Follow us on

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: This is 40

March 19th, 2013

This is 40 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

This is 40 is a spin-off from Knocked-Up, which remains Judd Apatow's biggest hit and one of his most loved films. It had high expectations associated with it, but it failed to live up to them. Is it a case of the expectations being just too high? Or did it struggle because it is a flawed film?

The Movie

The film begins with Peter and Debbie having sex in the shower. It's going great, until Peter admits he took Viagra. This ends sexy funtime right away. Debbie's not happy, partially because it sounds like Peter needs Viagra to have sex with her, but mainly because it is a sign they are getting older. She's turning 40 this year, and she's not taking it very well. The first step in dealing with getting older in a more mature way is denial, so she's pretending she's turning 38. It's going to be hard to avoid dealing with that, because their birthdays are the same week and they are both turning 40.

They also have to deal with family issues. Sadie has become a teenager and is fighting a lot, especially with Charlotte, her eight-year old sister. Debbie is also upset her father, Oliver, hasn't called her, even though it's her 40th birthday. Peter's father, Larry, is constantly broke and always borrowing money. This wouldn't be too bad, except Peter's Indie record label is struggling, while Debbie thinks one of her employees at her boutique, Desi, is stealing from her. Jodi, her other employee, plants that idea. The two do not get along, so it could be just an escalation of the fighting, but Desi is definitely living a better life than her paycheck would account for. Each have some friends they can confide in. Debbie can talk to her trainer, Jason, while Peter has Barry, his best friend.

That's it for the plot, for the most part. The movie is not plot driven as much as it is a character study. There's mostly people talking about various topics. There's also a lot of disconnected scenes, like after Debbie decides she and Peter should concentrate on their health more, there's a montage of them at the doctors and the dentist. It doesn't add much to the plot, but the small medical problems are a great source of laughter. Peter interacting with his father has a lot of humor, although their relationship is dysfunctional to the point that it is cringe-worthy at times. There is also a very good cameo by Melissa McCarthy and Megan Fox shows she can act. Finally, while Maude and Iris Apatow got the roles because they are Judd Apatow's and Leslie Mann's daughters they show they can also act.

On the other hand... 134 minutes. This movie is 134 minutes long. There is a really good 90 minute or maybe a two-hour movie in here, but at 134 minutes, the hit to miss ratio suffers. Even funny scenes tend to go on a little too long and this really hurts the film's overall effectiveness. It is still a good movie, but it is nowhere near as good as the original.

The Extras

Extras on the DVD include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes, Line-O-Rama, outtakes, and additional music. The Blu-ray has a lot more outtakes, deleted scenes, etc. There is also a two-part, 50-minute making of featurette. There is an 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette on Albert Brooks. There is also a featurette on Graham Parker, who is one of Peter's clients in the movie. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog interviews much of the cast. This makes sense, as Robert Smigel provides the voice for Triumph and plays Barry. Kids on the Loose 3 looks at Maude and Iris Apatow. There's a fake commercial for Jason. Finally, Judd Apatow was interviewed on Terry Gross's radio show on WHYY.

The technical presentation is good, but not great, but this was expected. There's nothing inherently wrong with the video, but it's a dialogue driven comedy, so there's not a lot of visual flair here. There's solid details, great colors, etc. There's no compression issues or digital manipulation to deal with. The audio has very clear dialogue, but like the video, there's not a lot of flair. There's enough separation and activity in the surround sound speakers to not feel barren, but it is not a very complicated track.

The DVD costs $17, while the Blu-ray combo pack costs $20. That's a great deal, considering all of the exclusive extras.

The Verdict

This is 40 doesn't live up to Knocked-Up and it is too long and too many scenes overstay their welcome. That said, it is still worth checking out and the DVD and especially the Blu-ray Combo Pack have more than enough extras to warrant purchasing over just renting.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, This is 40, Judd Apatow, Albert Brooks, Megan Fox, John Lithgow, Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Robert Smigel, Charlyne Yi, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Graham Parker