marleymebluStudio: FOX
Year: 2008
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Run time: 115 minutes
Rating: PG

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD50 DL/ 2 DVD
Region: A

When a dog wriggles his adorable rear end into a human’s life, the human will never be the same. And both Marley, the dog, and Marley & Me, the movie, manage to endear themselves deeply despite a few wee flaws. Readers of the John Grogan bestseller already know the raffish charm of the incorrigible yellow lab puppy, Marley, adopted by Grogan and his wife because she’s “never seen anything more adorable in my life.” But Grogan’s simple tale of love, in all its forms, shines on the big screen, thanks to deft comic turns by Jennifer Aniston–in top form here–and Owen Wilson. Their chemistry is utterly natural and believable as Marley’s owners, as is their interaction with the very naughty but ultimately irresistible Marley. As Marley grows up, the film follows his escapades–flunking out, spectacularly, from puppy training at the hands of a wickedly funny Kathleen Turner. And as Marley grows up, John and Jenny build their life together and weather some tough emotional blows. Like My Dog Skip, which it resembles in its affection for its subject, Marley & Me is a tear-jerker, but in the sweetest, most lovely way–because it, and its four-legged star, have wriggled into our hearts. Good boy.

Being a dog lover, ‘Marley & Me’ is the kind of film that will tug at your emotions from beginning to end. For those that have had dogs as pets, there is a lot in this film that you will relate to. While the film did focus a lot of its attention on the bad things that Marley did, he was still loved by the family no matter the circumstances. The writers did a great job with bringing not only the emotions of Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, but also pull in the viewer. This is one area the film achieves its goal that is pulling out all of your emotions through happiness, anger, and even sadness.

I found ‘Marley & Me’ to be more than just your average dog movie. The film’s concentration is on family and how a pet can affect their lives in so many ways ranging from good to bad. We are taken through the life cycle of a dog, with an evolving and growing family which is rarely shown in films these days.

Overall, I think viewers will enjoy this film. Jennifer Aniston is sweet as the supportive wife and Owen Wilson shows how he’s much more than playing screwball characters and can be tender and emotional as well.
Movie Content: 9.5/10

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Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The film is very colorful throughout. Colors are vibrant carrying a more natural color palette. Blacks are also very strong and deep. With strong colors and deep blacks, it brings out the fine details. Details are very good. Fleshtones also look very natural. The print is as clean as a whistle with a very pristine look. This is yet another great transfer from FOX.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix which is mainly a dialogue driven film. Dialogue through the center channel is very clean and crisp. The music on this soundtrack is what mainly pushed the audio in the soundfield. The rears would mainly get some action when music would play or the use of any effects.
Audio Quality: 8.5/10

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Special Features

Disc One

  • “19 Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary” [HD]
  • “Finding Marley Featurette” [HD]
  • “Breaking the Golden Rule Featurette” [HD]
  • “On Set with Marley: Dog of all Trades Featurette” [HD]
  • “Animal Adaptation Featurette” [HD]
  • “When Not to Pee Featurette” [HD]
  • “Gag Reel”
  • “Dog Training Trivia Track”

Disc Two

  • “Bonus Disc of Marley & Me on DVD”

Disc Three

  • “Disc Copy of Marley & Me for Portable Media Players”

All features are presented in high definition. FOX is beginning to also take the Disney route with most of their Blu-ray releases and also packaging the DVD version of the film. This is a great first step in converting more DVD users to the Blu-ray format.

Special Features: 10/10

The Final Word

My family and I were quite surprised with ‘Marley & Me’ as this turned out to be a much better film than what we thought. It takes the animal/pet genre in a different direction giving the viewer something new and refreshing. On Blu-ray, the film has excellent video quality and good audio. All special features are presented in HD, minus two features. This film may not be for everyone, so I would recommend a rental first, but you will be surprised by how emotional the film is from beginning to end.
Overall Rating: 9/10