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Good Luck Chuck(2007)
Cursed since childhood, dentist Charlie Kagan cannot find the right woman. Even worse, he learns that each of his ex-girlfriends finds true love with the man she meets after her relationship with him ends. Hearing of Charlie's reputation as a good-luck charm, women from all over line up for a quick tryst. But when Charlie meets the woman of his dreams, he must find a way to break the curse or risk losing her to the next man she meets.
For more about Good Luck Chuck and the Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray release, see Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 9, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler, Ellia English, Sasha Pieterse, Liam James
Director: Mark Helfrich
» See full cast & crew
Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray Review
Good luck finding more than a few fleeting positives in this one.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 9, 2012
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Or, in the case of Good Luck Chuck's title character, "always a lover, never a groom" or "always a matchmaker, never a soulmate" or "always a bachelor, never a truly happy man -- sexually satisfied, definitely; physically fulfilled, sure; emotionally content, never." See, Chuck's got this little thing called a curse hanging around his neck, or is it hanging off of something else? When he exposes his magic wand, he's capable of performing feats greater than any man has known before: he can bring true love to the women who gladly give themselves to him in the name of finding that perfect someone and their own little slice of happily ever after. It might sound like a dream job, living life only to pleasure women and in turn enjoying the fruits of said labor, but Good Luck Chuck goes to show that too much of a good thing really isn't all that good after awhile. But too little of a good thing isn't all that good, either. Good Luck Chuck is the ultimate one-trick pony, a movie that asserts its premise and repeats it, again and again, with no heart and only cursory laughs. It's the epitome of the generic raunchy Comedy that bends and stretches and maneuvers into any and every position to try and find some sort of greater theme, only to fall flat and limp as it goes through the motions and predictably explodes towards the inevitable happy pants, happy face, happy body, happy mind, happy soul climax.
A big-city dentist named Charlie (Dane Cook) is a chick magnet. It's not just because he's good-looking or successful, but because word has slowly but surely gotten around that Charlie's something of a good-luck charm. Sleep with him, many a girl have learned, and find true love immediately thereafter. There's only one problem: they don't find that true love with Charlie. No, he was cursed as a child and is doomed to just sleep with all the girls, not love them. Still, he's a big hit around town; many of his dental clients and sexual conquests are amongst the best-looking girls around, but even with all those notches on his bedpost he's living a fairly unfulfilled life. He's the envy of his best friend Stu (Dan Fogler), a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation. Stu might fondle women all day, but he can't score with one to save his life. One day, Charlie meets Cam (Jessica Alba), a zoo employee whose life revolves around penguins. Charlie's head over heels, but he knows that giving himself to her just means that she'll fall in love with someone else. As a desperate last measure, Charlie and Stu concoct a plan to rid Chuck of the curse, but both must be prepared to do anything in the name of real love and friendship if they are to find success and true happiness.
Good Luck Chuck, when one boils it down right to its core essence and removing all the frat boy humor, is a story of doing whatever it takes to find that one special someone, to discover that person who satisfies not only in the bedroom, but in life, that single soulmate partner who makes everything better, whether between the sheets or out in the real world when one must deal with real problems and challenges that require a strong supporter, not just a fine lover. The movie's about finding true love by way of the physical, making use of a "middle man," so to speak, the picture's story revolving around a third-wheel physical component that's somehow necessary to finding two-wheeled and balanced emotional fulfillment. It cheapens the meaning of true love not just by way of using the physical to settle the emotional, but by characters forcing the issue rather than allowing life and nature to take their courses. Oddly, there's not even mention of what might happen if Chuck were to fall in love and abstain from sex until the ring's on his finger. It's at least an idea that should have been explored. Sure there may be an arousing allure to the story as-is, but some audiences will most certainly be turned off merely by the basics of the plot. Then again, most such audiences will want to bypass this one, anyway, as they're the same folks most likely to be offended by the crude language and soft-core nature of the sexual encounters that unabashedly appear on the screen. Good Luck Chuck certainly isn't for all audiences; there's no holding back with this one, and audiences need enter at their own risk.
Yet if one were to lay praise on the picture, one must acknowledge that it's different -- somewhat original, even -- and absolutely unafraid of what it is, where it's headed, and what it shows along the way. From smoking-hot chicks to a grossly overweight woman in a bikini, from complex sexual positions to random sexual encounters, the picture does everything and goes everywhere it can without devolving into the biggest-budgeted pornographic movie in history. There is some humor here -- some of it works, some of it falls absolutely flat -- and there is a plot (as simpleminded and repetitive as it may be) so the picture at least fits into a mainstream current, even if it's the sort of thing that may bother many mainstream viewers. The picture certainly requires an open mind to watch, let alone enjoy, but it's not just the premise and the sex and nudity and language that might turn some viewers off. Good Luck Chuck simply falls short as well-crafted entertainment. It may be visually constructed with technical knowhow and polish, but the script hangs onto the premise and builds absolutely every scene by merely repeating it. Chuck is either sleeping with a woman or talking to someone about his "curse." There's maybe a dozen lines in the movie, all of which are merely recycled from one scene to the next. OK, so that's a slight exaggeration, but the film definitely does little more than work through that classic "wash-rinse-repeat" cycle of dull storytelling. As a result, the pace is slow and audiences know what to expect with every scene, right down to the obligatory ending which anyone can predict before the movie even begins. Worse, the acting leaves much to be desired, though in the cast's defense the shallow script gives them little to do with their characters. Dan Fogler is the lone highlight as the breast-obsessed best friend, and it's his character's Total Recall-inspired resolution that's probably the best surprise in the entire movie.
Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray, Video Quality
Lionsgate's Blu-ray release of Good Luck Chuck delivers a fine and filmic 1080p high definition transfer. Though it's certainly quite warm -- the opening "spin the bottle" scene in particular and at various stretches where the characters look excessively tanned or lightly burned -- the image delivers vibrant, steady colors that appear most of the way natural, whether colorful clothes or lighter gray-colored city exteriors. The image is handsomely crisp and very well defined. It's naturally sharp and delivers what are often striking details in foregrounds and backgrounds alike. Distant elements -- people, trees -- remain focused and crisp, while close-ups are highly revealing of everything from fine lines and textures in fabric to Dane Cook's acne scars and various girls' freckles. Skin tones, as noted, are sometimes ablaze, but black levels are fairly deep and accurate, never lightening up and never crushing out necessary detail. The image retains a naturally light layer of film grain, and print wear and other visual anomalies are largely absent. This is a very strong, very film-like, very satisfying Blu-ray transfer from Lionsgate.
Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Good Luck Chuck comes to Blu-ray with a proficient, but not quite all-out awesome, LPCM 7.1 uncompressed soundtrack. The track's music sounds always just a touch reserved. The entire thing, really, could stand a little more energy, and not just in its music. The good news is that clarity is excellent all-around, and the track features a good sense of natural spacing. This soundtrack delivers fair, casually immersive ambience, though much seems to linger more across the front than spread naturally around to the backs. Light chirping birds and slight applause at an early wedding scene help identify the environment but don't pull the listener seamlessly into the moment. A rainstorm late in the movie really only gives the sound of rain rather than saturate the listening area. A jet engine that rumbles its way through the soundstage in chapter eight represents probably the single-best effect in the entire picture. For the most part, this is a dialogue-intensive film. The spoken word is delivered evenly from the center speaker and with the sort of clarity and accuracy listeners should expect of a lossless or uncompressed sound presentation. This track won't blow anyone away, but the end result is a pleasant, gratifying sonic experience.
Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Good Luck Chuck contains a boatload of extras, including several featurettes, an audio commentary, and additional scenes.
Good Luck Chuck Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Good Luck Chuck is little more than a frat house special. It's got boobs and farts (admittedly the fart was pretty funny in context) and crude language and lots and lots of soft core sex. The guys get most of the visuals, but the girls get a sweaty and oftentimes naked Dane Cook. The movie aims for the outrageous, taking things as far as "unrated" currently allows. It's not usually all that funny, but even audiences offended by the story or the sex will probably laugh once or twice. The movie is absolutely unafraid of doing its thing, so props for its courage. It's technically well made but many audiences will tire of the way the movie simply rehashes the same predicament in every single scene. Maybe worst of all, there's no heart or soul, even when the movie tries to the contrary. Lionsgate's Blu-ray release of Good Luck Chuck features stellar video, serviceable audio, and a boatload of extras. This one's worth a rental for audiences who enjoy this sort of thing and have yet to see the movie, while established fans may simply buy with confidence.
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