Monster-In-Law (2005)
New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Jane fonda, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Bloopers, Deleted Scenes

It is a dangerous gamble to mix Jane Fonda with Jennifer Lopez on the screen. The rift in talent is just brutal and as expected, "Mother-In-Law" is really Fonda's film with Lopez lost somewhere in the trenches, hopelessly struggling, and failing at it.

The film tells the story of Charlotte (Jennifer Lopez) a young woman who has finally found the man of her dreams. But soon it turns out that his mother Viola (Jane Fonda) is the mother-in-law of her worst nightmares. A former news anchor is desperately trying to hold on to her son, after she already lost her career, Viola is throwing down the gauntlet and tries everything in her power to destroy this blossoming relationship.

New Line Home Entertainment is presenting "Monster-In-Law" in an anamorphic widescreen presentation as well as a fullscreen version on this DVD. The image is absolutely clean and clear without even a hint of dust or grain. A high level of definition brings out even the most subtle details and textures in the image as they are rendered with vibrant colors that never bleed. Black levels are solid and deep, firmly rooting the image visually and also making sure shadows are deep and never lose detail. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is without flaws.

The audio on the DVD is presented as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is dynamic and makes generally good use of the surround channels. Its surround usage is subtle but present throughout and creates an engulfing sound field. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out and the wide frequency response ensures that everything is presented naturally-sounding at all times. The dynamic range also helps to present the audio in full clarity, making it a great addition to the movie.

A good number of extras have been added to this release, such as a commentary track with cast and crew members. This however is a typical case of a promo stunt rather than an informative commentary. The content of the track may be entertaining but there's little to no real information relayed here, so you can safely skip this one.

Also included is a blooper reel with a number of outtakes that are supposed to be funny but dind't even bring a smile on my face, as well as a selection of seven deleted scenes. You will also find five different featurettes on the release, detailing many of the aspects of the making of the movie, its characters, etc. but again all of it in such a superficial promo manner that they don't really account to anything.

"Monster-In-Law" could have been a lot of fun as a movie but it is completely crippled by Jennifer Lopez's inability to act. The DVD could have been great nonetheless but that in turn has been crippled by the publicity and promo feel of all the supplements. Frankly, this release is a shot in the dark in my book and makes a rental, at best.