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While not quite what it could have been, "Date Night" stands as a mostly enjoyable mixture of elements of "The Out-of-Towners" and "Nothing to Lose". The picture stars Steve Carrell and Tina Fey as Phil and Claire Foster, an average couple living in the suburbs who find themselves living ordinary lives. When they find out that their friends are getting a divorce, they realize that they should make more time for one another.

Phil wants to take Claire to a hip/ritzy restaurant in NYC, despite the fact that he doesn't have a reservation. Of course, the restaurant rudely reminds him of the fact when he gets there. The restaurant doesn't look like anything the couple would enjoy, but I suppose that's neither here nor there. Anyways, they steal the reservation of another couple, the Tripplehorns (who, when eventually shown, are played by James Franco and Mila Kunis).

While they enjoy their meal, they are approached by two goons (played by Jimmi Simpson and Common) working for a mob boss (Ray Liotta), who ask them to step outside. Needless to say, the couple realizes that the two goons aren't upset about a reservation, they're looking for a stolen flash drive. The Fosters escape, but they run into trouble they never anticipated when they realize just how "connected" the two chasing them are.

So starts a cat-and-mouse game across NYC, with the Fosters getting help from one of Claire's former clients, a security expert played by Mark Whalberg. The movie makes the surprising choice to not go entirely over-the-top into zany slapstick, and actually builds some tension as the Fosters make their way across the city while trying to figure a way out of their situation.

The laughs aren't entirely consistent and neither is the action, but Carrell and Fey are terrific together and have believable chemistry. Some of the supporting efforts, such as a very funny quick role from Whalberg, are also very good. Overall, "Date Night" isn't particularly original and it's a bit uneven, but when it works, it works quite well. Fey and Carrell are also fanastic as the leads.

There's an extended edition and the theatrical edition of the film included here. Not sure what the difference is between the PG-13 and extended edition, although there's one particular line heard in the extended edition that sounded more "R" than "PG-13".


The DVD

VIDEO: "Date Night" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 2.35:1 (1080p/AVC) and the results are relatively nice, although not without some concerns noticeable at times. Sharpness and detail are good - but not great. Detail - especially during some of the darker scenes - falls a bit short. Otherwise, clarity and detail is mostly very good, although small object detail doesn't impress.

Otherwise, there aren't too many other concerns: no edge enhancement or print flaws are seen, but there are some moderate instances of noise. Colors remained bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other faults.

SOUND: "Date Night" is presented by Fox in DTS 5.1. The presentation accomplishes what's needed: while it's mostly a forward-heavy romantic comedy, the scenes with more action do see the surround speakers flare up, with effects and city ambience clearly heard. Audio quality is fine, with crisp, well-recorded dialogue and effects.

EXTRAS: Director Shawn Levy offers an audio commentary for the picture. This is a fine track from the director, who provides an engaging and moderately insightful chat about working with the actors, production difficulties, filming on location and more.

We also get camera tests for Fey and Carrell, gag reel, extended scenes, deleted scenes, goof PSA's, "Directing 301" documentary, "Directing off Camera" featurette, "Disaster Dates" featurette, trailer, sneak peek promos.

Final Thoughts: "Date Night" is a mostly enjoyable comedy with touches of action and two great lead performances. The Blu-Ray edition boasts satisfactory video quality, fine audio quality and a nice array of bonus features.





Film Grade
The Film B-
DVD Grades
Video B
Audio: B
Extras: B


DVD Information





Date Night: Extended Ed.(Blu-Ray)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
2.35:1
DTS-HD 5.1 (English)
105 minutes
Subtitles: English SDH/French/Spanish
Rated PG-13/UR
1080P
AVC
Available At Amazon.com: Date Night: Extended Ed. (Blu-Ray)