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Blu-ray Review: The Tooth Fairy

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When you see a trailer for a film, do you ever wonder why a production company bothered to make it in the first place? I mean, trailers are supposed to make you want to see movies because they house a compilation of its best parts. However, when The Tooth Fairy teaser was released audience members simply groaned and shook their heads. The film didn't do so hot at the box office, and now it has hit home video. Does it prove to be better than expected? Are we looking at a masterpiece that will go down in history as an epic yet misunderstood movie? No. The Tooth Fairy is what The Tooth Fairy is — a bad movie.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as a hockey player named Derek who used to play for the pros, but now finds himself in the minor league circuit due to a shoulder injury. His nickname is the Tooth Fairy because he is so brutal on the ice that he knocks teeth out in just about every game. The crowds chant his name and things seem to be looking up until he's introduced to the team's newest teen sensation. The kid has it all and he takes the attention away from Derek, which naturally doesn't sit well.

Derek soon begins to feel like he's worthless, though things are going well off the ice. He has a relationship with a beautiful mother of two, and gets along great with her youngest. The little girl loses a tooth on Derek's poker night, and he sneaks upstairs to steal her dollar bill for gambling. After the revelation that the bill is gone he nearly drops the "there is no tooth fairy" bomb, and finds himself in the doghouse with his girlfriend. That night things take a turn for the worse for our washed-up hockey player.

Derek wakes up with an itchy sensation on his back and a summons notation under his pillow. He's transported to Tooth Fairy Land where Julie Andrews sentences him to two weeks hard time as a tooth fairy. Derek is given a case worker who helps him on each mission and Billy Crystal plays a version of 007's Q and dishes out some tooth fairy essentials such as shrinking paste, cat-off, and amnesia dust. Once this unfortunate instance is out of the way the film haphazardly follows Derek as he tries to work through his sentence, patch things up with his girlfriend, deal with his ailing hockey career, and build a relationship with his girlfriend's angst-ridden teenager.

In many ways The Tooth Fairy is a paint-by-numbers script with extraordinarily few highlights. Sure, we get to see The Rock in a pink tutu, and yes, it's great to watch Billy Crystal ham it up as a senile tooth fairy, but everything that surrounds these fleeting gems is absolutely painful. The dialogue offers nothing and continuously talks down to the viewer, the script is full of holes, and the acting is flat as a pancake. Andrews and Crystal are the only performers here who turn in anything that doesn’t seem to embarrass their careers (any more than appearing in this movie already does). Let's just say this movie doesn't do Johnson any favors.

The Tooth Fairy is just a predictable mess of a film that never gets any better and, if anything, merely continues to get worse. The only redeeming quality it offers is the occasional gag or one-liner that actually works. There were indeed rare moments when the movie made me chuckle, but for every one of these there were two groans to accompany them. In the end I really can't recommend The Tooth Fairy to anyone but parents with young children looking for something on family night. Then again, I suppose that's the target audience anyway.

The Tooth Fairy is presented on Blu-ray with a three-disc edition. This release comes with a Blu-ray disc, a standard definition DVD, and a digital copy for your PC or iPod.

The Blu-ray is presented with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio and full 1080p with AVC encoding at 28 MBPS. Though it's not showcase material, The Tooth Fairy looks really good on Blu-ray. The picture quality is sharp with nice definition all around. The colors are vibrant, the black levels maintain richness, and there's no compression to complain about. Some very minor grain can be spotted from time to time, but these moments are fleeting. The only thing I would say is that the high definition makes some of the cheesier effects more pronounced. As far as the DVD is concerned the quality is good as well, though since you're buying into the Blu-ray release of this film, that's arguably the one you're going to be watching.

For audio quality The Tooth Fairy's main source of output for the Blu-ray is an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The quality is actually quite good with moments that really stand out. Derek's time in the Fairy world is richly ambient and his time on the ice is full of nicely implemented effects. The rest of the film is rather flat and full of dialogue, which is mostly front-centric. The DVD offers Dolby Digital 5.1 and both versions of the film offer Spanish and French 5.1 tracks as well, though the Blu-ray also includes Portuguese. English and Spanish subtitles are included for both, and once again the Blu-ray offers more with Portuguese and Mandarin.

A nice selection of bonus features makes its way onto this release for Tooth Fairy. For lighter stuff there are a couple of sneak peeks, some trailers, a dreadful karaoke called "Fairy-oke," and a two and a half minute gag reel. Meatier material includes 11 minutes of deleted scenes, "Tooth Fairy Training Center" (20:31), which is basically an exercise video with tooth fairy moves, and a rather in depth "Behind the Scenes" (38:55) featurette for the film. There's also an audio commentary with director Michael Lembeck, though it's not necessarily worth the effort of sitting through the film again to experience.

Overall The Tooth Fairy is simply a movie that isn't worth the time. The characters are shallow, the script is predictable, and the jokes just don't work 70% of the time. Johnson needs to get a new agent if this is the kind of material he's shoehorned into, and really the only highlights of this film are Andrews and Crystal. The Blu-ray offers up some nice quality in the A/V department and the bonus features menu is more robust than one would expect. The inclusion of a DVD and digital copy of the film are also welcome additions. There are some redeeming moments that make family movie night with the kids not so bad if you rent it, but know that these are few and far between.

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