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June 15, 2010
The Dilemma Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
13/1/201112/5/2011UniversalRon Howard
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MVince Vaughn

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Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin James and Vince Vaughn star in The Dilemma.

There are several things that get you excited about this film; the unique premise, the star Vince Vaughn, a strong supporting cast, and director Ron Howard. Somewhat surprisingly when The Dilemma was released theatrically in January 2011 it only managed a paltry $US68 million worldwide at the box office. To put that in perspective Ron Howard's last movie Angels & Demons took $US485 million, while Vince Vaughn's Couples Retreat amassed $US171 million and Kevin James had a hit with Grown Ups taking $US271 million. So what happened to The Dilemma?

The Dilemma tells the story of two best friends and business partners Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) who are about to land a fantastic deal when Ronny learns something about Nick's wife, Geneva (Winona Ryder), that rocks his world. Ronny turns amateur sleuth to determine whether Geneva's cheating on Nick and learns that telling a friend the truth is even more difficult than concealing it.

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Dancing up a storm in the club.
The concept of this film is actually pretty interesting with a "real world" dilemma presented here. What would one do in the same situation with your own friends and especially if your business is on the line. Vince Vaughn seems to be going through the motions a bit in this movie and plays his usual "character". More impressive is Jennifer Connelly while the real surprise of this movie is Winona Ryder who is very impressive as the cheating wife, Geneva.

To be brutally honest, Kevin James isn't really an actor that does it for me. He's likable, sure, but besides his role in Hitch with Will Smith most of his other films have fallen flat. Grown-Ups was meh, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry was a poor copy of the superior Australian film Strange Bedfellows, while the less said about Paul Blart: Mall Cop the better. I do, however, think that his role as Nick Brannen in The Dilemma is his best to date and he plays very well off Vince Vaughn.

The Dilemma isn't a terrible film, it's just not great either though. There are a few chuckles, a mildly interesting storyline but it never hits the high notes of many other comedies. Strangely though I found myself just as hooked on the second viewing as the first, so perhaps that's a sign that this is a film that grows over time. Probably worth a rental at best.

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Queen Latifah in The Dilemma.
This film has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec at the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and with a bitrate the almost constantly hovers above the 30Mbps range during the films 111 minute runtime. Being such a recent film the image is clean and free of any dirt, scratches or other blemishes while the transfer holds a natural level of colouring throughout. Having said that this film also lacks some visual punch and pop to make it stand out as a Blu-Ray title to use as a reference disc.

The Dilemma is presented on Blu-Ray with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and it's every bit as impressive as you would expect from a lossless track. Of course dialogue heavy comedies are almost never going to push the limits of audio design, and this movie is no exception with a primarily front heavy track. Indeed there are some scenes, such as the music in the club around the 7 minute mark that sounds a lot flatter than one would expect, but there are other moments, such as when the car engine is being tested that the audio comes to life - indeed I wish my car sounded that meaty!

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The Dilemma is out now on Blu-Ray
There are three other audio options on this disc. Spanish and French DTS 5.1 tracks are provided, and both encoded at 768kbps. Next up is an English Descriptive Video Service which is encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192kbps. Subtitles are provided in English SDH as well as French and Spanish. We sampled the English subtitles throughout sections of the film and they were accurate to the on-screen dialogue.

In typical Universal Pictures fashion for Blu-Ray's there are quite a few extras on this latest release so let's get into it...

Alternate Ending (5:34/HD): This alternate ending to the film contains much seen in the included ending, but has a couple of major differences. Without spoilers I did prefer the actual film ending.

Deleted Scene (44:39/HD): Fourteen deleted scenes (or extended ones from those in the film) are presented here as well as an introduction from director Ron Howard. There's a tonne of content here and it's all presented in HD which is nice although some of the visual effects are incomplete. Indeed many of these scenes are worth watching,.

Gag Reel (4:42/HD): Seen one, seen them all I my opinion of gag reels, and there's little here but fluffed lines and stuffing around on-set.

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Vince Vaughn and Winona Ryder discuss issues.
This is The Dilemma (13:45/HD): This is an EPK styled behind the scenes look at the making of this film. Some interviews with the star and director, but just as much replaying of the scenes from the film. Still, there's some interesting stuff about filming around the city of Chicago.

Tour Chicago (12:17/HD): This featurette looks at the locations around Chicago used to film The Dilemma as well as the set design.

On Ice (4:48/HD): A brief look at filming a sequence in the United Center on the ice.

The Dilemma is an average movie that, given the script and participants, should have been so much more entertaining. Still if you like the actors in the film it's probably worth a look.

Review By: Dave Warner


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