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Marley & Me(2008)
John and Jenny Grogan, a young couple contemplating the decision to have a baby. Then came Marley...an adorable Labrador pup who flunks obedience school and quickly turns his new home into a disaster area. But as mischievous Marley sees the Grogans through the ups and downs of life and love, they ultimately realize that “the world’s worst dog” truly brings out the best in them.
For more about Marley & Me and the Marley & Me Blu-ray release, see Marley & Me Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on April 1, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane, Alan Arkin, Kathleen Turner, Nathan Gamble
Director: David Frankel
» See full cast & crew
Marley & Me Blu-ray Review
A dog day life...
Reviewed by Ben Williams, April 1, 2009
2005 marked the publication of journalist John Grogan's non-fiction memoir, Marley and Me. The book surprised critics when it became a national bestseller, capturing the hearts of dog-lovers across the United States with its whimsical recounting of the author's family's life with an incorrigible Labrador Retriever. Marley's antics had long been a focal point of Mr. Grogan's Florida newspaper column; his bizarre behavior, unique canine personality and affectionate nature had won over local readers well before the subsequent book had ever even been envisioned. 2008 saw the release of Marley & Me, the long awaited film version of the book. Sporting an all-star cast and enough dog-related cuteness to win over the most hardened pessimist, the film was a huge hit in theaters around the globe. Now, Fox brings this heartwarming tale to Blu-ray with a unique assembly of extras as well as a digital and DVD copies of the film.
Newlywed journalists John Grogan (Own Wilson) and his wife Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston), stake out a new existence in Florida, far away from the icy winters they've grown tired of in their native Michigan. Both find jobs with local papers; Jennifer's is more prestigious, while John's assignments tend to be more mundane. As their lives progress, John senses Jennifer's desire to start a family; a reality John isn't quite ready for. In the hopes of staving off having children right away, John buys Jennifer a yellow Labrador puppy for her birthday. Thus begins the Grogan family's life with Marley, a lovingly bizarre dog who is in constant need of attention. Marley is a complete terror; he destroys their furniture, chews through anything he can find and generally makes the couple's life a living hell. In spite of his personality issues, the Grogans slowly begin to understand Marley's importance in their family.
I can't imagine any pet owner not enjoying Marley & Me. Regardless of one's status as a cat person or a dog person; heck, even ferret people will probably recognize many of the elements that the film presents about the important bond shared between families and their pets. Some might call the movie formulaic and predictable, and that's true to a point. Marley & Me, however, isn't trying to reinvent the wheel; it simply tells a story of how ordinary people found their lives enriched by a wonderful pet who was truly a member of the family, in spite of his quirky behavior.
Both Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are perfectly effective in their roles. Neither has a particularly showy part; both seem to have approached their characters as realistically and naturally as possible. The dogs in the film, on the other hand, are terrifically exuberant in their behavior. Some 22 different dogs portrayed Marley throughout the course of the film. Some were stunt dogs, while others were brought in to do specific tricks needed for the film. A dog called Clyde, however, contributed most of Marley's scenes in the film; it's safe to say that Clyde steals the show.
It's easy to hate on a film like Marley & Me; it's sentimental, purposefully nostalgic and intentionally cute, while never apologizing for being any of those things. Those who have lived with a beloved pet, however, will immediately recognize how true to life the film is. It's nice to see a movie that drops the cynicism that is so consistent in most films, and, instead, tells a simple story without a trace of guile. Marley & Me is highly recommened.
Marley & Me Blu-ray, Video Quality
As a family film, Marley & Me doesn't inhabit a genre that is particularly well known for producing stunning cinematographic content. While the film hardly breaks any new ground or pushes the limits of existing photographic technique, Cinematographer Florian Ballhaus has given the film a warm, sunny look that enhances the flick's sweet- natured disposition.
Fox has graced the film with an AVC Mpeg-4 transfer at 1080p, while maintaining the movie's intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The results are pleasing, easy on the eyes and generally unremarkable. Contrast is above average and the film's golden hued color scheme boasts impressive saturation. Detail is well preserved and a film-like presentation is maintained throughout the feature. This Blu-ray transfer is completely free of any distracting digital artifacts and avoids excessive noise reduction or edge enhancement. Marley & Me looks about as perfect as one could ever hope on Blu-ray. Recommended!
Marley & Me Blu-ray, Audio Quality
If the sound of a frolicking puppy is your idea of compelling audio content, then you will probably be ecstatic with the surround presentation of Marley & Me. Fox has dished out yet another pleasing 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation that accurately recreates the theater experience, while adding the expanded dynamics that lossless encoding provides. Marley & Me features relatively straightforward sound design; the front channels are dominant and support the vast majority of the film, while subtle ambient cues occasionally add depth from the surround channels. Dialogue, the film's primary audio component, is firmly rooted in the center channel; the film's musical score resides exclusively in the left and right front channels. For what it is, it sounds crystal clear and without any level of distortion or hiss. Fox has brought Marley & Me home in as perfect a form as possible.
Marley & Me Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
- "Finding Marley"
- "Breaking the Golden Rule"
- "When not to Pee"
- Deleted Scenes
- On the Set with Marley: A Dog of all Trades
- Animal Adoption
- Gag Reel
Marley & Me arrives on Blu-ray with a fair number of bonus features that manage to shed a small amount of light on the film's production. Fox has also included both a digital copy of the film as well as a complete movie-only DVD copy, marking the studio's first ever DVD/Blu-ray combo package. The set's extras focus primarily on Marley himself; there's a lot of information on finding the right dog for the part, Marley's antics on the set and the cast's reaction to said antics. Those who just can't get enough of the film's canine star will likely be thrilled. Nineteen deleted scenes are also included, along with the obligatory gag reel. Finally, there's a nice featurette included that focuses on the importance of animal adoption; a worthy subject that will find a willing audience among fans of the film.
Marley & Me Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Okay, I'll admit it, I enjoyed Marley & Me, a sweet movie that is guaranteed to touch the heart of anyone who has ever enjoyed the company of a family pet. What else would anyone expect? It's a movie about a dog that enriches the lives of a couple and becomes their surrogate child as they struggle with having a child of their own. It's certainly not Shakespeare, but it does do an effective job of telling a lighthearted story through charming performances, a really cute dog and subject matter that most anyone can relate to. Fox has presented the film accurately, with a pleasing 1080p transfer and well placed audio. The film's supplements leave something to be desired, but are still enjoyable. All in all, Marley & Me is an enjoyable and heartfelt bit of theatrical escapism that is sure to please all but the biggest cynics. Recommended.
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Marley & Me Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - March 31st - March 31, 2009
When 'Slumdog Millionaire' was released theatrically, it was pegged as the "feel-good film of the year" by many who reviewed it, but most probably didn't realize how true that assessment actually was. Originally financed by Warner Independent Pictures, the ...
• Fox Announces Marley & Me Blu-ray - February 10, 2009
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'Marley & Me' to Blu-ray on March 31st, day-and-date with the DVD release. This three-disc set will feature a digital copy of the film, along with the single DVD release. Video will be presented ...
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