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Carl Allen has stumbled across a way to shake free of post-divorce blues and a dead-end job: embrace life and say yes to everything. Working every funny bone in his nimble body and every muscle in his hilariously mobile face, Jim Carrey plays Carl in a YEScapade about opening up to lifes possibilities especially when those possibilities include romance with an intriguing, free-spirited musician (Zooey Deschanel). From the director of The Break-Up comes an invitation to discover the comedy power of yes.
For more about Yes Man and the Yes Man Blu-ray release, see Yes Man Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on March 31, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, Danny Masterson
Director: Peyton Reed
» See full cast & crew
Yes Man Blu-ray Review
An uneven comedy with laughs a plenty...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, March 31, 2009
I never dreamed a movie could feel so dated within the short course of a year... that is until I watched Yes Man, a sentimental romantic comedy about a misunderstood but inevitably lovable loan officer working at an oh-so-friendly bank. Perhaps the hardened economic turmoil of the last few months made it tough to root for an irresponsible banker who doles out cash to anyone and everyone looking for a buck, or maybe I was too distracted by a group of gullible self-help nutters who were all-too-willing to say "yes" to anything that came their way, but the film struck me as decidedly disconnected from today's real world woes. However, once I finally worked through my personal issues, I began to grin wider and wider, allowing myself to let go and enjoy director Peyton Reed's superficial comedy for what it was: a good excuse to let go and laugh.
When a reclusive, recently-divorced bank employee named Carl (Jim Carrey) reluctantly attends a self-help seminar at the behest of his free-spirited friend (John Michael Higgins), he encounters a man who will change his life forever: motivational speaker and confidence guru Terrence Bundley (Terence Stamp). Despite impressions that the message of the meeting is absurd -- saying "yes" to every opportunity in life -- Carl finds himself giving Terrence's advice and methodology a try. Before long, he feels entirely rejuvenated. He takes up guitar lessons, reconnects with old friends (Bradley Cooper and Danny Masterson), starts to socialize with his naive boss (the hilarious Rhys Darby of Flight of the Conchords), falls in love with an eccentric young singer named Allison (Zooey Deschanel), learns to speak Korean, hosts a bridal shower for his friend's fiancÚ (Sasha Alexander), and confronts his ex-wife (Molly Simms) with breezy ease. Of course, all good things must come to an end as Carl is forced to consider the implications of his actions while learning to appreciate every moment of his life.
I'll warn you right up front: Yes Man is an uneven comedy that suffers from a deflated and contrived third act, a pair of unnecessary gags (the most uncomfortable of which involves Brotherhood's Fionnula Flanagan), and an already-overdone Red Bull sequence (that was played out ad nauseum in the film's theatrical trailers). Yet Carrey and crew somehow elevate a rather redundant screenplay with effortless charm and sudden outbursts of comic gold. The In Living Color alum throws himself into every scene as if it were 1994 -- he's clearly enjoying his performance, the material, and the company of his co-stars. In fact, the entire supporting cast makes the most of their scenes, molding several underwritten characters into more authentic human beings. Cooper is one of the best of the bunch, spewing quick-witted barbs and clever comebacks. Masterson delivers deadpan nuggets with every breath, providing a nice relief in some of the third act's drier scenes. But it's Darby who essentially steals the show, transforming Carl's mild-mannered manager into a sweet and affable fellow I wanted to see starring in his own film.
I would wager anyone who ranks Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty among their favorite comedies will feel right at home watching Yes Man. While it occasionally has to wiggle out of pacing problems, flat jokes, and dead-end subplots, it repeatedly nails key punchlines and packs in some truly unforgettable scenes. It may feature more of a throwback performance for an actor arguably at his best in heavier, dramatic fare like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Man on the Moon, but I can't deny I laughed myself senseless on more than one occasion. Give it a chance and you might find yourself warming to its endearing characters and loaded premise as much as I did.
Yes Man Blu-ray, Video Quality
Yes Man features an at-times striking 1080p/VC-1 transfer that overcomes a few minor problems to produce a fairly proficient, altogether attractive presentation. Skintones occasionally lean towards orange and bronze hues, but it's clear that Reed was aiming for a muddier palette throughout most of the film. Regardless, primaries are bold when called upon (the Yes! bags at the convention hall practically leap off the screen), outdoor greens and blues are vibrant, blacks are generally deep and resolved, and contrast is bright and reliable. Fine detail is also impressive -- texture clarity is refined, delineation is revealing, and edges are sharp and well-defined (without the help of any substantial edge enhancement). Some faint ringing still slivers its way into the picture from time to time, but I'm pleased to report I didn't catch sight of any overly distracting halos. More importantly, the film's moderate grain field never grows unsightly, granting the image a natural filmic appearance that stands as a testament to the transfer's faithfulness to its source.
Complaints? Artifacting sometimes disrupts the image, the transfer has a difficult time rendering vivid reds, and a trio of nighttime scenes are hindered by bizarrely artificial shadows. Even so, noise is kept to an absolute minimum, banding isn't an issue, and the picture is clean and stable. All things considered, Yes Man looks quite good and should easily please videophiles and fans of the film.
Yes Man Blu-ray, Audio Quality
At first, I found Yes Man's sound design to be a lot like those of other modern comedies: uninspired, front-heavy, and uninvolving. But a funny thing happened when Carrey wandered into his character's first self-help meeting: Warner's unexpectedly resonant Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track decided to make its presence known.
Dialogue is crisp, nicely balanced, and perfectly prioritized. Whispers are as clear as shouts, mumbled lines as intelligible as full-throated declarations. Granted, the conversational nature of the film anchors the majority of the soundscape to the front channels, but several standout sequences (like the first Yes! meeting) showcase some serious LFE power. Likewise, the rear speakers are typically relegated to oft-overlooked tasks -- producing light ambience and subtly enhancing interior acoustics -- but also grow more aggressive anytime the soundfield erupts with activity. Better still, pans are smooth, directionality is relatively precise, and the film's soundtrack boasts some hefty dynamics. Will this lossless mix turn heads for 104 straight minutes? No, but the track does handle what it's given with increasingly meticulous prowess. It's certainly one of the better comedy mixes I've heard in a while and, were it not for the predominate chattiness of its scenes, would probably have earned even higher marks from me.
Yes Man Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Blu-ray edition of Yes Man includes all of the special features that appear on the standard DVD, as well as additional exclusive content and downloadable clips. Did I mention almost everything on the disc is presented in high definition? All in all, while there isn't a commentary or extensive documentary to be had, the package offers fans of the film an entertaining (albeit short-lived) experience.
Yes Man Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Yes Man struggles to find its identity at times (particularly during a clumsy third act), but will nevertheless keep people like myself laughing from beginning to end. The Blu-ray edition is more remarkable, serving up a strong video transfer, a fairly robust TrueHD surround track, and a decent collection of standard and exclusive special features that should give most fans what they're looking for: more of Carrey's patented humor. Ultimately, unless you're an emphatic Jim Carrey enthusiast, avoid rushing out and blind buying Yes Man on day one. Rent it first and make sure it's your kind of comedy.
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Yes Man Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Yes Man Saying Yes to Blu-ray - February 11, 2009
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring the Jim Carrey film 'Yes Man' to Blu-ray on April 7th, day-and-date with the DVD release. This film is currently scheduled to be released on a BD-25 along with a digital copy of the film on a separate disc. Technical ...
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