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May 23, 2011
Little Fockers Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
26/12/201021/4/2011ParamountPaul Weitz
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MBen Stiller

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The Fockers are back for another payday movie.

A decade after Meet the Parents dominated the theatres taking in $US330 million, and then exceeded that with a whopping $US516 million a few years later we now have a third outing, Little Fockers. With all the principal cast returning the filmmakers were hoping for big stuff from this film at the box office, but did it pay off for Paramount, and does the public really want a third outing after a six year hiatus?

It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam (Polo) and countless hurdles for Greg (Ben Stiller) to finally get "in" with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack (Robert De Niro). After the cash- strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack's suspicions about his favorite male nurse come roaring back. When Greg and Pam's entire clan-including Pam's lovelorn ex, Kevin (Owen Wilson)-descends for the twins' birthday party, Greg must prove to the skeptical Jack that he's fully capable as the man of the house. But with all the misunderstandings, spying and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack's final test and become the family's next patriarch...or will the circle of trust be broken for good?

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Robert De Niro returns to the Focker franchise.
Directed by Paul Weitz (American Pie, About A Boy and Cirque du Freak: The Vampires Assistant) replaces Jay Roach who directed the first two movies in the franchise. That wasn't a bad choice as Paul is no stranger to comedies, but Little Fockers is one of his weakest efforts to date with a fairly pedestrian plot and a lack of enthusiasm from all involved. Apparently it was a bit of a chore to get Dustin Hoffman back as he was unhappy with the script (rightfully so too), and the end result was very limited screen time for he and Barbra Streisand.

Sadly this film seems to try to run off one single joke - that being the word "Focker" sounds much like, well, it's not hard to guess. It seems every couple of minutes there is a new statement that tries to be funny due to a new use of that name, but beyond that there's little else here to really laugh at let alone chuckle. Sure there are some nice moments, and the if you love the characters, you'll love them back for a third outing, but overall this "comedy" seems more "run-of-the-mill" then we expected.

Sadly, it seems that this is a franchise with diminishing returns in terms of movie quality with each release and Little Fockers, despite the stellar cast, lacks any genuine belly laughs. Still it's not a movie that isn't worth a look if you're a fan of the franchise, but if you haven't seen it at cinemas a rental will be the best option for most.

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Plenty of colourful balls...
Little Fockers is presented on Blu-Ray at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which fills the widescreen TV's but which means the image has been altered from the original theatrical presentation of 1.85:1. We're not sure though if the image has been cropped on the left and right, or if the image has been opened up on the top and bottom to fill the screen. Either way the AVC MPEG-4 encoded image is solid although isn't visually stunning with skin tones that often look too orange. This transfer has plenty of fine detail and Paramount have given the video encoding plenty of room to breathe with a bitrate often above 30Mbps according to our PS3.

Sonically you don't really expect much from a comedy, and indeed the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) audio track is very front heavy with the dialogue while the surround sound channels are used sparingly, primarily at the party scene towards the end of the film.

Other Audio tracks include a German, Spanish, French, Italian and English Audio Description Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. We sampled each of these and didn't notice any major issues with any of the tracks. Subtitles are provided in Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish and English for the Hearing Impaired and yet again from brief samples of the English track this looks accurate to the on-screen dialogue.

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Little Fockers is out now on Blu-Ray.
Little Fockers has been released on Blu-Ray in Australia as a Triple Play pack - so the movie and extras on one Blu-Ray disc with a second disc containing a DVD copy of the film as well as Digital copy for portable devices.

The Macking of a Godfocker (15:00/HD): This is a little EPK-ish but looks at the creation of this film.

Alternate Opening: Wedding Dream and Morning Wakeup (3:31/HD): After the first minute of opening credits we get to this alternate opening scene which didn't really do too much for me and was thankfully replaced.

Alternate Ending: Treehouse (3:20/HD): This is a nice little alternate ending to the movie and worth a look.

Deleted Scenes (14:02/HD): Ten deleted scenes are presented here with some variable quality, but give the movie's short runtime some of these could have been put back into the film.

Gag Reel (7:04/HD): It's a gag reel. There are some decent moments here but nothing you haven't seen before.

The Making of a Godfocker: Behind the Scenes of Little Fockers (15:07/HD): Nothing too special here are this EPK styled "Making of" doco tried to sell the movie more then provide any insightful look into the making of the film.

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The gorgeous Jessica Alba in Little Fockers.
Bob & Ben (4:39/HD): A nice little interview with the two lead actors in the film with some thoughts on the series.

Ben & Owen (5:31/HD): Another interview piece this time with Ben and Owen.

Bout Time (4:04/HD): This little featurette looks at the creation of the fight sequence between Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro.

The Focker Foot Locker (1:43/HD): A collection of all the "Fockers" from the three movies. Yes, this is the one joke they run about 500 times in three films. Still, it's pretty funny.

Little Fockers isn't a terrible movie, but it lacks the comedy that it so desperately needs to remain lively. A decent transfer and a few extras makes this worth checking out if you're a fan of the series.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Paramount. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.