Blu-ray: DIARY OF THE WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES (2011)
This family comedy comes to Blu-ray in a MPEG-4 AVC 1080p transfer. The true to source transfer retains the film grain, which does dampen some of the crispness and detail of the picture. The color is pretty natural and consistent throughout. Black levels are solid. I only noticed in one scene in Greg’s bedroom where the skin tones seems a tad too yellow. Digital anomalies like banding, aliasing or artifacting are not a problem.
The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack seems like overkill. The film has a front speaker soundscape, but this seems to be due to the nature of the film and not poor sound mixing. The dialogue is clear. Directionality isn’t utilized to be noticeably off or on. For scenes with crowds, the soundscape develops a suitable ambiance. When music plays a role, the mix between dialogue and tunes is handled where one never overpowers the other.
The special features are a host of expected material. The audio commentary comes from director David Bowers and the book’s author Jeff Kinney. The duo offer an interesting look at what came from the book and what didn’t and why. Bowers also adds nice notes on the challenges of being a new director on a sequel.
The disc also includes seven “My Summer Vacation” shorts, which chronicle the summer adventures of the film’s key kids. Greg’s summer job and Fregley’s summer crush are the highlights. Additionally, there are 10 deleted scenes and an alternative ending with an optional commentary track from Bowers. The scenes make up cut gags and redundant moments that Bowers snipped for time. The alternative ending has some of the funniest moments. The gag reel is what one might expect – flubbed lines and on-set goofiness.