour have been well recorded and have been placed in the centre channel.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Andy Fickman and Billy Crystal: The director Andy Fickman and star-producer Billy Crystal share the microphone for the commentary. They carry on an entertaining conversation and manage to cover most of the high points in the film's production between cracks and jokes.
Special Feature: Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Andy Fickman  [1080p] [13:00] Fifteen scenes are offered individually or if you prefer in the "play all," and there is optional commentary from director Andy Fickman that can be turned on.
Special Feature: Gag Reel  [1080p] [13:00] This is a produced/edited collection of bloopers and outtakes that was mostly likely put together for viewing at the cast and crew wrap party. There's nothing particularly funny here, other than the fact that it is apparent that Bette Midler was the cast member who most often flubbed her lines.
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [2:00] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘Parental Guidance.'
Finally, ‘Parental Guidance' mixes laughter and tears in a steady fashion, which keeps you amused throughout the film. Fans of the stars Billy Crustal and Bette Midler will give you lots of joy and especially seeing them together, as they work so well together and I hope they appear in another film together in another screwball comedy like this one and the PG rating assures it's safe for the whole family. Overall I had the most marvellous time watching this wise cracking film and so pleased I have added this to my Blu-ray Collection. One big bonus with us in the UK is that our Blu-ray Cover is a far superior design to the US Blu-ray cover design. Post Script: to all of you out there who is deciding what Region Blu-ray to buy, either in the UK or USA, well I ought to point out that the UK Amazon has got the Region information wrong, as it this Blu-ray is All Regions. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom