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August 24, 2009
Paul Blart: Mall Cop Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
19/3/20095/8/2009Sony PicturesSteve Carr
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1PGKevin James

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Paul Blart Mall Cop on Blu-Ray.
So there it was, Monday afternoon, and a package arrives in the mail containing a couple of discs, Paul Blart: Mall Cop was one of those discs and given a couple of hours to spare, and my wife's keenness to see the movie I thought I'd give it a spin. About 30 seconds in my expectations plummeted - simply due to the big Happy Madison logo plastered all over the screen. I'm not a fan of Adam Sandler, in fact I despise most of his films, and I expected something as moronic and stupid as those efforts in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Still, as a reviewer you need to give everything a chance, and that's what I did...

Paul Blart (Kevin Smith) is a mild-mannered, dutiful family man who works as a security guard in a New Jersey mall. For years, he has applied to become a cop, but he always fails the physical exam because he is overweight. One day, a gang of organized criminals put the mall under siege and take hostages. Blart becomes trapped inside, and because of his sense of duty, refuses to leave. He thus becomes the police department's eyes on the inside and attempts to stop the criminals on his own.

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Of course there's a love interest.
The plot sounds pretty formulaic, and that's exactly what you get in this movie. Paul Blart: Mall Cop is directed by Steve Carr who gave us some brilliant movies including Daddy Day Care, Dr Dolittle 2 and Are We Done Yet?. In case you were wondering, I was being sarcastic. Paul Blart adds next to nothing to his resume, although this is one of his better efforts. Still, that isn't saying too much!

The problem with this film is the utter predictability, 25 minutes into the film we meet the "boyfriend" of his dream girl Amy. Of course he's an asshole, and there is immediate tension between he and Paul Blart. Riding the Segway, looking at dream girl, of course he's going to crash. Go to a bar "I don't drink", he gets drunk. That's all in the first 30 minutes and I'm sure you can guess how the movie ends when the bad guys take over the mall!

Indeed, one of the most ridiculous moments in this film is when Paul Blart first runs into the robbers in the mall. These robbers have a gun, so rather then running for cover he gets on is Segway and "drives" away from them. They have BMX bikes, but decide to head in the opposite direction to tell their boss that there's still a security guard running around. They don't even pretend to be customers when he first says "Mall's closed". If they had, they could have walked away. Pfft...

Anyway, as you would have gathered by now, overall this is a pretty average movie, with pretty average direction, weak bad guys, and a weak plot. The only think I did enjoy to a small extent was the acting of Kevin Smith who despite his stupidity has a somewhat endearing quality, as did his "dream girl" Amy played by the quite gorgeous Jayma Mays. Exactly how this movie managed to take in $US183 million around the globe is quite unfathomable (then again $US146 million of that was in America alone!). Put it this way, if you like the stupidity of other Happy Madison films then you should like this. For me this movie is more like Paul Blah...

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Meeting the new mall cop.
Paul Blart comes to Blu-Ray at the theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. As such a recent release there isn't a single mark on the image, it's pristine but it isn't the best looking transfer. It lacks sharpness and vibrancy associated with the most recent releases on Blu-Ray. The image can look a little flat and washed out at times while the contrast levels also appear somewhat unnatural with whites blooming and black occasionally crushing and losing some fine detail. It's not a total write off (it would certainly be preferable over the lower resolution DVD version) but it just doesn't come across as a great Blu-Ray release, and certainly isn't close to reference material quality on the format.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop comes to Blu-Ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track. It's not the liveliest of mixes, but the sound design is solid enough for a comedy with plenty of dialogue. There is the occasional action sequence which livens up the sound field, and there's some use of surround sound and sub-woofer channels.

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Giving a ticket to a reckless senior.
Other audio tracks on this disc include French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (16-bit) and Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps. Each of these sound absolutely sensational from the brief samples we took and we don't think anyone will be disappointed. An English Descriptive Audio track is also included and is encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps. Subtitles on this disc include English (which from samples was accurate to the dialogue on screen), English SDH, French, Arabic, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Hindi, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Swedish and Ukrainian. The commentary is subtitled in English and French too which is nice to see.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop comes to Blu-Ray with a fairly decent set of extras which are presented in 1080i High Definition unlike so many other earlier Sony Blu-Rays that we have reviewed.

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This will piss off the mall cops.
Commentary with Kevin James and Producer Todd Garner: This is actually a fairly entertaining commentary track with some lively, and likable, discussion between the two participants.

Trailers (5:41/HD): Trailers for "Blu-Ray is High Definition", Ghostbusters and Open Season 2.

Featurettes (49:50/HD): This is a pretty impressive series of 11 featurettes which contains interviews with every main participant on the cast and crew. There's a bit of re-telling of the story, and a bit of goofing around, but overall this is a pretty decent package of extras to keep you busy. The features themselves are "Kevin James: Not Your Average Mall Cop," "Action Sports Junkies," The Mall," "On Set with Mike Rooftop' Escamilla," "Stunts," "Fun on Set," "Mike vs. Mall Cop," "Sugar," "Mall Cop Response," "Free Running vs. Parkour" and "Thoughts with Kevin James".

Deleted Scenes (12:30): Ten deleted scenes are presented here and some of them are actually pretty entertaining. Interestingly these are presented in HD (but using the MPEG-2 codec and only with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio).

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Paul Blart - still tuning that chick!
Cine-Chat: This is a BD-Live chat so you can chat with your friends through the disc while you're watching the movie. Thankfully there's a nice 2 minute video showing you what you can do with Cine-Chat. Now, if I had some friends that have this disc we could try it out!!

PS3 Theme: Put this disc into a PS3 and you can download a Paul Blart Theme for your PS3. It's not the best theme we've seen, but fans may want to put it on.

I'm not really a fan of "stupid" comedy movies, but Paul Blart: Mall Cop had a small amount of charm and likability to it. The audio-visual presentation is slightly above average and there are a few extras to keep you busy for a while longer. Probably one for fans of Happy Madison films only.

Review By: Dave Warner


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