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When a pro hockey player, nicknamed the Tooth Fairy for his ability to knock out other players' teeth, dashes the hopes of a young boy, he is ordered to one week's hard labor as the real Tooth Fairy.
For more about Tooth Fairy and the Tooth Fairy Blu-ray release, see the Tooth Fairy Blu-ray Review
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews
Director: Michael Lembeck
» See full cast & crew
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray Review
Not quite like pulling teeth, but close.
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, May 6, 2010
I'll spare you the gory details, but my most recent trip—well, trips—to the dentist resulted in a bill that, even with my insurance coverage, left me digging deep into my pockets. After all my baby teeth were gone, the Tooth Fairy stopped sliding dollar bills under my pillow. Now, instead, I shell out hundreds of dollars for the pleasure of having my mouth invaded by latex- gloved hands wielding metal instruments of oral torture. And while the obvious analogy would be to say that watching this new Tooth Fairy movie—starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson—is less fun than a root canal, I'm not about to hyperbolize. Believe me, the root canal is much, much worse. At least there's no physical pain in suffering through Tooth Fairy, though your brain, by the end, will be an empty cavity in need of filling.
The Rock plays Derek Thompson, a minor league hockey has-been whose skills on the ice are basically limited to entertaining the crowd. He's come to be known as "The Tooth Fairy" for the dental work his opponents require after he cross-checks them, and he's so good at this stick-shoving skullbashing, in fact, that he has a La-Z-Boy permanently installed in the penalty booth. He hasn't scored in years. And this being a family friendly, PG-rated kids' flick, he has no luck scoring off the ice with his single-mom girlfriend, Carly (Ashley Judd), who wants him to get to know her too-cute children. This doesn't go well. Young Randy (Chase Ellison), a tweener guitarist with rock-star ambitions, is wary of the new father figure and shoots the kind of obnoxious, snot-nosed looks worn by all precocious pre-teens. Derek does better with snaggletoothed six-year-old Tess (Destiny Whitlock), but he makes a crucial mistake when he starts to tell her that that the Tooth Fairy isn't real. That night, he receives a glow-in-the-dark summons from the "Department of Dissemination of Disbelief," a fairy-run organization that seemingly exists to punish adults who squelch faith in fantasyland figures. (One wonders if Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have received similar summons.)
In a flash of special effects wizardry, Derek sprouts a pair of wings, appears in a ballerina's tutu, and gets whisked off to fairyland, where the head of the DDD (Julie Andrews) informs him that he has to serve a two- week tour of duty as a tooth fairy to atone for his crime. And that, essentially, is the plot's hole-riddled premise, the rest of the film taken up with tooth- retrieving shenanigans, a cloying "follow your dreams" message, and over-reliance on the visual gag of seeing The Rock— ripped, and with a head that one character says should be "returned to Easter Island"—all dolled up in a pastel fairy outfit. And, of course, there's also the over-obvious irony of having "The Tooth Fairy" become the Tooth Fairy.
As you'd expect, Derek is not a particularly good tooth fairy—his bum shoulder keeps him from using those feathery wings, and he's got a distinctly un-fairy-like attitude—but he does get some help along the way. A somewhat portly-looking Billy Crystal shows up as the fairy equivalent of 007's Q, supplying all manner of magical gadgets, from shrinking paste and invisibility spray, to amnesia powder and a mint that makes the eater bark like a dog. These, naturally, will all be used to silly effect as Derek breaks into houses and creeps silently into children's bedrooms. (Yes, there is something inherently disturbing about that.) The film's biggest surprise is Stephen Merchant—best known as Ricky Gervais' gangly writing partner —who plays Derek's caseworker, a wingless administrative fairy who dreams of doing "field work." He's got the bulk of the film's best lines, and at 6' 7" he's a hilariously Ichabod Crane-like presence, prancing about in too- tight trousers like, well, a fairy. (There is an odd gay subtext here if you care to read for it.) The Rock is his typically charismatic self, grinning near- constantly to show his appropriately pearly whites, but he's yet to really prove himself as an actor, comedic, dramatic, or otherwise. His laugh, in particular—a stilted guffaw—sounds painfully false.
As the film rolls to its inevitably heartwarming conclusion, the story accumulates a few too many subplots, forcing director Michael Lembeck to resort to a montage the likes of which we haven't seen since Rocky IV. Can Derek restore Tess' belief, get Randy to the school talent show on time, win back his girlfriend, and perfect his out-of-practice slapshot? The answer—if you need one—is yes, as Tooth Fairy's five, yes, five screenwriters employ every soppy cliché and kid- film chestnut at their disposal, building toward an ending that's so artificially jubilant that you half expect it to conclude with a 1980s-style freeze frame of the characters smiling, their fists pumped triumphantly into the air. This is by-the-book stuff, and while the under-10 set may be amused by the sight gags and physical comedy—I say "may" because there are scenes that move much too slowly for a kid's movie—adults will probably wish they had some nitrous oxide at their disposal.
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray, Video Quality
Tooth Fairy alights on Blu-ray with a 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer, framed in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ration, that's as strong and effortlessly sculpted as The Rock himself. I've been really impressed lately by 20th Century Fox's high definition handling of their contemporary films, and Tooth Fairy is no exception, sporting an image that's warm, colorful, and sharp. There are a few moments of softness, but generally the picture is crisp and defined, with fine detail easily apparent in the textures of the actors faces, skin and clothing—you can even make out The Rock's stretch marks from rapid muscle expansion—and even the longest shots showing a nice resolve. The real world scenes have a warm palette—primaries are vivid and skin tones are lightly tanned—and fairyland is pure pastel, a sea of pinks and powder blues. Black levels display a bit of crush during some of the darker scenes, but contrast is otherwise excellent, giving the image a keen sense of presence. The film's grain structure is fine, there's very little noise, and I didn't spot any gratuitous edge enhancement or any other post-telecine manipulations. Likewise, the encode holds up well, with no apparent compression-related issues.
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Tooth Fairy is kind of talky for a kids' film, but there's no lack of sonic hijinks in this disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. As a whole, the audio is nicely mixed, with perfectly balanced dialogue, strong dynamics in the sound effects and score, and plenty of rear speaker usage. While the film doesn't take advantage of every sonic opportunity that comes its way, the hokey games feature loads of whip-fast skating, spraying ice, and bone-crushing cross-checks, and when Derek is transported to the fairy world, the soundfield is filled with swirling and encircling swooshes. When not outputting more obvious effects, you'll hear quiet ambience in the rear speakers. The score by George S. Clinton—not to be confused with funk grandmaster George Clinton—is a typically dippy affair, filling in all the emotion blanks for us so we're never at a loss for what to feel, but at least it sounds great. Overall, a solid, even occasionally impressive track.
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck
If you want to listen to a commentary for Tooth Fairy, have at it, but do you really? Do you?
Introduction by Director Michael Lembeck (1080p, 00:22)
Here, Lembeck excitedly introduces the Blu-ray and tantalizes us with the array of supplementary materials on hand.
Tooth Fairy Training Center (1080p, 20:31)
Need a way to tucker out your hyperactive kid? Look no further. This is a Tooth Fairy-themed exercise program for kids, with moves like "The Shrinking Paste Squat" and "The Cat Nap Tip-Toe." It all ends with "The Fairy Free- Style," where the kids show off their best 1990s dance moves.
Fairy-Oke (1080p, 4:32)
You know, karaoke, but with fairies. Here, The Rock and Stephen Merchant sing "The Wind Beneath My Wings," with lyrics appearing at the bottom of the screen so you can follow along. Or not. There's also an optional introduction by director Michael Lembeck.
Gag Reel (1080p, 2:34)
You know the drill. Lots of botched lines and busting up.
Deleted Scenes (1080p, 11:16)
Includes six deleted or extended scenes, with optional introductions by director Michael Lembeck.
Behind the Scenes (1080p, 38:55)
Director Michael Lembeck and VFX supervisor Jake Morrison introduce and lead us through the film's 6 part making of documentary, which is focused almost solely on the creation of the films visual effects, costuming, and set design.
Theatrical Trailer (1080p, 2:27)
Flicka 2 Sneak Peak (SD, 2:32)
Fantastic Mr. Fox Sneak Peak (1080p, 1:38)
The Sound of Music Sneak Peak (1080p, 00:53)
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Tooth Fairy is not nearly as bad as it could've been considering its premise and star, but that's hardly a ringing endorsement. That said, it is safe, inoffensive family comedy with a few funny bits—courtesy of Stephen Merchant and Billy Crystal—and it's infinitely less obnoxious than, say, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Tech credits on this Blu-ray are superb, and the disc ships with a decent array of supplements. If your kid is begging you for Tooth Fairy, why not, go for it, but otherwise, there's no real reason to seek this one out.
Tooth Fairy Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Tooth Fairy 2 Blu-ray - February 6, 2012
Next month, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will bring Tooth Fairy 2 to Blu-ray. This follow-up to the Dwayne Johnson-starring family comedy sees Larry the Cable Guy (Cars) taking care of the Tooth Fairy's duties in order to win back his long-lost love. ...
• Tooth Fairy Blu-ray Announced - March 22, 2010
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced Tooth Fairy for release on May 4, in a BD/DVD/Digital Copy combo edition. This fantasy comedy, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ashley Judd and Julie Andrews, was expected to be this year's Paul Blart: Mall ...
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