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December 21, 2009
The Ugly Truth Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
6/8/200816/12/2009Sony PicturesRobert Luketic
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Katherine Heigl

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The Ugly Truth is now on Blu-Ray.

To be brutally honest I've never been a fan of romantic comedies. They're predictable to the last frame, and often have a very similar sense of humour, but The Ugly Truth had me hooked. Two likable characters with personalities at opposite ends of the scale are thrown together with some very amusing results.

The Ugly Truth tells the story of Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) who is a romantically challenged morning show producer who is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result.

Well OK. That last statement 'lead to an unexpected result' isn't exactly true as the end result is as predictable as every other romantic comedy. Still, director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, 21) certainly knows how to push good comedic moments and timing, gets solid performances from the actors and keeps the movie moving along at a brisk pace.

Despite all the reports that Katherine Heigl is a bit of a diva on set and hard to work with, she is certainly a great presence on-screen. She's gorgeous, has some great comedic timing, and is ultimately a very likable actress. Stealing the show though is Gerard Butler. Yes, the main actor from 300 is proving his versatility yet again after also starring in The Phantom of the Opera, RocknRolla and Law Abiding Citizen. Most importantly these two leads have great chemistry on-screen which comes across perfectly for the characters in movie.

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Katherine Heigl is getting excited over dinner!
Initially I wasn't overly keen to see The Ugly Truth - just another romantic comedy I thought. But I was surprised, it is a very entertaining movie with some hilarious laugh-out-loud moments. Indeed the scene with some 'special underwear' in a restaurant is a classic and up there with some of the best scenes in American Pie, the first time that Mike appears on-air with the two news anchors, and even the final scenes around the hot air balloon.

If you can handle plenty of adult humour and concepts then The Ugly Truth is a movie worth checking out. It's entertaining with likable characters and some great moments. A pleasant surprise.

Presented in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 The Ugly Truth has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and it's an impressive presentation. The transfer seems to run somewhere between 22Mbps and 28Mbps for the majority of the movie giving the image plenty of room to ensure a sharpness and strong image quality.

The transfer has a good, natural look with a light level of film grain present in the image however at times there are blow-out contrast levels where whites look blown out (have a look at 1:04:14 to 1:04:32 when Katherine Heigl gets out of the cab as an example). We also felt that in some scenes the colours look a little strong with skin tones looking a little unnatural on occasion with a strong red/orange tint. Strangely this tinting seems to get worse as the film progresses, and looks particularly poor in the hotel scenes.

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Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl in The Ugly Truth.
The Ugly Truth is presented on Blu-Ray with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) soundtrack and for a comedy it's a very strong audio experience. Music is lively, including a scene where Abby and Mike are dancing to some Latin styled music, and while the dialogue is typically very front heavy there are some nice ambient surround effects.

There are a tonne of other audio tracks on the Blu-Ray disc for The Ugly Truth including an English Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 640kbps as well as Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks each also encoded at 640kbps. Subtitles on this disc are provided in English, English SDH, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Thai, Turkish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Croatian, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Korean, Lithuanian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene. The only strange thing is the lack of Ukrainian subtitles despite the inclusion of the audio track. In sampling the English tracks we found that the subtitles were quite different, and shortened, from the spoken dialogue.

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Gerard Butler is quite a versatile actor.
There are a few extras on this disc and they are pretty impressive albeit a bit brief. Anyway here we go...

MovieIQ (HD): MovieIQ is a new feature on Sony Blu-Ray discs which, though an internet connection, allows you to get more information (we believe sourced from IMDB) about actors in the film. It's an interesting concept that works quite well (in fact we could see this in future being used to sell 'products' seen in films).

Select Scenes Commentary with Director Roberty Luketic and Producer Gary Lucchesi: Rather then a commentary throughout the entire movie this gives you a selection of ten key scenes from the movie with commentary. Two things, why not put a commentary for the whole movie (you're only missing about 40 minutes to fill the movie!), and if you can't even manage that why not allow you to put the commentary on while playing the whole movie rather then 51 minutes of it. Still some of the comments are interesting enough.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (16:22/HD): Six deleted or extended scenes are presented here and they are pretty entertaining with good presentation.

Alternate Endings (5:12/HD): Two alternate endings are presented here with the second one in particular offering quite a bit more although some of the CG is not complete.

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The ending is somewhat predictable, but fun.
Gag Reel (10:22/HD): Yep, the gag reel. Seen one, seen the all really but there is some amusing stuff here.

The Truth Is Ugly: Capturing the Male & Female Point of View (12:48/HD): A fairly entertaining look at the difference between males and females with many of the cast and crew offering their opinions.

The Art of Laughter: A Making of Hilarious Proportions (15:53/HD): This is a making of documentary which focuses on the humour in the movie and also on-set while they were filming.

Trailers (8:33/HD): Trailers for Angels & Demons, Julie & Julia, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and Year One.

I actually quite enjoyed The Ugly Truth. Characters are likable, there are very amusing moments and the storyline is, well, a bit predictable. The video presentation isn't the best but the audio impresses and there are some entertaining, although rather un-technical, extras. Worth a look if you like "dirty" romantic comedies.

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.